Sunday, August 7, 2016

Don't Do It Yourself

I am a big fan of cooking from scratch. I'm rather proud of my knife skills (learned through watching chefs on TV so probably still a little rough, but it suits me). And I love shopping at the local farmer's market where I can get locally grown produce and other delicacies. One of my favorite "other" merchants is a spice shop where I can get just about anything dried.

That being said, I recently purchased some items from the Tastefully Simple line which were purported to make dinner preparation a breeze--and they turned out to be right! Their "Onion Onion" flavoring mixed with various other ingredients has really made a tasty addition to our evening meals. So when I ran out I thought I could make my own to "save" time and the effort of seeing who was having a party so I could order more. But, after pricing the dried ingredients at the shop mentioned above it turns out that it is actually cheaper to order it through Tastefully Simple.

Lesson--sometimes you DON'T have to do it yourself!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Half-baked idea

My husband is not the best cook. I actually had to teach him how to boil water for pasta. I am not making this up. So there are limits to what I can ask him to do if I'm running late from work. To make things a bit easier, frozen pizza used to be a staple of the freezer. Until I learned that grocery stores stock bags of pre-mixed pizza dough--already proofed (proven?) and ready to roll out and bake. Now rolling dough is still a bit above my husband's skill level so what I do is buy 3 or 4 bags at a time and spend an hour or two par-baking the dough. Roll out the dough to your favorite thickness and shape (I prefer rectangular) and bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This bakes most of the dough but leaves it a little room to finish once the toppings are on. I stack them with parchment paper between and wrap in non-stick foil and put in the freezer. Now I can call and have him pull a crust out of the freezer, top with jarred pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. He bakes that for another 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and by that time, I'm home and ready to eat!