Cheese

Lighten Up With Fresh Summer Meals

July 30, 2021

The heat of late summer calls for lighter meals packed with fresh produce. Fortunately, there is an abundance of delicious, seasonal produce to pick from. Not only are seasonal items packed with flavor and beneficial nutrients, they tend to be more affordable as well.

Finding unique ways to use summer favorites can help combat any recipe fatigue you may have experienced in recent months. From packing picnics for the beach to firing up the grill to assembling no-cook meals, use Tiny New York Kitchen’s search function to help you find quick and tasty meals for all to enjoy.

Mix up your meals and fuel your family throughout the long days of summer with these ideas:

Grill Seasonal Vegetables
Add some color (along with vitamins, minerals, and fiber) to your menu by tossing fresh vegetables on the grill. Zucchini and summer squash are ideal as they can be diced and cooked in foil, on skewers or cut into uniform planks and placed directly on the grates. Regardless of the method, coat them with a little bit of olive oil and your favorite herbs and spices for the tastiest result.

Enjoy Something Sweet Any Time Of The Day
Melon is the perfect summer treat. Watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew have just the right amount of sweetness this time of year, plus they have high water content, helping you to hydrate with each bite. Cut up slices for an easy snack on the go or scoop out melon balls to add to a fruit salad for a refreshing dessert.

Take Advantage Of Fresh Herbs
One of the best ways to add flavor to dishes, without added sodium, is to use herbs and spices. Basil, mint, oregano, and cilantro are excellent during warmer months as they pair perfectly with seasonal produce and light proteins such as fish.

Choose A New Fruit Or Vegetable
Pick out a new fruit or vegetable for your family to try during the remaining summer months. Kids love to choose by color! Then, plan a meal around your new produce pick.

Build A Picky Eater Snack Plate
Not only will this quick meal hack keep you out of a hot kitchen, but it is a great way to encourage picky eaters to get a bit more adventurous. Mix & match favorite fruits and vegetables with new options available this time of year. Have a strawberry lover? Put one or two blackberries next to them on the plate. Does your child devour cherry tomatoes? Try adding a few cucumber slices, too. They just may be tempted to try a bite of something new. Then, add in a no-fuss protein, like a hard-boiled egg or shredded rotisserie chicken and some easy whole grains such as crackers, popcorn or pita bread. Round it out with dairy favorites such as string cheese or yogurt. There you have a balanced plate without much hassle.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved

Cooking With Cornstarch

February 16, 2021

More and more people are swapping starches for flour in their recipes. If this is something that you have thought about doing then read on to find out more about cornstarch and its uses.

Cornstarch is one of the most versatile starches that there is. Extracted from the starchy endosperm of corn, its white powdery substance is virtually flavorless. It’s a nice ingredient for thickening puddings, soups, pie fillings, and many baked goods recipes. When added to cake, cookie, and shortbread recipes, cornstarch helps create a crumbly and tender texture.

Commercially, cornstarch is often used as an anti-caking agent. When added to packaged goods like shredded cheese, cornstarch coats the cheese and helps to absorb moisture that would otherwise cause spoiling. The absorption process also helps prevent food from clumping over time. Additionally, it is used when making sugars, such as corn syrup.

When cooking with cornstarch, it is best to mix this ingredient into a recipe that is at room temperature. When cornstarch is added to too hot of a mixture, the heat can cause unwanted clumping. Before adding any starch to a recipe, it’s recommended first to make a slurry. To make a slurry, simply mix cornstarch with a cold liquid such as water. This mixture will create a paste-like substance, that you can then add to the desired recipe. Using this slurry method will ensure that the cornstarch is evenly distributed throughout the recipe and not broken down by the heat. It is not recommended to freeze sauce and soups that include cornstarch. Freeing cornstarch can cause the molecules in the starch to break down, and once thawed, the liquid will not hold the same texture as before.

For Thickening:
Cornstarch is often used as a thickening agent when added to soups, stews, and gravies. Denser than flour, less cornstarch is needed to thicken a liquid to the desired consistency.

When cornstarch is added to a recipe, the starch molecules work to absorb water and thicken the mixture. When heated, those molecules swell and consume even more of the liquid in the recipe. Upon thoroughly cooking, the starch in the mix will have expanded size to ten times its size. Once the mixture cools, these same molecules will set. The setting of these molecules can help further solidify the dough, which makes cornstarch a great thickening agent for gooey fillings like pies and pudding. However, this molecule expansion is limited. While a cornstarch enriched recipe can be brought close to boil, it should never be fully boiled. When cornstarch is exposed to too high of temperatures, the starch molecules will begin to deflate, and the mixture will return to its runny state.

For Baked Goods:
Cornstarch not only acts as a thickening agent, but it can also be used in baked goods like cookies, brownies, and cakes. If you’re looking for more structure in your favorite dessert recipe, then you may want to try using cornstarch. Combining cornstarch with other flours can help soften the rigid proteins of the flour, resulting in a light and chewy dessert. Similar to when adding cornstarch to a soup or pudding, if adding cornstarch to a dessert batter, it should first be turned into a slurry. This will ensure that all of the molecules remain intact and that the starch is evenly distributed. Upon adding cornstarch to your baked goods, evaluate it as you would a soup. Has your batter reached the desired consistency? If not, then a bit more cornstarch may be needed. Once your dough looks perfect, bake your dessert like usual. The result should be light, fluffy, and delicious desserts.

Anti-Caking Agent:
Have you ever wondered why your powder sugar ingredients include cornstarch? Cornstarch acts as an anti-caking agent. By keeping moisture and condensation from reaching whatever it is mixed with. It helps to prevent lumps in finely ground foods like sugar. Cornstarch isn’t just used to ward off moisture from sugar. The next time you’re in the grocery store take a look at how many products list cornstarch as an ingredient. From gravy granules to shredded cheese, you might be surprised by the wide variety of foods that cornstarch is added to.

Frying With Cornstarch:
Cornstarch can also be used as a coating for fried foods. While cornstarch shouldn’t be used as a substitute for flour in baked goods, you can very easily substitute it in for flours when coating fried chicken, fish, or other items you’re frying. Not only will cornstarch work in the same way that flours do, but it will hold up better against sauces and absorb less of the frying oil. Less oil means less fat in your meal.

When frying food with cornstarch, I recommend that you coat the items lightly. Applying a light even coat to your food will ensure that it results in a crispy texture. When too much cornstarch is added, the coating often turns out gummy rather than crunchy. For the perfect, gluten-free fried food, consider blending cornstarch with a gluten-free flour like almond flour. This will help create a more breaded result, similar to wheat flour.

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved

Cooking With Buttermilk

January 27, 2021

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy drink that was traditionally the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cultured cream. Today, most modern buttermilk is cultured. Cultured buttermilk was first commercially introduced in the US in the 1920s. Commercially produced buttermilk is milk that has been pasteurized, homogenized, and then inoculated with a culture of Lactococcus lactis to simulate the naturally occurring bacteria in the old-fashioned buttermilk. The tartness of cultured buttermilk is primarily due to lactic acid produced by lactic acid bacteria while fermenting lactose, the primary sugar in milk.

Condensed buttermilk and dried buttermilk are very important in the food industry. Liquid buttermilk is used primarily in the commercial preparation of baked goods and cheese. Buttermilk solids are used in ice cream manufacturing as well as being added to pancake mixes to make buttermilk pancakes.

Buttermilk reacts with the baking soda and powder to give quick breads their rise and tender crumb. The reaction is best at the beginning, you’ll want to get the loaf in the oven right after mixing the wet and dry ingredients. Buttermilk can also be used in marinating meats, especially chicken and pork, because the lactic acid helps to tenderize, retain moisture, and allows added flavors to permeate the meats.

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved

Movie Night Popcorn Upgrades

January 19, 2021

Most of us have been stuck at home for months now watching everything we can find on Netflix. There’s nothing like getting comfy on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn and a good movie. You might want to get creative and give your movie nights a popcorn upgrade.

Italian Style
Toss popcorn with finely grated Parmesan, a sprinkling of Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.

Asian Style
Drizzle lightly buttered popcorn with a small amount of sesame oil, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and crushed seaweed snacks.

Crabby Corn
Sprinkle buttered popcorn with Old Bay seasoning, salt, and a pinch of cayenne.

Tex Mex
Toss buttered popcorn with taco seasoning, garlic powder, and a pinch of chipotle chili powder.

Cinnamon Sugar
Toss hot popcorn in cinnamon sugar immediately after popping to create a kettle corn like crunch. Or combine sugar with a pinch of pumpkin pie spice and toss for pumpkin kettle corn.

Almond Joy
Toss popcorn with mini chocolate chips, coconut flakes and chopped roasted almonds.

Salted Caramel
Sprinkle hot buttered popcorn with turbinado sugar, crushed hard caramel candies, and salt.

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved

Cooking With Beer

March 18, 2020

Beer isn’t just for drinking. It’s also the secret ingredient in some of Tiny New York Kitchen’s favorite recipes, from stews to pasta sauce.

Depending on which brew you choose, you can add richness to stews and braises, a bright zing to sauces, and make baked goods extra tender and tasty. It’s great with chocolate. You can also pair it with your meals, just like wine, to make your dishes taste even better.

LAGER
Lager is the most popular beer for drinking. Smooth, light-bodied, and slightly floral, it goes with just about any dish, especially cheese. It’s also great to bake with. The bubbles in this beer add extra lightness and tenderness to all sorts of baked goods.

PILSNER
Clean, crisp, and slightly citrusy, this beer is refreshing on its own. Serve it with seafood or a simple tomato and basil pizza. Use it for quickly simmering shrimp because it won’t overwhelm the delicate, sweet flavor of the seafood.

STOUT
This rich dark beer has notes of coffee and caramel, great for sipping in colder weather. Pair it with heartier dishes like chili or steak and potatoes. In baking and cooking, stout makes chocolate cupcakes taste even more chocolaty and slow-cooked meats even richer.

AMBER ALE
You will know this beer by its reddish-brown color. It has a smooth, malty flavor that makes it a crowd-pleasing choice for your next party. Try this beer with grilled or roasted meats and barbecue. For cooking, it’s great in a glaze for pork or in a cheese sauce.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Healthy Snacks

September 17, 2019

Healthy snacks give your family the energy and nutrients they need throughout the day. As you plan snacks, think of them as “mini meals” that include two of the four food groups.

Try these simple nutritious snack ideas:

1. Whole grain crackers with a cheese stick

2. Fresh cut fruit with a yogurt dip

3. Nut-free trail mix. Mix dried cranberries, raisins, dried apricots, and apple rings with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, along with your family’s favorite cold cereal.

4. A small tortilla wrap spread with Greek yogurt, some jam and a banana.

5. A smoothie made with vanilla yogurt, blueberries, apples and some orange juice.

6. Vegetable sticks (like cucumbers and carrots) dipped in hummus.

Make snacks interesting by using a variety of shapes, colors, and textures.

• Offer different types of cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, Jack, Swiss) in different forms (cubes, strings, slices, and balls)
• Switch up the vegetables and fruit. Make sure you have a colorful variety in the fridge to choose from.
• Kids love to dip. Use cottage cheese, hummus, yogurt, or guacamole as healthy dips.

From planning to packing, get everyone in the family involved when making snacks. Take children grocery shopping and let them choose some of their favorite foods like breads, vegetables, fruit, and yogurts. Set aside time in the evening to pack lunches and snacks. You’ll be happy you did during the next day’s busy morning rush!

Food Allergies: Schools have different policies when it comes to food allergies. Many schools have a nut-free policy throughout the whole school, and some have policies just for some classrooms. Find out about the food allergy policy at your child’s school. Once you know about the foods that need to be avoided, keep them in mind when reading the ingredient list on food labels and when packing lunches.

Back to school snacks can be nutritious and delicious. With a little planning and creativity, your kids will love snack time at school.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved

Date Night At Home

February 13, 2018

Going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day is a risky affair. Even the best restaurants can have “overload difficulties” on such a busy night where couples have expectations of restaurant perfection. A better way to manage expectations is to take control of them yourself. Food is a language of love. You know what you like and what your loved one likes. No need to worry about cheesy love songs or a perfumed soaked lady sitting next to you. Nothing says I love you more than taking the time to make a special meal for the person you love. Visit the local farmers’ market, butcher, or seafood shop to buy their favorite seasonal ingredients. Come up with a meal that celebrates love. Turn off the lights, fire up all the candles and put on your favorite music.
Keep it easy and made make it special. Plan out the meal from beginning to end to get organized and make sure you have a solid menu. If you’re not a seasoned cook make sure to keep it simple and I recommend not trying to make complicated dishes that you’ve never made before. Make it easy with three courses. Begin with a beautiful cheese plate. Embrace easy, big impact dishes. Start off with prosciutto-wrapped scallops finished with a squeeze of lemon. Warm things up with braised short ribs or steaks finished off with butter and herbs. Keep desserts simple, but sweet. Decorate bakery cakes with fresh fruit or edible flowers or warm up slices of pie and top with caramel sauce and a gourmet ice cream or try your hand at an easy dessert of chocolate pots de crème. Don’t forget that nice bottle of wine or champagne.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Winter Citrus Fruit

February 1, 2018

Winter Citrus Fruit is a beautiful natural ingredient that will perk up the winter table with generous juiciness and vibrant vivacious hues. Citrus fruit have a beauty that cooks can incorporate into their winter meals. As an added bonus they are an excellent snack for that nagging sweet tooth. They can bring a bit of glamor to a winter fruit salad. Arrange oranges, clementine, mandarin, pomelo or grapefruit slices and you will have a sunny rainbow of goodness for breakfast or brunch. Nothing more is needed than perhaps a scattering of fresh mint or basil. These citrus also combine well with cranberries, raspberries and strawberries, adding burst of sunshine to yogurt bowls and smoothies.

Green salads love a bit of sunshine, too. Add citrus slices to a mixture of arugula, radicchio, endive and baby kale; add minced fresh herbs, such as basil, tarragon and chill. Add a bit of creamy goat cheese and dress it all up with a vinaigrette.

The versatility of citrus makes them a superstar winter ingredient. These beautiful fruits are low in calories, have a significant amount of dietary fiber and are a nice source of folate. Rich in vitamin A and C, Citrus provides healing, soothing benefits for eyes, skin, hair, and nails and many positively impact the aging process. Consuming citrus may possibly lower the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and macular degeneration.

Let the sunshine in!

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Holiday Moderation

November 17, 2017

The holiday season is in full swing and soon you’ll be living on Thanksgiving leftovers. Ever had pumpkin pie for breakfast followed by a full turkey meal for lunch and another for dinner? It’s easy to get in the habit of holiday indulging.

The average American gains more than a pound each holiday season. Over a decade that really adds up. As they say, “It’s easy to put it on and hard to take off.”

There are ways to enjoy the holidays, but keep yourself in check so that you don’t fall into the trap of complete abandon.

High Fat Foods
Pigs In A Blanket: High In Fat, Salt, and Carbs.
Fried Cheese Balls: High In Fat And Small So It’s Easy To Overeat.
Baked Brie: Fatty And Addictive, Plus You Have To Slather It Onto Some Carb Calories.
Chips: They Have No Nutritional

Eat In Moderation
Cheese And Crackers: Calorically Dense And Super Easy To Eat. They’re Not Special So Spend Your Holiday Calories On Something More Festive.

Once-A-Year Favorites: You Only Eat Stuffing, Latkes, And Eggnog Once Or Twice A Year. If You’ve Been Coveting Aunt Martha’s Chiffon Pie Or Cousin Tommy’s Cooked Goose, Enjoy In Moderation.

Be My Guest
Crispy, Crunchy Crudités: Make The Brightly Colored Vegetables Your First Stop For Noshing. Add Hummus To Slow Digestion.
Pork Tenderloin, Ham Or Turkey: Protein Is Going To Suppress Your Appetite Due To The Fact That It Is Slow Digesting And Triggers The Release Of Several Satiety Hormones.
Shrimp Cocktail: Low In Fat, High In Protein And A Perfect First Course For A Low Calorie Tour Of The Buffet.
Swedish Meatballs: Another Protein Packed Option That Stands Out Amid A Carbohydrate Heavy Table.
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus: A Great Choice To Fuel Your Body While Keeping Your Appetite In Check.

Enjoy the holidays, but enjoy them in moderation.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Cheese

April 7, 2017

When storing cheese, keep in mind that it is a living organism. In most cases, it should be wrapped in special cheese paper, waxed paper or aluminum foil so that it can “breath” without drying out. Cheeses that need to retain moisture, such as fresh mozzarella, can be wrapped in plastic wrap.

In general, you can keep different kinds of cheeses together. The exceptions are those with strong aromas, such as blue cheeses, which should be stored in an airtight container so the other cheeses don’t pick up their sharp smells. Store cheese in the lowest part of the refrigerator, where there is less chance of accidental freezing. The vegetable bin, with its high humidity, is the perfect storage place.

Before shredding semisoft cheese on the large holes of a grater, spritz the grater with cooking oil spray so the cheese doesn’t stick. Freezing the cheese slightly makes it easier to grate, but freeze only the amount you need for the recipe.

Don’t throw away the rind from Parmesan cheese. Toss it into soup (especially chicken or bean soups or minestrone) or tomato sauce, and let it simmer for 30 minutes or so to soften and impart its flavor.

Even cheese that is fine to eat may sport a bit of mold. Trim off the blue, green, or fuzzy mold. If the mold is pink or black, then the cheese is spoiled and must be discarded. Also, if the cheese smells of ammonia, toss it out.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

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