Garlic

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

Ways To Use Tahini

January 6, 2021

Tahini, a roasted sesame seed paste, is the key ingredient in hummus recipes, but you can also use tahini these ways:

Nut-Free Peanut Sauce
Combine with soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, and crushed red pepper. Check labels to be certain that your tahini is nut-free.

Veggie Burgers
Add a spoonful to help bind bean or lentil burger mixture together instead of using an egg.

Oatmeal
Drizzle over a bowl of oatmeal topped with sliced bananas, a dollop of yogurt, and maple syrup.

Dressing
Stir together with lemon juice, olive oil, and minced garlic as a dressing for salads or grain bowls.

Brownies
Swirl into a pan of brownie batter before baking to balance the sweetness of the chocolate.

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved

Build An Affordable Cheese Board

December 3, 2020

Cheese Boards are a no-cook, sure-to-please option for any holiday celebration. Build a cheeseboard that’s affordable yet special. Then toast the season with festive cocktails.

A few inexpensive ingredients and simple homemade touches are all you need for a spectacular, special occasion-worthy spread. Here are some smart tips to deck your board with festivity and flavor without breaking the bank.

For a classic, colorful centerpiece, make your own cranberry and herb cheeseball. Start with a container of spreadable cheese and form into a ball. Use a sheet of plastic wrap to avoid messy hands. Roll the ball in a combination of finely chopped dried cranberries, parsley, and chives until thoroughly coated. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

No need to buy expensive cheeses. Inexpensive cheddar is always a crowd pleaser. Skip the pre-cut cubes and cut the block yourself. Orange or white, mild or extra sharp. Cheddar is always a favorite.

Upgrade affordable goat cheese by rolling the log in herbs and spices, like dried thyme, dried oregano, or crushed rainbow peppercorns for a beautiful, flavorful crust. You could also keep it plain and top with jarred pepper jelly or mango chutney.

Instead of mixed nuts, opt for crunchy snack mixes, which are often less expensive and just as delicious. For the board, look for one with little or no seasoning.

Give a budget-friendly feta or mini mozzarella balls a flavor boost by marinating cubes in olive oil with herbs like parsley, oregano, or rosemary, and other seasonings like sliced chilis, crushed garlic, or lemon zest. Refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.

Round out your cheese board with other delicious items like fresh or dried fruit (dried apricots, figs, grapes, and sliced pears), pitted olives, and plain crackers.

Pair your cheese board with a festive holiday beverage and enjoy!

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Planting Garlic

October 20, 2020

Here in the Northeast we often think of there being a short growing season. In other regions, many people garden as if there’s a beginning and an end as well. But gardening, anywhere you do it, is circular. There may be slow times, but planning ahead for what’s around the bend is crucial.

Right now, I’m thinking about next year’s garlic. Here we are, another turn of the season. Cool days and nights are creeping in and it’s really quite wonderful that one of the last planting tasks in the garden is getting garlic in the ground. Planting in general may feel counter to all the other fall tasks, but when you plant garlic you are “putting it to bed,” since it needs a cold cycle to perform well. On the other hand, the very act of planting-looking forward to spring and summer and harvest- brings the cycle of the seasons together quite nicely, proving that a garden never really begins or ends; it only changes.

Ho much you plant depends on what you want out of your crop. One pound of garlic can plant between 15 to 30 feet depending on the variety, and the amount of space you give it. Space rows 12 inches apart in whatever bed system you use.

If you would like to produce your own seed stock and your own eating stock, plan to reserve the top 30% of your harvest for planting. Each pound of garlic can produce between 50 to 75 heads of garlic, since each clove can produce a head.

When following a vegetable rotation schedule, one knows where the garlic will be planted well ahead of time. This gives an opportunity to make sure the beds are well worked, weeded, amended and prepared.

Garlic prefers rich, well-drained, and weed-free soil located in full sun. Ideally, choose a spot that is in full sun from winter through spring. It can be difficult to grow a crop in your weediest beds, so consider this when location scouting during the summer.

Compost, aged manure, and weed-free hay or straw mulch are good choices. Give yourself plenty of time to get this sorted out.

A few days prior to planting, prep your site.

Choose a sunny day in October when the soil is still warm. Try to leave enough time before the ground freezes solid for the garlic to set roots. Garlic can be planted any time before the ground freezes solid, though, ideally 3 to 6 weeks prior.

Begin by breaking apart the heads of garlic into cloves. Count the cloves and determine the amount of space you need. Most hardneck varieties have 50 to 90 cloves per pound. Garlic prefers full sun, so choose a spot that will get full sun for the spring and early summer. Each clove will be planted at 6” spacing, in rows 12” apart. Weed and work a proper amount of garden space. After cultivating the space, mark the rows. Plant cloves root side down, 2” deep, at least 6” apart, in rows 12” apart. Water and cover with mulch. Your garlic will need to be tended to in the spring, once the ground warms and it begins to grow.

Spring growing conditions and care: Garlic begins to poke through the ground as soon as the soil warms. If you covered your garlic with a thick mulch layer, rake it back to help warm the soil faster.

Garlic prefers rich, weed-free soil and ample water. Beginning in the spring, pull weeds when small, taking care not to damage your garlic when pulling them out. Hardneck varieties produce garlic scapes in the spring. If left on the plant, the scapes will draw energy from the bulb, reducing size and quality. Once the scapes emerge, cut them off immediately to direct the plants’ energy into bulb production. The scapes are an edible spring delicacy.

Giving your garlic a nutrient boost in the early spring is highly recommended. Garlic performs well with a nitrogen boost in the form of alfalfa meal, or a light side-dress of compost.

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Enjoying Summer’s Abundance

July 6, 2020

July has given us bright sunny days, low humidity and cool evening temperatures and a great way to capture summer’s splendor is with a picnic. Whether you find respite under the shade of a magnificent tree, spread a blanket on a sandy beach or enjoy your own patio or yard, dining “en plein air” is a delightful diversion to current world conditions.

Simplicity is key for a pleasant picnic. With farm markets opening, stock up on fresh fruits, berries, and vegetables for the picnic basket. Luscious, seasonal asparagus can be lightly grilled, steamed or roasted, then spritzed with fresh lemon juice and adorned with fresh parmesan cheese shavings for a light and lovely picnic lunch that packs easily. Freshly picked asparagus can also be served raw. Shave each stalk using a vegetable peeler, into long strips and dress with olive oil, rice vinegar, salt and pepper. Embellish at will with goat or feta cheese, pine nuts or almonds and plenty of minced herbs.

Fresh herbs perk up picnic recipes and eliminate the need for excess sodium. Chives will add a slightly sharp bite to potato, egg or pasta salads, as well as a nice little nip of flavor to deviled eggs. Poach a nice piece of salmon and dot it with creamy dill sauce for an elegant picnic entrée. Cilantro and Thai basil elevate rice noodle salads, and the snappy tang of fresh parsley is just the right addition to grain bowls. Fresh basil with ripe tomatoes is a classic combination. For something sweet, pack fresh berries, such as native strawberries, blueberries or raspberries, sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with honey.

If your picnic involves grilling use sturdy rosemary to imbue vegetables, meat, and fish with Mediterranean flavor and flair. Marinate chunks of lamb, beef or chicken with fresh rosemary, garlic, and olive oil. Let rest for several hours, then grill as desired.

Have picnic supplies at the ready to take advantage of gorgeous weather. Stash a small roll of garbage bags, hand sanitizer, salt and pepper packets, a small cutting board and knife, bug spray, sunscreen, and a blanket in your picnic basket. Keep small ice packs in the freezer. Gather your food and drink and enjoy the healthy benefits of picnicking all summer long.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Spring Pesto

May 27, 2020

Pesto is one of those spectacularly simple sauces that only takes minutes to make. Essentially, you just have to throw basil, oil, and garlic into a food processor and you have a fresh pesto.

The wonderful thing about pesto is that it can be used for more than a plate of pasta. You can bake it on chicken, mix it into soup, add it to bruschetta, mix it in a skillet with eggs and hash browns, add it to a grilled chicken sandwich, or add it to a quesadilla. You can also add a dollop of mayonnaise to a few tablespoons of pesto to create a quick and easy aioli to use on sandwiches.

Pesto is excellent for transforming leftovers into something quick and delightful. You can take the pesto aioli and pair it with a leftover chicken cutlet, tomato slices, and a crusty slice of baguette to create a delicious sandwich.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Hot Sauce

May 17, 2019

Fire things up with popular hot sauces. Whether you’re just starting to heat things up or you’re looking for new options there’s a sauce to spice up any meal.

HARISSA
This thick North African sauce combines hot peppers with garlic and other seasonings. It’s traditionally served with couscous, but harissa can also add flavor and fire to everything from meat and fish to vegetables and eggs.

SRIRACHA
While there is sriracha from Thailand (it’s named after the town where it was created in the 1930s), the wildly popular one used in everything from wings to Bloody Marys is produced in Southern California. Both feature fresh red chilies, sugar, salt, garlic, and vinegar.

GREEN HOT SAUCE
Most hot sauces are red because they’re made with red peppers, but there are green versions, which are typically made with jalapeños and/or poblanos and sometimes tomatillos. Green sauces can be milder or more herbal, but heat levels vary from sauce to sauce.

LOUISIANA STYLE
Most hot sauces are based on the Louisiana style formula of chilies, vinegar, and salt, and puréed into a thin red liquid. Which peppers are used, how they’re processed, and additional ingredients make for endless variety.

MEXICAN HOT SAUCE
South-of-the-border sauces tend to use the same Louisiana style combination of chilies, vinegar, and salt, and have a similar flavor, but if you’re eating tacos, why not reach for a bottle from Mexico? Many include chipotles, which are dried and smoked jalapeños, and add smoky flavor.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved

Seasoning Suggestions

January 6, 2019

To flavor your food reach for herbs and spices rather than high-sodium table salt. Make sure to read the labels of seasoning mixes because many of them contain salt.

Seasoning Suggestions

Pasta: Basil, Fennel, Garlic, Paprika, Parsley, Sage
Potatoes: Chives, Garlic, Paprika, Parsley, Rosemary
Rice: Cumin, Marjoram, Parsley, Saffron, Tarragon, Thyme, Turmeric
Seafood: Chervil, Dill, Fennel, Tarragon, Parsley
Vegetables: Basil, Caraway, Chives, Dill, Marjoram, Mint, Nutmeg, Oregano, Paprika, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved

Garlic

October 2, 2018

What’s the deal with pre-minced garlic?! Here at Tiny New York Kitchen we’re generally not big fans of buying already prepped vegetables, but jarred minced garlic is actually the worst. Stored in water or oil and kept shelf-stable with the help of chemical preservatives, it smells and tastes like a bad joke about garlic. Bitter and funky (and not in a good way), it’s the stuff that gives the allium a bad name.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Reducing Sodium In Your Diet

April 5, 2018

Let’s face it; most of us eat way too much salt. A high-sodium diet can increase risk of high blood pressure (hypertension), which can lead to cardiovascular and kidney disease. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day, which is about 1 teaspoon of salt. The good news is that reducing the amount of salt you use will retrain your taste buds to sense other flavors. You won’t even miss it.

Bland food is such a bore, but how can we keep sodium in check without sacrificing flavor?

Here are some suggestions to reduce salt in your diet:

Remove the salt shaker from the table when you eat.

Limit process foods, including cured, pickled, salted, or brined products.

Focus on fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables without sauces or seasonings.

When choosing canned options, look for “no salt added” or “low sodium.”

Cook at home so you have control over how much salt you add.

Flavored vinegar, onions, garlic, and citrus also add tons of flavor without the sodium.

Herbs and spices are the key to flavor. Add dried varieties during cooking and fresh herbs at the end of cooking or when plating a dish. Thyme, mint, lemongrass, dill, basil, oregano, chives, and parsley are great herbs to use. Spices like pepper, ginger, chili powder, and cinnamon are excellent spices to flavor your food.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

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