Spices

Pantry & Freezer Staples

February 3, 2016

Pantry & Freezer Staples

How long do pantry and freezer staples last? Staple items are known for their long shelf life, but they don’t stay fresh forever! Use this handy list to determine how long you should keep them on hand.

Freezer

Hamburger & Stew Meats: Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 3 to 4 Months

Ground Turkey, Veal, Pork, Lamb: Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 3 to 4 Months

Bacon: Shelf Life: 7 Days Storage: 1 Month

Sausage (Raw From Pork, Beef, Chicken or Turkey): Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 1 to 2 Months

Fresh Steaks: Shelf Life: 3 to 5 Days Storage: 6 to 12 Months

Fresh Roasts: Shelf Life: 3 to 5 Days Storage: 4 to 12 Months

Chicken or Turkey (Whole): Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 1 Year

Chicken or Turkey (Cut Up): Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 9 Months

Lean Fish: Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 6 Months

Fatty Fish: Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 2 to 3 Months

Fresh Shrimp, Scallops, Crawfish, Squid: Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage 3 to 6 Months

Pantry

Baking Powder: Shelf Life: 18 Months Storage: Keep In Dry Place In Airtight Container

Beans (Dried & Uncooked): Shelf Life: 1 Year Storage: Store In Cool & Dry Place

Chocolate (Semisweet & Unsweetened): Shelf Life: 18 Months Storage: Keep In Cool Place

Cocoa: Shelf Life: 1 Year Storage: Keep In Cool Place

Cornstarch: Shelf Life: 18 Months Storage: Store In Airtight Container

Flour (White or Whole Wheat): Shelf Life: 6 to 8 Months Storage: Store In Airtight Container or Freeze To Extend Shelf Life

Nuts (In Shell & Unopened): Shelf Life: 4 Months Storage: Freeze to Extend Shelf Life

Spices & Herbs (Ground): Shelf Life: 6 Months Storage: Store in Airtight Containers In Dry Areas Away From Sunlight & Heat. Before Using, Check Aroma – If Faint Replace.

Sugar (Brown): Shelf Life: 4 Months Storage: Store in Airtight Container

Sugar (Confectioners’): Shelf Life: 18 Months Storage: Store in Airtight Container

Sugar (Granulated): Shelf Life: 2 Years Storage: Store in Airtight Container

Vinegar (Unopened): Shelf Life: 2 Years

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

Less Stress Holidays

December 19, 2015

Less Stress Holidays

Holiday time is a wonderful time of year, but let’s face it, there is plenty of stress that comes with it. During the holidays, it’s better to keep things as simple as possible.

Appetizers & Hors D’Oeuvres: Keep it simple. Serve a simple, but beautiful cheese platter. Add bowls of dried fruit and nuts, as they’re always very festive. I like to set up a small snack table set with bowls of olives, savory popcorn, and Marcona almonds. I also like to serve a crudité platter for guests who may not want to eat rich foods or are perhaps trying to eat a bit healthier around the holidays.

Plan Your Menu: If you’re having a sit-down dinner, try to make a menu that can be prepared somewhat in advance. Some great options might be a beef Bourguignon, braised short ribs, coq au vin or any other main dish that can be made the day before. I am a big proponent of choosing things to cook that can be prepped ahead of time. I like to start off a dinner party with a nice salad that incorporates some seasonal ingredients like pomegranates, pears, citrus or candied nuts. A winter squash soup is also a nice way to begin a meal. Dessert can be a simple winter fruit crisp or a spice cake served with ice cream.

Get A Head Count: When it comes to a holiday meal, any time of year, depending on the number of guests, a simple yet broad menu works best. For buffet holiday parties with over a dozen people, you might want to offer a couple of different entrees. Add a vegetable and perhaps roasted potatoes or roasted root vegetables. Offering a nice crisp green salad always rounds out the menu as well. Add some delicious small rolls or a sliced baguette and you’re good to go.

Serving A Nice Beverage: Then there are the beverages. Having a festive specialty drink is always welcomed by your guests. If you’re mixing the drinks yourself, keep it simple. Please don’t spend all of your time being a bartender at your own party. That’s no fun! You could mix a nice holiday punch bowl with an adult kick ahead of time. A splash of pomegranate liqueur or elderflower liqueur is a nice addition to prosecco or champagne. A white Christmas cosmo (made with white cranberry juice) is a holiday favorite. Make it in advance and when you’re ready to serve just shake with ice and serve.

Make In Advance: Many things can be done days before the party. Shopping for non-perishable foods like spices, flour, sugar can all be purchased many days before your party. You can also make your holiday cookie dough or pie crusts in advance. All you need to do is to make sure you freeze them until you’re ready to use them.

Keep Calm & Have Fun: The most important thing is to keep calm and have fun. A holiday party of any kind should be a time of joy for everyone, even the host. If you find yourself working way too hard to throw and plan a party then ask friends or family members for help. Perhaps a few good friends could bring a dish or two to help ease the stress on your kitchen. The goal is to have a good time with family and friends.

Happy Holidays From Tiny New York Kitchen!

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Baby Zucchini

March 5, 2015

Baby Zucchini

Baby zucchini are very tender, tasty simple vegetables that have more flavor than the larger Italian zucchini as well as being very easy to prepare and enjoy. Archeologists think that they are indigenous to Central America. They are very nutritious and are a good source of Vitamin A, C B6, thiamin, niacin, and Pantothenic acid. Baby zucchini are also a very good source of fiber, protein, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper.

Quick Roast: Cut lengthwise and roast with sliced onions for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Blanching: Drop zucchini into boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. Then remove to an ice bath. Zucchini are now ready to cut lengthwise and add to salads, sauté with mushrooms, onions, and garlic.

Grilling: Brush zucchini with olive oil, sprinkle with fresh herbs or spices, and either grill on BBQ or grill in a grill pan for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Microwave: Place zucchini in ziplock bag. Cut corner of bag and microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes.

For Salads: Baby zucchini makes a great salad addition. Shred or grate raw and add to salads, or cut lengthwise and add to vegetable platters.

Raw: To eat raw make sure to wash before eating.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen

Gluten-Free Baking

December 17, 2014

Gluten-Free Baking

Baking can be tricky when you throw gluten-free into the mix, even the most skilled cooks can be challenged. Here are some tips that can make Gluten-Free Baking less challenging.

Gluten-Free flour mixes can generally replace wheat flour cup for cup. Nut and bean flours may need extra experimentation to find the exact amounts to use.

Consider using smaller pans when baking gluten-free. It’s easier to get the center cooked without the edges burning as can happen with larger pans. 

Keep a close watch on baking times. Some gluten-free recipes may take longer to bake than their wheat-containing counterparts. 

To help gluten-free recipes taste their best, consider boosting flavor with extra nuts, herbs, spices, and flavor extracts such as vanilla and almond.

If converting a recipe to gluten-free, increase the egg amount by one extra egg to help ingredients bind together.

Gluten-free flours can be dry. You may need to increase a recipe’s liquids.

Xanthan gum keeps gluten-free baked goods moister and less prone to crumbling. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum for each cup of gluten-free flour.

"Work With What You Got!"

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen

Constitution Week – Foods of Our Forefathers Part II

September 18, 2013

Patriots

Constitution Week – Foods of Our Forefathers Part II

The standard grains included wheat, barley, oats and rye.  Finely ground wheat flour, “boulted” or sieved through a fine cloth, was used to make white bread for the rich early in the fifteenth century.  Most of the gentry ate what we would call cracked or whole wheat bread.  The poor ate bread of coarse-ground wheat flour mixed with oats, ground peas or lentils. 

During the ocean crossing to the New World, immigrants subsisted on an even more monotonous diet for weeks.  The Mayflower provisions were typical – brown biscuits and hard white crackers, oatmeal, and black-eyed peas, plus bacon, dried salted codfish and smoked herring for animal protein.  The only vegetables on the trip were parsnips, turnips, onions and cabbages.  Beer was the beverage. 

As pilgrims set foot on their new homeland, they hardly knew what to expect.  Each brought a stock of basic foods to get them through the first year, as well as a variety of basic utensils and kitchen tools.  Also included were the essential accompaniments for whatever they found or could raise when they arrived – a bushel of coarse salt, 2 gallons of vinegar, a gallon of “oyle” and a gallon of aquavite. 

Nothing they had been told, however, prepared them for the staggering variety of totally unfamiliar plants that were being used as food by the Indians – corn, sweet potatoes, peppers, pumpkins, squash, sunflower seeds and cranberries were examples.  In addition to the strange food, there were strange ways of cooking.  In Europe, meat was boiled; the Indians, lacking iron pots, roasted theirs on a spit over a fire.  The Indians also had a long, slow cooking process that yielded what we now call Boston baked beans, and they used a fire-heated, rock-lined pit for what we would now call a clam-bake.  Where the pilgrims were accustomed to raised wheat bread, the Indians introduced them to corn based spoon bread.  Corn also provided hominy, used as a vegetable, and later, of course, as grits.  For sweetening, the Indians used maple syrup and honey, as sugar was unknown. 

Although many of the food the Pilgrims and other colonists found were totally strange, others had travelled the route before them.  The Spanish had brought pigs, which thrived especially in areas where peanuts grew.  Peaches and oranges were also native which spread throughout climatically suitable areas in a short time. 

Even the white potato was an early migrant to the New World, following a zig-zag route, from its original home in Peru to Spain in 1520, from Spain to Florida forty years later, from Florida to England in 1565, always being treated as a culinary curiosity.  By the 1600’s they had become a popular food staple in Ireland, and were carried by Colonists both to New England and Virginia, where they quickly established themselves.  There they served as a valuable source of vitamin C, protein and trace minerals, in addition to the starch. 

Potatoes, incidentally were significant in another, later migration to America: the climate in Ireland proved so amenable to their culture, and their nutrient content was so high, that many poor Irish farmers grew only potatoes on their small farms.  In fact, as fathers subdivided farms for their sons, many found themselves supporting whole families on the potatoes grown on less than an acre of ground, while the family itself lived in a roofed-over ditch.  When blight struck in 1845, the sole food source of millions of people literally withered away before their eyes.  A half-million of the 8 1/2 million population died of starvation or disease, and 1 1/2 million emigrated to England or America – following the “Irish potatoe.”

Spices were in short supply in America’s earliest days.  The English pretty well monopolized the trade with the New World.  Within a few years, however, settlers had planted the seeds they had brought or imported, and most had adapted to the climate and were flourishing in orderly rows and patterns in kitchen gardens all along the Atlantic Coast.  There were a few – ginger, pepper, cloves, mace, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice – that simply couldn’t cope with the weather or soil – and were scarce.  Olive oil, lime juice, prunes and saffron were available, but only at high prices. 

To Be Continued…

 

Pepper

January 13, 2012

Pepper

Called the “spice of life,” it was once only available to the rich. Now it is hard to imagine cooking without it. New peppers have become available for our use. White pepper is dried, pink and green come packed in water or vinegar. Invest in a good peppermill, as ground black pepper loses its vitality soon after it is ground.

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