What Would We Do Without Vinegar?

What Would We Do Without Vinegar? - white distilled vinegarWhite Distilled vinegar is great for cleaning. Cleaning with vinegar is much safer than using commercial products that are filled with chemicals.

Were you aware that distilled vinegar can be made from rice, malt, wine, fruit, balsamic, apple cider, kiwifruit, coconut, palm, sugar cane, raisins, dates, beer, honey, and kombucha (fermented tea), among other food items?

Not only can vinegar be make from many foods, it also has many uses around the home, inside and out.

After reading what those uses are, you might just ask – What Would We Do Without Vinegar?

Many Uses For Vinegar Other Than In Culinary

White vinegar contains a higher percentage of acidic content, therefore making it more ideal a household cleaning agent over darker vinegar’s, like apple cider vinegar.

Glassware – 1/2 cup of distilled vinegar added to a gallon of rinse water, will remove soap scum or film from glassware.

Coffee Maker -Till the coffee maker reservoir with vinegar and run it through the brewing cycle. Doing this will remove stale coffee residue. After running vinegar through one brew cycle, run fresh water through it twice to remove any vinegar taste.

Top Cleaning Secrets

Image credit: Top Cleaning Secrets

Iron – Have stains on your electric clothes iron? Remove them by mixing one part salt with one part vinegar in a heated small aluminum sauce pan. Use this mix as well to polish your iron the same as you would silverware.

Chrome – To polish chrome and stainless steal, moisten a cloth with distilled vinegar and wipe clean.

Windows – Are your windows stained with water spots dew to your sprinkler system? Straight vinegar will remove the spots.

Bathroom – Vinegar and baking soda together will remove the soap film build-up from your bathtub, as well as deodorize your toilet. Just pour some undiluted vinegar into the toilet bowl and let stand about 5 minutes, then flush. If you have hard to work with stains, you may need to use some elbow power.

Grease – They say that vinegar will remove filmy dirt residue from the stove and refrigerator. we found it works best when baking soda is used with it.

Culinary Uses For Distilled Vinegar

wilted vegetables restored

Image Credit: Food Hacks

Vegetables – Any slightly wilted vegetables in your kitchen? Bring them back to life by soaking them in cold water and vinegar.

Cabbage – Add vinegar to the water before cooking cabbage. Doing so will prevent the smell of this cruciferous vegetable’s smell from penetrating the house.

Meat – 1/2 cup of your favorite vinegar and a cup of liquid bullion makes a great meat tenderizer.

Rice – when cooking rice, add a teaspoon of vinegar to the boiling water for fluffy rice all the time.

Fish –  Maybe you might know where we are going with this one, as fish can smell up the house. Reduce the fishy odor by rubbing the fish with white distilled vinegar before scaling it.

Cheese – This one was a knew one for us…To keep your cheese fresh for longer, just wrap it in a clean cloth that has been dampened with vinegar and then sealed in a air-tight container.

Eggs – To produce better formed egg whites, such as when poaching eggs for Eggs Benedict, just add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water.

A guest post at Thrifty Fun wrote, “If you want to make poached eggs, vinegar is very helpful. If you add a tablespoon of it to the boiling water and then slide your eggs into the water, your egg whites will stay together and not mix with the water very much. Your poached eggs will look like the shape of an egg as opposed to looking like a pancake. I just learned this trick and I’m quite pleased with it.”

Onion Odors – After you have prepared your culinary dish that called for onions, just apply some distilled vinegar to your hands to remove any onion odor.

White distilled vinegar is also best to use when pickling. Dark vinegar’s, like cider, red wine, dark balsamic, are great for pickling, but these darker vinegar’s can discolor lighter colored pickles, like pears, onions, or cauliflower. White vinegar will not discolor your lighter colored pickles.

Other Uses For Distilled White Vinegar

got weeds use vinegar

Image credit: Pinterest

Molly Maid (located in the U.K.) shares these many uses for vinegar outside the home.

Weed Remover – Pour or spray white distilled vinegar onto weeds growing in the cracks between paving stones or in your driveway. Saturate them so that the vinegar reaches the roots. Reapply on any new growth until the weeds are gone.

Barbecue Cleaner – Vinegar can help remove charcoal build-up from your grill. Spray white distilled vinegar onto the cooking grate and clean the surface with a soft cleaning brush. Scrub the grate thoroughly, then rinse.

She also explains how white vinegar can be used to clean garden furniture, shine your dogs coat, prevent mildew, and how to keep your cut flowers fresher for longer. Link here to find out more: Molly Maid.

We mention how you can use white distilled vinegar to make poached eggs for Eggs Benedict – try our recipe by linking here.

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The Have To Know Food Preparation Techniques

college of hands of chefs in the process of cooking Sometimes preparing food to either cook or bake can seem like a tedious job. Yes a job which takes up far too much time that you just don’t have.

But there are ways to save time with your food prep so you can spend more time doing other things you like or want to get done. Check out these creative food preparation techniques to help you save time in the kitchen.

Peeling Garlic Cloves

Image GIF Credit: America Cooks For Health

Peeling Garlic Cloves – Lay the clove on the cutting board and place the side of your knife over the garlic.

Place the knife on the garlic clove and with the palm of your hand push lightly over the glove, and the papery skin will peel fight off.

Need to peel multiple garlic cloves? Hit the head of the garlic with the palm of your hand, and then put all the cloves in a large jar.

Place the lid on tightly and shake vigorously. Remove lid, and pour garlic cloves and paper skin into a large bowl. You’ll have these cloves peeled in less than ten seconds.

How To Soften Frozen Butter Fast – You know putting the frozen butter in the microwave can often end up melting instead of softening. You can never get it quite right. So instead, take a cheese grater to the frozen butter and shred it. It will be softened before you know it.

Peeling Pearl Onions – These little devils can be a royal pain to peel. Well, not anymore. Chop off the tip of the onion – the end opposite the root end.

Cook in boiling water for two minutes and drain. When they’re cool enough to touch, simply squeeze each one at the root end, and they’ll slip right out. Chop off the remaining roots, and you’re done.

Shucking Ears Of CornCorn on the cob is the perfect summer side dish, but preparing it can be a shucking mess. No longer do you have to sit there and peel ears of corn and pull off every little hairy strand.

Some individuals do, but if you don’t have any concerns using a microwave, than put two ears of corn in with the husks still on and microwave for 8 minutes – that’s 4 minutes for each ear of corn place into the microwave. Remove with a pot holder, cut off the end without the stringy parts, then simply squeeze the ear of corn right out of its husk, silky pieces and all.

Removing Tough Stems – You don’t even need a knife to separate those tough stems from vegetables like kale, collard greens, and chard. With one hand, hold a leaf at the bottom by the thickest part of the stem. Use your other hand to gently pinch the leaf with your index finger and thumb, and then pull it up and off along the stem.

Removing An Avocado Pit – Slice your avocado in half, lengthwise. Take your knife and chop into the exposed pit, then twist and pull. Out comes the pit. Watch your fingers when you remove the pit from the blade of the knife. Now you can scoop out all of the yummy avocado goodness.

How To Peel A Hard Boiled Egg – Soft boil the eggs for about 12 minutes (or until eggs are hard boiled) with about two inches of water above the eggs and one teaspoon of baking soda.

How to cool boiled eggsRemove eggs from water. While still warm, give one end of the egg a tap on the counter and remove the shell pieces from the tip. Repeat with the other end of the egg.

Now cup your hands with the egg, raise your cupped hands with the egg to your mouth and blow. The egg falls right out of the shell! No peeling necessary.

Be sure to get your hard boiled eggs into cold water right away. If not you will have some issues as demonstrated here in the image to your right.

Peeling A Potato – Simply cut the peel lengthwise with a knife, all around the potato. Put in a pot of boiling water and boil until it’s soft inside. Then immediately remove from the water into ice water. Allow to soak in the ice water for 10 seconds and remove. Rub between your hands and the peel falls right off.

a womans hand squeezing a lemonHow To Get All Of The Juice Out Of Citrus Fruits – No need to purchase expensive juicing tools. Get all of the juice out with a simple pair of tongs.

Cut the fruit in half, place between tongs over a bowl or pitcher with the cut half down, and squeeze. You’ll be amazed at how much juice you have been missing from your fruit.

You can also place the palm of your hand over the citrus fruit while rolling it back and forth over the kitchen counter-top. Cut the fruit in half and see all the juice squeezed from it.

How To Peel A Kiwi – Slice both ends off the kiwi. Put a tablespoon between the flesh of the fruit and the skin and move the spoon all around the kiwi. This will ease the kiwi right out of its peel.

Fishing Out Egg Shells – We’ve all accidentally dropped a small fragment of egg shell in the mixing bowl from time to time. You wouldn’t think it would be so difficult to fish this minuscule piece of shell out of the yolk, but it can be one of the most frustrating moments of cooking when it happens.

Simply wet the tip of your finger with water and lightly place your finger over the egg shell, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly that piece of shell will stick right to your finger.

cutting round vegetables Cutting Round Vegetables – Nothing can be more frustrating like chasing down that carrot, or potato to chop it up.

Next time you have to cut a round vegetable, cut a thin slice along the length of the vegetable to create a flat side, turn it cut-side down on the cutting board and slice away.

When you get to the point where it starts to roll again, flip it onto the flat side from your last cut and continue to slice.

Separate Egg Yolks From Egg Whites – This might not be a time saver, but it’s a fun way to separate an egg. Crack an egg into a bowl. Gently squeeze an empty plastic water bottle and hold it over the egg yolk. It should suck up just the egg yolk, allowing you to transfer it to another bowl.

Prevent A Pot From Boiling Over – They say a watched pot never boils, but if you don’t watch it then you have a mess on your hands. So to keep that pot from boiling over. Simply place a wooden spoon over the top of the pot. Any spoon will do really, but a wooden spoon won’t get scalding hot.

These are just a few food preparation tips we have used. There are many more. Tell us, what are some of your  Food Preparation Techniques?

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The Usefulness of Salt Around The House

The Usefulness of Salt Around The House

Varying colors of natural salt grains

Varying Colors of Natural Salt Rocks

Salt without a doubt makes food more delicious, and savory, but it also has other unexpected advantages at fixing up other things around the house. 

Table salt can be used for the following applications, but why not make the choice to use Sea salt, or Himalayan salt.

Both salts are in their original form, or in other words, contain all the trace minerals found in a rock of salt.

Here are a few suggestions out of 100’s of  household uses for salt.

Sparkling Flower Vase

flowers in glass vases

 

You just bought yourself or received a bouquet of flowers, but the glass vase is marred with cloudy streaks on the inside due to hard water stains.

Here’s the salt fix: Scrub the streaks with a paste of 1 teaspoon of of salt and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar.

How it works: The abrasiveness of the salt grains and the acidity of the vinegar cuts through the mineral deposits that are causing the streaks.

Cleaning A Shower Curtain

plastic shower curtain Keeping a shower curtain clean a mildew free can be a job. But here is the trick to keeping free of mildew with the use of salt.

Here’s the salt fix: Fill the bath tub with 5 to 6 inches of water, and add 2 cups of salt. Remove the curtain from the rod, and immerse it into the salt water for about an hour.

How it works: Soaking the curtain in salt water will leave an unseen coating of sodium crystals that helps to prevent mold and mildew from latching on to the plastic shower curtain.

Boosting the Life of a Broom

Don’t those brooms wear out faster than expected. If you want to extend or boost the useful life of that household broom do the following.

extending life of broom

 

Here’s the salt fix: Before the new brooms first use, soak the bristles in a 50/50 solution of hot water and alt for about 25 to 30 minutes.

How it works: Salt hardens the brooms bristles to prevent them from fraying.

After removing the broom from the salt-water, just store it leaning against a wall upside down so the bristles are off the floor when not in use.

Eliminate a Carpet Full of Fleas

You love your dog, but you hate the fleas that can hop from your pet to the carpet. Is there a solution to getting rid of the fleas and not the pooch?

Here’s the salt fix: Vacuum the carpet and furniture thoroughly. Next, literally sprinkle the salt crystals over the surface of the carpet and upholstery. Let the salt sit overnight, then vacuum again the next day, and empty the canister right away.

How it works: The salt will dehydrate those little fleas that hatch from eggs deep in the carpet and fabric fibers of the upholstery.

Stop Mold From Growing On Your Cheese

We all hate the mold growth on cheese. Is there a way to slow or stop mold from naturally growing on it?

moldy cheeseHere’s the salt fix: Soak a paper towel in in a mixture of 2 tablespoons of salt and 3 cups of water.

Wrap the wet paper towel loosely around the cheese before placing it in the refrigerator.

How it works: The salt inhibits mold growth by dehydrating it.

Brighten Those Faded Cloths

washing clothes Detergent can be harsh on clothing after awhile. Naturally brighten those colors with salt.

Here’s the salt fix: Use this solution even before your colored cloths start to fad, and even if they have faded, this fix will work to brighten their color. Toss 1/2 cup of salt into the wash cycle.

How it works: The chloride in the salt will help to dissolve hard water deposits, in turn helping the colored clothes look like new. This solution will seal in colors on new clothing with their first washing.

Cool Down Canned or Bottled drinks In A Flash

Your guests have arrived, but you forgot to put the drinks in the refrigerator. Not to worry. You can cool those canned or bottled drinks in about 5 minutes. How? With salt.

Here’s the salt fix: To chilled those canned or bottled drinks, just toss them in a large tub of cold water and 2 handfuls of salt, and as much ice as you can fit. Add the beverages, and in about 5 minutes you have cold drinks.

How it works: The salt reduces the freezing point of water, so the caned or bottled beverages will cool in only 5 minutes. Rinse the cans or bottles before serving them to family or guests.

Save That Bitter Cup Of Coffee

bitter tasting coffee Most people who love their coffee, also hate it bitter. The next time it happens to you, don’t toss the coffee, save it with salt.

Here’s the salt fix: Just add a pinch of salt to your cup of bitter coffee.

How it works: The ions in the salt helps to neutralize the bitterness of the coffee, without adding a salty taste, as long as it is only a pinch.

 

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How to Make the Perfect Egg in One Minute

How to Make the Perfect Egg in One Minute

The best technique to make the perfect fried egg in one minute, and have a perfectly glazed over look starts with a medium warmed pan, and one tablespoon of butter a healthy fat, which gives your egg an exceptional flavor.

After the butter melts, crack the egg, and add one tablespoon of water. Right after adding the water, place a lid over the egg. The lid should be smaller then the pan itself. Put your stove timer to one minute. After the timer goes off, slice your perfectly cooked egg on to a plate, and enjoy.

Eggs are a healthy fat, and have lots of protein to not only build muscle, but also provide you with energy throughout the morning.

Eating eggs is also a naturally good source of vitamin-D, though the egg doesn’t replace getting out in the sun for the all important vitamin-D for all over good health.

Recent studies by the USDA (2014) reported that eggs have 64% more vitamin-D than was previously thought. One large egg has 41 I.U. of the vitamin.

To get great skin and have youthful collagen, you need zinc, and what is found in eggs, protein and vitamin-D.

Get your FREE ebook “Breakfast for Your Health” link here: www.wp.me/P3kceC-2U

Enjoy some of these breakfast ideas, which include eggs from our kitchen to yours, and enjoy in good health.

Our post – Be Health Wise Don’t Skip Breakfast presents: Egg and Sauteed Vegetable Breakfast

Enjoy the flavor of topping an egg over some vegetables with: Fried Egg Snap Pea and Sweet Pepper Salad

Savor an old favorite, Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce

Your best chance to long life and good health, is don’t skip breakfast ever.

 

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Green Beans and Egg Salad

Green Beans and Egg Salad

Green beans contain the trace minerals magnesium, potassium, and calcium all which are needed for heart function. They also contain some of the B-vitamins, which are needed to help absorb other vital vitamins like A and C. Believe it or not, green beans contain fat. One cup of fresh beans have 4.5 % of your daily need for omega-3 fatty acids.

Eggs of course are a great source of protein.

Onions reduce inflammation and heal infections. They contain chromium, which assists in regulating blood sugar and raw onions produce good cholesterol (HDL), which is heart healthy.

Knowing all of that should start your day off right. It may not be your ordinary breakfast, but than again what is ordinary now days.

Here is what you will need for the featured recipe:

2 lbs. green beans

1/2 yellow or white onion

4 eggs, hard-boiled*

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tbsp. wine vinegar

1 tsp. salt

Trim green beans and snap or cut into 1-inch lengths and steam them for 3 to 5 minutes.  Put egg through a egg slicer twice, turning 90 degrees, or chop with a knife.

Slice onion, cut slices in half.

Place steamed green beans, chopped eggs, and sliced onions into a large mixing bowl. It is optional to add olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Toss together mixed together.

Plate and serve. It makes about 4 servings.

*Best way to hard boil eggs: Place eggs in pot of water. Bring to a boil, turn off heat source, place lid on sauce pan, remove pot from burner and let eggs set in hot boiled water till cooked hard, about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain off hot water and plunge eggs into ice water while they are still hot to prevent the greenish, grey ring from forming around the yolk. Make sure to keep the water ice cold while the eggs are cooling down.

 

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Tips for Working with Eggs in the Kitchen

Tips for Working with Eggs in the Kitchen

 

Making the Perfect Deviled Eggs

To make perfect deviled eggs, ensure the yolk is evenly centered within the shell by always storing the eggs large end up. This keeps the yolks centered.

You can also spin the egg on a flat surface before boiling. Place an egg, lengthwise, on the top of the kitchen counter and gently spin it a couple of times. The spinning action helps center the yolk within the shell.

Don’t you hate it when some of your eggs crack while boiling and the whites ooze out? Well, all eggs have an air pocket at the larger rounded end. The air pocket expands as the egg is boiling and the shell cracks from the built up air pressure. To prevent this, pierce the large rounded end with a pin. As the eggs are cooking the air will escape through the hole.

After boiling the eggs plunge them immediately into cold water while they are still hot to prevent a greenish or grey ring from forming round the yolk. Make sure to keep the water cold while the eggs are cooling.

Testing to see if the Eggs are Still Fresh

Testing to see if the eggs are still Fresh

Place an egg in a bowl of room temperature water. If the egg sinks to the bottom (#1) it is still fresh as well as if it stands up on one end (#2). But if the egg floats to the top of the water (#3) it is no longer fresh.

Easiest Way to Separate the Egg Yolk from the White

Eggs at Room Temperature

  Testing to see if the Eggs are Still Fresh

Room temperature eggs whisk to higher volumes and ensure that the cake rises properly when baking. Eggs also must be at room temperature for the proteins to separate easily enough to support the cake’s crumb.

So what do you do to make your eggs at 41 degrees (temperature of refrigerator) rise to room temperature fast? Place them in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes.

Egg Whites and Stiff Peaks

Egg Whites and Stiff Peaks

For extra stiff beaten egg whites, never use a plastic bowl. Plastic is porous and absorbs oil which will prevent the egg whites from stiffening. Always use glass or metal mixing bowls that are freshly washed and dried.

 

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Anti-Pasta International Lasagna

Anti-Pasta Asian Lasagna

If you like Italian Food or Anti-pasta Italian Food…then you came to the right place.

I called this recipe an International Lasagna as food items from other cultures were added in. Like goat cheese from the Mediterranean, sesame seeds and oil, including soy sauce and fresh ginger from Asian cooking. Not to forget tortillas from the Mexican cuisine. Though we did use 100% whole wheat tortillas.

Here is what you will need:

First though preheat your oven to 350 F degrees.

ingredients for Anti Pasta Asian Lasagna

1 tbsp. honey

3 tbsp. molasses

3 tbsp. sesame seeds

3 tbsp. sesame oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced

3 tbsp. soy sauce

2 -14 oz. cans stewed tomatoes

Mix together in a small bowl: honey, molasses, soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic, minced ginger and sesame seeds. Set aside.

ingredients for Oriental Chicken Wraps

This is an image from another recipe, so ignore the peanut sauce on the cutting board. But you can check out that Splendid Recipe here: Oriental Chicken Wraps 

But you will need the following:

1 cup frozen string green beans

1 cup frozen mix peas and carrots

1 cup brown rice, cooked

1 large breast chicken, cooked and cut into small chunks

2 green onions, diced

1 cup chicken broth, no salt added

6 (7-8 inches) whole wheat tortillas

2 – 6 oz. can tomato sauce

Cook rice according to package instructions with 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 cup water. When rice is done add the diced onions and frozen vegetables and simmer 2 to 3 minutes allowing frozen vegetables to thaw and warm up. Turn off heat and set aside.

Cut up chicken breast in small chunks and mix in with rice mixture along with the honey mixture and one 6 oz. of tomato sauce till all mixtures are well incorporated. Set aside.

Next take your stewed tomatoes and pour them into a strainer and strain off liquid. Put the tomatoes into a food processor and puree them.

preparing Anit Pasta Asian Lasagna 1

Take a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and pour 1/4 cup of the pureed tomatoes and spread it over the bottom of the pan. Place two whole wheat tortillas over the sauce.

preparing Anit Pasat Asian Lasagna 2

Now pour 2 cups of the meat mixture over the tortillas. Spread a hand full of the two cheese(goat cheese and mixed Italian cheeses)over the meat mixture. Repeat this process two more times. Top with one 6 oz. tomato sauce and cheese. Place the prepared pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Plate and serve.

Anti-Pasta Asian Lasagna (2)

Anti-Pasta International Lasagna served with a cool glass of lemon-ginger juice.

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