TIP OF THE WEEK
Versatile vinegar does it again. Try one of these tips from The Vinegar Institute to make dinner prep easier.
— Add a few drops of vinegar to a nearly empty condiment bottle and shake. Whatever is left in the bottle will pour out easily.
— Soak fish in vinegar-and-water mixture before cooking. It will be sweeter, more tender and keep its shape, plus it will combat some of that fishy taste.
— When boiling eggs, add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water. If a shell cracks, the vinegar holds the egg white in place.
— Add 2 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar to every pint of water for an easy and effective fruit and vegetable wash.
— Add flavor to store-bought soups, gravies and spaghetti sauces with a splash of vinegar.
Vinegar comes in many flavors and varieties to boost your flavor game. Experiment and see what works for you.
Zest up your meals with homemade mustard
Just about everything tastes better when it’s homemade, and mustard is no exception. Dress up your autumn meals with your own small-batch, handcrafted condiment. The beauty of making your own mustard is that you can mix, match and experiment, and come up with a gourmet version for a fraction of the price. With this basic recipe, you’ll be on your way.
Ingredients: 1/3 cup mustard seed (yellow, brown or black), 1/3 cup white wine or beer or water, 1/3 cup vinegar (white wine or apple cider), 1 tablespoon sweetener (brown sugar, maple syrup, honey), 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional, for color), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1-3 tablespoons water (as needed)
Directions: Simply combine the ingredients in a jar, allow to sit for a couple of days, blend in a food processor and enjoy! If your batch is too spicy, mustard does mellow with age, so give it time. It will keep for several months.
Candy cane snack mix
What’s better than sweet and salty? Sweet, salty and pepperminty, says Midwest Living. Make this festive holiday snack for your next movie marathon.
Ingredients: 7 cups unsalted popped popcorn (with unpopped kernels removed), 3 cups holiday-shaped pretzels or small pretzel twists, 2 cups lightly salted dry-roasted cashews or honey-roasted peanuts, 1 1/4 pounds vanilla-flavored candy coating, coarsely chopped, 1 cup finely crushed peppermint sticks, candy canes or hard peppermint candies
Directions: In a shallow roasting pan, combine popcorn, pretzels and cashews; set aside.
Heat candy coating in a microwave-safe 4-cup glass measuring cup on 100 percent power (high) for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring after every minute until melted and smooth. Remove from microwave. Stir in 1/2 cup of the crushed candy.
Pour melted mixture over popcorn mixture. Stir gently to coat. Spread onto a large piece of foil or parchment paper. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup crushed candy. Cool and break into pieces.
Scientists create healthier bacon
In an effort to make bacon healthier, a team of Chinese scientists recently announced they have created genetically-modified low-fat piglets. According to the team, the “CRISPR” modification has produced pigs that have 24 percent less body fat than normal pigs. Scientists said the modification was originally supposed to help pigs adapt to cooler weather, but discovered the modification also produced lower-fat pigs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first-ever genetically modified animal for human consumption in 2015.
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