Feed Your Soul

How to cook without clean water...

Pujols Kitchen - Monday, January 30, 2017



Here in the US, we Americans use an average of 100 gallons per day for washing, cooking, cleaning, drinking, (and lawn watering). It’s easy to take clean water for granted, especially when all we have to do is turn a valve and copious amounts of water flow from the faucet. But according to the United Nations nearly 900 million people in other parts of the world do not have access to the daily minimum water requirement of 5-13 clean and safe gallons.

Whether your area experiences an earthquake, tornado, or a boil order, it’s good to know what to do in the event of a natural disaster when it comes to having clean water to for drinking, bathing and cooking. Here are the steps to take should you need to purify your water:

1.       Fill a large pot with water, straining the water through cheesecloth or a coffee filter to remove particles and dirt.

2.       Bring the water to a rolling boil and keep boiling for 1 minute.

3.       Allow water to cool and then pour into a disinfected drinking water bottle or container.

4.       Store in your refrigerator if possible.

Follow these steps to purify water using chlorine bleach:

1.       Strain water through cheesecloth or a coffee filter to remove particles and dirt.

2.       Pour 1/8 teaspoon or 16 drops of pure, unscented chlorine bleach into gallon size water containers. Allow this to stand for 30 minutes without drinking the water.

3.       If the water isn’t cloudy, it is safe to drink. But if the water is still cloudy after 30 minutes, add 1/8 teaspoon or 16 drops of chlorine bleach to the water and allow to stand for another 30 minutes. If the water is still cloudy after the second treatment, do not drink the water.

 

Caution: Using more chlorine bleach than recommended can be poisonous.


Perfect hardboiled eggs in your caldero...

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, January 27, 2017



For the world’s best hardboiled eggs, this recipe hits a home run.


Ingredients

·         1 dozen eggs

Directions

1.       Place eggs in caldero and pour in cold water to cover. Place caldero over high heat. When water starts to simmer turn off heat, cover with a lid and let stand for 17 minutes. No peeking (don’t remove the lid).

2.       Pour out the hot water and pour cold water over the eggs. Drain water and fill caldero with cold water. Allow to stand for 20 minutes or until eggs are cool.


Tips for keeping healthy snacks on hand all week...

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, January 20, 2017



Here are some quick and easy tips for keeping healthy snacks on hand all week:

 

1.       Gather your favorite veggies like celery, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower

2.       Wash and Cut into bite size pieces

3.       Store in air tight container

By prepping veggies over the weekend you have food that’s ready and easy to grab from the refrigerator on days when your family is more rushed.

You can also pack individual serving sizes into small Ziploc bags for on-the-go snacks or for packed lunches.


How to cut fresh herbs...

Pujols Kitchen - Monday, January 16, 2017



Whether used for cooking, bouquets, teas or herbal baths, there’s no substitute for fresh cut herbs and knowing how to cut, preserve, harvest and store them is essential. Here are some tips and tricks for cutting fresh herbs.


It’s good to snip herbal plants regularly throughout the summer as this will encourage new growth and branching. Herbs are hearty so you can harvest successive cuttings whenever you need fresh herbs. Be sure to cut no more than one-third of the stem’s length unless the herb is chives or lavender in which case you’ll want to harvest the flowering steps at ground level when they’re in bloom.


It’s best to gather herbs early in the day before the sun bakes the plants’ essential oils but after the dew has dried. When harvesting herbal leaves, the best time to do this is when the plant’s flowers start to form, cutting the stems at their peak. Near the end of the growing season, when you’re ready to start harvesting seeds, wait for the flowers to mature and turn brown. Harvesting the seeds will be easier.


When it comes to cooking with herbs, strip the leaves from the plant’s stems by sliding your forefinger and thumb from top to bottom. Herbs like bay, parsley and tansy have thicker leaves and you’ll want to snip those.


Preserving herbs entails gathering small bunches (10-15 stems) and hanging them in a warm, airy place to dry. You can wrap the stems tightly with a rubber band or tie them with twine. Then hang the herb bunches on the rung of a hanger, from a nail, or on a drying rack. Depending on the plant’s moisture content, drying can take up to three weeks. Remove crisp-dry leaves before storing herbs. Place a paper bag over dry seed heads, tying the open end of the bag around the stems, with one type of herb in each bag. Label each bag and in a few weeks the seeds will drop into the bag. Allow seeds to dry out completely before properly storing.


To properly store dried herbs you’ll need airtight glass or ceramic containers. Store these containers away from light and heat. This is the best way to protect the herbs’ fragrance and flavor. Keep your herbs’ leaves whole, crushing leaves to release flavor just before needed. Dried herbs should be used within a year of harvesting.


Wine and cheese pairings...

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, January 13, 2017



Here are some suggestions for wine and cheese pairings.

·         Try pairing Champagne with brie or triple creams. The champagne’s scouring bubbles is a perfect match to the triple cream’s rich texture.

·         Sparkling Shiraz and Cambozola. The sharpness of this German cheese’s blue cultures stand up to the wine’s effervescence and tannins.

·         Chenin Blanc and Fresh chèvre. Both the cheese and the wine match each other in acidity and intensity.

·         Cabernet Sauvignon and Achadinha Cheese Company’s Capricious. This hearty, aged goat cheese is meaty enough to stand up to this robust wine’s tannins.

·         Stilton with Port. The salty sharpness of this cheese melds with this wine’s sweet depth.

·         Cheddar with red Bordeaux. The gravelly texture of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot combine beautifully with the tang and crystalline crunch of Cheddar.

·         Aged Parmigiano-Reggiano and Chianti. Parmigiano’s nutty, distinct crumble coupled with the mouthwatering fruit of Chianti balances this cheese’s salty richness.


How to organize your cookbooks...

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, January 06, 2017



Nothing is more frustrating than ransacking your cookbook collection for a favorite recipe. Chaos can get even the most creative of spirits in a foul mood. That’s why organizing your cookbooks is so important and a great way to ring in the New Year. Here are some tricks.


Separate your most often reached for cookbooks from the others. Store these in a spot away from your stove where they won’t get greasy, like a cabinet with doors to protect them. 


As for the rest of your cookbooks, store them in a place where they are easily accessible so you can pull them out when you want to do some more in depth research about what meals to prepare for family and friends.


Now it’s time to assess all your cookbooks, especially the ones not used on a regular basis. Consider arranging your cookbooks by cuisine. Keep Asian cookbooks together, creating categories by country. For example, Mediterranean could be broken down by Greek, Italian, Spanish and Turkish.


You could also group your books together by theme. Pizza, holiday entertaining, vegan, barbecue, desserts, slow cooker, etc. are all examples.


It’s a good idea to assess your cookbook collection once a year and purge what you haven’t used. This will create more space for future cookbook buys.


The Perfect Spatula...

Pujols Kitchen - Monday, December 26, 2016



Pujols Kitchen spatulas are indispensable in the kitchen. They’re easy to throw in the dishwasher, simple to wash by hand, gentle on the bottom of pans, and won’t absorb oils, fats, smells or colors.

While some rubber spatulas may run the risk of melting, our silicone spatula won’t. Thanks to their thin, flexible edges, Pujols Kitchen spatulas are ideal for high-heat dishes, to melt chocolate, to stir a pan of roasting vegetables, and spreading or smoothing pastes and frostings. 

Silicone spatulas can be a bit uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time; and those with thin handles get hot easily. Pujols Kitchen spatulas have been ergonomically designed so they are comfortable to grip and use. 

Whether you’re creating an even layer of batter in a cake pan or frosting a cake, Pujols Kitchen spatulas are the go-to kitchen tool, allowing you to scrape the most miniscule remnants from the sides of your mixing bowl, stir roasted vegetables or decorate the perfect dessert.

Organize Your Refrigerator for the Holiday Meals...

Pujols Kitchen - Monday, December 19, 2016


What’s the big deal when it comes to organizing your refrigerator for holiday meals, does it really matter 
where things go? Yes, it does. Here are some tips for organizing your fridge based on food safety and the temperature foods need to be cooked.

  • Prepared foods or leftovers (things that need no cooking to be safe to eat) should be placed at the top of your fridge with everything else organized downwards based on temperature required for cooking. Chicken, for example, would require the highest temperature for cooking and therefore, should be placed at the bottom of your fridge. The reason for this is to avoid any cross contamination. With food that requires a higher cooking temperature stored at the bottom of your fridge, the risk of drips or spills from this food onto other foods is virtually eliminated.

  • On your upper shelves, store leftovers, drinks, yogurt, cheese and deli meats. 

  • On your lower shelves, store raw ingredients you plan to cook later.

  • Because the refrigerator door is the warmest part of the fridge you’ll want to store condiments there. Avoid storing your eggs or milk here. Place milk and eggs in a colder area of your fridge.

  • Storing fruits in vegetables in your refrigerator’s drawers make sense since drawers are designed to hold produce at a specific humidity. Only problem is drawers are usually at the bottom of the fridge and so you risk contaminating your fresh produce if you put meat on a shelf overhead. A possible solution to this would be to store produce in one drawer and raw meat in another. If you need both drawers for produce, consider using a clear plastic bin to store raw meat, one that will catch any accidental drips and keep meat away from other foods.

Tips for a Holiday Cookie Swap...

Pujols Kitchen - Monday, December 05, 2016

Holiday baking can be simple and fun when you host a cookie swap. Invite co-workers and friends and have each person make enough of one kind of cookie to share. At your cookie swap sample cookies, then trade and package in eye-catching assortments so everyone leaves with new recipes and tasty gifts.

For a successful swap, use the following steps

• Send out invitations to 7 or 8 guests 3-4 weeks in advance. Invite guests three to four weeks in advance. Seven or eight people are ideal -- manageable, yet enough for a good variety of cookies. 
• Ask each guest to bring a dozen cookies per guest, plus an extra dozen for the sampling. Have each person bring along copies of her recipe as well as some supplies for pretty packaging, such as cake/donut boxes and tissue paper.
• Create display cards to identify each cookie variety and the name of the contributor, i.e., “Hermits, from Laura Smith.”
• Set up a packaging station with cardboard boxes, sturdy paper plates, tags or sticky labels, ribbons, twine, baking papers, scissors, hole punches, tissue paper, cellophane, and other trimmings you prefer.

Today's Random Act of Kindness...

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, December 02, 2016


Bake your favorite cookies and share them with a friend or neighbor.


 

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