Monday, April 8, 2013

Kitchen Obsession

When you love to cook, but live in a condo with a kitchen the size of a closet, all you can do is obsess over beautiful photos and dream....

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Keeping Parsley and Cilantro Fresh...For Weeks!!

I can not believe I didn't know about this simple trick years ago!  I have only done this on parsley and cilantro, so I can not recommend anything else. 

Take your herbs, and place them in a cup with about 3 inches of water, cover with a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator. I've seen a lot of posts about clipping the stems and making sure the leaves are dry, but I have never gone that far. Lazy maybe? No joke, they will last a month and still be fragrant and healthy. Talk about never throwing out molded greens again! 

Orange Vinegar Spray

Obviously, I did not come up with this brilliant idea, but I do want to rave about it! If you eat oranges and like all natural cleaners, this is simply the easiest thing to do. Simply throw your orange peels in a jar with white distilled vinegar and let it sit for at least 2 weeks. *The longer you keep it "brewing," the stronger the citrus scent will be. 

Transfer the scented vinegar to a spray bottle. I personally buy the oh so stylish Cassabella line, b/c I'm classy like that. You can buy them here.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Perfect Pan Seared Fish...Every Time!

I know so many people that stress out over cooking fish, but I promise you, it is one of the easiest things to cook once you get the hang out it. Here is a step by step guide to perfect fish EVERY TIME!! 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°
  • Make sure that your fish is at room temperature and completely dry (extract any moisture with a paper towel)

  • Take an oven safe frying pan (no rubber handles!) and heat up 2 TBS of olive oil on medium until it is slightly smokey

  • Either season (salt & pepper) your fish or go the Julia Child route and season the pan on top of the oil

  • Once you see a bit of smoke, place the fish presentation side down in the pan

  • After about a minute or two, gently shake the pan - dry fish + smoking hot pan = a sexy sear that should not stick to the pan - I like the shake just to make sure it's not sticking before flipping

  • Your nice golden sear should take about 3 min ( I always give it a look) before I flip

  • Flip fish with a spatula (if you are cooking cod, tilapia, or any other flakey, delicate fish, I highly recommend buying a fish spatula) It looks like this:

You can buy one here.

  • Once you have turned the fish, "finish it off in the oven
  • Depending on the thickness of the fish, you should allow it to cook in the oven for about 3-4 minutes 
  • Take the fish out of the oven and gently squeeze the sides of the meat to check and see if it's done, if  it feels soggy or too soft, it needs a few more minutes in the oven
  • Always, always finish it off with some fresh lemon/lime/grapefruit juice or something acidic! Dig in! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rooting Green Onions

I hope you weren't expecting an overly positive "I saw this on Pinterest and it's mind blowing" post. It's not. I just want to clear something up. Yes, you can root green onions, obviously...everyone's doing it! My issue is that I keep seeing people write "OMG, I'm never buying them again." Yes, you will, b/c onions are funky and funk up a water bath fast. Meaning, you will get one good batch of re-grown herbs, maybe two if you are lucky. Even if you change out the water twice a day, the jar will -without a doubt- end up reeking and the bulbs will -without a doubt- become a slimy mess.

Just thought I needed a PSA today.

How to Root Succulents

I am a simple girl and I don't really feel like instructions need to be over the top complicated. Propagating is something you have to jump into and learn as you go, failure and all. 

So, here is my easy breezy guide to rooting:

I got these lovely succulents at a wedding, they were  all connected to one stem (without roots) so I cut off each one (as far down as I could) to make separate plants.  Each one was put into a can of water until sufficient roots grew, about a month. Make sure to change out the water every week or so. 

After roots formed, I potted the plants into a homemade succulent soil, half sand/half soil. Easy enough? Make sure the soil is soaked b/c those roots are used to a constant water bath.  

Boom! Now onto making more plants!!! 

If you want to continue propagating  pick off the leaves as close to the stem as possible. Place them on top of soil in a pot and spray them everyday with water. Do NOT put the leaves in the soil, just on top. Place the pot in a window that gets partial sun, you don't want them to freak out with too much heat. This rooting takes a good 2 months, so be patient and spray daily! 

Some of the leaves will die off, it's just the nature of the game. 

Sexy huh???

Be delicate when planting these new little babes!  Make sure that you have slightly moist (but not wet) soil, scoop out just a bit of dirt, and place the cutting in it. Try to just cover the roots (not the entire clipping), and continue to spray daily until the new plant gets strong. Place in full or partial sun.  Happy rooting!