Hey folks! Happy New Year! We’re ringing in 2014 with a frigid cold snap here in Ottawa. It’s -25C today with a strong icy wind. This weather has me thinking about classic winter dishes to help warm your bones. I’m soaking some navy beans to make baked beans later today.
Is there a go-to dish you like to make when it’s this cold outside?
I have something to confess. I get excited every week for the new grocery store flyer to come out. Strange thing to get excited over, I know. I take inspiration from the specials to decide what I’m going to cook for the week. Otherwise I’d never be able to make up my mind. Before I started doing this I would end up coming up with too many ideas while shopping and buy wayyy more food than I needed and spending too much money. Now I try to use as many of the items on special as I can, and I plan what I’m going to be cooking before I leave the house. This way I’m using my money as best I can and I don’t end up buying too much.
This week whole chickens are on sale! I always pick 2 up when this sale comes around. It’s shockingly less expensive to buy whole chickens and take them apart yourself than it is to buy the parts on their own. I’m talking half the price or less. If I didn’t take advantage of this great sale I probably wouldn’t eat chicken – ever. It’s crazy expensive since it became a go-to diet food. This way, for about 12-14 dollars, I get 4 breasts, 4 legs, 4 whole wings, and the bones for making my own broth. Are you as excited as I am?! … Is it just me?… You should learn to butcher a chicken 😉
The japanese mandoline is an indispensable tool in the restaurant kitchen. It makes slicing and julienning vegetables so much easier and helps get the job done quickly. The catch? If you’re not careful it’ll take a slice rght off your finger! Especially if you’re rushing. The trick is to take your time, keep your fingers out of the way and to use a light touch. They come with a finger guard and you should use it whenever possible.
If you take proper care it’s a great tool to have around. I often use it to slice veggies for salad and making slaw. They’re really inexpensive considering the use you’ll get out of it. Grand total mine cost me $32. Any more and you’re overpaying. The best place to pick one up (if not on amazon) is in chinatown. Give it a whirl! You’ll feel the urge to make slaw on the daily before long.
A well stocked spice cabinet is an essential for the home cook. While you may find it easier to go out and buy one of those big rotating spice racks with little glass bottles of powdered spices, its expensive. It’s especially so if you continue buying those little glass bottles at the grocery store. They’re really convenient but are way, WAY overpriced. Instead, make a trip to an asian or other ethnic food store and stock up there. You’ll find they have a much wider selection at a fraction of the cost. Their spices come in bags though, so start saving all the bottles you can get your hands on. My spice cabinet is full of re-purposed salsa and mustard jars.
I’d like to share my love of cooking by helping people learn to cook things for themselves, at home. I live by myself and it can be difficult figuring out what to make when you’re only cooking for one person. I can’t be the only one that feels this way! So I’ve decided to share some recipes, tips and experience with you guys.
Today I’m going to focus on getting my site set up. The real adventure starts tomorrow with the first recipe i’m going to share! Looking forward to it!