Do you ever go grocery shopping and discover that you’re picking up 150% more than you intended to buy, that you are really hungry, and now you’re trying to figure out how to bike or walk it all home?
I recently picked up a new trick for those reusable sacs (usually cloth or polyester of some sort) with sizable handle-loops. It keeps me covered when I am carrying way more than any sane, less-ambitious urban nomad would carry.
Ever get to the middle of a baking project and find your hands all sticky but out of flour in your bowl for dusting?
Did you finally use up one of those expensive little containers of spices from the store, and it’s got a little sifter cover thingy?
Repurpose it to help you dust surfaces with flour for baking!*
The name comes from the verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread … Empanadas have their origins in Galicia (Spain) and Portugal. They first appeared in Medieval Iberia during the time of the Moorish invasions. A cookbook published in Catalan in 1520 mentions empanadas filled with seafood among its recipes of Catalan, Italian, French, and Arabian food. It is believed that empanadas and the very similar calzones are both derived from the Arabic meat-filled pies, samosas. The dish was carried to Latin America and the Philippines by Spanish colonists, where they remain very popular to this day.
A dish truly borne of our collective human heritage!
Proxy guest post, because my friend Stephanie says she doesn’t like writing about herself. As one who loves all dough-wrapped dishes, she hosted the empanada-rama.
This recipe for dough won out:
Thanks, Laylita! How to Make Empanada Dough for Baking
Do you wish you didn’t have to go to the store every time you needed green onions (a.k.a. scallions)?
Next time you chop a bunch of ’em to cook, save the bottom bits -the part with the roots- and plop them in a jar with a little bit of water in the bottom. Change the water every day or so and watch them grow! I’ve gradually moved mine into the planter boxes on my patio over time (especially in the summer months), but I hear you can also just leave them in a glass with water. Voila, now you have green onions in the future, and didn’t even need to buy any seeds. Advice: don’t leave the same water in there too long or it can start to rot.
I felt inspired to share this after my friend Michelle expressed surprise at seeing me with this trick. Apparently, the internet’s covered it. However, I offer links to bonus content for other allium-related info for your entertainment.
One overcast Monday morning, I ventured over to the Book Larder, a community cookbook store on Fremont Ave of Seattle. I’ve ridden past there many a time by bike and by bus, and always meant to go. Finally, I found time and managed to sign up for classes a few days ahead.
Note: if you are scrambling for last minute gifts for people who love to eat, cooking classes may be a good option that ships instantaneously! Be mindful to check if it’s a demo, or hands-on, as that may matter depending on how much your loved one likes to cook (i.e. more hands-on for those who are into working with their hands, more demo for those who are more into eating the final product). Go ahead, click away from this post, I won’t mind.. 🙂
Chef Kyle Wisner did a delicious demo for the group on some straightforward recipes for swift home cooking, perfect for a hectic holiday season. Below are some recipes he shared, editorial commentary is my own.
Center-cut pork roast
Enough za’atar spices to cover surface of the roast
kosher salt to preference
Tools: oven, , baking dish, meat thermometer
- Salt the roast “aggressively”, like any steak or other big cut of meat, rest the roast out to room temperature before roasting. Preheat oven to 400 (or 425F if your oven is weak sauce).
- Cover surface in za’atar spice.
- Bake roast in oven until it reaches an internal temp of 120F, approximately 18-30 minutes. It will likely still be a little pink in the middle, but the juices will disperse back and finish as you let the roast rest a while before serving.
- Optional: bonus points for drawing a depiction of “aggressively salting.”
How can you dust powdered sugar on your holiday desserts without making a mess, AND conserve the left over for the next round?
Try a tea infuser! Here’s the shortest video I’ve ever intentionally made, lol.
I’m pretty sure even if you don’t have one with an easy handle and all, it’ll still work neater than a gigantor flour sieve. Then you can return the rest to the bag! You know how I hate food waste..
This post is dedicated to my friend Abby, who inspired me to share this tip on how to cut into a stubborn winter squash when she told me she had a butternut waiting at her new apartment.
Happy Thanksgiving week to those in the U.S. (and happy Autumn harvest to the rest)! Got a squash on the menu to make? Here’s a tip for splitting squash. Why muscle through it, when you can use tools.