Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hey there. Check out what this company is doing! It's all about supporting our local businesses and making sure they thrive in the neighborhoods that we frequent. Please make sure that you visit their website to find out more information on what they are doing in Philly. Maybe the next stop ~~ YOUR HOME TOWN!~


If you like what you see and want more, please follow the EITK. Also tell your friends and family just to check me out.
Thanks so much!

Visit Jolene Sugarbaker ~ The Trailer Park Queen

Print FREE Grocery Coupons at Home

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Great Depression Cooking

This is a neat perspective on cooking with during the Great Depression.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Kosher Salt or Table Salt

One time I heard someone saying that Kosher salt is better for you than regular table salt. It was an interesting statement so further investigation was required. After a simple search, the information proves it wrong. Regular table salt is made of same percentage of sodium chloride as Kosher salt. Interesting thing to note, according to FoodNetwork.com, one teaspoon of table salt is more than one tablespoon of Kosher salt. If your at the market and have only one choice, get Kosher salt.
Just stumbled across this article from Lauren Braun Costello on CD Kitchen. Just information for counter balancing food. If something is to salty or hot, just some simple tips with save your meal. Check it out.


Soup or Beef Stew Pots

We have always adored the Le Creuset pots, but with the heavy price tag it’s really more of an investment. Though they will probably outlast you, America’s Test Kitchen published a study on Dutch ovens. They tested the more expensive brands; All-Clad and Le Creuset against some of the less expensive options; Lodge and Mario Batali’s cookware. ATK recommended the more expensive brands (above $200) as well as Lodge and Mario’s brand ($50 range). With autumn fast approaching, start looking for sales in order to get ready for soup making Sundays.

The Perfect Cheese Plate

When entertaining it’s always important to excite your guests’ appetite with a great starter. A cheese plate can be easy to put together and requires little prep time. Next time your inviting friends over for a glass of wine, remember these simple steps.

*Don’t go overboard. A selection of two or three good cheeses will work. *Pair the cheese with fresh fruit. Try Grapes, strawberries or raspberries

*Bread or crackers give substance. A great Italian loaf with good olive oil for dipping offers another level of flavor.

*Make it simple. A nice thick wooden cutting board is a great way to display the items. Arrange items going from height in the center and cascade out or sweep across the board like a wave. Don’ cut up the cheese but rather use a cheese knife and let the guest interact with the items.

BuiltNY - Stylish reusable bag

Check out the new Built NY bag. Stylish reusable bag and expands with the products you load in. Great for bringing with to a farmer’s market. Stock up on ears of corn never worrying about the awkward size.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Grana Padano vs.Parmigiano-Reggiano.

After watching Barefoot Contessa today, a interesting tid bit was mentioned. If Parmigiano-Reggiano is a little to much on the wallet, try Grana Padano which is very similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano. The process of producing this type of cheese is different from the strict regulations of Parmigiano-Reggiano but can still provide the same flavoring. So next time your in the market, pick up some Grana Padano and add to your favorite pasta, salad or try dipped in some balsamic cream.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Can't find crème fraîche at the store, what can I use?

Last week I tried to locate crème fraîche at the local supermarket with no success. Most stores do not carry this product. With a little research found that Crema Mexicana may be used as a substitute. Try it out the next time your recipe calls for crème fraîche.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Perfect Summer Dinner – Basil Wrapped Shrimp with Grill Corn and Vegetables

Perfect Summer Dinner – Basil Wrapped Shrimp with Grill Corn and Vegetables
This recipe was inspired by the warmer weather and enjoying time with friends and family.
1. 1 LB of 16-20 Count bag of Shrimp
2. 16-20 Large Basil leaves (depending on the amount of shrimp)
3. 4 ears of corn husk on
4. 2 cucumber
5. 2 tomatoes
6. 1 medium red onion
7. Cilantro
8. Flat Leaf Parsley
9. Salt & Peper
10. Red Wine Vinegar
11. Olive Oil
12. Sugar
13. 1 Lime

1. Soak the corn in water for about an hour with the husk on.
2. Cut up the cucumber, tomatoes and red onion in half inch pieces and place in a serving bowl.
3. Mix together 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, ½ cup olive oil, juice of half a lime and a pinch of sugar
4. Pour mixture over the chopped vegetables and mix adding salt and pepper to taste.
5. Cover vegetables and let stand. Do not refrigerate otherwise tomatoes loose the taste.
6. Defrost and rinse shrimp. Pat dry.
7. Lightly brush the shrimp with olive oil.
8. Wrap each shrimp with a large basil leaf and secure with a toothpick.
9. Heat grill on medium heat.
10. Place the corn on the grill with direct heat and grill on all sides. The husk will look like it is almost burned. It’s ok because the corn is protected. (About 15 minutes)
11. Once corn is grilled remove and husk to reveal delicious perfectly grilled corn on the cob. Brush with butter, salt and pepper to taste.
12. On a medium indirect heat, place shrimp on the grill, turn once. They grill very fast so you will need to watch them. Only about 2 minutes per side. They will have turned from blue/gray to pink remove from grill.
13. Uncover summer vegetables and sprinkle with chopped cilantro and parsley.

Plate up or serve buffet style to let your guest be part of the experience. Enjoy the basil wrapped shrimp with corn on the cob and a cup of summer vegetable salad. Serve with basil infused lemonade or a delicious glass of white wine.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Save the bubbles....

I've been scanning the internet and see several gadgets offering to save the bubbles in your open bottle of champagne. First off, skip shelling out 12 bucks for a Champagne Saver, like the one I found at Container Store. Simply use a metal fork and insert the handle into the bottle. The metal causes a reaction that saves the bubbles in your bubbly.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Grilling Ideas

Most people I know love the smell of a great BBQ, but sometimes we are just sick and tired of the same old Chicken, Steak or Hamburgers on the grill. I checked out Better Homes and Garden section about grilling ideas. Check out their site, especially the Grilled Herbed Ratatouille and Polenta or the Grilled Portobello Mushroom Pasta Bowl!

Check it out. Recipes and ideas are free.

Happy Grilling this weekend!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Under the Kitchen Sink

We all have that habit of storing harmful chemical underneath the kitchen sink. I think we do it because it's how we grew up and it's the space that doesn't quite have full storage capabilities. This is the one area in the kitchen missed during spring cleaning. Remember to go through all of the old bottles and chemicals to see if the product is still good. Also ensure of correct disposal of those items. Harmful chemicals shouldn't be poured down the drain or dumped in the garbage. Check with your local waste management on proper disposal.
Once you've cleared out the cabinet, invest in an expensive storage container, similiar to the one linked. It's a great way to store your product and easy to pull out when you need something. Happy Cleaning.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Here is part two - storing vegetables.

Remember the key is to buy what you would use within a week to ensure minimal waste. Plus vegetables tend to be picked days if not weeks prior to them hitting store shelves.

Asparagus - Keep the rubber band around the spears and use an old Mason jar with a couple tablespoons of water on the bottom. This will be easy to keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Preference is to use the spears within a week.

Basil - Keep at room temperature for 5 days, placing them in a juice glass similar to having fresh cut flowers. Basil can also be used as a decorative element to a kitchen window or counter with the vibrant green leaves.

Beets - I like to keep in a brown paper bag in the crisper part of the refrigerator for about a 1 week.

Broccoli - Dampen a paper towel and wrap around the root and place in the crisper for 2 weeks. Suggested that it be used within a week to capture the ideal freshness.

Brussels sprouts - Take a square plastic container, dampen a paper towel to line the bottom and place the sprouts on top, the brussels sprouts could last up to a month but prefer to use within 2 weeks.

Carrots - Skip buying the huge bag of pre-cut and trimmed carrots and instead choose fresh carrots with the stems attached. These can be left on the counter for a couple of days or trim them and place in a open container for 2 weeks. Again stressing that freshness escapes after 2 weeks.

Corn - Leave in the husk and place in a basket in a darker part of the kitchen or place in the fridge for 5 days. Remember that frozen corn is also a great alternative if your using it for soup, stew or just a simple side dish.

Cucumbers - Leave in the plastic bag from the store but remember to cut holes in order to allow air flow. Store in the warmer part of the fridge. There is nothing like a cool cucumber for a refreshing snack.

Lettuce - Keep in a lettuce crisper for about a week.

Onions - If you have the option, store in a drawer or cabinet at room temperature. Some say they last up to a month, but I like to use them within a week.

Peppers - Keep in a cool part of the kitchen or in the warmest part of the refrigerator in order to avoid the pitting on the skin.

Potatoes - Like onion, keep away from light and in a cooler part of the kitchen. Do not refrigerate.

Tomatoes - Always keep tomatoes out of the refrigerator! Keep in a decorative bowl on the kitchen counter but away from apples and onions.

Hope some of these tips help save you money and enjoy the vegetables at their peak!

Friday, April 10, 2009

How long should I keep that?

There was a time when going to the grocery store on a daily basis was common. You would only buy the necessities for that day or two. Now visits to the grocery store are more spread out and with the trend to bulk buy it's important to know just how long cereal or bread really should last. Remember, don't stock pile unless you know your going to use the goods in the next 6 - 12 weeks. More money is wasted today than ever before because of incorrect storage or over buying. Don't get sucked into buying that 25 pounds of flour because it's so cheap unless your a baker and skip the 3 large bottles of mustard unless your having a family reunion. Be smart with your purchases and you will end up saving money in the long run.
Here are some tips on food storage.

Bread - 14 days - Refrigerator, 2-3 months - Freezer
Flour - 1 Year - Pantry
Pasta - 2 Years
Pies - 3 days - Refrigerator, 4 months - Freezer
Waffles - 4 days - Refrigerator, 1 month - Freezer
Crackers - 3 months - Pantry
Soup Mixes - 1 year - Pantry (I just found one in my pantry from 2005!)
Coffee - 2 weeks - Pantry, 2 months - Refrigerator
Honey - 1 Year - Pantry
Mayonnaise - 2 Months - Pantry, 2 Months - Refrigerator (opened)
Nuts - 4 months - Pantry
Peanut Butter - 6 months (unopened), 3 Months (opened) - Pantry
Brown Sugar - 4 Months
Tea Bags - 18 Month - Pantry

Look for the upcoming article when we dive into Vegetables and Fruits!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Those smelly sponges…don’t throw away

Just like our glasses and dishes, we need to clean the clean mechanism. Do you really want to use a sponge for cleaning the flatware that was used to wipe up a spill on the floor. NO. Remember that its important to maintain the freshness and cleanliness of these items. Couple of suggestions:
1. Place the sponge in the dishwasher and run with a regular load.
2. If you don’t have a dishwasher, try wetting the sponge and placing in the microwave for 45 seconds. *Caution the sponge will be hot*

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Time to clean the vegetables

Instead of just using plain water to wash your fruits and vegetables, which does not have the ability to remove all of the chemicals on its own, add baking soda. Take a bowl and add a small amount of baking soda and fill with water. Stir the mixture to dissolve the baking soda. Add your fruits or vegetables. Gently rub and rinse with cold water. Not recommended for items that actually retain water, (i.e. mushrooms).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Pure Lemon Juice

Tired of paying a lot for lemons just to get the small amount of lemon juice needed for that recipe? I discovered Minute Maid Lemon Juice in my freezer section. Now there is nothing like squeezing lemon for that pure lemon juice but this is a great alternative if lemon's are cost prohibitive in your area. You can go to http://www.minutemaid.com/products/Other/LemonJuice.jsp for more info. The product does spoil so you do need to use it within the recommended time frame. Enjoy!

Go Organic...Start at Home

Do you ever hear people stating that they want to be more organic but end up buying the worst chemical contained products? Instead of trying to buy your way into organics why not start at home. A couple of ideas that could be used for going green at home.
1. For general all purpose cleaner check out www.thegreenguide.com and the listing for a general purpose cleaner.
1/2 cup borax
1 gallon hot water
It also includes metal and wood polish. Who thought Olive Oil and White Vinegar could do so much.

2. Gardening. Growing up I remember that nearly all of families in the neighborhood had a garden. It wasn't until about twenty years ago when the trend moved away from home based production to cute packaged foods. Carrots don't even look like carrots in real form now.
If you don't have a space to plant a full fledged garden, how about just some herbs on a window sill. You've seen how expensive herbs cost in the store and you usually only need a few sprigs of rosemary or a couple leaves of Basil.

Free Seeds ? Check out http://wintersown.org/wseo1/Free_Seeds.html

3. Support the local farmer's market. Generally all of the vendors originate within a 200 mile radius. There is some exceptions with the larger city markets but the cost of transportation would outweigh the benefit exceeding the general area. Need to locate a market, check out http://farmersmarket.com/

Go Organic...Start at Home.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Check out GreenSky in Andersonville

Since Everything in the Kitchen doesn't just talk about food and appliances, we wanted to feature a locally owned business featuring eco friendly materials. Shopkeeper Nadeen has brought GreenSky to the neighborhood of Andersonville on the north side of Chicago. The shop brings you back before big box retailers invaded the city. Check out Greensky's website at Greenskycompany.com If you are in Chicago, remember to stop in and check out all of the wonderful products made from sustainable materials.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Check out this site for instructional videos. It's like food TV on the net. Easy to search and the recipe accompanies the video. www.monkeysee.com

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cutting Boards - Wooden Cutting Boards

It has occurred to me that for the last nine years I've been using a anti-bacterial cutting boards with a non porous surface instead of investing in a real wood cutting board. I've always thought that the cutting boards would warp. Well after being introduced to the John Boos & Co cutting board line I've changed my tune. Recently I obtained a 2 inch maple cutting board that is large enough to spread out the items for chopping. Following the instructions for preparation and clean up make this product one of the staples in the kitchen. You can visit any speciality kitchenware store or online. The products are made in the US and are durable beyond belief with the proper care. Additionally the knives do not dull as easily.
Check out www.johnboos.com for more information on their product. The investment is well worth it and will last you a lifetime. Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Clean the disposal....no chemicals just natural items.

To sharpen blades, fill the disposal with Ice and 1 cup of vinegar. Run cold water and flip on the disposal.

To deodorize the disposal, take the lemon cut up and place in the sink. Flip on the cold water and turn on the disposal. Let the lemon (or lemon, grapefruit, orange) enter the disposal and continue running with the water until it clears. This should take care of any lingering smell in the disposal and helps freshen the drain. (Tip: Run this before an open house or party to freshen up the kitchen naturally)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tired of your hands smelling like garlic?

Instead of buying another "stainless soap" items simply wet your hands and rub against a stainless steel sink or spatula. Same idea can be used for other pungent food items that you handle.

Are you hooked on Le Creuset?

Several years ago I was given my first Le Creuset pot. Undeniably the best gift received and it continues to be one of my favorite items for cooking. The Le Creuset company makes several variations in color but of course the Red one started my collection. The enameled iron cookware is great for several reasons.

First off the weight of the product makes it feel like your cooking with something instead of just a light aluminum pan that doesn't hold up to the vigor of stirring the delicious meals. Second, the cookware has a great way of keeping heat without having to have the burner on High. The iron retains the heat and allows for constant temperatures. You will need to be careful since altering the temperature can take a while. Third, the braising ability is unbelievable. With a little bit of chicken stock or wine the bits on the bottom of the pan become part of the delicious sauce with the meal.

The Le Creuset cookware is not cheap by any means, but it is one of the staple items in your collection that will last a lifetime. There will be no reason to replace the item unless of course your caring for out incorrectly.

Few tips for caring for the cookware:
1. Let the item cool and do not wash right from the stove or oven.
2. Wash with a mild detergent and rinse thoroughly.
3. Dry the cookware after washing and do not let set to air dry.
4. Never place in the dishwasher.

For further information on the cookware you may visit the Le Creuset website lecreuset.com
The cookware is available at most speciality cookware stores and major department stores.