Smart Shopping When you shop, shop the sales and buy extra. When you cook, cook more than you will need for one meal. Spaghetti Sauce? Make a gallon and freeze in containers. Meat loaf; prepare 2 and freeze the extra one (raw) for another meal. Whatever you do in the kitchen think of how you can make your life easier by buying sale items in bulk and cooking more than you need. The freezer is your friend. Use it! Be sure to read MORE INFO for recipes we will use over and over again, such as: Italian dressing, Making gravy, fact about all kinds of meat and poultry, how to save money and many more recipes and valuable hints!
ITEMS YOU SHOULD HAVE IN THE KITCHEN TO MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER
In alphabetical order
A–Apple corer, aluminum foil regular and heavy duty B–Baster (turkey baster), basting brush, blender, bottle brush C–Cake cooling racks (metal), colander, cookie sheets with sides, can opener (electric and manual), cheese grater, upright chicken roasting rack, containers for storage, cake pans (assorted sizes) F–Flame tamer (metal trivet) or heat diffuser G–Garlic press, grapefruit knife H–Heavy sauce pot J–Jars with tight fitting covers K–Good sharp knives, fillet knife, bread knife L–Soup ladle, gravy ladle M–Electric mixer, (try to buy a good one with adequate horsepower), mini food chopper, measuring cups and spoons P–Food processor, 6 quart pressure cooker, potato peeler, good pots and pans, poultry shears, pie pans, old fashioned potato masher, plastic bags (all sizes), plastic wrap R–Rubber spatulas, wooden lemon reamer S–Strainers, flour sifter, a scale to weigh meats would be a wise investment, slotted spoons (large and small), skillets (non-stick), white string, skewers, spatulas, serving spoons (large and small), spaghetti rake T–Toothpicks, timer W–Wire whisk, wooden spoons, waxed paper Z–Lemon zester
LOW FAT SUBSTITUTIONS
Look how easy it is to change a recipe without really changing the taste. Whenever possible substitute good fat for bad fat and low or no-cholesterol for high-cholesterol. Here are some examples to help you along. Checking over the alternatives offered in my recipes will take you the rest of the way.
1—Substitute oil for butter whenever possible. 2—Substitute aerosol cooking spray for browning or sautéing. 3—Substitute applesauce for oil in cakes. 4—Use evaporated skim milk,(undiluted) or Land O Lakes fat-free half and half in place of cream or light cream. 5—Use fat-free sour cream and cream cheese or blend low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese with skim milk to desired consistency in place of cream or use Land O Lakes fat-free half and half 6—Use low-fat or fat-free sour cream in place of regular. 7—Substitute low-fat or fat-free cheese for all high-fat cheese. 8—Substitute low-fat or fat-free yogurt for sour cream. 9—Use light butter or a butter substitute such as Smart Balance in place of butter. 10–Use liquid margarine in place of regular solid margarine whenever possible. Note: Solid margarine is higher in trans-fatty acids than liquid. 11–Substitute egg substitute or egg whites for whole eggs whenever possible. Egg yolks contain fat as well as cholesterol. 12–Brown meats and poultry on racks in the oven instead of in the frying pan. 13–De-fat all sauces and gravies. 14–Substitute cocoa powder for solid chocolate in baking. Cocoa has no fat. 3 1/2 tbsp. cocoa and 1/2 tbsp.butter=1 square of chocolate. 15–Use low-fat baking mixes, cookies, crackers, etc. 16–Don’t butter vegetables. Prepare them steamed if possible or with a little oil. 17–Substitute low-fat or fat-free mayonnaise for regular mayonnaise, especially when making salads where you really can’t taste the difference. 18–Beware of egg noodles, they are high in both fat and cholesterol because of the egg content. Use No-Yolk noodles instead.
1–Every brand of canned chicken broth has different amounts of fat and cholesterol. Read the labels–you may not have to spend the extra money to buy those labeled “low-fat.” 2–When I refer to grated Italian cheese such as parmesan or Romano, I am not referring to that stuff sold in containers in the supermarket. Check the Italian delis and meat markets in your town; the real cheeses are usually much less expensive. There are two commonly used types of Romano cheese: Pecorino and Locatelli. I prefer Pecorino, it is not quite as sharp and much less expensive. Have it grated, keep some in the refrigerator and freeze the rest. Once you taste the difference you’ll never go back. Remember, grated cheese is high in fat–use it sparingly. 3–Buy store brand corn syrup, much better price. 4–When you have a lot of garlic cloves to peel, microwave them for about 7 seconds. The skin will come off easily. 5–The longer garlic cooks, the milder the flavor gets. When adding garlic to a recipe, save half for the last five minutes of cooking to bring out the true garlic flavor. 6–When measuring flour, do not shake it or pack it down, just level it off by scraping a knife across the top of the measuring cup. If you’re using a larger measuring cup, put in flour and smooth the top, without packing it down. 7–Meat tenderizer is made from the vegetable enzyme of the papaya melon. Unless you eat it by the spoonfuls, it is not harmful. 8–Use parsley in everything possible. It contains vitamins and minerals, adds color but very little taste and besides, it will make people think you really know what you’re doing. I recommend Italian parsley only because it is more flavorful, but you can use either kind. 9–When cooking pasta or rice, wipe a little oil around the pot above the water line or spray with cooking spray. No boil over! 10-Buy store brands whenever possible. You can save a bundle.
FOODS AND SPICES YOU SHOULD HAVE ON HAND in alphabetical order
NOTE: Spices are very expensive if you buy brand names. Buy off-brands at dollar stores, discount stores, etc. I do not throw spices away after a year unless they have something in them that is either walking or growing except for baking powder or baking soda. If they have expired your baked goods may not rise properly.
A–Aerosol cooking spray (regular and olive oil), applesauce, almond extract B–Butter (light), biscuit mix, baking soda, baking powder, bouillon (powdered: golden and brown) C–Cake mixes, corn syrup, cocoa powder, canned chicken broth, canned clams, clam juice, cornstarch, canned vegetables, cheeses (especially low-fat and fat-free), carrots, celery, catsup E–Eggs, egg substitute, evaporated milk (regular or skim) F–Flour, shaker flour (in round cylinder; superfine for blending), fat-free products, frozen vegetables G–Gravy Master, fresh garlic, chopped garlic, packaged or canned gravy H–Horseradish, herbs and spices: basil, bay leaf, cayenne celery seed, crushed red pepper, cloves, curry, cream of tartar, cinnamon, chili powder, ginger, garlic powder, lemon- pepper, marjoram, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley flakes, seasoned salt, sage, thyme, rosemary L–Lemon juice M–Mayonnaise, mustard, dry mustard, macaroni and spaghetti (assorted), meat tenderizer, canned mushrooms frozen mozzarella (low-fat or fat-free) N–Noodles 0–Extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, onions P–Pudding mixes, potatoes, black and white pepper R–Rice S–Salt, canned soups, dry onion soup mix, sherry T–Tuna (in water), canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato puree, tomato paste V–Vanilla extract, vinegars (balsamic, cider, red wine, white), vegetables (fresh, frozen and canned) W–Worcestershire sauce, frozen whipped topping, wines