Salt your pasta water, never add oil, and don’t rinse.

Salt the water.

Mario Batali says you should salt your pasta water until it “tastes like the sea”…

Don’t add oil.

NEVER add oil to your pasta water. … Because when you add oil to your pasta you make it slick and the sauce won’t stick well to the pasta.

Don’t rinse.

The starchy water that the pasta boils in has all the goodness in it and helps the sauce adhere to the pasta. Rinsing also makes your pasta get cold quickly. 

https://www.thekitchensnob.com/cooking-tips/

Use proper measuring tools: Wet vs. Dry Measuring Cups

A liquid cup and a dry cup are exactly the same size. So why do you need both? A dry cup is meant for things like flour, sugar, and other fine granules and you’re supposed to fill the dry measuring cup completely to the top so you can scrape off any excess with the back of a knife. In a liquid measuring cup, you can’t do this. You fill the liquid to the line. Using dry measuring cups for dry ingredients is a more precise way to measure, which is very important in baking.

https://www.thekitchensnob.com/cooking-tips/

Don’t put food in a cold pan.

When you put meat into a cold pan, the meat is going to release moisture as it heats up. Unless you like gnawing on dry meat, heat your pan up first so your moisture stays in the meat and doesn’t escape too early. By preheating the pan first, you’re giving your meat a nice searing which holds in all those yummy juices.

https://www.thekitchensnob.com/cooking-tips/

Turn your pan handles to the side.

Always turn your pan handles to the side. When things get a little hectic, and you’re racing across the kitchen to grab an ingredient, you could to run into the handles and knock the pan onto the floor.

Even if you’re feeling all zen about cooking, the kiddos could knock down a hot saucepan of boiling water.

Get in the habit of turning your handles to the side and stay safe, cooks!

https://www.thekitchensnob.com/cooking-tips/

Don’t overcrowd your pan or baking dish.

When pans get crowded, your food will start to steam itself rather than brown and that will change the texture of the food. Potatoes in the oven won’t be as crisp on the outside, meat won’t brown as well, etc. Give your food ample room in the pan, especially when browning or baking things that need to be crisp (like french fries in the oven or breaded chicken).

https://www.thekitchensnob.com/cooking-tips/

Read recipes thoroughly ahead of time. Twice.

Even recipes from published cookbooks can leave out information (or ingredients!) in the list but there it is, hidden further down in the instructions. It’s also possible that you’ll miss that “marinate overnight” instruction or “pour batter into Springform pan” and…ooops…you don’t have a Springform pan.

Be a cool cook. Read, reread, then cook.

https://www.thekitchensnob.com/cooking-tips/

Make your own Greek yogurt at home!

Earlier this week I published an article highlighting 10 probiotic rich foods and why to eat them. Yogurt is definitely one of those fabulous foods, and YOU can make your own!

I’ve been experimenting a lot lately with traditional cooking techniques and fermentation, including fermented dairy. I’ve dabbled with piima milk, sour cream, and kefir. I’ve even made my own soft cheese, See this video below:

I’ve also made delicious water kefir, such as the concord grape water kefir in the video below. Isn’t it fun!

So far, it’s been fairly easy, as long as you have the patience to wait several days for the product. When it came time to make my own yogurt, I wasn’t worried too much. The process was a bit more complicated than kefir, piima or even sour cream. But I was convinced I could handle it.

I discovered making yogurt, at least for me, wasn’t as much fun as the other fermented foods with which I experimented. Though I used my instapot slow cooker to keep it at the proper temp, I still over fermented the yogurt once before I got it right. See the final result below:

INGREDIENTS & EQUIPMENT

For one quart jar of yogurt

  • 1 quart of non-homogenized milk (AKA: Cream top) I used THIS brand – You want to use “cream top” milk, as it’s much healthier than ultra pasteurized versions. Do not used the “ultra pasteurized” milk found in most grocery stores. It won’t ferment properly
  • 1 packet of Starter culture or 2-3 tbs yogurt from a previous active batch. I used “Cultures for Health Greek Yogurt Starter Culture” FOUND HERE, for my first batch. Even though I “over fermented” my first batch, the cultures were still good and active for my second and successful batch. You can even use store bought. If you use store bought yogurt, make sure you buy ORGANIC, GRASS-FED YOGURT WITH ACTIVE CULTURES or it won’t work. (the less processed the better)
  • A clean jar. Or a clean Instapot, if that’s what you’re using. I used an instapot. Personally, I don’t think it was any easier with an instapot. I’m planning on using my dehydrator next time.
  • Thermometer
  • 4 cup size liquid Measuring cup
  • A way to incubate the yogurt, if you’re not using an instapot. You’ll need a yogurt maker, dehydrator or other way to keep the yogurt at a constant, 110 degree temp. If you don’t have a yogurt maker, instapot or dehydrator, here’s a tip:

Wrap the slow cooker insert in a large towel and very carefully transfer the slow cooker to your oven. Make sure your rack is placed low enough that the slow cooker or at least the slow cooker insert and lid will fit. You don’t want to be knocking it around. Turn the light on in your oven. This will keep the temperature nice and warm so the milk can make that magical transformation into yogurt….tada

https://www.momontimeout.com/how-to-make-yogurt-in-a-slow-cooker/

Step by step:

(For Instapot: simply follow instructions in the manual)

  1. Heat milk to 160 degrees in a pan on the stovetop
  2. Pour milk into a 4 cup glass measure and allow to cool to 110 degrees
  3. Add starter culture or yogurt previous batch and GENTLY stir
  4. Pour yogurt into yogurt maker, or a 1 quart glass jar and incubate for a minimum of 5 hours and up to 12 hours. Trust me when I say you’ll want to check every 30 minutes after that 5 hour mark to prevent over fermenting the milk. It’s done when the yogurt is thick and “pulls away” from the sides of the jar. You’ll know if you over fermented it if the milk solids separate from the whey. This simply means the probiotics are out of food and hungry. It’s still edible, but may taste bitter. I used my over fermented first batch to make my 2nd batch
  5. Allow to cool for 2 hours, then refrigerate for 6 hours prior to eating.
  6. To make a thick, Greek yogurt consistency, you’ll need to drain off the whey like in the above photo above. To do this, line a mesh strainer with cheese cloth or a cotton dish towel and place over a bowl. Pour finished, chilled yogurt into the lined strainer and allow to sit for 1-2 hours or longer, depending on the consistency you want.

Greek Yogurt Demo

from Cultures for health

Closing thoughts!

Save the liquid whey!

The liquid whey that is a result of the draining process should be saved. It is a probiotic powerhouse and can be used in dressings, mayonnaise, baking, or even probiotic lemonade!

This is a wonderful way to get reluctant family members to eat probiotic food.
☑️In a 1/2 gallon mason jar add 1/2 cup sugar, and a bit of hot water to dissolve the sugar.
☑️ Add 1/2 cup lemon juice and fill the jar 3/4 way with clean filtered water.
☑️ add 1/2 cup of liquid whey.
☑️ let sit covered for about 3 days. Taste after 2 days. It’ll be done when most of the sweetness is gone.
I recommend 1/2 cup a day.

For more ideas on what to do with the whey, follow this link to the article: 43 Surprising Everyday Uses for Whey That Will Blow Your Mind

Let me know if you try it! Bon Appetit! Namaste my friends!

43 Surprising Everyday Uses for Whey That Will Blow Your Mind

I’ve been taking cooking classes with the Traditional Cooking School by Gnowfglins. So, along with delicious sourdough, I’m making my own cheese and yogurt, which leaves me with wonderful liquid whey, as seen below. Isn’t it gorgeous? So today, I looked for things to do with this liquid gold, as I now have 3 quarts.

I wanted something besides adding it to baked goods, bread or smoothies. I wanted unique ideas such as LIQUID WHEY PIE, GJETOST/MYSOST (Sweet cheese), or LACTO-FERMENTED APPLE SAUCE. This article contains the usual suggestions, such as soaking, baking and fermenting, but it also contains some unique ideas as well. I hope you enjoy this article I’m sharing with you today. I’ve got my eye on the Mysost cheese recipe. I’ll let you know if I make it!

Simple Batch Cooking Meal Plan — The Wellness Mama

If you’ve wanted to try meal planning this post from The Wellness Mama is for you. In this article, she explains batch cooking and includes a 7-day meal plan. She also breaks down the cooking procedure into a step-by-step process. It couldn’t be easier!

For the main article and full meal plan, follow the link below.

wellnessmama.com/1106/batch-cooking-meal-plan/

Featured photo source: The Wellness Mama

50 Immune Boosting Vegetarian Recipes And Foods

In my oh so humble opinion, you can NEVER have enough vegetable recipes!! A plant based diet is key to a healthy body and long life. Here’s are 50 vegetarian recipes from Veg Recipes from India!

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“In this critical time, it is essential to have food that your body needs. You can make a conscious decision to move into healthy eating habits and choices.

I am sharing vegetarian plant-based foods and recipes which I am personally going to focus on and prepare at home. I am not going to overboard as an excess of everything is not good. Balance is the key. But I would like to include more of these immune-boosting food in our diets than earlier.”

FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW FOR THE MAIN ARTICLE AND ACCESS TO THE 50 RECIPES

feedproxy.google.com/~r/vegrecipesofindia/~3/PPBMtsYb4M8/