Thursday: Need something to do to beat boredom? Find a new recipe and prepare it. Cooking and serving a wholesome meal is a science and an art. Why not find a new way to make a hearty soup, nutritious bread, or a delicious dessert?
While your meal is cooking, figure out a beautiful way to present it. Play with different table cloths, dishes, and arrangements. Often we are too busy to explore and enjoy ourselves in the kitchen. The following are a few tips pertaining to the kitchen hygiene and cooking.
Always wash off canned goods before opening them. In fact, the best practice is to wash off all cans, plastic, or glass (milk jugs, spaghetti sauce, etc.) packaging before storing in them in cabinets, and especially before placing them in the refrigerator. It is difficult to imagine the amount of germs that food containers are exposed to in factories and warehouses (dust, insects, dirty hands, etc.) If you do not wash the top of the can before opening it, inevitably the germs on the lid come into contact with the food contained within. If you do not wash food packaging, you are placing those germs right in your cabinets and refrigerator. That is unsanitary.
Lemon juice removes stubborn odors from Tupperware. Just pour a little lemon juice in the container and fill it with water. Let it sit for a while. Repeat if necessary. Your containers will smell fresh and new.
Use a few drops of pure lemon essential oil to help clean your kitchen every day. Simply put a few drops on a damp rag and wipe the counters (and appliances). This makes the kitchen smell fresh and helps disinfect it – lessening the need for harsh chemicals.
Want to tell if an egg is fresh? Place it in 4-6 inches of water. If it sinks, it is fresh. If it remains submerged but the widest end points up, it is older but still okay. If it floats, it is old - you might want to buy some new eggs.
If you oversalt a dish while it's still cooking, add in a peeled potato. The potato will absorb some of the salt. If you add too much of a hot spice like Cayenne, try adding a little milk, cream, or another dairy product to cool the heat.
Leftover water from boiling vegetables is great for watering plants. The water will contain many nutrients. Of course, let it cool first.
Freeze fruit juices or nectars instead of water for use as ice cubes. This adds flavor to drinks instead of watering them down.
Growing a few herbs in your kitchen is a great way to ensure you always have an inexpensive supply of fresh herbs available. Herb gardens provide a good introduction into caring for plants. Try growing Basil, Rosemary. Thyme, Mint, Oregano, Lavender, Lemon Balm, or any herb you use on a regular basis. (Aloe is a great plant to grow to alleviate many skin issues).
Be thoughtful when you are decorating your kitchen and dining room. The colors you choose will either suppress or stimulate the appetite. Appetite stimulating colors include: red, orange, turquoise, yellow. Appetite suppressing colors include: dark blue, grey, purple and black. If you are working towards releasing weight, use these suppressing colors in plates, placemats, and decor. Avoid the suppressing colors if you do not desire leftovers. Choosing pleasing dish colors is really a matter of contrast. Basic white works well for most dishes. However, dishes aren’t expensive, and it is nice to have a variety to choose from. This allows you to express your personal creativity and style while ensuring you always have enough dishes for guests - even if you have to mix and match. In general, it is best to use dark plates for light colored food and white plates for vibrantly colored foods. For those who prefer colorful dishes, below is a brief summary for best and worst colors. I found this information in an article many years ago:
Green foods: Best color- Yellow. Worst color- Red.
Beige foods: Best Color: Black. Worst color: Beige.
Red foods: Best color: White. Worst color: Green.
Yellow/Orange foods: Best color: Blue. Worst color: Purple.