Category Archives: Tips, Tools & Techniques

You know what a hack is, right? Something that makes your life easier. You’ll see a lot of short pieces floating around on the internet—life hacks, food hacks, kitchen hacks. I find them irresistible, and here are a few favorites (not all may be hacks, but there are some new ways to make life in the kitchen easier!).   1. Slicing cherry tomatoes (or any other seedless, small round objects in the kitchen such as grapes). This one made the … continued…

Barb Freda DIY Tips, Tools & Techniques

Summer is here and with that hopefully will come trips to the park, outdoor concerts, and picnics! Soggy sandwiches and warm coleslaw are not what you want to find in your picnic basket. It’s important to consider food safety as well as healthy foods that travel well when planning your outing.   • Start with a good heavy-duty blanket if you won’t be using a picnic table. Old quilts or comforters work well and can be washed and tossed in … continued…

picnic
Entertaining Ideas Jenny Kramer, RD Tips, Tools & Techniques

Flowers add color and curbside appeal to most homes but did you know that many varieties can also be consumed? The tastes can vary from sweet to spicy, similar to honey or horseradish tastes. I can vividly remember eating clover flowers on the playground at my elementary school, they were really sweet and smelled great.   Take caution when eating flowers, make certain that you know what the plant is since many flowers are poisonous (azaleas, honeysuckle berries, hydrangeas – … continued…

Pansie
Gardening Jenny Kramer, RD Tips, Tools & Techniques

After the long winter many of us had, the farmers’ markets should be back in full swing—of course your own growing/harvesting season varies with where you live, but here are some ideas for a variety of late spring/early summer ingredients.   1. Spinach. This is a spring vegetable (and if you are lucky, late fall, before it gets too cold)—eat plenty of spinach salads, blend some up in a smoothie for a health boost, or try some in a classic … continued…

Barb Freda Tips, Tools & Techniques

These little meatloaves cook as fast as any burger, and I encourage you to use the grill. I rely on my instant-read thermometer for these just to keep it simple—no guesswork involved. These can also easily be baked in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes if you don’t want to grill them; I suggest using a broiler rack if you oven-bake them. The sauce can be made 2 or 3 days in advance—if made in advance, cool, cover … continued…

Mini Meatloaves with Pineapple BBQ Sauce
Barb Freda Healthy, Delicious Recipes Summer Grilling Tips, Tools & Techniques

I am forever looking for ways to make my kitchen more useful. If you have not discovered Pinterest for this kind of searching, head over there, but don’t say I didn’t warn you: you may lose entire evenings coveting cool kitchens you find there.   Here are some cool kitchen ideas that I find very useful: • Flip down space under sink. I lived in my place for two and a half years before I discovered I had this little … continued…

Barb Freda Decorating Tips Tips, Tools & Techniques

I like to use Laura’s 96% Lean Ground Round or Ground Sirloin for these different meatball variations I’ve played with over the years. These are basic recipes that can be sauced or changed slightly for different meals. All you need to know is what you’re putting on top.   1. Classic Italian Meatballs — Mix lean ground beef with garlic powder, dried basil and oregano, Parmesan cheese and an egg (one egg per pound of beef). Shape into 4 large … continued…

Classic Meatballs
Barb Freda Healthy, Delicious Recipes Tips, Tools & Techniques

One of the best way to get kids involved in eating well is to get them involved in creating well—cooking, I mean. They can see what goes into the dishes. They can develop some of their own preferences and even their own specialties—and the more they cook, the more they learn about good food and the joy of sitting down to a meal with family and friends. Two of my children are great cooks. I still remember my daughter picking … continued…

Barb Freda Tips, Tools & Techniques

Have you ever been browsing the grocery store and come across some strange produce? I love to go to big grocery stores (think Jungle Jims) and just look at some of the different fruits and vegetables and imagine how they grow and what I could do with them. I try to expose my kids to new foods but the same is true for us as adults, it’s important to try new things! Here’s just a sample of some of the … continued…

Jenny Kramer, RD Tips, Tools & Techniques

Let’s make March the time to take stock and do some spring cleaning in the kitchen. Here are a few tasks for your list.   1. Check smoke alarm batteries. Fire departments everywhere try to remind us to change the batteries with the spring fall seasons… check your batteries and change ‘em.   2. Along the same safety line, think about adding a small fire extinguisher to your kitchen. Keep it handy below your sink or next to your range. … continued…

Barb Freda Tips, Tools & Techniques