Starting off the New Year by Cleaning Out the Pantry

January 4th, 2015

Happy New Year! Kick off the new year by cleaning out your pantries! I spent several hours going through all the spice and herbs in the pantry and tossing out all the expired spices and spices without labels. It was a chore. I found spices that expired in 2012! When food is prepared with spices the spices should taste fresh and smell fresh.

Daily Eats Expired Spices

Here is a helpful guide by McCormick:

Spice Storage Tips

The freshness of spices and herbs can be maintained longer if they are stored in airtight containers.

  • Keep away from heat, moisture, and direct sunlight. These elements hasten the loss of flavor and aroma of spices and herbs. Avoid storing over the stove, dishwasher, sink or near a window.
  • Spices should not be stored in the freezer. Freezing does not extend the shelf life of regularly used dried spices and herbs. If stored in the freezer, and repeatedly removed for use, condensation will form in the bottles and accelerate loss of flavor and aroma.
  • Always close spice containers tightly after each use.

General Freshness Guidelines for McCormick Products

Your McCormick products will deliver the best flavor if used within these guidelines.

Spices:

  • Ground spices - 3 years
  • Whole spices - 4 years
  • Herbs: 1-3 years
  • Seeds: 4 years, except poppy seeds and sesame seeds: 2 years
  • Extracts: 4 years, except vanilla extract, which has an unlimited shelf life
  • Seasoning blends/mixes: 1-2 years

How to Optimize Freshness

  • Spices and herbs that are whole maintain their freshness longer than those that are ground.
  • Spices and herbs do not spoil but they do lose their strength. Old and weak seasonings will not deliver the taste they should.
  • Spices and herbs will keep for a long time if they are stored in airtight bottles. The shelf life of properly stored spices and herbs is approximately 4 years for whole spices, 2-3 years for ground spices and 1-3 years for leafy herbs, depending on the herb.
  • There are three checks to use when verifying freshness–look, smell and taste. A visual check for color fading is a good indicator of flavor loss. Taste and smell your spices and herbs; if a fresh odor or taste is not apparent, they need to be replaced.
  • Do not sprinkle spices and herbs directly from the bottle over a steaming pot. Steam introduced into the bottle will hasten the loss of flavor and aroma. Steam will also result in caking of contents.
  • Make sure your measuring spoon is completely dry when you dip it into the bottle. Moisture introduced into the bottle will also result in caking and flavor loss.

McCormick for Chefs, McCormick I Co Inc.

I purposefully buy only organic McCormick spices and organic spices from other brands. The label should also reveal the expiration date and if the spice is Non-GMO. If possible grow your own spices! I grow basil and rosemary outside and support my local AZ farmers who growing spices. If outside is difficult there is this lovely WindowFarm Project started by Britta Riley which helps you grow your own food inside your home.
Celebrating Over 10 Years of Daily Eats! Thank you readers for making everyday delicious and delightful!

What to do with White Sonora Wheat Berries

August 3rd, 2014

I’m always getting unusual things from the Farmers Market, if you know me you know I love new experiences. On a recent visit, I brought back white Sonora White Wheat Berries. Lucky for me my farmer’s market friends advised me on what to do. Thanks Eric and Emma! I’m putting everything to good use!

Cooking White Sonora Wheat Berries like any grain 1 cup to two cups of water. Simmer for 50 minutes or until grain plumps up and is soft.

I decided on a cold Sonora White Wheat Berries salad.

1 cup of cooked Sonora White Wheat Berries
1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
1/3 cup fresh rosemary crunched
1/4 cup of chopped fresh carrots
1/8 cup of finely chopped sweet white onion or red
1/4 cup of chopped cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup of organic raisins or organic dried cranberries
1/4 cup of Purslane chopped - Only if you can find it, Purslane is a super food that is crunchy with a lemony flavor! According to Mother Earth News purslane is “high in vitamin E and an essential omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Purslane provides six times more vitamin E than spinach and seven times more beta carotene than carrots. It’s also rich in vitamin C, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium and phosphorus.

2 tablespoons of extra virgin organic olive oil
1 tablespoon of organic raspberry vinegar

Toss and serve chilled. Serves about 4. You can eat this alone as a meal or I recommend salmon.
It’s fun to go from farm to fork! Enjoy! <3

Read more on Purslane: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/power-packed-purslane-zmaz05amzsel.aspx#ixzz39LUeLn10

 

 

Bread and Butter Pickles

July 26th, 2014

Simmering the bread and butter pickle ingredientsPacking the cucumbers in the jar bread and butter picklesBread and Butter Pickles Recipe

 

 

 

Made easy! My Agritopia Farm CSA had so many cucumbers it wasn’t possible for us to eat all of them. I thought why not turn these delicious cucumbers into pickles, not just any pickles, but bread and butter pickles!

I found this recipe for  Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles on Cooks.com

1.5 cups sugar (I used raw sugar)
1.5 cups vinegar (white distilled vinegar)
1/4 cup canning salt (Use Diamond Salt)
1/2 tablespoon mustard seed
1/2 tablespoon celery seed
1/2 tablespoon turmeric
1/4 cup of Sweet onions
8 small cucumbers

Makes one quart size jar. I recommend using sanitizing the jar before using it.
Wash thinly slice cucumbers. Layer in glass jars with onion as desired. Combine above ingredients - sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard seed, celery seed and turmeric.
Heat slightly until sugar is dissolved. Let cool, then pour over cucumber slices. Cover and keep refrigerated. Let stand a day before starting to use.

Agritopia CSA: What do with PattyPan Squash

July 12th, 2014

Farm and Garden FreshSimmering PattyPan SquashPattyPan Squash Cooking

I never had PattyPan Squash before needless to say I was a bit befuddled when it arrived with CSA from The Farm at Agritopia the other day. I Google’d recipes for PattyPan Squash found one I really liked the sound of. This recipe for Stuffed PattyPan Squash comes from Scharko Farms with a couple of modifications.

QUINOA-STUFFED PATTYPAN SQUASH

1/2 cup dry quinoa
2 large pattypan squash
Olive oil as needed (a sprayer comes in handy here or a brush)
1 tsp butter, or Earth Balance [next time I'm going to try coconut oil]
1/2 cup spring onions, white parts only, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
2 oz. very sharp white cheddar, crumbled
2 tbsp minced fresh basil

Here’s the recipe deviation which is completely optional, but it really adds a nice lift to the flavor!
1 large beefsteak tomato diced
1 medium size chili pepper chopped

Heat oven (or toaster oven—I use ours whenever possible to avoid wasting energy & heating up the kitchen) to 425 degrees. Slice off the stem end of each squash to get a flat bottom, then cut a circle on the blossom end & hollow it out. Dice the removed squash & set aside. Spray (or otherwise coat) each squash bowl with olive oil, and roast 30 minutes or so, until tender. Meanwhile, start your quinoa simmering.

Heat butter in a skillet and add onions. Cook a few minutes, then toss in tomato and pepper, stir can cook for a few minutes [optional], then add the reserved squash & the garlic. Season with salt & pepper. When that’s all cooked to your satisfaction, combine with cooked quinoa and stir in the cheddar & basil. Mound the quinoa mixture into the roasted squash, and return to the oven, just for 5 minutes or so to make sure everything’s heated through.

The aroma is so wonderful even before cooking! The Stuffed Patty Squash has a savory refreshing flavor! I can’t wait until next year for PattyPan Squash from Agritopia!

 

 

Oatmeal Cafe

July 5th, 2014

The Oatmeal Cafe Iss' Magic Mixes Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Oatmeal is super nurturing and healthy especially when it’s make with Iss’ Magic Mixes! Melissa and Sam Webb along with Quinton, their son, have taken their super healthy nurturing oatmeal mixes and opened a delicious innovation in breakfast restaurants - The Oatmeal Cafe.

At The Oatmeal Cafe you can enjoy oatmeal, pancakes, muffins, healthy treats and tea. You will also enjoy stimulating conversations with Melissa.  I tried the chocolate chip pancakes, oh they were out of this world! The right degree of chocolate chips and mixture of Iss’ Magic Mixes which added a bit of a crunch.

What I also love about The Oatmeal Cafe is the support of AZ local businesses and Local First initiative! This is a smart business that understands the value in creating a sustainable ecosystem that embraces the community, local businesses, local brands, local agriculture to infuse the local economy. These types of businesses have my support!

The Oatmeal Cafe is located on:

1941 W. Guadalupe Rd, STE 118, Mesa, AZ 85202, (480) 306-4009

Tuesdays - Fridays: 6:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Saturdays : 7 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Closed Sundays and Mondays.

You can also find The Oatmeal Cafe on Facebook and Twitter.

Melissa talking to customers at the Oatmeal Cafe

The Oatmeal Cafe

Fun and Fruity Summer Cake Ideas

May 27th, 2014

As the summer fast approaches, bakers start whipping out their summer recipes and start compiling the desserts that most suited for this sunny season. 

Desserts that are abundant during the summer season are fruit tarts, berry pies and ice cream, but why not try something new for a change and bake summer treats in the form of America’s favorite dessert, the cake? U.S. Foods claims that one of the top ten dessert trends favored by the 99% of American consumers that eat dessert is in fact, creative cake ideas. Not to mention, “we are a cake-centric society. We always have been, and it has only gotten more so,” says Rose Levy Beranbaum, America’s beloved queen of cakes. 

Here are three creative fruity cakes that you must try out this summer: 

Blueberry Yogurt Coffee Cake



Blueberry Yogurt Cake 

Blueberry desserts are great for the summer, and this cake is no exception. The blueberry yogurt cake contains ingredients like delicious berries and cinnamon. Its appearance is very similar to a sponge cake but with the added zest of the aforementioned berries. Take a look at the recipe on Shutterbean to get a pictorial guide of how to prepare such a delightful cake. 

Victoria Lemon Sponge Cake



Classic Victoria Lemon Sponge 

This is the dessert ideal for sunny weekends and summer teatimes. It was named after Queen Victoria, as she loved to pair her tea with a slice of this delicious sponge cake. Although Weave Thousand Flavors says that a typical Victoria sponge cake is made with raspberry jam and whipped cream, M&S Quality and Innovation Chef Blair Smethurst gives a quick video tutorial on how to achieve the classic flavor with less ingredients. 

http://cdn.adjustyourset.tv/1/5604/5604_21646_1_700_768×432.mp4

 

 

Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Cake



Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Cake 

Instead of making berry tarts or pies this season, the roasted strawberry buttermilk cake is an interesting alternative and gives a new twist for summer flavors. The recipe calls for somewhat a strange mixture for the strawberry glaze (it’s not every day that people think of mixing the delectable fruits with maple syrup, olive oil and salt), but Joy the Baker assures that it’s a blend that impeccably matches the buttermilk cake. 

From Farm to Salad

April 3rd, 2014

Farm Fresh Grapefruit, Fennel, MintFennel Grapefruit Mint Salad

I was at the Gilbert Farmer’s Market and picked up fennel from Agritopia and grapefruits from Phil’s Farm. I created a fennel, grapefruit and mint salad. It’s delicious and refreshing.

Here’s the very easy recipe:

2 grapefruits peeled and cut slices in half
1 bulb of fennel thinly sliced for bite sizes
handful of fresh mint - we grow our own
2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice chopped
1 tablespoon of pomegranate vinegar
1 tablespoon of citrus oil
Toss and serve chilled

Take 10 minutes
Makes 4 servings
Accounts for 1 fruit 2 vegetables

Lovely Year of Daily Eats at the Gilbert Farmer’s Market

March 4th, 2014

delicious Daily Eats from the Gilbert Farmer's Market delicious Daily Eats from the Gilbert Farmer’s Market

I was doing my taxes, upon reviewing my spending in 2013 I discovered I spent $1734.26 at the Gilbert Farmer’s Market. Eating farm fresh certainly had a greater impact on my health.

Getting Juiced

February 24th, 2013

What started out as a harmlessness preoccupation, has turned into a ritual! Juicing is my new love - I do mean the healthy juicing. Once I saw the photo Kate Hough posted on Facebook a few weeks ago I knew I had to try it too. Here’s Kate’s recipe for  green juice is inspiring

1 head romaine lettuce with the heart of the lettuce cut off
3 - 4 kale leaves with the thick stalks cut off
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 apple
1 cucumber 
4 - 5 celery stalks
1/2 lemon, peeled

The cilantro adds the kick, cucumber, apple, and celery mellow out the grassy flavors of the kale.

Dash Juicer Dash Juicer

But, I could do this with just a blender no way - I got a Dash. It’s smooth, easy to use and in seconds I can produce a delicious refreshing healthy tonic that my body just loves! What do I love best about juicing - besides the healthy goodness for my body - I just like the putting fruits, veggies and herbs into the juicer - it’ just pain fun to experiment!

I did find a couple of other things from the local grown farmers and made in AZ to add to my juices:

Both additives ad extra healthiness.

Just when you didn’t get enough experimentation here are some juicy pins I added to the Daily Eats’ Pinterest board. Don’t forget composting is a great way to give back to the environment!

What’s Growing in Gilbert?

February 28th, 2013

Twice weekly trips to theGilbert’s Farmer’s Market make my life in transition to Gilbert AZ a real pleasure. I love farmer’s markets, I’ve been to farm many different farmer’s market’s in the US, UK and Europe. I love the healthy goodness that come direct from farm to my fork to my body! Mostly I enjoy the honest pride expressed by the farmers that grow healthy organic and natural products and enjoy meeting the people they provide for. This is no different for local growers and locally made providers that participate in the Gilbert’s Farmer’s Market. They are awesome! What like best is about attending the Gilbert’s Farmer’s Market is the feeling of community. I get a greater sense of belonging to the community rather than feeling as if I’m lost in the center of the desert. I go on both Wednesday’s to Power Ranch and Saturday’s to downtown Gilbert.

I bought from:

  • Elizabeth’s Moments of Joy - OMG her Whoopie Pies are delicious! I especially love  the chocolate on chocolate! I love the ’50’s retro packaging!
  • ISS Magic Mixes - Certified gluten free oatmeal - I got the blueberry vanilla  and almond mix! making my breakfast so much more delightful!
  • The Farm at Agritopia - I was immediately attracted to their display of product. I juiced their red cabbage, cilantro, lemons, kale, spinach, beets, yes I love their beets I love it all!
  • Doctor Hummus - Every time I see Doctor Hummus I get samples that flow continuously and every time we walk away with several different varieties including Roasted Garlic, Olive Tapenade, Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Vegan Spinach & Onion Dip, Guacamole.
  • Seize the Fork - Turned me onto Mega PowderBlend which adds extra zip to my new found juicing art - They’re VEGAN! btw I love their rich photo images on their Facebook page.
  • Rhiba Farms - Wheatgrass! Now talk about straight from the farm - love the sweet taste of this wheatgrass. I just may adopt a chicken - you should too! these chicks are free range pasture feed! that’s what I call fresh!
  • DeCio Pasta - handmade gluten-free pasta - I had seconds on their pasta - though sadly they had fire and won’t be producing for awhile.
  • Uprooted Kitchen - I love this food truck! OMG their chocolate zucchini is to die for - I just may if I don’t get another piece! my favorite vegetarian food truck!

Gilbert AZ has a small community with over 212,000 people, there are 1793 farms in Maricopa County that’s 27% down since 1997. I aim to support our local growers and locally made in Gilbert and AZ. How about you?

Saturday I’ll be shopping with my brother, Tom. I’ll say hello!

More Juicing What About Composting?

March 10th, 2013

Over past month I’ve been exploring juicing with great gusto! Juicing has replaced my breakfast and lunch meals. But after juicing I’m left with wonderful nutrient rich remains. I started a compost bucket. Low and behold my mother, Joyce, decided she would make a garden to and use the compost. Joyce did a terrific job of researching home garden composting. She found these easy to follow instructions in Garden Guides. In 5 simple steps you can add so much value to your home in door and outdoor garden! I’m looking forward to Joyce’s basil, spearmint, and cilantro to add to my juices! Way to Go! Mom for making the environment a better place!!

My latest juice exploration:

Daily Eats Orange Sunshine Ingredients Daily Eats orange sunshine juice

 

Celebrating Pi Day!

March 14th, 2013

I love the beauty of irrational numbers like Pi! 3.14… is truly beautiful. Let’s celebrate Pi day with Pie!

Fun things to do on 3.14 by Glossi Food!

Glossi.com - Pi Day
Click to view Pi Day on GLOSSI.COM

Have a Delicious and Delightful Pi Day xox!

Jolly Easter Goodies!

March 31st, 2013

I like Easter it’s a beautiful holiday with delightful colors. I always found Easter to be a positive time. A time to take stock of what was and transform yourself, your world and the world and people around you. A magical mystical metamorphosis - no wonder the colors are so brilliant and bright.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EG7tLmGgz0U

Whatever your inclinations or not towards Easter I wish you a happy journey on your transformational process!

Adding Magic to Pancakes

June 30th, 2013

There is nothing like a good Sunday breakfast that sets the tone for the rest of the week! This morning I decided to do what I love to do - celebrate a memorable Sunday. Yesterday, while at the Gilbert Farmer’s Market, I was pleasantly surprised by a new product created by Iss’s Magic Mixes, Cranberry Maple Pecan! It only took one word from Melissa,co- founder and creator of Iss’s Magic Mixes, to get me to try Iss’s Magic Mix -Cranberry Maple Pecan: Pancakes!

This morning I effortlessly whipped up Cranberry Maple Pecan Pancakes using Iss’s Magic Mix.

Here’s my down-dirty recipe:

1/2 cup of Iss’s Magic Mixes Cranberry Maple Pecan Magic Mix
1/2 cup of Pamela’s Gluten-Free Pancake Mix
1 egg
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup of water

1 Clementine orange for garnish - procured from Agritopia Farm

Add whatever your favorite syrup is.

Makes 2 large pancakes. What a pleasantly magical delicious tasting experience! I think next time I may try adding a 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice. I will have to plan on doing breakfast more often!

Try Iss’s Mixes - they are delicious gluten-free and have many healthy ingredients. My other favorite Iss’s Mixes are Chocolate Ginger Maca Energy Bars and Blueberry Vanilla Almond. Please show your support of local businesses, like Iss’s Magic Mixes.  You can find fabulous  recipes on the Iss’s Magic Mix site.

Independence Day Yumminess Found on Pinterest

July 3rd, 2013

Pinterest is the go to place for holiday festivity planning! Independence Day is no different!

Have a look at these delightful inspirations I found while planning our Independence Day celebration.

Juicing Beets

August 1st, 2013

Beets may not be your favorite vegetable but they are packed-full of healthy goodness. Juicing beets requires knowing what beets taste best with. When I juice beets I also think of the other vitamins that I may need to get through the day. In the example in the photo I juiced:

1 Beet with beet leaves

4 Celery sticks

1 Apple

2 Limes

1/2 inch Ginger

I drink this for breakfast - I drink it slowly and this juice gets me through the day. I feel healthier even more alert.

Why are beets good for you? According to Kathleen Zeldman, WebMD expert, “beets contain nitrates and antioxidants that can have a beneficial effect on health.” Beets promote healthy heart and blood flow. The nitrates in beets are a benefit that can enhance exercise performance. In addition Kathleen also says, “They’re rich in folate, potassium, vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, and nitrates. The active ingredient in beet juice is an antioxidant called betanin.” Betanin provides antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. For nutritional information and benefits of beets take a look at “What’s New and Beneficial About Beets“.

If you like join me and several other juicing lovers on Facebook Juicing for Fun - its where we share our juicing recipes.

 

20130801_beet_juice 20130801_juicing beets beet leaves celery apple ginger lime

Avocado Smoothie

February 21st, 2016

Daily Eats Avocado SmoothieI would never have believed that avocado would taste so good as a drink, until I created a smoothie with avocado. Thanks to some urging from Petra Kopf, I gave this recipe a try.

Half avocado
1 ripe frozen banana
1 apple
1/2 cup of almond milk
Small quarter inch of ginger
Agave syrup [optional]

Using a blender start with the banana then add avocado, apple and almond milk. Blend until almost smooth then add in the ginger. If you desire a sweetener add the agave syrup.

Its refreshing!

3.14 It’s Pi day!

March 13th, 2015

Triple Berry Pi Day Pie by Pillsbury

If you are really inclined you will you begin celebrating at precisely at 3.14159. If I were having pi today it would certainly be a berry pie!

At Pi Day you find everything you need to celebrate this important  symbol, which in mathematics is to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.