Tips to Keep the Kitchen Clean

Following the theme of saving time in the kitchen, one of the most time consuming parts of cooking is the clean-up process. Here are 10 tips to keep your kitchen clean WHILE you’re cooking to avoid an overwhelming work load after your meal is done.

10 Tips to Keep the Kitchen Clean

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25 Minute Meals

Image result for dinner time crunch

As a followup to my latest blog post, here is the link to many more easy, 25 minute or less recipes that you could try if you don’t have time to invest hours into a meal.

25 Minute Meals

 

Easy, Quick Dinner

General Tso Meatballs

For myself and many other people, spring is a very busy time, so recently I have been trying to find some recipes that are basic, not time consuming, but still delicious. The recipe I found that satisfied all of these criteria was General Tso Meatballs, and since I have yet to share a Chinese inspired recipe, I decided to try it.

The main ingredient in this recipe is ground beef, which you add a few smaller ingredients to make a mixture that you roll into balls. Once I made the mixture, I covered the meatballs in cornstarch and placed them into the pan prepared with vegetable oil. After cooking the meatballs, I removed them from the skillet to cool and used the same pan on a lower heat setting to make the sauce.

The sauce is the source of the authentic Chinese food where it combines soy sauce, chicken broth, vinegar and more. This mixture took about 7 minutes to cook, which is slightly longer than the meatballs which only cooked for 6 minutes. After cooking the sauce, I added the meatballs to the skillet once more to make sure everything was mixed and heated correctly.

Overall, this recipe was very simple and fast. The recipe said it should take about 15 minutes and although it took me more like 20, I would still recommend this if you want something good, but in a crunch for time.

Recipe

 

Traditional Tacos

So far, I have explored Japanese culture by making sushi, tried my hand at a traditional french dessert, cooked some delicious authentic Italian meals, and many more. To further my international cooking, I decided to make tacos which are a staple to the Mexican cuisine.

I started by purchasing small, soft, corn tortillas, because this is the traditional base for tacos in Mexico and I wanted to keep the recipe as authentic as possible. Then, I had to choose the meat I was going to fill them with. Traditionally, taco fillings include beef, chicken, pork, or seafood, but I chose steak, because I was familiar with cooking this meat and it appeared in several authentic taco recipes I researched.

The most important part of the taco is the seasoning of the meat. If the meat is not seasoned correctly, it will be flavorless and dry, so it is important to get it right. There are many premade seasoning packages available, but the recipe I decided to use made its own seasoning, so I gave it a try. It was a pretty complicated recipe, but I think it did the trick and the meat was prepared pretty well.

In addition, I made homemade salsa as opposed to store bought, because I wanted the toppings to be as fresh as possible. The salsa I made turned out a little runny, so next time I made this I would possibly try not to blend the ingredients together as much. After I made this, I placed the meat in the taco shells, covered it with the salsa, and sprinkled on a little cheese for extra flavor.

This recipe included a lot of challenging tasks such as marinating steak and making the salsa, so it was very time consuming. However, the result was worth it, because the tacos were very good and much different than something I would get at California Tortilla. Overall, I would recommend this recipe, but only if you have the time and patience to see it through.

Taco Recipe

Buche de Noel

Every country around the world has their own Christmas and holiday traditions and France is no exception. A popular holiday dessert in France is the Buche de Noel which translates to Christmas log, because it resembles a decorated log. Two years ago for French class, I made a Buche de Noel, and it was very simple and very tasty. Here is the recipe I used in case you are interested in branching out beyond your own traditional holiday desserts. Enjoy!

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/17345/buche-de-noel/

Cookie Tips

In the spirit of the holiday season, I decided not to walk you through a specific recipe, but instead share some of my tips for baking cookies I’ve acquired throughout the years and some popular ones I did some research on.

The first tip that I find extremely important to baking delicious cookies is softening the butter. Almost every recipe calls for softened butter and it is everyone’s go to action to just stick some butter in the microwave for a couple seconds and throw it in the bowl. Although this way will soften the butter, it puts the butter at risk of melting which will make the dough more runny and throw off the consistency of your dough. I know it seems tedious, but if you know you’re going to be making cookies later in the day, try to set out the butter for a few hours.

Another important tip is closely watching the baking time. Most cookies call for a baking time of anywhere from 10-20 minutes, however many recipes call for baking times that may over bake your cookies. I recommend setting the timer for a few minutes less than the recorded time, and then carefully watch them for the last couple minutes until the edges are golden brown, not charred!!!

Finally, if the recipe calls for the dough to sit in the fridge for a couple hours, do not try to skip this step! This will harden the dough so it is stiffer and bakes correctly. By skipping this step, the dough will be thinner and burn more easily.

Most of the best tips for baking cookies just requires some patience, but if you put in the effort, you will not regret it! Hope this helps, happy holidays!!

More tips: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/packages/holiday-recipes/holiday-cookie-swap-and-recipes/photos/tips-for-better-cookies