Basics, Cooking, Essentials, Food, Tools

Tools 101: Mezzaluna

You have new kitchen toys, hooray! Now, what the heck do you do with them?

This series features some ideas to get you cooking – and eating – asap!

Now: to the chopping block!

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Meet your mezzaluna

Italian for “half-moon,” this tool gives new meaning to chopped salads. Using a smooth rocking motion, effortlessly chop large amounts of lettuce, veggies & herbs all in one bowl for an easy and even chopped salad.

What’s it for?

  • Makes mincing piles of herbs a breeze
  • Can be used for chopping nuts or chocolate for baking
  • Allows for even chopping
  • Works well as a pizza cutter

How to clean

Use a soft sponge with warm soap and water. Dry with a clean dish towel or air dry. Do not put in the dishwasher.

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Tips

Make one or two big salads for this week’s lunches & dinners! It’s an easy way to make sure you have veggies this week.

IMG_0853Happy eating!

Get cooking! Use offer code “BACK2COOKING” for 10% off your first month!

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Basics, Cooking

Eggs 101

Simple foods make every day delicious.

Aside from being Insta-worthy, adding an egg to raw veggies helps you retain more of the veggies’ nutrients. Let us help you master eggs to create a world of tasty, easy meals!

Fried Eggs

Why fried eggs?

Fried eggs not only look pretty when you cut into the oozing yolk, but they make dishes richer and more delicious. Add to sandwiches, salads, pasta and rice bowls to enjoy an extra protein punch and a rich, velvety taste.

How long will it last?

Fried eggs are best cooked to order. Invest in a small nonstick skillet for quick, easy frying.

How to

You want a well-oiled nonstick pan. Using a spray can will help coat the pan evenly without making it too greasy, but you can also use your olive oil bottle, coconut oil or butter (approx 1 tbsp) if you prefer.

Heat the pan over medium or medium-low heat. Medium-low is usually best, but stoves can vary. If you crack the egg in and it starts to bubble, the pan is too hot; lower the heat.

Sunny Side Up

sunnyside.jpgCook 1 minute at medium, then lower heat to medium-low or low, cover, and cook another 4 minutes for sunny side up, 5 minutes for medium, 6 minutes for hard. Covering traps the steam, gently cooking the top.

Over Easy

overeasy1Cook 1 minute until outside white is set, then flip for another 1-2 minutes.

Over Medium or Over Hard

Cook 3-4 minutes per side.

Boiled Eggs

Why boiled eggs?

Hard boiled eggs are a great healthy snack and addition to salads and sandwiches, and we like soft or medium boiled eggs for breakfast bowls.

How long will it last?

Hard-boiled eggs can last up to a week in the refrigerator; medium-boiled and soft-boiled eggs should be cooked to order.

How to

Put cold eggs (with shell still on) in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with water. Cover. Set pan to medium-high.

hardboiledHard boiled

Is this for me?

If you like a nice firm yolk.

How to

When water bubbles, reduce heat to a slight simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. With a slotted spoon, remove each egg and place into an ice cold water bath (ice cubes + water in a big bowl). Leave the eggs there until cool enough to touch, then peel.

Medium boiled

Is this for me?

If you like a soft yolk that’s not runny.

How to

See above, but simmer for 6 minutes.

Soft boiled

Is this for me?

If you like that Insta-worthy runny yolk.

How to

See above, but simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Pro Tips:

  • Only add salt & pepper to the finished eggs. Crush sea salt in your fingers as you sprinkle over the top, and add fresh cracked pepper if you’d like.
  • Serving eggs for brunch? Include a variety of salsas and hot sauces on the side, with optional avocado.
  • For egg sandwiches, start by assembling everything but the eggs. The hot eggs will melt any cheese you added to your bread, so you can eat as soon as the eggs are ready!
Basics, Cooking, Essentials, Food, recipes

5 Easy Summer Salad Recipes

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Who doesn’t love a delicious salad? Easy, healthy and heat-free, make these salads ahead and refrigerate for cool relief all week.

Plus it’s a great excuse to try your tools: tongs, olive oil bottle, garlic skin remover, garlic mincer.

Heirloom Tomato and Cornbread Panzanella
Literally translated to “bread salad,” this is the easiest, and perhaps tastiest, summer salad and a fun one for kids to help with too.
Tip: You can use any dry crusty bread or toasted cornbread, as mentioned here! Skip the oven and use leftover stale bread (the traditional way!)

Grain Salad with Olives and Whole-Lemon Vinaigrette
Easy, hearty, flavorful – and great as leftovers! This actually gets better as it sits, which is true for all these salads.
Tip: Once you’re comfy making grain salads, you can add in whatever leftover ingredients (cooked meat, tofu, any veggies and even fruit!) you have to create your own recipe. You can also sub in any grain you have on hand or already cooked!

Kale, Apple and Walnut Tabbouleh
There’s probably no better go-to for salads than Philadelphia-based chef Michael Solomonov, since salads are a specialty and major part of Israeli cuisine. This is a great dish for breakfast or any time of day!
Tip: No sumac? No problem! Just omit it for a still-delicious recipe.

Cucumber Salad
This couldn’t be easier: a perfectly refreshing, 5-ingredient salad that’s a summer all-star!
Tip: The thinner you slice the cucumbers, either on a mandoline or carefully by hand, the more they’ll absorb the flavors.

Campanelle Pasta Salad
We love this version of pasta salad with pretty campanelle noodles and hearty tuna in olive oil. You can omit the tuna if you’re veg!
Tip: The secret to a great pasta salad? Don’t overcook the pasta.

Basics, Cooking, Essentials, Food, Grilling, recipes, Tools

You Can Grill That!

Let your grill do wonders beyond burgers and dogs.

These are easy grilled foods for a party – or just for you! Not only does the grill work its magic in these recipes, but cleanup is super easy too so you can relax and enjoy.

Tip: Keep all your essential grilling tools (tongs, squeeze bottles, pastry brush, etc.) clean and handy for when the grill calls your name!

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  1. Pizza
    Perfect for al fresco summer dining, especially for groups, warm grilled pizza can be equally good and often better than a sad, soggy delivery pizza. That char really works wonders, and it’s super simple! Consider making a veggie one with no cheese for vegan/dairy-free friends and as a nice lighter option for everyone. Pair with a light red (chill it if you want!) or Lambrusco. The pizza can sit out for a bit, as long as it’s not boiling hot outside, so those who arrive late can still enjoy a piece (if there’s any left!) Use your sharpened knife or kitchen shears to slice it!
    Get the recipe.
  2. Grilled Lettuce
    This is an insanely easy way to impress friends and a great side dish for pizza! Channel your inner Giada with a colorful salad of grilled lettuces. All you need is your colander, cutting board, knife, tongs and olive oil bottle. You’ll just want to make sure this hits the grill before any meats, so your veg friends can enjoy without worry!
    Get the recipe.
  3. Avocado
    A quick few minutes on the grill, a little lime juice, salt & pepper creates individual guac bowls you can eat right out of the skin! Spice it up if you want with cayenne, paprika or hot sauce. No need for a huge bowl of guac to sit outside and brown in the heat when you can have a fresh, simple solution. (Also, yahoo for portion control!) Serve with tortilla chips and veggies of your choice.
    Get the recipe.
  4. Stone Fruit
    Warm dessert with no oven action? We’re in! There’s nothing like winding down a summer night with seasonal fruit, a scoop of vanilla or coconut ice cream (or whatever flavor you like!) and a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy the glory of peaches, plums and nectarines while they’re here!
    Get the recipe.
  5. Grilled Pound Cake
    If you have a cake-loving crowd (the best kind of crowd!) why not throw an already made cake onto the grill? This is basically impossible to mess up because most of the work is done! If you don’t have peaches, try another stone fruit or serve with any fresh berries you have on hand!
    Get the recipe.

 

Basics, Box 1, Cooking, Essentials, Food, Kitchen, recipes, Uncategorized

It’s Time! Tomato Recipes for Summer

They’re here! It’s July and we’re talking tomatoes. If you can resist eating all your ripe tomatoes with just a little salt & pepper, here are our favorite summer tomato recipes.

Grab your serrated knife and cutting board for the easiest tomato action!

  1. Tomato Peach Salad with Basil
    With all seasonal ingredients, this tasty summer treat is a show-stopping salad.
    Tip: Add burrata or mozzarella for a more substantial dish.
  2. Easy Vegan Bruschetta
    A simple go-to snack or appetizer. Kids like it too!
    Tip: Don’t have basil? Use up any fresh herbs you have on hand! Set aside a few plain ones for the kids.

  3. Tomato Margarita with Fennel Salt (or just regular salt!)
    Try this summer sipper in the backyard or on the porch. You’re welcome.
    Tip: Not feeling the fennel? Plain salt will do! Still feeling a bit fancy? Try a mix of Old Bay and salt on the rim!
  4. Easy Gazpacho
    Tip: Use your garlic tools & oil pourer from Box 1 to make this recipe even easier. This is a fun, customizable recipe, so don’t stress!
  5. Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce
    Tip: You can make this in advance and leave it either chilled or at room temp for later! It actually tastes better the longer it sits.

Continue reading “It’s Time! Tomato Recipes for Summer”