This page will grow over time. It’s going to be a place for excellent ideas and tidbits that don’t really merit their own full blog, but are too good not to share.
#1 Green Onion Tops for Free!
I saw this tip on the Food Network (my secret obsession). They were having a competition to find the next Food Network Star and the woman who won in the end, Melissa D’Arabian, shared this most amazing tip. It was blowing my mind that this might actually be possible, so before I proclaimed it as gospel to all of you, I tested it in my own kitchen. It absolutely works!
Cut the tops from your green onions and use them for cooking, but place the root ends in a glass of water in your kitchen. In a couple days, the roots will generate brand new green tops. I’m not sure how long this can go on, but I am on my second “sprouting” and having good success. Change the water every day or two, so it doesn’t get cloudy and enjoy fresh green onion tops to season all your favorite dishes.
#2 Bulk Cooking Rice in Your Crockpot and Freezing Successfully
I love fresh rice, but I don’t always remember to start it early enough to be done with the rest of the meal. I could buy the “minute” varieties, but they are SO much more expensive. You can make fluffy, delicious rice (white or brown) in your crockpot and large quanties of it are only pennies. The average 2 cup bag of rice is around 50¢ and will yield about 5-6 cups! Cooking it ahead and freezing in recipe portion sizes, means you will always have time to add rice to a “quick-fix” meal.
Start by rubbing a tablespoon of butter over the complete inside surface of your crockpot. This will help to prevent sticking and add a slight bit of flavor. Add 8 cups of water, a teaspoon of salt and 4 cups of the rice of your choice. Cover crockpot and set on high. Your rice will take 1½ to 2½ hours to cook as crockpots can vary somewhat. After the first 1½ hours, check at 30 minute intervals to see if it is done. Mine almost always takes the full 2½ and it will seem like it isn’t cooking at all until the last half hour or so.
When all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, immediately dump it into a large strainer and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking. This step is critical if you plan to freeze it for future use. Forgetting to rinse it cool, now, will result in sticky rice, later.
Drain the rice thoroughly. Divide into zip-top freezer bags, pressing them flat as you seal them, so your bags store neatly in a small amount of space.
I freeze rice in quart-size bags. To use the frozen rice, I put the zip-top bag in the microwave for about 5 minutes. The bag puffs up as the steam builds and the rice reheats, perfect and ready to serve. If you don’t want to use the bag for reheating, any microwaveable dish with a tight-fitting lid should work great.