Chives

Build An Affordable Cheese Board

December 3, 2020

Cheese Boards are a no-cook, sure-to-please option for any holiday celebration. Build a cheeseboard that’s affordable yet special. Then toast the season with festive cocktails.

A few inexpensive ingredients and simple homemade touches are all you need for a spectacular, special occasion-worthy spread. Here are some smart tips to deck your board with festivity and flavor without breaking the bank.

For a classic, colorful centerpiece, make your own cranberry and herb cheeseball. Start with a container of spreadable cheese and form into a ball. Use a sheet of plastic wrap to avoid messy hands. Roll the ball in a combination of finely chopped dried cranberries, parsley, and chives until thoroughly coated. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

No need to buy expensive cheeses. Inexpensive cheddar is always a crowd pleaser. Skip the pre-cut cubes and cut the block yourself. Orange or white, mild or extra sharp. Cheddar is always a favorite.

Upgrade affordable goat cheese by rolling the log in herbs and spices, like dried thyme, dried oregano, or crushed rainbow peppercorns for a beautiful, flavorful crust. You could also keep it plain and top with jarred pepper jelly or mango chutney.

Instead of mixed nuts, opt for crunchy snack mixes, which are often less expensive and just as delicious. For the board, look for one with little or no seasoning.

Give a budget-friendly feta or mini mozzarella balls a flavor boost by marinating cubes in olive oil with herbs like parsley, oregano, or rosemary, and other seasonings like sliced chilis, crushed garlic, or lemon zest. Refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.

Round out your cheese board with other delicious items like fresh or dried fruit (dried apricots, figs, grapes, and sliced pears), pitted olives, and plain crackers.

Pair your cheese board with a festive holiday beverage and enjoy!

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Enjoying Summer’s Abundance

July 6, 2020

July has given us bright sunny days, low humidity and cool evening temperatures and a great way to capture summer’s splendor is with a picnic. Whether you find respite under the shade of a magnificent tree, spread a blanket on a sandy beach or enjoy your own patio or yard, dining “en plein air” is a delightful diversion to current world conditions.

Simplicity is key for a pleasant picnic. With farm markets opening, stock up on fresh fruits, berries, and vegetables for the picnic basket. Luscious, seasonal asparagus can be lightly grilled, steamed or roasted, then spritzed with fresh lemon juice and adorned with fresh parmesan cheese shavings for a light and lovely picnic lunch that packs easily. Freshly picked asparagus can also be served raw. Shave each stalk using a vegetable peeler, into long strips and dress with olive oil, rice vinegar, salt and pepper. Embellish at will with goat or feta cheese, pine nuts or almonds and plenty of minced herbs.

Fresh herbs perk up picnic recipes and eliminate the need for excess sodium. Chives will add a slightly sharp bite to potato, egg or pasta salads, as well as a nice little nip of flavor to deviled eggs. Poach a nice piece of salmon and dot it with creamy dill sauce for an elegant picnic entrée. Cilantro and Thai basil elevate rice noodle salads, and the snappy tang of fresh parsley is just the right addition to grain bowls. Fresh basil with ripe tomatoes is a classic combination. For something sweet, pack fresh berries, such as native strawberries, blueberries or raspberries, sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with honey.

If your picnic involves grilling use sturdy rosemary to imbue vegetables, meat, and fish with Mediterranean flavor and flair. Marinate chunks of lamb, beef or chicken with fresh rosemary, garlic, and olive oil. Let rest for several hours, then grill as desired.

Have picnic supplies at the ready to take advantage of gorgeous weather. Stash a small roll of garbage bags, hand sanitizer, salt and pepper packets, a small cutting board and knife, bug spray, sunscreen, and a blanket in your picnic basket. Keep small ice packs in the freezer. Gather your food and drink and enjoy the healthy benefits of picnicking all summer long.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Chives

April 23, 2020

As gardens begin to grow, one of the first perennial herbs to appear are chives. Chives are quite resilient and are particularly easy to grow both in garden beds or in pots. They can stand a bit of shade, tolerate drought, and grow well in any type of garden soil. For first time gardeners, this is an excellent plant that will yield a reliable source of flavorful nutrition.

Chives belong to the lily family and are part of a large genus of over 500 species of perennials that contain bulbs or underground stems. Known for their strong scent and distinct flavor, chives, along with garlic, onions, scallions and leeks are known as allium herbs. Allium species have been cultivated around the world for centuries and are valued both medicinally ad for their fabulous flavor.

If you grow your own chives, you can continually cut them back so the crop will continue into early fall. If you let happen to let them go you will get lovely purple-pink globe shaped chive flowers that make a beautiful garnish as well as a bright addition to spring or summer salads.

Chives are best when used fresh. Rinse and dry them well, then snip with scissors or cut with a very sharp knife. Snipped chives can be placed in freezer bags and frozen for later use, but will not maintain the texture of fresh shoots.

This is an herb that will elevate so many dishes, including soups, stews, salads, sauces, marinades, dressings, and dips. Adding a few tablespoons of chopped chives to cottage cheese will add a pleasing punch to a super simple snack. Make an easy supper of baked potatoes or sweet potatoes topped with Greek yogurt and chives. Mixing chives into cream cheese, along with lemon zest, and a grinding of black pepper will make an excellent spread for sandwiches or crackers. Omelets prepared with chives, parsley, and dill are a nice choice for any meal.

Chives contain valuable vitamin and mineral content. Vitamins K, A, and C are found in chives, as well as calcium, an important mineral. Chives also contain small amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. Purported to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral, eating more chives may boost your immune system and assist in maintaining superior levels of health.

If you buy your own chives at the grocery store, look for a bright green color with no sign of yellowing or wilting. Chives will keep in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for several days. Before using, rinse and dry well and trim the ends before using.

Enjoy this light and bright spring herb.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Seasoning Suggestions

January 6, 2019

To flavor your food reach for herbs and spices rather than high-sodium table salt. Make sure to read the labels of seasoning mixes because many of them contain salt.

Seasoning Suggestions

Pasta: Basil, Fennel, Garlic, Paprika, Parsley, Sage
Potatoes: Chives, Garlic, Paprika, Parsley, Rosemary
Rice: Cumin, Marjoram, Parsley, Saffron, Tarragon, Thyme, Turmeric
Seafood: Chervil, Dill, Fennel, Tarragon, Parsley
Vegetables: Basil, Caraway, Chives, Dill, Marjoram, Mint, Nutmeg, Oregano, Paprika, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved

Reducing Sodium In Your Diet

April 5, 2018

Let’s face it; most of us eat way too much salt. A high-sodium diet can increase risk of high blood pressure (hypertension), which can lead to cardiovascular and kidney disease. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day, which is about 1 teaspoon of salt. The good news is that reducing the amount of salt you use will retrain your taste buds to sense other flavors. You won’t even miss it.

Bland food is such a bore, but how can we keep sodium in check without sacrificing flavor?

Here are some suggestions to reduce salt in your diet:

Remove the salt shaker from the table when you eat.

Limit process foods, including cured, pickled, salted, or brined products.

Focus on fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables without sauces or seasonings.

When choosing canned options, look for “no salt added” or “low sodium.”

Cook at home so you have control over how much salt you add.

Flavored vinegar, onions, garlic, and citrus also add tons of flavor without the sodium.

Herbs and spices are the key to flavor. Add dried varieties during cooking and fresh herbs at the end of cooking or when plating a dish. Thyme, mint, lemongrass, dill, basil, oregano, chives, and parsley are great herbs to use. Spices like pepper, ginger, chili powder, and cinnamon are excellent spices to flavor your food.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Freezing Herbs

April 26, 2017

Make prep a snap with herb ice cubes, ready to toss in the pan.

Freezing herbs is an excellent way of preserving fresh delicate herbs that cannot be successfully dried. They will lose their fresh appearance and texture, but are still suitable for use in cooking. They should keep for up to 3 months.

To freeze chopped herbs, half-fill ice cube trays with chopped herbs and top up with water. Freeze, and then remove the cubes from the tray and place in freezer bags.

To use, add the appropriate number of frozen cubes to soups, stews, and stocks. Heat until melted. A standard sized ice cube tray will hold about 1 tablespoon chopped herbs.

Alternately, pack chopped herbs in plastic containers and freeze. Sprinkle them directly into soups and stews.

To freeze whole sprigs or leaves, place in freezer bags, expel any air, tightly seal and freeze.

Alternately, open freeze whole sprigs or leaves on trays. When the herbs are frozen, transfer them carefully to freezer bags, expel any air, seal tightly and return to the freezer until ready to use.

Delicate herbs that cannot be dried successfully, but that are suitable for freezing, include: basil, chives, tarragon, chervil, coriander (cilantro), dill and parsley.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserve

Ramps

April 8, 2015

Ramps

If you can’t find any of those oh-so-fleeting ramps at your local farmers’ market then have no fear, as there are plenty of other onion options available this time of year. Turn to Tiny New York Kitchen’s favorites.

Scallions: A supermarket staple. They have a peppery bite that isn’t overpowering. Scallions (Green Onions) are best used chopped raw or charred in salads or as a garnish.

Leeks: Leeks have a slight garlic flavor that mellows when cooked. Braised to an almost creamy texture, they are one of the best side dishes.

Spring Onions: Spring onions are a more mature scallion with large, sweet bulbs and pungent, spicy green tops. They are excellent for roasting whole and finished with sea salt and s bit of lime juice.

Flowering Chives: These mature chives are bursting with gorgeous purple flowers that taste just like wonderful chives. Use both flowers and finely cut stems in salads.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen

Super Bowl Sunday

January 30, 2015

Super Bowl Sunday

Take a break from your new year’s resolutions and enjoy the game with great food.

Most Americans love Super Bowl parties and for many, it’s for the football and for most it’s about the commercials. But no doubt about it everyone loves the Super Bowl food.

If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party it really should be casual and low-pressure because all of the guests are supposed to be watching the game during dinner!

Here are some ideas for your Super Bowl menu. Just good old American food. Don’t worry; you can go back on your diet on Monday!

Starters
Pigs In A Blanket
Roasted Potato Skins With Sour Cream, Cheddar & Chives
Garlic Drumettes With Creamy Dill Dip Or Blue Cheese Dip
7 Layer Dip & Chips
Avocado Lime Dip
Chili Pita Chips
Crudité Tray With Onion Dip

Dinner
6 Food Sub Sandwiches
Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sandwiches
Classic Red Beans & Rice
Game Day Chili
Fried Chicken
Roasted Chicken Enchiladas
Coleslaw
Jalapeño Cornbread

Dessert
Chocolate Chip Cookies
7 Layer Bars

Everyone wins betting. Set up a pool and have everyone choose charities to put in the boxes. Make a separate pool for kids with grab bag prizes.

Mix & Match those dishes! Everything doesn’t have to match. Serve food on casual everyday dishes and if you don’t have enough of one set, just mix and match.

Most of all, don’t stress. Have a fun time and may your team win!

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen

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