Roasting refers to proteins and vegetables cooked mostly at high temperatures in the oven. Baking uses a lower temperature to cook breads, baked goods, and casseroles.
Roasting makes any vegetable taste better. It brings out their flavor, caramelizes their natural sugars, and adds crunch. If your family doesn’t love certain vegetables like broccoli or Brussels sprouts, roasting is a great way to change their mind. Double what you’re roasting and then turn extra servings into quick meals later in the week. Cooking a little extra with one meal lets you make the most of value-sized packages of proteins and other store sales. With leftover already planned, you won’t need to lean on takeout.
Why we love to roast:
It’s Affordable! Inexpensive ingredients are tastiest when roasted. Root vegetables are browned and crisp, tomatoes and grapes are extra juicy and sweet, and tough cuts of beef are fall-apart tender. You also don’t need any special equipment to roast.
Roasting Is Healthful! Roasted foods need very little fat to cook compared to frying or sautéing. Roasting also intensifies flavors without added salt, sugar, or other ingredients.
It’s Easy! Roasted foods need little prep before they cook. And once the oven door closes, you can walk away. Fewer pans and utensils are needed, making cleanup easier too.
Essential Tools For Roasting:
Rimmed Sheet Pan: The rim keeps vegetables from falling off the sides and catches any juices from meats and fish.
Oven-Save Skillet: Go from stovetop to oven and back. Sear meats before roasting or make a pan sauce with the meat drippings after roasting.
Roasting Pan: Best for large roasts, hams, and turkeys. An inner rack lifts the meat so it can brown and crisp underneath.
Parchment Paper: Line pans to keep foods from burning and sticking, then toss for easy cleanup. If roasting at a higher temp or broiling use foil.
Metal Tongs: Flip and stir foods on a hot pan with ease. Look for tongs with a heat resistant grip.
Silicone Brush: Brush on a sticky glaze or baste foods with sauce. The silicone bristles are easy to clean.
Tips For Sheet Pan Roasting:
Jump Start Browning by preheating your sheet pan before adding vegetables.
Pat foods very dry with paper towels so the outside browns while the inside cooks through.
Cut foods to the same size and thickness so smaller pieces don’t burn.
Space out foods on the sheet pan so they have room to crisp and brown.
Let sheet pans cool before rinsing to keep the metal from warping.
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved
Lucky Foods For New Year’s Day
This New Year’s make a resolution to bring yourself a heaping helping of good luck. It’s as easy as just making dinner.
In cultures around the world, the new year is celebrated with particular foods and recipes thought to bring good fortune. Symbolizing wealth, long life, and prosperity, lucky foods are an auspicious and delicious way to celebrate the holiday and welcome good things in the coming year.
Pork & Sauerkraut
Tender braised pork, along with other forms of pork (like sausages and roasts) is a symbol of abundance in Celtic and Chinese cultures, and is popular amongst the Pennsylvania Dutch on New Year’s Day. Paired with the cabbage in sauerkraut, a Chinese symbol of wealth and prosperity, this easy braise with apples and onions is one tasty pot of good luck.
Black Eyed Peas, Greens & Cornbread
Traditionally eaten in the South on New Year’s Day, this trifecta of ingredients represents three different types of money. Leafy greens represent dollar bills, the round peas symbolize coins and cornbread is the color of gold.
According to Spanish lore, eating 12 grapes as the clock chimes midnight on New Year’s Eve will bring you 12 months of good luck. Incorporate this tasty tradition by adding grapes to your holiday cheese board or dessert platter. Or try a delicious side dish with savory sautéed Brussels sprouts, grapes, and crunchy walnuts.
In Greece, smashing a pomegranate on the floor to release the seeds is a surefire way to bring good luck. The seeds represent abundance and fertility. The more seeds you see, the luckier you’ll be. Instead of smashing, sprinkle that good fortune over peak season oranges, mixed greens, and prosciutto for a colorful celebration of a salad.
Fish are thought to represent progress and abundance because they constantly swim forward and group together in schools. In Czech culture, the scales of the fish are considered lucky because they resemble silver coins and if you carry a silver coin in your wallet it is said that your money will never run out. Celebrate the new year abundantly with a fish dish that everyone will enjoy.
No Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, celebration is complete without a bowl of noodles. Symbolizing longevity and health, noodles are always left whole. Breaking or cutting a long strand of noodles is considered bad luck. Nourish a long life with a longevity noodles dish.
Ring shaped cakes, like Bundt cakes, are a sweet way to celebrate coming full circle from the previous year. In cultures around the Mediterranean, a coin is baked into the cake and thought to bring wealth and good fortune to the lucky recipient who finds it. Bake a delicious ring-shaped cake and be sure to warn your guests if you decide to bake it with a coin hidden inside.
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved
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
The fruit that is available in the autumn isn’t nearly as abundant as the fruit that’s available in the summer, but there are actually some delicious seasonal autumn fruits that you can look forward to eating. Delicious, tasty, and healthy seasonal autumn fruit is also a refreshing alternative to the heavier food we tend to eat in the colder months. If you love fruit and have been missing summer’s bounty, there are plenty of autumn fruits that will satisfy your craving.
Apples are one of the quintessential autumn fruits. Every fall you will see crates full of apples at farmers’ markets. Try venturing out and get some of the lesser known varieties of apples. Each variety tastes very different and autumn is the perfect time to try all of the different varieties.
Pears are best in autumn even though you can get them year-round. In fall they make a great snack. Like apples, there are many different varieties of pears. Try as many different varieties as you can.
Pomegranates are so delicious because they’re the right combination of tart and sweet. The best pomegranates start being available in late October and early November, which means you must wait for most of autumn for them to be available.
Cranberries are not a fruit that most people think of eating. In fact, cranberries usually only make an appearance as cranberry sauce or jelly. However, there are actually other uses for this tart fruit. They make excellent smoothies when blended with oranges and bananas. Cranberries also taste great when roasted along with vegetables because they add a nice tart bite.
Grapes are a fruit that people eat by the handful. They’re delicious, and they make a nice healthy snack that children and adults love. If you have a chance, try some concord grapes this fall. They are a nice treat and a change from the globe grapes that we always find in the market.
Figs start making an appearance in grocery stores in early fall. They can be expensive, but they’re worth it. They have a wonderful sweet flavor that’s not too intense. Figs do have delicate skin so if you do buy them, make sure you plan on eating them right away.
Persimmons are a sweet fruit, but when you get persimmons you should make sure they’re fully ripe before eating them. Unripe persimmons are very astringent. Make sure they are plump and juicy before taking a bite.
“Work With What You Got!”
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved
From Concord to Emperor, there are so many delicious grape varieties available.
Whether tossed in a salad, baked into a dessert, or straight off the vine, these bite-size globes are packed with flavor.
Bursting with fiber, vitamin C, and loads of antioxidants, this fruit packs a nutritional punch as big as flavor. Grapes make an ideal portable snack in less than 100 calories per cup.
Look for firm grapes that are brightly colored and securely attached to their stems. Avoid bundles with wrinkled, dull skin or packages that have a lot of fruit floating at the bottom of the bag. When all else fails, try one.
Although there are thousands of varieties of grapes, the most popular are Thompson and Emperor seedless. Thompson grapes are sweet and crisp with vibrant green skin, amazing for snacking. Emperor red grapes have a sweet and tart flavor and are super juicy, making them great for baking.
Emperor or Flame: With their sweet flavor and long shelf life, these large seedless grapes are one of the most popular varieties.
Thompson Green: In America, 90% of these classic green grapes are produced in California. They are used for snacking, making wine, and raisins.
Concord: Created in Concord, Massachusetts, these grapes are known for their thick, blush skin and sweet candy-like flavor.
Freeze Them: Pick grapes off the vine and place them in a resealable plastic bag. Freeze overnight for a healthy, frosty treat.
Bake Them: To make raisins at home, cook grapes for 30 seconds in boiling water and place in a bowl of ice water. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and place grapes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake until they have dried out completely. Toss grapes halfway through to prevent sticking.
Blend Them: Blend grapes with a bit of water and pour through a fine mesh strainer for a fresh glass of grape juice.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year (the first day of the Jewish High Holy Days) and is also known as the Feast of Trumpets. The holiday , which is also a day of remembrance, is at once solemn and festive. Joy comes not only from trust in God’s compassion, but also the anticipation of renewal and fresh starts.
The Rosh Hashanah meal becomes more than mere rejoicing as it is also a form of prayer. The table is transformed into an altar to supplicate God, partaking of symbolic foods: honeyed and sugared treats for a sweet year; round foods for a fulfilled year, unbroken broken by tragedy; foods that grow in profusion at this season and those eaten in abundance, such as rice, signifying hopes for fecundity, prosperity, and a wealth of merits.
Dinner begins with a prayer for a sweet year, dipping challah, or other sweet bread, and apples into fragrant honey. Some start with sugared pomegranates, dates, figs, or quince in rose petal syrup.
It is customary for the first course to be fish, which symbolizes fertility and God’s blessings. Seasonal vegetables like leeks, Swiss chard, black-eyed peas, and pumpkins appear throughout the meal in major and supporting roles. Delicious main dishes follow, and usually two or more sweet desserts (such as a plum tart, honey cake, or noodle kugel) conclude the meal.
A few foods, however, are unwelcome at the Rosh Hashanah table. Many Ashkenazi Jews do not eat nuts (because the numerical value of the Hebrew word for nuts is equal to the value of the word for sin). Others do not eat pickles, horseradish, or other sour foods, while Moroccans avoid foods that are black, like olives and grapes (which are considered bad omens).
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved
Picked up these Witch Finger Grapes yesterday. They really are nice a sweet.
Have you ever come home from the market after purchasing fruit to find that you spent money for nothing? I have plenty of times and it ticks me off every time. Here are some Fruit Essentials that may help you have more fruit shopping success.
Did you know that many plants that are botanically fruits are not sweet? We think of them as vegetables or non-fruits. Avocados, beans, coconuts, corn, cucumbers, eggplants, green peppers, okra, peas, pumpkins, sugar peas, string beans and tomatoes all fall in the fruit category. Some cookbooks make a distinction between fruit, vegetables and fruit vegetables. Fruit vegetables are foods that are botanically fruits, but are most often prepared and served like vegetables. These fruits are considered fruit vegetables: Aubergine, autumn squash, avocado, bitter melon, cantaloupe, chayote, chile, courgette, cucumber, eggplant, gherkin, green bean, green sweet pepper, hot pepper, marrow, muskmelon, okra, olive, pumpkin, red sweet pepper, seedless cucumber, squash, sweet pepper, tomatillo, tomato, watermelon, wax gourd, yellow sweet pepper and zucchini.
Pectin is a substance contained in some fruit which is used for making jams and jellies thicker. High pectin fruits are apples, cranberries, currants, lemons, oranges, plums and quinces. Low pectin fruits are bananas, cherries, grapes, mangos, peaches, pineapples and strawberries.
Low pectin fruits seem to discolor quicker than high pectin fruits ( bananas and eggplants). Lemon juice or vinegar slows the discoloring process. Other fruits and vegetables that discolor quickly are avocados, cauliflower, celery, cherries, figs, Jerusalem artichokes, mushrooms, nectarines, parsnips, peaches, pears, potatoes, rutabaga and yams.
Bruising: When a fruit is bruised the cell walls break down and discoloration begins. The process can be slowed down by refrigeration.
Cleaning: It is important to clean our fruit and vegetables. Rinse fruit in cold running water and scrub as needed before cooking or eating. Soaking fruit in water for more than a few minutes can leach out water soluble vitamins.
Peeling: The fruit skin usually contains a lot of important nutrients, but if you need to peel a thick-skinned fruit cut a small amount of the peel from the top and bottom. Then on a cutting board cut off the peel in strips from top to bottom. A good way to peel thin skinned fruit is to place the fruit in a bowl with boiling water and let stand for about 1 minute. Remove and cool in an ice water bath. You could also spear the fruit with a fork and hold over a gas flame until the skin cracks OR quarter the fruit and peel with a sharp paring knife or potato peeler.
Wax: Oh those beautiful waxed apples that wink at us at the market. They are beautiful because they are waxed. I don’t know about you, but I would rather not eat wax. Wax can be removed from the surface of fruits by washing them with a mild dishwashing soap and then thoroughly rinsing them. This will remove most of the wax, but probably not all of it.
Purchasing Ripe: Purchase these fruits fully ripe: Berries, cherries, citrus, grapes and watermelon. All of the fruits in this list, except berries, can be refrigerated without losing flavor.
Purchasing Not-So-Ripe: Apricots, figs, melons, nectarines, peaches and plums develop more complex flavors after picking. Store these fruits at room temperature until they are as ripe as you would like them.
Refrigeration: You can refrigerate apples,ripe mangos and ripe pears as soon as you get them. Do not refrigerat bananas.
Seasonal Fruit: Winter is the season for citrus. Fall is the season for apples and pears. Late spring is the season for strawberries and pineapples. Summer is perfect for blueberries, melons, peaches and plums.
Washing: Dry fruit with paper towels or kitchen towels and then use a blow dryer on the cool setting to completely dry fruit.
Squeezing: A microwave can be used to get more juice from citrus fruits. Microwave citrus fruits for about 20 seconds before squeezing the fruit for juice.
Every week my awesome Chinese massage therapist gives me a different Asian fruit to try. I get all sorts of different fruit that I have never seen before. My massage therapist, Su, is very proud of her culture and is so happy when I try foods from her culture. Last week Su gave me something called, Longan, which is also called “Dragon’s Eye.” Apparently, it is called “Dragon’s Eye” because it resembles an dragon’s eyeball when the fruit is peeled. There is a black seed inside that shows through the translucent flesh. Like a pupil. The seed is fairly small, round and hard. When Longan is ripe it is easy to peel. It tastes sort of like a grape and sort of like a lychee. Most of the Longan fruit is grown in China, but these were grown in Florida. I am totally a fan of this fruit and am grateful to Su for teaching me about foods from the Chinese culture.