Oh How I Love The Smell Of The Warm Nuts That The Street Venders Sell In Winter
Pantry & Freezer Staples
How long do pantry and freezer staples last? Staple items are known for their long shelf life, but they don’t stay fresh forever! Use this handy list to determine how long you should keep them on hand.
Hamburger & Stew Meats: Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 3 to 4 Months
Ground Turkey, Veal, Pork, Lamb: Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 3 to 4 Months
Bacon: Shelf Life: 7 Days Storage: 1 Month
Sausage (Raw From Pork, Beef, Chicken or Turkey): Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 1 to 2 Months
Fresh Steaks: Shelf Life: 3 to 5 Days Storage: 6 to 12 Months
Fresh Roasts: Shelf Life: 3 to 5 Days Storage: 4 to 12 Months
Chicken or Turkey (Whole): Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 1 Year
Chicken or Turkey (Cut Up): Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 9 Months
Lean Fish: Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 6 Months
Fatty Fish: Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 2 to 3 Months
Fresh Shrimp, Scallops, Crawfish, Squid: Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage 3 to 6 Months
Baking Powder: Shelf Life: 18 Months Storage: Keep In Dry Place In Airtight Container
Beans (Dried & Uncooked): Shelf Life: 1 Year Storage: Store In Cool & Dry Place
Chocolate (Semisweet & Unsweetened): Shelf Life: 18 Months Storage: Keep In Cool Place
Cocoa: Shelf Life: 1 Year Storage: Keep In Cool Place
Cornstarch: Shelf Life: 18 Months Storage: Store In Airtight Container
Flour (White or Whole Wheat): Shelf Life: 6 to 8 Months Storage: Store In Airtight Container or Freeze To Extend Shelf Life
Nuts (In Shell & Unopened): Shelf Life: 4 Months Storage: Freeze to Extend Shelf Life
Spices & Herbs (Ground): Shelf Life: 6 Months Storage: Store in Airtight Containers In Dry Areas Away From Sunlight & Heat. Before Using, Check Aroma – If Faint Replace.
Sugar (Brown): Shelf Life: 4 Months Storage: Store in Airtight Container
Sugar (Confectioners’): Shelf Life: 18 Months Storage: Store in Airtight Container
Sugar (Granulated): Shelf Life: 2 Years Storage: Store in Airtight Container
Vinegar (Unopened): Shelf Life: 2 Years
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved
The Paleo Diet (short for Paleolithic) is fashioned around the eating habits and available foods of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. These ancestors had to nourish themselves with the meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fats available to them in nature. With the benefit of large supermarkets, it’s easy today to mimic these foods in wider variety. Specific recommendations for eating Paleo will vary; however, the main ideas are the same: Reduce the risk of debilitating diseases and optimize health by eating whole, fresh, unprocessed foods and avoid foods that were not available prior to the advent of modern agriculture.
Research studies looking at the Paleo Diet have noted that eating a Paleo Diet for a short term improved the glucose control and lipid profiles in people with type 2 diabetes, compared to eating a diet containing low-fat dairy, moderate salt intake, whole grains, and legumes. Additional research indicates similar results may be possible in people without type 2 diabetes as well. The Paleo diet may result in higher levels of satiety (fullness) throughout the day when compared with a low-fat, low-calorie diet.
Eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables and fruits.
Make fresh meat, poultry, fish, and seafood your primary sources calories.
Avoid highly processed meats that contain preservatives, artificial flavors, and sugar, such as some sausages, bacon, deli meats, and smoked fish products.
Consume nuts and seeds.
Use coconut oil, grass-fed butter, olive oil, avocado oil, nut and seed oils, and animal fats, such as goose fat or duck fat, for cooking and eating.
Balance the intake of acid-producing foods (meats, fish, salt, and cheese) with base-producing foods (fruits and vegetables) for optimal health.
Use sea salt to season foods, but try to decrease sodium intake in general.
Consume highly processed packaged foods.
Get heavy handed with the salt shaker.
Eat grains of any kinds. Quinoa, bulgur, rice, wheat, bread, pasta, etc., are all out.
Consume sugar (including honey and maple syrup), sweets, candy, or desserts.
Use artificial sweeteners, such as monk fruit extract, stevia, NutraSweet or Equal (aspartame), Splenda (sucralose), or sugar alcohols, such as xylitol, sorbitol, or maltitol.
Eat legumes, beans, peas, lentils, or soy, or foods make from soybeans.
Use canola or soybean oils or consume hydrogenated oils (trans fats).
Consume dairy, with the exception of fermented dairy or raw milk cheese on occasion.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved
Bartlett pears are the only pears that change color when they’re ripe. Eat them out of hand like an apple, slice them onto a salad, or present on a platter with cheese & nuts. Poach them in fruit juice, or bake them into tarts, quick breads, or muffins.
In 17th century England, a schoolmaster named John Stair sold some pear tree cuttings to a grower named Williams, who quite narcissistically named the variety after himself. The Williams Pear became a staple variety, and when brought to the New World at the end of the 18th century, one Enoch Bartlett of Massachusetts planted it on his farm. Mr. Bartlett named it after himself and, from then on, throughout the United States, the Williams Pear became known as the Bartlett Pear.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved
Baking can be tricky when you throw gluten-free into the mix, even the most skilled cooks can be challenged. Here are some tips that can make Gluten-Free Baking less challenging.
Gluten-Free flour mixes can generally replace wheat flour cup for cup. Nut and bean flours may need extra experimentation to find the exact amounts to use.
Consider using smaller pans when baking gluten-free. It’s easier to get the center cooked without the edges burning as can happen with larger pans.
Keep a close watch on baking times. Some gluten-free recipes may take longer to bake than their wheat-containing counterparts.
To help gluten-free recipes taste their best, consider boosting flavor with extra nuts, herbs, spices, and flavor extracts such as vanilla and almond.
If converting a recipe to gluten-free, increase the egg amount by one extra egg to help ingredients bind together.
Gluten-free flours can be dry. You may need to increase a recipe’s liquids.
Xanthan gum keeps gluten-free baked goods moister and less prone to crumbling. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum for each cup of gluten-free flour.
"Work With What You Got!"
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen
Thanksgiving Emergency Strategies
Help, help, I have extra guests coming! My gravy doesn’t look right! What to do? These are some holiday entertaining questions that I have been asked over the years. Whether this is the first time you’ve hosted Thanksgiving dinner or your 20th time there are always things that seem to come up that feel like emergencies. From lumpy gravy to unexpected guests the pressure can just be too great at times. Not to worry, these are some good strategies that have helped me cope and make everything run smoothly.
Dear Victoria: “My turkey is still a bit frozen and my dinner is in a few hours. What should I do?”
Put that bird into a large pot and run tepid water over it for at least an hour. You can butterfly the turkey so that it cooks faster which should take about an hour and a half at 400 degrees. You can then roast it or grill it. In the future you may want to consider purchasing a fresh turkey and not a frozen one.
Dear Victoria:” I called everyone to the table and started carving the turkey to find that parts of it are still raw or undercooked. How embarrassing! What should I do?”
This situation has happened to most of us at one time or another. Don’t skip a beat and just carry on carving off any parts that are cooked, serve those and put the remaining pieces back in the pan, cover with foil, and cook until done. Most likely the breast meat will be done. Your guests can get a bit of turkey along with your delicious sides while waiting for the rest of the turkey to come out of the oven. In the future you may want to consider carving the turkey first and then cooking it.
Dear Victoria: “I always seem to overcook the turkey. I just don’t know how I keep doing this. Please help!”
For the immediate remedy I suggest you have LOTS of gravy on the table to pour over those dried out pieces of turkey. In the future make sure to invest in a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into your cooked turkey through the thickest part of the breast until it hits the breastbone. Remove the turkey from the oven when it reads 160 degrees. Let your turkey rest for about 30 minutes before carving.
Dear Victoria: “I have a small kitchen and don’t have much room in my oven to cook everything. How am I going to get everything done?”
Tiny New York Kitchen knows this situation all too well! First of all there are plenty of things that you can get cooked in advance. Check your menu and see what you can prepare before needing to place your turkey in the oven. If you have an outdoor grill, then by all means grill your bird. Hey, you can play it off as the “hip thing to do.” Let your side dishes cook in the oven while your turkey is grilling out there in the fresh November air!
Dear Victoria: “I made stuffing and it is pretty soggy. How can I make it un-soggy?”
This is a super easy one. Scoop it out of the turkey and/or the baking dish and spread it out on a baking sheet. Place it in the oven and bake it at 350 degrees until it is how you want it. Scoop it back into the serving dish and serve. No one will be the wiser.
Dear Victoria: “Before I call my guests to the table the food starts to get cold. How can I avoid this?”
Cover serving dishes with lids or foil to keep them warm. If a dish actually gets really cold, that is supposed to be hot, then just put it back in the oven for a little bit. Don’t be too concerned, however, as most Thanksgiving dishes are perfectly fine at room temperature.
Dear Victoria: “My side dishes aren’t browned on top? They just don’t look that appetizing. What should I do?”
If a dish is fully cooked, but doesn’t have that delicious looking brown surface (Potatoes, Vegetables, Stuffing, etc.) then simply put them under a hot broiler at least 4 inches away from the heating element. You may want to turn them as needed until browned on top. MAKE SURE that you watch them carefully. You really don’t want them to go from pasty to burned up! Always put the food too far from the broiler rather than too close. If you follow these instructions then you will get a nice browned crust on top of your dishes.
Dear Victoria: “My gravy looks way too lumpy. I can’t serve lumpy gravy! How do I fix it?”
Not to worry. You will just need to put some hard work into it with a good whisk. Whisk those lumps out. It may take a bit of time, but it can be done. If you have really stubborn lumps add just a bit of hot liquid to coax them out while you whisk. If you STILL can’t get them out take a medium weave strainer and set it over a bowl. Pour the grave in and stir. Smooth gravy will flow through the strainer and the lumps will stay behind. For the future make sure you whisk the flour or cornstarch constantly while you are adding the broth or turkey juices to keep lumps from forming.
Dear Victoria: “Help, my gravy is just way to thick. It looks like brown jelly. How do I thin it out?”
This one is super easy. Drizzle in a bit of hot broth or hot water while whisking and then heat up your gravy until it’s piping hot.
Dear Victoria: “My gravy is too thin. It looks watery. I’m horrified. Is there a good solution to this hot mess?”
This problem is just a bit trickier. Brown 1 tablespoon for every cup of gravy by stirring it in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until it turns a nice deep golden brown. Have your gravy in a wide pan on the stove over a medium high heat. Whisk the browned flour into your gravy and cook. Make sure to whisk constantly until your gravy thickens. This should do the trick.
Dear Victoria: “The top of my pumpkin pie is all cracked and looks horrible. What happened? How can I serve a cracked pumpkin pie?”
Your pumpkin pie was over baked which is why it is cracked on top. Not a soul needs to know, however, if you dollop on whipped cream and carry it to the table like the prize pie it is! Sometimes cooking is like acting. If you flub a line you just carry on like that is how it is supposed to be.
Dear Victoria: “My sister called and asked if she could bring extra guests. My goodness, what am I going to do? Dinner is in an hour!”
I’ve certainly encountered this situation plenty throughout my dinner party throwing life. I’ve always kept an open door policy because I figure that not everyone has a place to go on the holidays, which can be very sad and lonely. The good news is that most of us make way too much food for Thanksgiving. Having unexpected guests can impact a meal however. First of all, forget any leftovers that you were counting on. Make more mashed potatoes, rice or pasta. These items take 30 minutes or less to make. Slice the turkey thin. Make a quick soup by combining chicken broth, pureed cooked vegetable(s), fresh herbs, salt and pepper. As soon as you get the call immediately put bowls of nuts and snacks out before dinner.
Dear Victoria: “I have quite a large group coming for dinner and I don’t have enough room at the table. What do I do?”
You can set up dinner buffet style or you can set up multiple tables as auxiliary eating areas. Living room coffee tables and game and/or card tables work. You can let everyone sit where they want or you can seat people by age or alphabetically or however you decide to seat people. Thanksgiving is about spending time with friends and family. People will have fun no matter where they are sitting. Relax and enjoy yourself.