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Warr-King April 19

 

Tips and Tricks

Our editors enjoy dining out as much as we like cooking at home. And because this is what we do for a living, we've got lots of experience at both. In this column we're sharing the ins and outs of dining in and out. Bon Appetit!


Cleaning

Sanitizing Sense


Your kitchen isn’t in a restaurant, but there’s no reason you can’t keep it as sanitized as one. Using a teaspoon of bleach and 32 ounces of water in a spray bottle you can always keep counters, sponges,and containers free of bacteria at home. An alternate to bleach are the other sanitizing solutions found in restaurant grocers or supply stores. Either can also be added to the sanitizer compartment of your dish washer.

Cooking

Toast Your Nuts (and Seeds)


Most nuts and seeds aren’t very flavorful raw, compared to what happens to them after they get a little heat. Toasting nuts and seeds releases the flavors locked inside. We like to shop the bulk section and stock up on staples like slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and pine nuts. Then we have a little toasting party, putting heat separately on each one, packing them back into re-usable storage pouches, and storing them in the freezer for later use with salads, mains, and desserts. Just remember, there are different temperatures to toast different items, so break out the infrared thermometer.

Food Storage

Reusable Storage Pouches


Tired of tossing single-use bags? Join the club of a growing number of humans on the hunt for alternatives. Turns out, there are now a number of re-usable pouches on the market you can use to replace zipper-lock bags and the like. We haven’t seen these in stores, but there are plenty of options online.

Pantry

Refresh Spices


Spices, like any other food, can get old. Like that ginger powder you’ve been sitting on for the last 15 years. Locate some long credit card storage containers (available from The Container Store) and 4” wide food stuffs (available from Uline). Transfer all your fresher spices to the individual food stuffs, use a sharpie to identify them on the stuff bags upper edge and store them in the credit card holder. Toss all the older spices. For the ones you want to replace, mark empty food stuffs the same way, go shopping in the bulk spice section of a better grocery store and only buy 1-3 tablespoons of anything you’re refreshing. Enjoy all the free space you just created in your spice cabinet.

Shopping

“Certified” Farmers Market


If you’re drawn in by the lure of fresh ingredients available when you shop a farmer’s market – and you think that’s a healthier way to shop – then buyer beware. Those of us who appreciate food grown organically have found not all farmers markets are created equal. It never hurts to ask a seller if their fruits or vegetables are organic. If not, you can do just as well in the non-organic sections of your local grocery store since those goods will likely have been sprayed with the same pesticides as the ones in your market. Ditto when it comes to proteins like meat, poultry, and seafood. Grass-fed, organically fed, wild-caught? Ya gotta ask. Some vendors will have signs that say they offer grass-fed, organic, etc. Read their signs.

Have you got a tip or trick you'd like to share with out readers? Send it to sdeditor@seattledining.com. If we use it, we'll send you a copy of our Cooking with Class cookbook.


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Bargeen-Ellingson

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