Cooking Tips

What are Shallots?

Red shallots have a milder flavor than onions and are smaller in size

Recently, I have been seeing shallots more and more often at the grocery store.  I’ve never used them in the past, so I picked up a bunch of them on a recent shopping trip so that I could see for myself what they are all about.    I have been growing onions in pots lately, so the…

Why do Onions Make you Cry?

Why do onions make you cry? The answer may surprise you, and it starts in the soil.

For years, I wore gas permeable (hard) contact lenses, and I used to just laugh when people told me that chopping onions made them cry.  The hard contacts worked wonders for me in making sure that I never had that problem.  In my mid 30s, I stopped wearing contacts and since then I have rued…

11 Food and Drink Substitutes for Weight Loss and Health

There are lots of small changes that you can make to add up to big losses for weight loss. These 11 substitutes will help lose weight and gain better health. #Trop50FreshStart #ad

  I had a scare late last year that had me in the hospital for a few weeks worrying about my heart and my health.  In the end, untreated high blood pressure was the culprit. I am managing it now with medication and diet, but it was a big wake up call for me.  All…

Antipasto Platter Tips – Starting Dinner Italian Style

Antipasto Platter with specialty meats and cheeses

One of my favorite ways to start an evening with friends is to serve an antipasto platter. Antipasto, when translated, means “before the meal.” A good antipasto platter is a combination of small bites of tasty food and is usually accompanied by wine. An antipasto platter is meant to stimulate your guest’s appetite before they dig into…

My 10 Most Popular Posts of 2016

See what made the list of the most famous posts of 2016 for The Gardening Cook. This year, household tips, gardening tips and one great recipe made the top 10!

Each year, at the end of December, I take stock of what worked (and what didn’t!) on my blog.  Sometimes, I am surprised when a blog post makes my top 10 list for the past year when I wasn’t expecting it.  Other times, I think “not you again” when a tried and true favorite post…

Easy Holiday Party Ideas

These 15 holiday party ideas will make sure that your gathering is stress free and much more fun. #ad #sharisberries

Entertaining this time of the year is so much fun.  I love to celebrate with our friends and family during the holidays.  Everyone is always in such a good mood, and it gives me a chance to try out new recipes and decorating ideas.  Setting up a pretty festive table does not have to be…

How to Season Cast Iron Cookware

Seasoning Cast iron cookware is easy with these steps

Cast iron cookware is my new best friend.  My daughter has raved about the benefits of cooking with it for years and I only started using it recently.  It is important to season cast iron cookware before using it, though.  It’s also important to season it if the cookware gets rusty and loses it’s non…

Uses for Parchment Paper- 30 Creative Ideas

30 creative uses for parchment paper

I love anything that makes my life easier in the kitchen or around the home.  I’m always on the lookout for products that will help me do just that.  One item that I use all the time is parchment paper.  This wonderful paper is heat resistant, which makes it perfect to use in the oven…

Cooking in Parchment Paper to make Fish en Papillote

Cooking fish in parchment paper is a great way to make flavorul, low calorie meals in very little time. thegardeningcook.com

Cooking in parchment paper is a method of cooking fish, chicken or other proteins in their own cooking bags. It is also called “en papillote” (French for “in parchment”) or “al cartoccio” (Italian for baked in foil or aluminum.) Typically, folded parchment paper is used but al foil, paper bags or other materials can also…

50+ Uses for Coconut Oil

50 creative uses for Coconut oil

50+ Everyday Uses for Coconut Oil There are few things that are more talked about right now than coconut oil.  It seems as though every time I open a magazine or browse my timeline on Facebook, I am reading about it.  I first started using Coconut oil when I decided to try a Paleo Diet. …

Paleo Hazelnut Butter – AKA Nutella – 12 Ways to Use it.

13 Ways to use Nut Butter - AKA Paleo Nutella - thegardeningcook.com

Paleo Hazelnut Butter is a wonderful substitute for Nutella. Did you know that February 5 is considered Nutella day?  If you love chocolate and hazelnuts, you have likely tried Nutella.  But what happens in you wish to follow a Paleo diet?  Is Nutella a thing of the past for you? Thankfully, that is not the case.…

Healthy Kitchen Swaps – 11 Tips for Weight Loss Success

Healthy Kitchen Swaps

Trying to lose weight in the new year?  Try these healthy kitchen swaps. For many of us, the New Year means making a resolution to lose a few extra pounds that seem to magically appear during the holiday season.  But losing some weight does not necessarily mean that you have to just eat lettuce and…

Tips for Making Perfect Fudge Every Time

Making fudge is a holiday tradition, until yours does not set well. Follow these 15 tips for making perfect fudge and yours will turn our great every time. thegardeningcook.com

Get perfect results every time with these tips for making perfect fudge. One of my favorite things to do this time of the year is to make fudge.  I think I have tried just about every combination imaginable.  Sometimes, my fudge comes out perfectly with very little effort, and other times I am literally pulling…

Today’s Kitchen Tip – How to Hull Strawberries with a Straw

  Hull Strawberries with a Straw to save waste. Today’s kitchen tip shows how to hull your strawberries with a drinking straw to save the waste that comes with cutting the top off, or the time that it takes to use a knife to hull each one properly.Our family eats strawberries year round.  They are…

9 Tips for Cooking With Mushrooms

Tips for Cooking with Mushrooms – Buying, Storing and More! Mushrooms are one of my favorite vegetables.  They are a member of the fungus family and have been used in recipes since the early Roman and Greek times.  Mushrooms are very low in fat, packed with nutrients and delicious too.  It takes just a bit…

16 Gluten Free Replacements and Substitutes

15 Gluten Free Replacement and Substitutes

16 Gluten Free Replacements for your Diet. One of the latest trends in the diet industry is a gluten free diet.  And for many of those people a gluten free diet is not necessary at all. The Diet was designed primarily for those who suffer from Celiac Disease. If you are someone who follows this…

11 Uses for Silicone Baking Mats

11 uses for silicone baking mats thegardeningcook.com/

Silicone Baking Mats make Life Easy in the Kitchen. I am a big fan of silicone kitchen utensils. (affiliate link) I have quite an array of them now and use them almost every day.  They really make some of my most often used kitchen chores a breeze. One product that I use all the time…

Top 25 Grilling Tips For an Amazing BBQ

25 tips for a perfect grill. thegardeningcook.com/

Make your next BBQ a success with these top 25 Grilling Tips. It’s that time of the year again.  One only has to be outside around 6 pm to smell the aromas of someone in the neighborhood having a grill out.  But just putting something on the grill does not mean that your BBQ will…

20 Surprising Uses for A Cheese Grater

A Cheese Grater is not just for Cheese. See my 20 surprising uses for a Cheese Grater I have about 10 graters in my kitchen. All of them are useful in some ways, and can be used for much more than just grating cheese. Graters are so versatile too. I’ve put together a list of…

20 Creative Uses for Extra Large Silicone Ice Cube Trays

20 creative uses for extra large silicone ice cube trays

Extra Large Silicone Ice Cube Trays.  Not Just for Ice! If you eat and drink out much, you may have noticed a new trend that has taken over the food and drink industry.   The ice cubes are getting larger and larger.  Large ice cubes are perfect for any drinks because the ice melts more slowly,…

8 Health Benefits of Turmeric

8 health benefits of turmeric and 10 ways to add it to your diet.

The Health Benefits of Turmeric Date Back Thousands of Years. Turmeric is an often used spice in curry recipes and is a healthy way to add flavor and color to an Indian inspired home cooked meal like Tikka Masala. But Turmeric is not just used for making Asian and Indian foods.  There are also many…

Cooking with Silicone Kitchen Products

The pros and cons of silicone kitchen products

Why cook with Silicone Kitchen Products? One of the more recent developments in the world of kitchen gadgets are silicone kitchen products.   I first heard about them when I tried a silicone baking mat, but since then have heard of many other products, such as oven mitts, pastry brushes, barbeque brushes, cupcake liners, spatulas,  and…

35 Tips to Save Money on Food

35 creative ways to save money on food.

It is Easy to Save Money on Food if You Follow these Household and Shopping Tips. Most people know that living on a budget means that some things have to be skimped on or left out all together. But this does not have to be the case with food.  There are so many ways that…

15 Common Slow Cooker Mistakes – Crock Pot Errors

a crock pot is not just "set and forget." See these common 13 slow cooker mistakes.

Are You making one of these Slow Cooker Mistakes? The slow cooker, or crock pot, is certainly one of the most popular kitchen items.  Who doesn’t like the idea of dumping in a bunch of ingredients, turning it on and leaving it to cook?  They are my favorites and I’m always adding new crock pot…

20 Foods you Should Not Keep in the Fridge

20 Foods you Should not store in the fridge

My List of Foods You Should Not Keep in the Fridge. We all know that most foods last longer if they are kept in the refrigerator. But did you know that there is quite a list of foods you should not keep in the fridge, as well?   The list is not as long, but some…