Bay City Rollers anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Allrighty then, ahem...
Welcome to this week's Friday Night Fab Five...On Saturday! Sorry about the delay but you know, sometimes you blog and sometimes the blog blogs you, know what I mean? No? Hmmm...let's move on...
I enjoy cooking quite a bit however with the hubby being on a retail schedule, my visions of wedded bliss served on paper doilies and silver trays every night at 6:00 does not happen that often. But I still love cooking entire meals when I get the chance and if I can fit some baking in with it, even better!
I do tend to latch on to a couple of key ingredients that I used in almost everything for a while until Chris begs me to stop. lol So this week's Fab Five is my current top 5 ingredients I love to use in the kitchen.
There are so many varieties of onion but I try not to go without at least a yellow onion hanging around (and I l-o-v-e using green onions!) One onion typically lasts us a week, I just cut it in fourths and use as needed. I use it in meatloaf, pasta/potato salads, eggs, soups, anything I can think of! I know that some people don't like onions but I think they really add flavor to my dishes.
Did you know: In Blue Hill, Nebraska, no female wearing a “hat that would scare a timid person” can be seen eating onions in public. (foodreference.com)
2. Instant Coffee
Whether or not you drink coffee, a little jar of instant coffee is handy to have in your cupboards. I use it to make red eye gravy (make a cup of instant coffee and add to your country ham drippings to make red eye gravy) and I love adding instant coffee powder to my brownie mix before baking, adds a nice flavor! You can also sprinkle it on top of ice cream or throw it in a blender with ice and milk and make your own iced coffee or Frappuccino.
Did you know: In Sumatra, workers on coffee plantations gather the world's most expensive coffee by following a gourmet marsupial who consumes only the choicest coffee beans. By picking through what he excretes, they obtain the world's most expensive coffee -'Kopi Luwak', which sells for over $100 per pound. (from The Trivia Barn)
Not just for repelling vampires anymore, garlic is a staple of my kitchen and I always look for new ways to use it. Like onion, I put it in almost everything and I love eating cloves whole. Yum! I love mixing minced garlic with butter to make my own garlic butter.
P.S.-My all time favorite dried garlic spice to use is from Garlic Festival Foods. I get some every year from my local Renaissance Festival around this time (we go every year for my birthday) and I use the crap out of it.
Did you know: Unlike many other spices, garlic will come out of your pores when eaten. This is one of the reasons garlic works as a mosquito and vampire repellant. So, eat up and feel safe at night. (from Garlic Festival)
4. Cocoa Powder
Yeah, this stuff lasts forever and is a savior when you need a chocolate fix and there's none to be had in the house. I love using it to make from scratch cakes and brownies and it makes the best "from scratch" hot chocolate. And if you're dying to make that recipe that calls for unsweetened baker's chocolate squares and you don't have any: mix 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder to one tablespoon of cooking oil and ta da! One square of baker's chocolate already "melted"!
Did you know: Aztec emperor Montezuma drank 50 golden goblets of hot chocolate every day. It was thick, dyed red and flavored with chili peppers. (from The Trivia Barn)
5. Saltine Crackers
Although not as cheap as they used to be, saltine crackers are still my cheapest, easiest go to for a number of different recipes. I used crushed crackers as a substitute for bread crumbs and as a coating for chicken. Upset stomachs, added to soups, chili or eaten with cheese and tuna fish, saltines are a quick, easy thing to have around.
Did you know: It’s a commonly held belief that a person can’t eat 6 saltines in a minute without a beverage. (from chefsbest.org)
Do you have a "can't live without" ingredient in your kitchen? I'd love to hear about it so feel free to share your ideas and tips in your comment!
Have a great weekend everyone!