Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday Night Fab Five (On Saturday)

"S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y! HEY!"

"S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y! HEY!"

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.

1. Onion

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. (

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)

3. Garlic

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

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!


sPaRkLiNg sCrApBoOkS said...

You are so cute! Bay City Rollers, lol. Love em! Love the 5 list, and I've NEVER served anything on my silver tray- or my fine china for that matter- how sad!!!!!!!!! lol
Have a great weekend! XoXo

laterg8r said...

i hate cooking but b/c it is a necessary evil i do it LOL :D

garlic is huge here too, and b/c i have toddlers ketchup is it's own food group LOL :D

i wish i'd married a chef!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...I can't think of what I need the most, I run out of annies macaroni and white cheddar and granola bars the most LOL.

JamaGenie said...

Coffee. If there's no coffee, it doesn't really matter what else is on the shelves! ;D

Scrappy Girl said...

I love FF shredded cheddar cheese...add it to salads, fajitas, pizzas, etc.

Anonymous said...

I sympathize, I like to cook for the hub, but I never know when he'll be home from work so it doesn't work out too often. Excellent point about adding the instant coffee when cooking/baking!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

LOL!!!! U crack me up!!!!! Of course, I might hire U to cook for I hate to cook....not that I CAN'T do it....I just hate to do lol lol....toooooooo messy for this anal neat freak...LOL LOL LOL.....sooooooooooooooo with that, I will say...that the ONE thing I can NOT live without in my kitchen....Ummmmmmmm Mr. Clean Sponge...LOL! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Bella said...

Oh, I am loving you for the baker's chocolate solution! And I'm an onion girl, too. My boyfriend's mom even adds a tiny bit of onion to her homemade mac and cheese and it is delicious. Adds a nice little flavor. We always have garlic on hand, too, because said boyfriend loves it. And saltines - totally. They're like a cure-all. I also have recently gotten into cooking with a little extra virgin olive oil, so now I always keep that on hand. And nuts. Because I always want to throw nuts in whatever I'm baking and I would always not have any, so now I make sure to have them on hand.

NicNacManiac said...

Sad to admit, but I did own a tartan scarf and loved those spiky headed dudes!!
All of your fab 5 are mine as well. Your tips were awesome...gonna try the coffee in the gravy...sound delish!!
Happy Weekend!! xOxO Nerina :)

Maureen said...

great post maggi! really? coffee bean poop? wow! i wish i liked cooking.

Lisa said...

I have to tell you I LOVED THAT's been so long since I've heard it. My daughter was rolling her eyes at me! I loved reading about your favorite ingredients. Ours are similar, but I can't live without having olive oil (in a jar and in a spray can) and red wine!

Anonymous said...

OMG you have this uncanny ability to hit the songs that I used to LIVE on, and then get em rolling around in my head (tee hee) for at least 24 hours-but i am ok with it!

Now, kitchen...Well, maggi lovely you & I differ with java. It MUST be good coffee, or i faint.

BUT we always always have pesto.

And bananas.

And laughing cow cheese, in all flavors.

And baby bell.

Yummm. {{wanders off to kitchen}}


yyam said...

Definitely heard about that "designer coffee beans"...but I don't drink the smell of roasted coffee beans but my heart races a lot if I drink it...yes, you can spike my drink with coffee and I get hyper!
I love to cook! My top 5 are onions, garlic, pepper, tomatoes and carrots. Have a fabulous Sunday!

Dustjacket Attic said...

Oh what a funny clip!

I liked your top five, must eat more garlic so the mozzies don't eat me.

Tracey said...

Maggi,, what a great list. I have to agree with all of them... my go-to ingrediant.. cinnamon..I use it for my coffee, baked goods, on top of cottage cheese, and with sugar.. rim a beer glass with Halloween Pumpkinhead Ale.. yum!! Great post.. love it!

Keith said...

Great post. I totally agree with you on those items. I hope you've had a fantastic weekend. Cheers!

Jocelyn said...

Perfect Post....I too love to add instant coffee to my chocolate....makes it taste so much better and who could live without onions and garlic!!!!! Great facts...I so enjoyed this one!!! :)

That's Who I Am said...

Love your five ingredients! I'm coming to your house to eat! I think I probably use a lot of Lawery steak and chop marinade...It's really yummy. I like to put spices on all of my meats. I might not know what they all are, but Chris never complains when I use them lol!

Karyn Bernard (French Charming) said...

My "Can't Live Without" ingredient is my man...he does all the cooking because I can't cook worth a darn!

Jessica Cangiano said...

Bay City Rollers, absolutely yes!!!!

Sooo many can't live with staples (my raft en route to a desert island would sink before I got five feet out into the water ;P), but three jump out at the moment are:

-Good quality fresh bakery bread (and by fresh I mean at one point fresh, frozen bakery bread is also a-ok)

-Almonds (love them for snacking, in pilafs, in desserts, etc)

-Unsweetened apple sauce (so many uses, though more often then not I just eat it as is)

I hope your week is off to a wonderful start, honey - tons of hugs!
♥ Jessica