Yippee, it’s Friday! I will do everyone a favor by keeping this blogpost free from election chatter. Am I the only one that thinks the current presidential race is feels like an episode of “Survivor?” I’m so over it and it’s only February. Food and food stuff is so much more happy and fun, don’t you think?
I just finished a great menu in my classes this month and I am looking forward to teaching a Cuban-Inspired menu in March. Yum! Here’s what we’ve been talking about in class and on social media this week:
Anchor Hocking Large Glass Storage Jars
If any of you read last week’s Friday Favorites, you saw that I featured the glass jars that I use in my pantry for small items like dried fruits, nuts and seeds. The response was great and I know a lot of you were excited to get your pantry’s organized, which then led a few people to ask me how I store my flours and sugars. Good question! So this week I decided to feature these Anchor Hocking larger glass storage jars that I bought at Target.
I use the 1.5 gallon size for white flour (fits a 5 pound bag perfectly) and the 64 oz for sugars. Storing your sugars and flours in these jars ensures that they will stay fresh and is really convenient if you bake a lot and don’t want to deal with the whole rubber band around the bag situation. Am I the only one that inevitably gets flour or sugar everywhere whenever I unroll the bag?? Like I mentioned last week, I don’t store anything in plastic (which leaches), always glass. What I also love about these jars is the wide mouth so you can dip a measuring cup in there or a large scooper.
And if you already have a storage method for your sugars and flours, these really are versatile and you could use them for cookies, granola, pasta, beans, etc. I think they look nice enough to sit out on the countertop as well. As I mentioned above these are available in Target stores and on their website!
Since this question just came up, I store whole grain flours in the refrigerator since they can go rancid if left at room temp for too long. These glass jars house my white flour, coconut sugar, granulated sugar and brown sugar in the pantry.
My older daughter sent me a Drop Bottle recently and I was instantly smitten with this gorgeous bottle! I was telling her recently that I need to be more conscientious about drinking water. I always feel better when I am well hydrated, but sometimes I just forget to consume enough water. This bottle will definitely help!
Besides being very chic and sleek looking, what I love is the interior infuser so you can insert fruit, vegetables and/or herbs to infuse flavor into your water. There’s a mesh insert at the top, so that when you drink, only water comes out. No cucumbers are smacking you in the lips.
I will definitely be ordering a bunch of these to give as gifts since I don’t know anyone who has one and they fit in perfectly with a healthy lifestyle. The two downsides that I will mention are the price, which is $40 (expensive) and does not include shipping, which is also expensive; and the fact that this glass with no silicone or rubber sleeve like most glass bottles have. So you have to be careful with it. I am planning on using my Drop Bottle at home or in my car only. My daughter bought me the bottle with the rose gold top, which is I think is the prettiest. But there are a few other options for tops.
Mini Glass Measuring Cups
I have the good fortune of teaching in beautiful and well-stocked home kitchens on a regular basis. One of the benefits is being exposed to and being able to use cool products and gadgets that I don’t have in my own kitchen. So fun, right? One of my students has a bunch of these mini measuring cups and I absolutely love them!
Sometimes a smaller amount of liquid is called for in a recipe, such as 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 1/2 tablespoons tamari, etc. These mini measuring cups make measuring small amounts of liquid so much easier than using measuring spoons. Not only do they prevent dripping, but they allow you to pre-measure liquids when you are prepping ingredients for a recipe and to leave them in the cup, as opposed to pouring into another bowl. I also appreciate that they are inexpensive and don’t take up a lot of space. Win win! I bought this 5 ounce measuring cup on Amazon and it has teaspoon, tablespoon, ounce and millimeter markings so you will definitely be covered. I have also seen these available at cooking stores like Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table and Bed Bath and Beyond!
Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking
My friend Alex told me about this wonderful new cookbook, called Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Chef Michael Solomonov. Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine is my hands-down favorite. I love the herbs, spices, and emphasis on vegetables and legumes. This book contains beautiful Middle Eastern recipes that are fresh, vibrant and unique. Think tons of tahini, garlic, chickpeas, pomegranates, eggplant, herbs, lemon, and all in really unique, but simple combinations. I just made one of the chicken kebabs for dinner last night (see it on Instagram here) and everyone loved it.
The author, Michael Solomonov, was actually put on the map because of his outstanding hummus, which is included in the book. It is really interesting to have him walk you through that recipe, which is both easy and delicious. Solomonov has an entire section in his book dedicated to “meze” which translates to small-plates, or tapas. These recipes are so fun and delicious-looking and can be adapted to serve as hors d’oeuvres for your next dinner party or as a weeknight entree for your family. The book is available on Amazon with free prime shipping!
Seasonal Spotlight: Radishes
With spring right around the corner, I thought I would highlight one of my favorite, underappreciated veggies, radishes! Although you will most likely see radishes at your market year round, they are at their peak in the spring and that is when you will most often find more interesting varieties like watermelon radishes, Easter radishes, white radishes and even black radishes. I’m so intrigued by certain radishes which look plain and drab on the outside, like a watermelon radish, but are absolutely stunning on the inside when cut into. On the other hand, you can get a bunch of beautifully colored pink and purple radishes, and the insides are plain white with no designs.
Regardless of how they look, I love using radishes in everything from spring salads to grain bowls or cut into matchsticks for veggie wraps or sandwiches. You can even prepare them roasted or pickled. They are perfect for topping a crostini, and you will really wow people if you can get your hands on some watermelon radishes! They are crisp and juicy with a bitter bite and I enjoy them best when they are sliced very thin. This is done easily using a food processor with a slicing disc or mandoline, but if you don’t have either of those then just get out your sharpest knife. If I am slicing these by hand I sometimes find it easier to halve them through the root in first before thinly slicing so that they lie flat on the cutting board.
When buying radishes you want them to be firm with vibrant green tops. Store them in your crisper and these little veggies are pretty hardy– I have had them last a couple of weeks, even after being washed! They actually are members of the brassica family, so are related to cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts and the like, meaning these are packed with nutrition. Radishes are also known for being detoxifying to the body so we should all get our hands on these as we are resetting for the spring. I have included a couple of recipes below of mine in which I love to use radishes, as well as a couple around the web!
Radish Crostini with Herb Butter from Tiny Urban Kitchen
Double Nutty Farro with Radishes from Food and Wine
Herby Salad with Radishes and Ricotta from Bon Appetit