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Domestic Goddess Tip: Juicy Burgers

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For the absolutely best, most juicy, tender and flavorful grilled burgers you have ever sunk you chomps into, add grated frozen (freezing makes it easy to grate) salted butter to your meat. (I prefer an organic, grass fed butter, but as long as its a decent brand no off flavors will be present – salting can be a way cheap producers mask off flavors in the butter.)
Form into patties (I measure 1/3 pound burgers – about 4.8 ounces), making sure to dimple the center of the burger to prevent them turning out football shaped. (the outer edge will be thicker than the center, but cook up evenly)
Salt, pepper, season to your liking right before you grill them.
**This works best with ground beef that is leaner 90% or more. If you buy 86% lean chuck, that already has a lot of fat in it. Since I buy a steer from an organic farmer and split it with 4 friends, all my ground beef is ground 90% lean. (That way it’s flexible enough to be used in many other dishes)

This tip ensures absolutely drool worthy burgers.  Trust me.

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Domestic Goddess Tip: Sort Your Beans, PLEASE!

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I love making beans from scratch. That means using dried beans.

I’m sure, like you, I’ve always read the label ‘wash and sort out pebbles or debris’ and never really found any ‘pebbles’ nor ‘debris’. So, after many years of making beans, I confess to getting a little lazy with my process.

I like to cull out the broken beans in advance, so I sort them dry, then give a quick rinse to flush any lingering dirt or dust. I admit, many times it is a ‘cursory’ sort, where I run them through my fingers, picking out the broken beans, never really expecting anything else.
This time, however, proves that advice on the package to be Golden!

In the photo above is one nasty little pebble, that could be easily mistaken for a bean, and I was fortunate to have been taking extra care, and spotted it.
As this batch 0’beans was for a party I was throwing, I shudder envisioning one of my guests tucking into a yummy bowl of black beans, only to wind up at the dentist for an emergency cracked tooth! Now that would be embarrassing and a real party spoiler.

So, take my advice:   Save a tooth and sort your beans…..CAREFULLY.


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Domestic Goddess Tip: Bouquet Garni (Spice Packet)

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A safety tip for recipes which call for using a spice bag (or also called bouquet garni) is to tie that string off on the handle of your sauce pot. Mine happens to have a handy dandy hole in the handle, which makes for a perfect way to secure the string far away from my flame!
If you don’t have a hole, you can wind the string up the handle and loop it under itself to keep it safe.
Not only is this a great way to not set a fire, but the string makes for an easy way to pull the Bouquet Garni out of the hot liquid.
If  your recipe calls for a spice bag-bouquet garni, simply take a piece of cheese cloth, double lined, bundle it up like a coin purse, and tie it off with a long piece of kitchen twine or string. Traditional bouquet garni has you simply tie the bundle of herbs together tightly, but some recipes call for loose items like the allspice and peppers in my cranberry sauce, so using the cheesecloth works better in these cases. You can use this technique for both.

Now you have a way to infuse your liquids and sauces easily and safely.

(Click here for the Best Cranberry Sauce Ever!)