Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – how to store fresh herbs

If you’re like me you are constantly buying fresh herbs or you’re growing them. For me I go through cilantro and basil like it’s my job. And yes, there have been times that I “forget” about it in the fridge or it gets shoved to the back of the one drawer only to be found a few weeks later all slimy and mushy.  But that no longer happens.  No I don’t go through it at lightning speed (okay some weeks I do but it depends on what I’m making) but I learned the trick to keeping them fresher, longer!

Tuesday Tip
You can extend the lifespan of fresh herbs and greens by several days to a week with a few simple tricks.

Basil

Fresh basil bunches can be treated like a bouquet of flowers.  Gather them up, trim the ends, place the stem in a glass with an inch or so of water and place on the counter at room temperature. If you place it in the fridge, the leaves will turn black. The basil will remain fresh for anywhere from a few days to a week.

Parsley, Cilantro and other soft herbs

Cilantro, parsley and other soft herbs love cool temperatures and should be stored in the refrigerator. Again, treat them like a bouquet of flowers.  Gather them up, trim the ends, place the stem in a glass with an inch or so of water however this time place them in the fridge loosely cover them with a plastic bag.  You’ll also need to change the water every couple of days or when it becomes cloudy.

Chives, Thyme, and Rosemary

Other herbs, like chives, thyme, and rosemary, need to be taken care of differently. Wrap them loosely in a damp paper towel, then loosely in plastic wrap. Store them in your crisper.  Do not wrap the herbs tightly or the trapped moisture may cause them to mold prematurely; many people like to add a crumpled paper towel to the bag as a safeguard. Do not rinse the herbs until just before using as it’ll add excess moisture and waste time.

Weekly Menu

Happy Sunday TKW Family! Man it’s great to be back in the ‘Burgh arctic weather and all!  What’s it been like in your part of the world? Both here and where I was the weather was downright nasty.  It’s that cold that the air just hurts your face.  Mother Nature is ticked off at the world and she’s taking it out on you… kinda like when your other half is mad at something and since you’re there they take it out on you, huh? Dear Jesus someone get Mother Nature some chocolate, some Midol and a Valium cause I cannot take much more of this weather!  I mean seriously -17F BELOW ZERO and that’s before the windchill?  WTH lady!  Stop it!

Damn crusty old hag… knock it off! It’s funny as I’ve become one of those people. Remember when you were little and how all of those really old people (like 40 year old ancient folks) complained about taxes, price of milk and the weather? And how you used to make fun of them because they were so old and cranky and that you said you’d never turn out like them?  Yeah.. HA.. you do in the end babe.  How do I know?  *Stands at the podium and says out loud* “I pay WAY TOO MUCH in taxes, milk should NOT be over $4 a gallon and cold weather sucks as it hurts my bones!”

2-22-15

Mother Nature needs a hug!

Egg Stuffed Skinny Portabello Caps

Remember my Breakfast Avocados on the Half Shell I posted forever ago? Well I come to find out that not everyone likes avocados. Crazy I know, right?!  And also some are allergic to them (like my amazing TKW Facebook Admin, Paul). Talk about unfair!  To be allergic to something so truly amazing is just downright cruel!  So to those of you that don’t like them (even though I think you’re crazy and perhaps weird *wink*) or those that are allergic I decided to make this again but with a twist and use some ginormous portabello mushroom caps.

Egg Stuffed Skinny Portabello Caps10

When I went to make these I realized that it was ‘tween time.  ‘Tween time is that time between 2 major meals (breakfast and lunch for example) where you find yourself positively starving. Since I only had a protein shake for breakfast the buddah belly was rumbling something fierce.

Get in ma belly!!!

Garlic Herbed Roasted Portabello Mushrooms

Did you ever have one of those days where you’re not quite “with it”? Well as of late I’ve been busier than normal which is fine but with having so much on my plate I’ve lost track of a few things. Well mushrooms were one of those items I lost track of.  See after my Saturday morning spin class I ran around to do my normal errands – Sam’s club, grocery store and of course Home Goods.  Well when I was at Sam’s club I spied a package of some ginormous portabello mushroom caps.  Immediately them puppies got put into my buggy (yes buggy… I’m a Pittsburgh girl and we say ‘buggy’ instead of shopping cart).

After I got home and went to try to shove everything into my fridge (yes, we have to shove things in as there is rarely free space) I spied ANOTHER package of ginormous portabello mushrooms that I totally forgot that I bought the week before.  No seriously folks, you don’t understand there are days where I’ve gone straight to the gym after work, got undressed only to realize that I have packed no pants for it. And somehow I think the gym (and Mr. Fantabulous) would get pretty angry with me if I worked out in my gutchies.  LOL

Garlic Herbed Roasted Portabello Mushrooms3

So I took that package out to set on the counter and put the fresh package in the fridge.  I went about putting the rest of the stuff away all the while trying to figure out what in the world I was going to do with these things.  See I already had food made up for him in the fridge so I couldn’t make new stuff.  And the stuff I had made up, mushrooms wouldn’t have gone with.

These ‘shrooms so rocked my world!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Make ahead salad

It’s time for Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer and today we’re talking about make ahead salads. Often when we make salads for a party we tend to just dump everything in and slather on the dressing but by the time we go to eat it, it’s all wilted and icky. Or if you’re a salad for lunch type of person you may make a huge salad on Sunday and break it up into containers for the week only to have Wednesday’s salad be all soggy and gross!

Today I’m going to share with you the secret ti making your weekly salad OR the salad for a crowd ahead of time WITH the dressing included!

Tuesday Tip
Just layer the ingredients in one large bowl or several small mason jars (I use pint jars).

  1. Place the dressing at the bottom.
  2. Next add sturdy, wilt-resistant vegetables (such as cut-up peppers, carrots, cucumbers, and radishes). This layer is used to shield the dressing from the lettuce and other vulnerable ingredients.
  3. The next layer (which is optional) is where you will put beans and other less hearty vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, sprouts, green beans, corn and so forth if you’re using them. This is also the layer you would put your avocado if you’re having it in your salad. In essence this layer acts as a second defense between the dressing and lettuce.a
  4. Next comes your proteins (chicken, tuna, beef, etc) and your cheeses.
  5. Lastly top with your greens (lettuce, spinach, arugula, etc), seeds and nuts.
  6. If in a big bowl, cover with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap. If it’s in a mason jar, just seal ‘em up!
  7. When you’re ready to eat, then add your croutons and shake to distribute the dressing (again this only works with the mason jar). If it’s in a big bowl just toss with salad tongs.
Spare some dough

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