DIY Yogurt Parfait Cups for Grab and Go Snacks

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Do you find yourself grabbing whatever is in reach when you are running out the door and need a little pick me up? We are all so busy and that is why I created this tutorial. With a little prep, you can grab one of these healthy parfait jars when you are on the run.

Want to start prepping more meals in advance?

How to Make Green Beans like a Chef

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Green beans are a healthy side dish that accompany many family dinners. Watch the video to see how I made a quick and easy side dish with just green beans and pesto. It's so easy, you'll be adding it to your next menu!

Would you love to start making food at home more but don't even know where to even start?

How To Improve Your Knife Skills in 3 Easy Steps+ A Cooking Without Recipes Giveaway

Good knife skills can be elusive to the home cook. The truth is, being able to slice and dice in the kitchen is just like any other skill. You get better with practice. Here are 3 Steps you can take to improve your knife skills.

Step 1- Invest in a few good knives.

Does anyone else get annoyed when Barefoot Contessa says to use “good” butter or “good” vanilla but then never elaborates on what qualifies as good?  

In my free knife skills course, I share exactly what knives you should buy, and I am happy to report that the term “good” isn’t synonymous with expensive.  If you can only buy one knife, get a chef's knife. It will be the knife you use for 80% of your cutting and chopping tasks. I recommend this chef's knife. You can get it for about $25 on amazon. 

 

Step 2-Seek out recipes that will allow you to use your knife skills

When I taught at a culinary school, the first thing we did on Day 1 was get acquainted with the knives. We peeled and chopped onions, carrots and celery and made gigantic batches of stocks to get through soup week.

For someone who wants to improve their cooking skills at home, going through 50 pounds of onions and carrots in a matter of hours won’t help you.  What you can do instead is make sure that everyday you cook, you are making something that requires you to pick up a knife and improve your knife skills.

Instead of buying pre-cut lettuce in bags, cut your own, along with tomato and any other vegetables you have to make your own salad. Instead of buying pre-cut fruit, save money and buy the fruit whole and cut it yourself.

Want to make sure you have the technique of julienning onions down? Make a French onion soup. Want to practice slicing and dicing? Make salad in a jar!

Step 3-Learn from someone who has good knife skills

Most cooking shows don’t go into detail on how you are supposed to handle a knife and use it to get various cuts.  Luckily, most major cities have gourmet food stores that offer knife skills classes fro home chefs. Community colleges and recreation centers may have classes as well.

Based on my research, some of these classes can cost $75-100 but it may be worth it in the long run if you are spending tons of money on pre-cut fruit and vegetables. Or you can take this free online knife skills class

Good knife skills are the foundation to being able to cook confidently from home. Keep practicing and use the tips in this article, and you will become a more confident home cook in no time.  

 

 

How to make easy mozzarella sticks

Making mozzarella sticks at home usually requires setting up a breading station with flour, eggs and breadcrumbs. It can be a bit of a mess, but there is an easier way to make mozzarella sticks at home. 

This recipe requires lumpia wrappers, which are different than egg roll wrappers. They are more like crepes and are very crispy when fried. You can find them in the freezer section at your local Asian market or well stocked grocery store.

Ingredients:

6 Mozzarella sticks

12 Lumpia Wrappers, defrosted

Vegetable oil, for frying

Directions: Start by cutting the mozzarella sticks in half. Take a lumpia wrapper and place the cheese stick on top and roll it up like a burrito.

Once you get to the point where you are almost at the edge, take a little water and dab it on the edge to help the wrapper stay sealed.

Once you have all your cheese sticks rolled up, fry them in the vegetable oil that you have preheated to 350° F.

They fry up in 60-90 seconds, so keep an eye on them. Drain them on paper towels and serve them hot with a side on marinara sauce.  

7 tips for grocery shopping like a boss.

Shopping for food can be fun or it can be a burden. It totally depends on how you go about it.

If you go out shopping without much planning or without a list, it will almost definitely be a burden. But if you think of grocery shopping as a way to eat real food and spend a little time doing some advanced planning, you may even look forward to your weekly shopping trips.

Here are 7 tips for going grocery shopping like a boss.

Begin shopping from your favorite chair

1. Start shopping before you even think of entering a grocery store. Look online and see whats fresh, in season and on sale. Look through the grocery store ads that come in the mailbox too, to see if there are any deals you can work in your weekly meal plans.

Plan a weekly menu in advance

2. Make a menu plan for the week based on what's on sale, but be flexible. The menu plan doesn't have to be written in stone.

Make a shopping list

3. Make your shopping list based on what you plan to prepare for the week, being sure to include items needed for breakfasts and lunches you intend on packing.

Check the pantry first

4. Check pantry staples before shopping to make sure you have the basics. You don't want to get halfway through a recipe only to find out you ran out of white pepper. 

Another benefit of checking the pantry before you shop is to avoid duplicate purchases. Have you ever ended up with 3 jars or Dijon mustard?

Need some meal planning & prep tools?

Download my FREE #FillYourFridge workbook (includes the grocery shopping checklist) and companion email course below!

 

use a meal planning service

5. Use a service like e-meals if you don't want to do all this work by hand. They even have menu plans based on what the store has on sale for that week. This type of service is great for families who don't have too many individual dietary restrictions. Most meal plan services come with printable shopping lists that you can take to the store with you. 

shop at off peak times

6. Go shopping during off peak hours.  This may be difficult depending on your work schedule, but shopping at 2 pm during a weekday or Saturday morning as soon as the store opens may be good times.  I know you want to sleep in, but it may be worth it to get your shopping out of the way. You can always go back to sleep when you get back home. :)

shop once a week 

7. Shop with a list. I know I said it in #3, but it needs repeating. Even a quick list typed out on you phone is better than nothing. My goal is to shop once per week. If you find yourself at the grocery store every day after work, you can definitely save lots of time and energy by writing out a list and grabbing all of the things you need one time per week. What do you do to minimize time spent in the grocery store? Tell me right here.