Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Finds and Frugal Tips-Asparagus

I found so much great stuff this week that it is going to be very hard to narrow the list down to just a few, but here goes:  The first two finds are for DIY groceries.  I  like being able to make groceries at home that I would otherwise have to buy.

The Feisty Fairy

I cannot wait to try this out.  It look like a good base to work from to achieve just the blend I want.  This is a new-to-me, gluten-fee blog.  I don't need to eat gluten-free, but if you do, she has some delicious looking sweets here.
Creatively Domestic

This is a mix that can be used to replace those little blue boxed mixes that start with the letter "J".  She gives the amounts to replace one box; but the original poster, Sweet Pea Chef , suggests multiplying the amounts and using 1 3/4 c. of mix when making up the recipe.

Real Mom Kitchen

This is a meal that Laura posted in three parts this week.  It looks so delicious that all the recipes are going on my menu plan for next week.

Now on to a couple of great looking desserts.

Peanut Butter Gooey Cake
Pinch of This, That, and the Other

Now, as much as I like making DIY groceries, I am not above using a cake mix.  All things in moderation.  These  look so good that I wish that I could just reach through my computer screen and get one.  Like me, this is a newer blogger.  She has a  linky party called Whisking Wednesdays there each week.

Coconut Cake
Picture Perfect Cooking

Oh, what can I say about this one?  Decadent, I think.  This is the perfect answer for people who like coconut flavor, but not coconut itself.  A cake made with coconut milk, topped with a coconut milk/sweetened condensed milk syrup, that is allowed to seep into the cake, crowned with a whipped cream frosting.  I think I died and went to Heaven.  I am going to make points with my son-in-law with this one.

I had better quit and get on with some frugal tips for asparagus.
Purchase asparagus spears that are bright green with firm, compact heads.  I am lucky enough to live where asparagus is grown and can buy it loose at farmer's markets choosing just what I want.  Like corn, asparagus should be eaten as soon as possible.  If the asparagus won't be cooked for a day or two, trim a small amount from the root end of each stalk, wrap the bunch of asparagus in a wet paper towel, place in a plastic bag and seal.
If asparagus becomes limp, it can be firmed up by placing it in ice water for an hour or so.

Perhaps the best tip I was ever given for asparagus came from a produce man many years ago.  He showed me that there is usually an inch or two of tender asparagus below where a spear naturally breaks.  He said to bend a spear and let it break naturally, then put the blade of a knife next to the spear about an inch below where the spear broke.  If a cut can be made easily, cut through the spear because the asparagus is still tender.  If there is resistance stop cutting.  The photos above show that on that particular spear, there were two additional inches or so that could be used.  I recently did an experiment and weighed a bunch of asparagus before I processed it.  I had l 1/2 lbs.  I then weighed the extra amount of asparagus I cut below the natural break.  I had 4 oz.  That as a pretty good amount to recapture.

If you are cooking spears, what do you do with the little pieces.  If you make Homemade Vegetable Stock, just put them in a plastic bag and put in the freezer for your next batch.  If you don't make stock, cook the pieces in boiling water until just tender.  You can add the asparagus to salads, pasta dishes, soups.  You can puree the pieces for Cream of Asparagus soup.  If there is not enough, put in a freezer container, and freeze until you have enough.

I am linking this post to Friday Favorite Finds at Finding Joy in My Kitchen

Tomorrow:  Chinese Filled Buns

1 comment:

  1. Buttermilk cornbread sounds wonderful! Thanks for linking up!


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