In college, I was always that person that everyone came to for the home cooked meal away from home. I love to cook and I enjoy the happiness I see that it brings to so many people when it tastes good and the memories created over simple meals. While cooking breakfast this morning and realizing how “out of the norm” for a lot of people some of the things I do are, I thought I’d share a few tips on how to elevate any meal.
Educate yourself on what’s out there! Many of us stick to the same seasonings we were brought up with and continue to produce the same things. In reading other people’s post, I’ve managed to learn A LOT and to apply those things in my own kitchen. You never know what you’re missing that could make your potato salad just that much better than your yearly cookout competition.
Example: I was on Instagram reading about the herbs and spices that someone had in their cabinet. While reading the comments of this post, I saw someone recommend trying Garam Masala as a substitute for cinnamon. I skipped my happy tail to the co-op that I love to shop at and purchased a little baggy with it to try. It’s become a staple since then, being able to be used anywhere form breakfast to dessert. I used it as the cinnamon substitute on my french toast and even though Josh isn’t a fan of french toast, he loved it!
My French Toast Recipe **
Ingredients ( 3 pieces):
– 3 pieces of French peasant loaf bread (available fresh from Earth Fare)
– 1 egg
– equal parts milk
– vanilla extract to taste
– frontier co-op garam masala
Mix all ingredients together, coat each side of bread, fry bread on both sides until golden brown.
Try different variations of the same ingredients. I didn’t know until recently that there are multiple kinds of cinnamon (location of origin) or that there were different levels of cayenne (in relation to heat). This ties in to tip number one but could definitely stand alone.
Example: I purchased this pepper corn grinder not only for the freshness of the pepper but for the variety of the contents. I had never heard of most of the peppercorns it contains but I tried them and, BAM, flavors elevated immediately in something as simple as scrambled eggs.
My Scrambled Eggs Recipe **
– number of desired eggs
– sea salt
– frontier co-op exotic peppercorn blend
– sour cream or plain greek yogurt
– shredded cheese (choose you favorite kind)
– smoked paprika (optional, I use it occasionally to “spice things up”
Crack eggs one at a time in a separate dish before combing them all together (two dishes. one to hold them all and one to crack each one in, individually), wisk the eggs and all the ingredients together (add ingredients to your taste), pour in to greased skillet (I prefer cast iron), cook until desires texture.
I got bought my exotic peppercorn blend from Earth Fare but you can get it from their website, here.
Cook with fresh herbs and spices! This may sound very minuet but it is so important when attempting to elevate your meals and get the most flavor in your foods.
The picture to the left is a snapshot of part of my herbs and spices inventory and their expiration dates. A lot of people have zero idea that there’s an expiration date on the bottom of the herbs and spices that you purchase at the store and they’re there for a reason. Spices, unlike wine, tend to lose their potency over time and not flavor your food as they should. I found this to be a useful way of not only keeping up with exp. dates but also to make sure that I don’t rebuy anything that I don’t need. In researching I found that, “As a general rule, whole spices will stay fresh for about 4 years, ground spices for about 3 to 4 years and dried leafy herbs for 1 to 3 years.” – Still Tasty
I hope these 3 tips on how to elevate and meal are found to be useful to you all and that they truly help give your food that extra “umph”! Let me know what you think in the comment area and the results of you trying any of the above. You can find more tips like this here on my “tips and tricks” tab, here under food option on the menu.