Treasures & Tips to Health & Happiness

little tid bits that add a touch of happiness to your life

Sugar & Spice

Helpful Hints for in the Kitchen

Posted by dawnlefler on July 20, 2009 at 11:47 AM Comments comments (0)

Plan Ahead:

I can't stress how much time and money planning your meals in advance can save! When you are considering your meals for the week, think about how you can prepare the ingredients for more than one meal at a time. For example, if you are having steaks one night, grill an extra one to slice for fajitas another night. Better yet, have grilled chicken another night and grill extra chicken so you can have chicken & steak fajitas! This will take no extra time the night you do the grilling and will save time on the night for fajitas.

Need Something Special?

If you have to buy a special ingredient for a dish, but don't need to use all of it for the dish (i.e. buttermilk), plan to make something else that week that uses that ingredient too. This works well for items that could spoil within the week. Not so important for those that won't spoil right away (i.e. balsamic vinegar).

Make time for substitutions!

Many proteins can be substituted for each other in different recipes. For example, ground turkey or chicken can be substituted for ground beef (and vice versa). Boneless, skinless chicken breast can be substituted for pork chops or cutlets. Switching it up will add variety to your monthly menu!


Some recipes call for specific spices, don't worry so much about following recipes word for word, and experiment with different flavors. If you bought the Asian 5 spice for the Lettuce Wrap recipe, try adding it in different stir fry/Asian style recipes.

Spice Shelf Life:

Whole spices----2 to 5 years

Ground spices---6 months to 2 years

Leafy herbs-------3 months to 2 years

dehydrated vegetables---6 months

Write the date of purchase on the spice label; then check them once a year and replace as needed.

When using spices while cooking on the stovetop, allow them to sit open for a few minutes after use so that any moisture that got inside can dry before you close them and put them back in the cabinet.

Storing items:

Store sour cream containers upside-down in your refrigerator. This prolongs the shelf life by at least two weeks; and if you buy the larger size (which is usually less expensive per ounce) you can save two ways! Don't worry; the upside-down containers won't leak.

Did You Know...

Posted by dawnlefler on May 2, 2009 at 1:43 PM Comments comments (0)

...that when choosing a lean ground meat that you should look for Ground Turkey or Chicken Breast

BEWARE!!  Don?t assume that because it?s "ground poultry" that it?s automatically the right choice. Ground turkey and chicken is processed with the skin (gross :ohmy:) and dark meat, making it less lean and more fatty than you would think.  It?s very important to read the labels and not just assume that turkey and chicken are leaner/lower in fat & calories. AND don?t be driven solely by price as the ground chicken & turkey can be less expensive (keep in mind; you are also paying for the skin in that nice little tray of ground goodness). So, when you are at the store, make sure to take a few extra minutes and check out the small print!


Ground Turkey Breast ? 27 g protein, 1.5 g total fat :)

Ground Chicken Breast ? 24 g protein, 0.5 g total fat :)

Ground Turkey ? 18 g protein, 17 g total fat :(

Ground Chicken ? 19 g protein, 12 g total fat :(

93% Lean Ground Beef ? 23 g protein, 8 g total fat :unsure:

80% Lean Ground Beef ? 21 g protein, 17 g total fat :(

Ground poultry nutrition facts listed on, ground beef nutrition facts listed on

Happy Cooking!