Posts Tagged With: Pam Upton

Spinach isn’t just for Popeye Anymore!

Spinach isn’t just for Popeye Anymore! Spinach, the leafy green vegetable best known in the United States and made popular by the cartoon character Popeye, originated in Persia, (modern day Iran). Earliest records of this vegetable go back at least 2,000 years. It was introduced to China in the 600’s and still to this day is referred to Persian Greens. It was next transported to Spain sometime in the 1100’s. By mid 16th century it was well established in Europe. The Spaniards are credited for bringing Spinach to America. Although the first real documentation of the use of spinach in the United States was not until 1806 in regions of California and Texas and are still considered the states with the majority growers for commercial use.

Spinach was the first vegetable frozen and sold commercially in Springfield, Massachusetts by Clarence Birdseye in 1930.

This dark leafy green vegetable has many nutritional benefits. It contains vitamins A, C,K, as well as folic acid, magnesium and potassium. Spinach is high in carotenoids, all considered essential to fight cancer and prevent other blood and heart conditions.

There are 2 main and mostly sold types of spinach.
Flat or Smooth-Leaf: is just as the name says,
Baby: a smaller Flat-Leaf version that is very tender and desirable for salads.

Choose spinach with crisp and vibrantly green leaves. Avoid specimens that are limp or discolored. Store it in the fridge in a bag for three days at best but never more than seven days. Spinach, due to being grown in sandy soil, can be very gritty and must be rinsed thoroughly, even the so-called “pre-washed” type sold in packages will still possible have some sand remain behind and should be well washed before being eaten or added to dishes being cooked.

Cooking spinach will give the greens a more acidic flavor, hence many recipes will call for butter or cream added to the recipe to counteract the spinach flavor. Spinach may be steamed, sautéed or braised. Please note that when cooked, spinach will shrink by 90%! Therefore use this formula when using spinach:

1 lb. fresh = 10 cups and becomes approximately 1 1/2 cups. cooked.

10 oz. frozen = 1 1/2 cups thawed and then becomes 1 cup when cooked and drained.

Spinach is excellent fresh in salads. Using younger spinach, which is smaller, will make for a more tender leaf.

Although the reason behind it is not completely known, spinach has long been linked to prosperity. Eat a large tablespoon of spinach on New Year’s Day will bring wealth and happiness to your life! Many will mix spinach with other greens such as kale, mustard leaves, and collard greens into a sauce pan and wilt them down and season them to bring prosperity and luck to them and their family for the next year.

The French term “a la florentine” in the name of recipes indicates that spinach is a main ingredient in the dish.

And best of all, spinach is considered low on calories and contains per serving 3 grams of protein. So next time your at the store buy some fresh, frozen or canned spinach and add it to your scrambled eggs, tomato sauces to pour over spaghetti or use in lasagna or any pasta dish, toss a few into your salad, onto a sandwich or even just into a bowl to munch on along with any other raw vegetable you like!

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions about spinach please let us know by commenting below! Also, be sure to share this with your friends and family. I am Stephen Rummey from http://HomeCookingSecrets.com and I would like to thank my partner and the COO, Pam Upton, for providing this amazing content.

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Kitchen Knives: What Kitchen Knife Are You Using?

No kitchen can work unless you have kitchen knives. These are essential and without a doubt one of the best things to go the extra dollar to buy good quality. These five kitchen knives are the best to have in your kitchen set up!

Serrated Knife

Serrated Knife

Serrated Knife (Seen Above) usuall…y has a 3 inch blade with ridges is used for slicing. Especially good to use when working with vegetables such a tomatoes which are firm on the outside but soft/juicy inside.

Paring Knife

Paring Knife

Paring Knife (Seen Above) usually has a 4 inch blade that is great for peeling and coring fruits and vegetables.

Bread Knife

Bread Knife

Bread Knife has a blade very similar to the Serrated Knife but is about 8 1/2 inches in length. This knife as the name suggests is used for slicing bread. However this is also one of the few knives whose blade can not be sharpened.

Carving Knife and Forks

Photo Attribution: David R. Ingham.

Carving Knife (Seen Above) has a 8 inch blade that is thin, flexible and is perfect, as the name states, to be used for carving meats especially if you are wanting nice thin slices. Usually is found sold with it’s partner the Carving Fork which is to be used to hold the meat as you use the knife for carving.

Chef's Knife

Chef’s Knife

Chef’s Knife (Seen Above) is to me the most important of knives to have in your kitchen and the one to be sure and spend extra money on. This knife has an 8 inch blade that should be kept razor sharp. It is the most versatile of all knives for slicing, dicing and chopping.

Sharpening Steel

Sharpening Steel

To go with the knives, a very important item to spend and get high quality on is the Knife Sharpener or a Sharpening Stone. There are a few different types. And while the knife sharpener that comes on the back of many can openers works great for your steak knives, to properly keep your cooking knives in the best condition. The best type in my opinion is the Sharpening Steel. It is a about 10 to 12 inches in length and is about 1/4 of an inch thick around, it also has a handle that fits easily into your hand. You simply draw the blade lightly down the steel at a small shallow angle repeating several times to the front and back of the blade.

Do you have any questions, comments or suggestions about Kitchen Knives you would like to share? Please post them below and also be sure to share this video with your friends and family. I am Stephen Rummey from http://HomeCookingSecrets.com and I would like to thank my partner and the COO, Pam Upton, for providing this great content!

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How to keep your cold foods cold.

Welcome to the Home Cooking Tip show! I am Stephen Rummey from HomeCookingSecrets.com and today I will be showing you how to keep your cold foods cold while travel with food and have food sitting out on tables for long periods of time. So here are some simple rules to keep in mind..

Tip #1: Often you have foods that while traveling need to stay cold. Use coolers and have them well iced using both ice AND ice packs.

Tip #2: Have a separate cooler for your drinks so that the food items will not be constantly exposed to air when drinks are being pulled out.

Tip #3. Each food container should be in tightly closed container, wrapped with cling wrap to help prevent moisture getting into the bowls from the melting ice.

Tip #4: Thaw meat in refrigerator overnight and wait till right before leaving to move into your coolers.

Tip #5. Place ice packs under and over any raw meat then cover with ice. A fully packed cooler retains and maintains the cold temps needed better than a half full cooler.

Tip #6. Whenever possible, place coolers in back seat of vehicles rather than in the trunks of cars and upon arrival of picnic area place cooler under tree’s with lots of shade to help retain coolness of the outer part of the cooler which in turn keeps the inner section of the cooler retaining its coldness.

Tip #7. Do not remove the meat until it is ready to go on the grill.

Do you have any other tips to keep your cold food cold or any comments or questions about these? Let us know by posting your comments below! Also, be sure to subscribe for more cooking videos and come back next week as we give you a few tips on how to keep your hot foods hot. I am Stephen Rummey and I would like to thank to my partner and COO Pam Upton for these great tips! See you next week!!

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Did You Know? Coriander is Both an Herb and a Spice.

Welcome to Did You Know Mondays! Did you know the term coriander is often used in reference to both cilantro leaves and seeds? In America, it generally refers to the dried cilantro seeds which are used as a spice both in whole seed form as well as ground and crushed form. Coriander seeds have a bit of a spicy, citrus flavor and are available in the spice aisle of any local store.

When preparing a recipe using coriander, you need to check carefully to determine which form is best to use.

One of the oldest herbs/spices on record, coriander was mentioned in the Bible. The seeds have been found in ruins dating as far back as 5000 B.C. The name is from the Greek word koris, meaning “a stinky bug.” This is no doubt a reference to the strong aroma given off by the cilantro plant leaves when they are bruised.

Although coriander comes from the Cilantro plant, cilantro leaves and coriander seeds are not interchangeable. They have completely different flavors and textures.

Coriander seeds are generally toasted before being ground to bring out their full flavor. It is a popular ingredient in Indian curries, particularly garam masala.

When adding fresh cilantro to a hot dish, add at the last minute to get full benefit of the flavor.

Recipes calling for whole coriander usually can use ground or crushed in its place. However, recipes calling for ground or crushed can not always have whole seeds used instead.

1 teaspoon coriander seeds = 1 teaspoon ground coriander

Do you have any comments you would like to add to this story? Please comment below and let us know! Also, join us again next week as we bring you another did you know segment.  We would like to thank my partner and the COO of Home Cooking Secrets, Pam Upton, for this great content!

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