Kitchen Tips

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  • Let’s face it, we’ve all be pressed for time when preparing a dish. The key is to know when to make it from scratch and when to use a shortcut. I thought I’d share with you some of my quick cooking tips.
    Cupcakes? Mix. Definitely a mix. Cupcakes are usually judged on the icing. {Recipes below} Icing is quick to make and takes ingredients you probably have at home already. Want to add a little flair? Dye it. Even more? Pipe them.
    2 ways to spice up Mexican/Tex Mex.
    Purchase block cheese and grate it {for recipes where the cheese is not cooked}. It may add 5 minutes to your dish, but it will add a lot of flavor and texture too. You won’t be disappointed!
    Make your own pico…no, I don’t have a recipe for this. I actually change mine a bit every time I make it. I like to use minced garlic, juice of a lime, a little olive oil, fresh tomato, cilantro and onion and top mix with salt and pepper. This sounds like more effort than it is. Make a little extra…if you’re like me, you’ll catch yourself nibbling on it with tortillas while you cook!
    Garlic. Skip the powder and mincing your own. Meet in the middle and purchase minced garlic in the produce department. It keeps for months and is almost as good as doing it yourself, without the added headache of purchasing it all the time and effort of mincing.
    Corn and green beans. Go ahead, buy fresh! I dare you! Boil the corn, let cool and remove from the cob. Toss with butter, salt and pepper, mix in a little cream cheese or add it to your favorite dip. Green beans take just a few minutes to saute in olive oil or a tablespoon of butter and have so much more flavor than canned. Add a little garlic, bacon chips {found near salad dressing} or parmesan to spice them up. That works for corn too!

    Cream Cheese Icing
    4 oz cream cheese, softened
    4 oz butter, softened
    2.5 cups powdered sugar
    2 tsp vanilla
    Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth. Fold in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, add vanilla and mix until creamy. Add a tablespoon or two of fudge, peanut butter, or strawberry topping if you’d like!

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