Although the holiday season is a wonderful time, it is also a busy time. Presents to wrap, candy to make, snow to shovel, parties to attend . . . it leaves little time for the tedious little tasks associated with cooking. Fortunately, I have a few favorite shortcuts to share with you, just in time for Christmas.
1. Melissa's Fresh Peeled Garlic - just as convenient as the garlic in jars, but much fresher.
2. Kraft "Grate It Fresh" Parmesan Cheese - the grater is part of the container.
Sure, I could use my microplane to grate Parmesan, but then I'd have to wash it. And it's usually covered in lemon or orange zest anyway. I'm sure that most foodies will scoff at the Kraft Parmesan, but honestly, I'm grateful that our small town grocery store had Parmesan that you can grate yourself, even if it is Kraft.
3. Frozen chopped onions - they don't make me cry.
Prep shortcuts/handy gadgets
1.Silpat - cookie sheet and cake pan liners - prevent sticking without adding fat.
2.Parchment paper - the next best thing to a Silpat. Or maybe it's better than a Silpat, because you can throw it in the trash instead of the sink.
3. Microplane grater - does AMAZING work zesting citrus fruits and grating cheese, chocolate, etc. Seriously, you have to see it to believe it.
4. Ziplock Zip'n Steam bags - steams vegetables perfectly and quickly - and creates no extra dishes to wash! The package includes directions for all kinds of recipes. Double shortcut if you use pre-washed and cut vegetables from your grocery store (not the aforementioned small town grocery store . . . mine came from the nearest HyVee . . . 30 miles from here).
Merry Christmas. May you use your newfound free time to sip hot chocolate in front of a fireplace.