Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back to School Meal Tips

Summer is quickly coming to an end and that means it’s time to get organized for the back-to-school season, as well as all of the activities that come along with it. Here are some tips to help make meal time easier for you and your family.
Back to School Cooking Tips
Back to School Cooking Tips

  • Stock up on pantry snack items and supplies to save time. 
  • Plan meals a week at a time. Your family will eat healthier and save money. It will also save you time and stress as well.
  • Purchase weekly meal items in one trip on the weekend. This will save you from having to make multiple trips to the market.
  • Prep ahead of time. Just an hour or two over the weekend can make things quicker and easier for you during the week ahead!  Chop any veggies/fruit needed for recipes and snacks. Prepare any meals you can ahead of time. Cut and divide meat into portions.
  • Think leftovers. When making out your meal plan, consider which dinners lend themselves to also being a great lunch.
  • Get the kids involved. Cooking with your kids is not only fun and educational – it’s also a great way to encourage them to expand their culinary horizons since kids are more likely to eat what they help make.
  • Find healthy snack options for both your and your kids' lunches. Our olive pouches are the perfect size for on-the-go snacking and the package is resealable.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Grilling Tips From STAR

Keep It Hot. Preheat your grill 15 to 25 minutes before you plan to start cooking - this will help sear the food, improve flavor, and prevent sticking.

Brush It Off & Oil It Up. After preheating, use a wire grill brush to clean off any debris that has accumulated on your grill. Then, to reduce sticking you can oil your grill with a paper towel soaked in STAR Grapeseed Oil - perfect for the job because of it's high smoke point.

Prep Everything Ahead of Time. Having veggies pre-chopped, hamburgers shaped, and meats marinated will make your job much easier.

Be Safe. Avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards and utensils for raw foods, make sure to keep foods that you are marinating refrigerated, and never baste your food with your marinating liquid. Have some set aside specifically for basting or boil your marinating liquid first before using it to baste. Additionally, make sure you are grilling in an open area and have baking soda on hand in case of fire.

Let It Rest. After your meat is fully cooked and has reached the appropriate internal temperature, place it on a platter tented with foil and let it rest for around 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute.

Be Prepared. Have a first aid kit, sunscreen and bug repellent ready for your fun day of grilling outdoors.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dining "Out" Tips

The Mediterranean lifestyle encourages the enjoyment of the outdoors and meals with family and friends. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and host your family and friends over to dine "out".  Here are some tips from the people at Real Simple to make your outdoor entertaining more fun and enjoyable.
  • Lay brown craft paper across a table for a casually finished look―and super-easy cleanup
  • An umbrella not only has the obvious task of providing shade, it also helps define your outdoor dining room.
  • Keep food simple for a backyard picnic: salads, fresh fruit, cold drinks.
  • Re-purpose indoor furniture to create an outdoor “room.”
  • Set up tables in separate areas―say, drinks in one spot, dessert in another―to encourage guests to roam.
  • To keep dairy-based dips chilled, fill a large bowl with ice, and sprinkle it with kosher salt. Place the dip bowl on top.
  • Keep bugs away from food with an upended wire-mesh colander.
  • Use Popsicle sticks to distinguish the rare burgers from the well-done.
  • Circle your party area with citronella candles or incense sticks to light when night falls.
  • Twinkling strands add instant ambience to any evening party.
  • A solution for cautious hosts: battery-operated candles. Provides you with the same warm light, with no worries of wind or dripping wax.
Buen provecho!
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