January 24, 2015

Raisins: like or dislike?

My favorite golden raisins.

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, even favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

In the house where I grew up, raisins were everywhere: in noodle puddings, in cinnamon-raisin bread (the squishy grocery-store kind I still secretly crave), and in my lunch box almost every day. I love golden raisins, and I use them in curries, tagines and chutneys as well as oatmeal cookies and biscotti. I mix them into my Irish soda bread, though an Irish friend told me this is a major no-no. People seem to have strong feelings about raisins.

Raisins: like or dislike?

Continue reading "Raisins: like or dislike?" »

January 17, 2015

Coarse sea salt: like or dislike?

Coarse sea salt.

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, even favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

In the house where I grew up, salt was salt. We had one kind of salt -- the iodized stuff -- and we put it on, and in, everything. I didn't learn about sea salt until ten years ago; now, it's my very favorite salt for adding a stylish finish to grilled vegetables and meats, and there's nothing better on top of a gooey brownie or a tart green salad. Kosher salt is my everyday salt for cooking and baking, but the crunchy crystals of a nice fleur de sel or grey sea salt can take your food to new heights. Are you a fan of sea salt? Do you have lots of different salts in your pantry?

Coarse sea salt: like or dislike?

Continue reading "Coarse sea salt: like or dislike?" »

January 10, 2015

Tofu: like or dislike?

Tofu.

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, even favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

I don't think anybody really loves tofu per se, because, let's face it, tofu really doesn't have much flavor. However, tofu acts like a sponge, absorbing any spicy or sweet or rich or tangy sauce you throw at it. And it's gluten-free, dairy-free, and super-high in calcium. You can blend it into a sauce, use it in place of meat in stir-fry dishes and soups, and even grill it and slather it with barbecue sauce. Call it bean curd, and your kids might not eat it, but that's what it is: curdled soybean milk that's coagulated, then pressed into a cake form. You can buy it soft (silken), firm, or extra firm. It's one of the world's healthiest foods, and I've always got some in my refrigerator.

Tofu: like or dislike?

Continue reading "Tofu: like or dislike?" »

January 3, 2015

Spaghetti squash: like or dislike?

Spaghetti squash; photo from Fresh Gatherings Harvest

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, even favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

With the start of the new year comes the start of a new diet. Low fat, low carbs, low calorie: I'm okay with all of that, as long as we're also not resigning ourselves to low in flavor. Spaghetti squash figures prominently in my January menu plans. No, it's not pasta, but you can sauce it up the same way you'd sauce your favorite pasta dishes. Add meatballs, red sauce, white clams and garlic, veggies, lots of (low fat) cheese. It's all good. I like to use my electric pressure cooker to do the basic cooking; you can make spaghetti squash in a slow cooker, on the stovetop, or in the oven, too.

Spaghetti squash: like or dislike?

Continue reading "Spaghetti squash: like or dislike?" »

December 27, 2014

Champagne: like or dislike?

Champagne.

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, even favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

Why do we drink champagne to celebrate the new year, or other special occasions? The tradition of drinking champagne to mark celebrations originated in the 18th Century in the royal courts of Europe. "Royalty loved the novelty of sparkling wine. It was said to have positive effects on women's beauty and man's wit," according to Live Science. Well, that may be, but we love it because the dramatic pop of a champagne cork signals the opening of festivities. And our cats love playing with the wire thingies that hold the corks in place. Do you ring in the new year with champagne? Sparkling wine? Milk and cookies?

Champagne: like or dislike?

Continue reading "Champagne: like or dislike?" »

About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

Never miss a recipe

Find an ingredient, find a recipe

My best recipes

Go meatless on Monday


Shop here

  • Start your Amazon shopping here, and your purchases help support this site. Thank you.

Beat the drum

My Photo

Find me here too

Syndicated on BlogHer.com
Blog powered by Typepad