Friday, September 22, 2006

The Single Cook's Lifesaver

Have you seen the infomercial for these Food Savers? I wondered for a long time how well they worked, and I finally bit when my sister told me she loved hers.

I'm cooking for 1 now, most of the time. Just myself. It is expensive, time-consuming, challenging, and nearly impossible, I find, to cook up just 1 portion of some things. Stir fry: By the time you throw a cup of everything into the wok, you've got a lot of cups of stuff for one person to eat. Spaghetti sauce: I'm going to simmer overnight for one serving?!

Nope. And I'm not going to throw away my good cooking with fresh ingredients, either. My leftover chicken soup kick's Campbell's ass any day.

And I'm with my sister, this is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. Here's a sampling of what's in my freezer:

That's chicken soup, a chicken breast, lentil soup, and Indian cilantro chicken curry. I've also saved breads, grilled meat, and herbs (basil and dill), and salsa.

The soups and curry's can be thawed out, heated in the microwave, or thrown into boiling water. I froze them in bowls first, then popped them out and Food-saved them.

No freezer burn with this thing; food lasts longer and tastes better. I know. I'm doing my own commercial! But I love this thing!

Tip #1: The mini runs about $99, BUT it's almost always on sale at Kohl's for half-price.

Tip #2: The generic wrap, at Walmart or Meijer's, costs a fraction of what the brand name stuff does, and it works just as well. $6 will get you a couple rolls of the stuff, and I've yet to go through a package of it.

If any of you great cooks find yourself throwing out your hard work, I highly recommend this gadget!

Sunday, September 03, 2006


I've been invited to a virtual picnic over at Cream Puffs in Venice, with the stipulation that I bring "a dish that features a fresh summer ingredient."

I brought ceviche to the party. There may be fancier recipes for this stuff out there, but this one was taught to me by a Mexican friend, thrown together just like his Mama used to make it: No frills. Though I keep meaning to branch out and research other versions, I haven't yet; when I get hungry for it, I just fall back on Rafael's method. It's simple, cheap, and delicious.


Approx 1 lb. pollock
1 lb. shrimp (I use frozen, pre-cooked)
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
5-6 limes
2-3 tomatoes

Dice pollock into small chunks and toss into a bowl. Add onion, jalapeno, and the juice of the limes. Let it sit until the fish is no longer transparent.

(Rafael went for about 20 minutes, but I'm always a bit more cautious, and go for at least twice that, or until I just can't stand it any more, and have to eat!)

Stir in the cilantro, and tomatoes.

I usually serve this spooned over a tostada smeared with sour cream, and topped with avocado slices. I only had chips this time though, so served it as above. If I don't have the accoutriments, I don't have any problem spooning up a bowl of it and eating it like a chunky soup.