Start Smart

The secret to a good cook is pretty basic. Look to their kitchen for essential tools and you will discover why food preparation comes as naturally as breathing. Start Smart. For instance, a chef’s knife makes short work for cutting and chopping. Wooden spoons are perfect for stirring and mixing, plus they look great in a counter caddy. My son recently introduced me to the handy-dandy fat separator for making unbelievable lump-free gravy. How did I not know of this? It’s pure genius! I could go on and on about food processors, dutch ovens, spiralizers, and rice cookers, but you get the idea. Recently I froze some Farmers Market corn by removing the kernels from the cob with my corn peeler. (There really is such a thing.) Now you know…anyone can be a gourmet chef…like me. lol. Some of my posts have been favored by the “Food Network” on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive @DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram (gail _dorna). You can even find me on Pinterest at Gail Dorna. I’d love to connect with you there as well. I also met Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. Fun times. Experience different flavors and textures one bite at a time. Catch a glimpse of “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Start Smart.” This remarkable journey of the palate is unique because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. As of this writing, WordPress has acknowledged that I’m on a 2622-day streak. Let’s keep it going!

The Next Step

Say goodbye to ho-hum eating. If you didn’t know it’s okay to think outside the box, I’m here to say, “Permission granted.” The key to chowing down at home is compromising tradition with newfound tastings. After all, we have a versatile palate that likes to explore rustic, organic, and enhanced foods with today’s kitchen technology. Begin by taking a look in the fridge, freezer, or pantry. Then let your tummy be the judge. Turn cheese into crunchies, spread pickles onto veggies, fold seafood into bread dough. And that’s just the beginning. Sound interesting? Time flies on this journey of the palate. Thanks very much to all of my followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. Follow me on Facebook at Gail Dorna, on Instagram @gail_dorna and Twitter @ Snapshotsincursive. What’s cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? It’s as simple as A-B-C. One of my passions is being at home in my own country kitchen. No matter how much we travel, I relish the thought of returning there to create something delicious. I adore time-honored traditions using tried-and-true recipes. Yet, I often never think twice about tweaking old favorites or modifying others to suit the inner craving of the moment. Most of the recipes serve 2-4 people, but can be altered in any direction. The leftovers are golden morsels to be eaten again later or shared with others. And I love to share. To me, seeing a smile in gratitude is thanks enough. The recipes you will find here in the next several weeks can be prepared very easily. Feel free to contact me with questions. Now take a deep breath, inhale the aromas, and join me on a tasteful journey entitled, “EATING MY WAY THROUGH THE ALPHABET: THE NEXT STEP!”

Elevated Edibles

You don’t need to go to a culinary school to step up cooking at home. By changing or adding a couple simple things in the way you prepare food, you can elevate the results from ho-hum to spectacular. There is no magic wand to wave or nose to twitch that guarantees creations like a celebrity chef, but then again we’re talking about feeding your family. That simply translates to taste-testing as you cook. I remember watching my grandma do exactly that. She’d say, “Trust your instincts,” as she’d sip the tomato sauce off the end of a wooden spoon. If you are aware your partner gags at the thought of mushrooms in a sauce, then forget the idea and tweak the recipe to make it work for you. Just remember to balance out the five basic flavors: sweet, salty, spicy, savory, and acidity. That’s half the battle. And speaking of the pros…Some of my posts have been favored by the “Food Network” on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive @DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram (gail _dorna). You can even find me on Pinterest at Gail Dorna. I’d love to connect with you there as well. I also met Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. Fun times. Experience different flavors and textures as you eat with your eyes. Catch a glimpse of “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Elevated Edibles!” This remarkable journey of the palate is unique because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement.

Waste Not, Want Not

If you needed a reason to stay home, despite the current climate, turn social distancing to your favor. After all, your place is a Safe Haven. Now may be the time to expand your creativity in the kitchen by being budget-friendly, challenging your cooking skills, and focus your energy on healthy alternatives. Take a look in the pantry, the refrigerator, and the freezer. People buy food they like in the first place. Right? Have fun when pulling meals together. Pretend you’re a celebrity chef and make cooking a choice of entertainment. Display some of your placemats, napkins, and dishes to keep it fun and interesting. Some of my posts have been favored by the “Food Network” on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive @DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram (gail _dorna). You can even find me on Pinterest at Gail Dorna. I’d love to connect with you there as well. I also met Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. Fun times. Experience different flavors and textures one bite at a time. Catch a glimpse of “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Waste Not, Want Not!” This remarkable journey of the palate is unique because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. As of this writing, WordPress has acknowledged that I’m on a 1853-day streak. Let’s keep it going!

Alfalfa Sprouts at Home

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Fab Foodstuff: Alfalfa Sprouts at Home! Remember the time you stopped at the corner bistro for a super-healthy bite to eat? You know the sammie. It’s made with the crusty artisan bread, hearty summer veggies, creamy herbed cheese, and stacked high with alfalfa sprouts instead of lettuce. Afterwards you thought, “Hey, I can make this at home.” So you went to the grocery and found everything you needed…except alfalfa sprouts. What’s up with that? Unfortunately, alfalfa sprouts are extremely vulnerable to contamination for one reason or another. A lot can go awry from harvesting to produce aisle. Problem solved. DIY kits are available, along with certified organic seeds. Now you, too, can enjoy one of the most nutritious greens around. Supplies include a quart jar, screening lids, and seeds. You’re welcome.

ALFALFA SPROUTS AT HOME

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon organic alfalfa seeds

Water

Instructions:

Measure dry seeds and place in a quart canning jar. Add warm water. Soak overnight. The next morning, use a fine screen top to drain all the water. Do not soak again. Rinse the seeds under a faucet using tepid water. Gently swirl and drain. For faster growth, repeat this process again in the evening. Place the jar at an angle with the screened lid facing down. This allows proper drainage and ventilation. Repeat on Day 2. As the sprouts grow, change to a larger screened lid. You will notice the seed hulls wash away during rinsing. By swirling under running water, most hulls are flushed out through the lid. This may take two or more rinsings. Drain well. Continue to rinse and drain every 8-12 hours. Harvest on Day 6 when the leaves are open and have mostly turned green. Store finished sprouts in the refrigerator until ready to eat.