Cooking Summer Corn

Summer Corn

Summer Corn Makes Any Meal Complete

If you have never tried cooking your fresh summer corn on the cob in your microwave, well, it might be time to try it. Your corn will taste delicious and keep it’s beautiful coloring, too.

It’s simple and easy to do. Pull back the shucks, remove as many of the silks as you can, by gently rubbing a damp cloth over the corn. Pull the shucks back up over the corn and completely cover in plastic wrap. Cook 6-8 minutes on high for 2 pieces of corn, turning every couple of minutes, so all sides are in the up position at least once.  If you have not done this before you may have to try a couple before you get the texture and taste that suits you.

Roasting Summer Corn On A Grill:

Cookouts are a family favorite all year round but especially in the summer time.  Corn is one of the easiest veggies to make, to go along with all your grilled meats.

Shuck and remove the silk from 6 ears of summer corn. Lightly wash each ear.  You will need six 12 inch pieces of foil to wrap your corn cobs.  Lay each of them on one sheet of foil and spread your favorite topping around the cob, making sure all kernels have been coated.  Cover the corn cob with the foil by rolling and twisting the ends to make a package. Lay the packages over the indirect heat side of the grill and close the grill’s lid.  Grill for about 15 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes.  Take care when opening the package and not burn yourself from the steam and hot liquid.

Toppings For Your Summer Corn

[1] Place an equal amount of butter and cream cheese into a bowl and mix until you have a soft spreadable mixture.   Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Chili Powder while stirring.  Spread on your hot corn. Leave at room temperature when serving.  Refrigerate between uses.

[2] 1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh basil, 2 teaspoons of grated fresh garlic and  3 Tablespoons of Virgin Olive Oil.  Place all ingredients in a lidded jar [mine is an old jelly jar] and shake to incorporate the flavors.  Brush the mixture over your hot freshly cooked summer corn for an unusual favorable taste.

Corn is the vegetable that is served most often, all over the world, with our meals but there is no match for the flavor of fresh summer corn, straight from the farmer or you and your home garden.

How An Organized Food Pantry Can Make Life Easier.

The key to a well-stocked and useful food pantry is knowing where everything is and being able to find it when you need it. How many times a day do you reach for something only to find that it is expired or it’s left open and lost what ever quality you needed for your cooking? This is a waste of your food, time and money.

Here are 4 Tips for organizing your food pantry and never wasting your food again.

  • First Clean it out:

Pull it all out and examine every box, bag or can of what ever you have in it, carefully. Check for old dates and broken sealed packages. Keep in mind that most can goods are still good for up to a year after their sale date. You will want to place them up front when you rotate your stock supply, so you will be sure to use them first. Then place the rest of the food behind those items, by their expiration date, with the newest dates at the back. Then all you have to do is place new buys behind to keep your pantry up to date.

  • Make a list:

While you have your food items out, make a list of how many you have of each item. Post it on the door facing inside. Then when it comes time to make your shopping list you can easily tell what you have on hand. This will stop the over buying of items, such as having 6 cans of corn and not one can of peas.

  • Invest in Plastic storage containers

Dry ingredients don’t usually come in resealable packages (i.e., sugar, flour). Store them in plastic containers to save on space as well as keep them fresh. Include a scoop [my scoop is a measuring cup] for easy dispensing. This method works well for dry cereals, pastas and beans as well.**

  • Label and organize your shelves:

It doesn’t help much if you do not label the containers with, the name of the product and it’s expiration date. It will save you a lot of bother and headaches later on. Designate a place for each type of food. Such as cereal, cans, jars and other items. Keep your baking items, [flour, sugar, cornmeal, etc] on one shelf. Your snacks, should be, where the younger children can reach them easily so no accidents involving glass containers could happen. Keep your small appliances on the higher shelves or items you rarely use, such as holiday cake pans, or Popsicle making supplies. For foods that you use often, make sure they are within reach and not stuck behind something else.

Each time you take out a can mark it off the list on your door, or when you see an empty spot add that item to your shopping list. This way will be easier to tell when you are running low and need to restock.

An organized pantry serves a lot of different purposes for you and your family plus makes it easier to maintain an organized kitchen.

**My plastic containers came from my local sub shop. I noticed that their supplies was delivered in 1 gallon containers, so I asked, “What do you do with those when they are empty?” I was told they just threw them out so I ask if they would keep me a few and I would pick them up two days later. When I came back, they had 10 waiting for me. I had to clean off labels and soak them in baking soda, it rid them of the pickling smell but I have been using these free products for over 6 years now and they have worked out great. Before you buy, you might want to ask at your local sub shop or restaurants.

Summer time is here, which means, it is time to bring out the grill and get busy grilling.

The easiest grill to use, by far, is the gas grill but if you are wanting more flavor in your food, choose a charcoal grill for your grilling needs.

Smokers are especially nice because you can also control the flavor by changing the type of wood or wood chips you use. They are good if you want to slow cook your meat.

If you want to cook something a little quicker, you may just want to stick with the charcoal grill.
summer time and grilling
Charcoal grills can offer you the best in grilling, whether it be a large juicy steak or a pot of beans.  The offer direct and indirect heat sources, which means, if your grill is large enough you can cook the whole meal at one time.

Two of my favorite easy grilling recipes are:

  • Mrs Dash Chicken

6 Boneless Chicken Thighs

1 Teaspoon Garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons of Mrs Dash, original

Using a large plastic bag, add all ingredients and shake until the chicken pieces are coated in the spices and garlic.  Place on a well greased medium hot grill, skin side down and cook for about 4 minutes, depending on the size of your thighs.  Turn over once, the meat will let you know when, by the way if releases from the grill.  Do not force it, if it sticks, let it be for another minute then try turning it again.

Cook on the second side for about 3 minutes, then remove.  Allow it to rest about 5 minutes before eating, so all the natural juices can soak back into the meat.  Always use tongs when turning your meat to keep the natural moisture inside your meat pieces.

  • Grilled Corn On The Cob

6 Fresh Corn on the Cob, washed and cleaned

6 Tablespoons of soft Butter, infused with fresh basil and cilantro. [Add about one teaspoon of each, chopped fine to the butter]

Cover each corn cob with 1 tablespoon of the infused butter, then wrap in foil.

When all 6 have been wrapped, lay them on the indirect heat side of the grill, then close the lid.  Depending on the size of your corn, it will take between 15 and 20 minutes for them to cook.  Turn them every 5 minutes to give all the corn a chance to bathe in the melted butter.

Unwrap and eat with your chicken for a delightful meal. Grilling with friends and family is always a great way to fellowship and grow that lovin feeling.

What’s for dinner?  Here are some menu helping tips for busy a Mom.

Dinner being the last meal of the day, becomes a time when families can get together and talk about their day. It is also a hectic meal time for most moms who are just getting off of work.  If you are a busy mom, here are some menu planning tips to help make the age old question What’s for Dinner?, easier to answer and even have fun.

Schedule your meals a week in advance.

What's For Dinner

This is one of the most important planning tips for “What’s For Dinner”? Knowing what you are going to eat throughout the week means less chance that you will stop off at the closest fast food joint for a convenient, but unhealthy meal. Decide on the last day of the previous week, what the menu will be for the following week. Create your shopping list from the list of your on hand ingredients, to avoid buying what you don’t need at the grocery store.

Look for bargains.

Clip, share or trade coupons.  Read advertising circulars to decide where the best grocery to shop is for your menu items. If one ingredient is a common denominator in many meals, consider buying in bulk to save money. Common staples like milk, eggs, bread and sugar can be bought in bulk as well. Some stores will have double or triple coupon days when you can save even more.

Search online.

Don’t get into a rut, your family will get tired of chicken and rice every Thursday.  Use the Internet to search for new and exciting What’s for Dinner? recipes.  You can also learn to put a new twist on an old recipe for a new taste.

Have a leftover night.

After cooking meals for five or six days, there is bound to be left over food.  Choose one night a week to be leftover night and let everyone mix and match for dinner. It will save you money and keep your food waste to almost nothing.

Cook your meals in advance.

After deciding on your, What’s For Dinner? menu question, go ahead and fix as many of the meals, as you can. Choose a day when you will have some help on hand.  Each person can take one meal and fix it for the following week. Once everything has cooled, store it in sealed containers or casserole dishes to be frozen until the night it is needed.

Do prep work in advance.

In most cases, all of the meals can’t be cooked at once time. Some foods just taste better, cooked fresh. For them, do as much prep work as you can, in advance.  Get your kids to help chop but let them use the kitchen shears instead of knives. When you have the vegetables chopped and the cooked meat, diced, place them into air tight container and refrigerate, until needed.  Mix together the dry ingredients and do likewise. The night of the meal, add the wet ingredients and cook.

What’s for dinner?, does not have to be a question that only mom can answer. The entire family can help with dinner so it is a relaxing meal for everyone.

Here is one of my favorite places to get family dinner ideas:

 

Home cooking can make a difference in your life and food budget.  These days, people are turning to their home stoves and cookware rather than dialing up for take-out or delivery, or heading to a restaurant.  People choose to eat at home because they think it’s healthier and better for the family, and finances are only part of that. Regardless, cooking at home can make all the difference. Here’s how.

Home Cooking

  • Known Ingredients

When you  do home cooking for your own meals, you know what is going into your recipes. Even if you don’t know the number of calories or the sodium content,  you do know you can control the sodium, sugar, and caloric content just by using the correct ingredients when you cook your own food. Restaurant food often has many different additives in it, not to mention high amounts of salt and sugar.

When you are at home cooking, you aren’t fooled by clever names or labels  that some restaurants place in their menus, to get you to think they are thinking of your health.

  • Less Time Than You Think

Lots of people are fear the prospect of cooking at home because  most think it takes to much time to cook and clean up. But think about this, by the time you get everyone dressed and out the door, 30 minutes have gone by.  Traveling will take another 15-30 minutes.  Finding a seat and ordering, will add another 20 minutes, then the wait for it to be cooked and brought to your table will add 20 minutes to an hour.   You will have spent  anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours, getting ready and waiting to eat.

Most home cooked meals take from 30 to 45 minutes to prepare,  then you eat and maybe you will have a 30 minute clean up period but you can share that with the rest of the family, so it will go quicker.  Home cooking and cleaning up can be family time, too.  Time, learning how your kids day went, how your spouse cleaned their desk to get home to the family for dinner.

All in all, home cooking is more than just putting food on the table, it’s time well spent with the family.  Studies have shown that families that do home cooking, eating together and talking over their day, have less stress and strive in their daily lives.