Storage Tip: Celery

Do you find limp celery at the bottom of your vegetable drawer too often? Me too -- what a waste! This tip from a Cook's Illustrated reader really works: Leave the celery in the plastic bag but then wrap in aluminum foil. My last stalk lasted a month and was nearly as good at the end as the beginning.

Tool Tip: Chinois

I inherited this chinois (sheen-WAH) from my mother but didn't know what it was called or even, truly, what to do with it. And I'm so glad I did! It makes the smoothest of sauces and soups with very little effort. I wouldn't give up the food processor. But I'm happy this came home with me. I see that they're still for sale, as here on Amazon though I suspect they'd be available less expensively at yard sales and even on E-Bay. For the record, as you'll see from the comments below, whether this is a chinois or a China cap is up for debate. As of July 2006, there's a Wikpedia definition , which says that the two are often confused but that: While both are conical sieves The China cap is made of perforated metal (like mine) where the chinois is made of fine wire mesh The chinois often has a dowel (as mine does) to push foods through the holes, like the blade of a food mill Since mine has characteristics of each, I'm not sure what to call

Day 127: Beets with Caraway ♥

Today's vegetable recipe: Cooked beets tossed with sour cream, horseradish and caraway. Low carb. Weight Watchers 1 point. ~ recipe & photo updated in 2008 ~ When I first made this recipe in 2005, it was the fourth day in a row for beets. I made a sauce of low-fat yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese and seasoned it with caraway seed. The beets were okay -- but forgettable -- and the caraway seeds just didn't soften, even after a couple of hours in the sauce. Fast forward to 2008: I've learned that beets with sour cream and horseradish are a terrific combination and this time elected to use ground caraway. NOW I can recommend this recipe without reservation! MORE FAVORITE BEET RECIPES ~ Beets with Feta ~ ~ Borscht Beets with onion, balsamic vinegar and dill ~ ~ Swedish Pickled Beetroot Salad using pickled beets rather than roasted beets ~ ~ more beet recipes , if you love beets, this is a must-explore section ~ BEETS with CARAWAY Hands-on time: 12 minutes Time to table:

Day 126: Mustard Beets ♥

Today's vegetable recipe: Pre-cooked beets in a light sauce of yogurt, sour cream and mustard. Weight Watchers 1 point. ~ recipe updated 2008 ~ 2005: "Aw Ma. Beets again?"Remind me to forgo buying vegetables in bulk during the height of the growing season. Day by day, I've been working on last week's pile of beets, forgoing everything ELSE! Tonight's Mustard Beets are plenty good, for sure. But they don't match up to the Veggie Venture beet favorites including Beets with Feta , Red Onion with Beets and Borscht Beets . 2008: Aha, it just goes to show how important variety is when eating vegetables. This time, I loved the beets, perhaps because it had been a few weeks since cooking any. The sauce is light and easy, made with on-hand ingredients. It's a keeper! I did change the proportions, however, using just a spoonful of Greek yogurt (less but considerably richer) and a full tablespoon of mustard and sour cream. So there was decidedly less sauce, a go

Day 125: Honey-Pepper Beets ♥

~recipe & photo updated 2008 & 2012~ ~ more recently updated recipes ~ 2005 Original: With cooked beets in the fridge, a great vegetable dish is only a few minutes away. I cooked a big pot of beets yesterday: just 5 minutes of attention, an hour on the stove, a half hour to cool in a colander, a transfer to a ziplock bag. Peesa-cake. Then today, I made this salad. Quick 'n' easy, for sure. 2008 Update: I simplified this recipe so that it could be served immediately, rather than waiting 3 hours. And it was earthy-rich, just delicious, especially topped with a little sour cream sauce. 2012 Update: Once you have cooked beets, it's so easy to make a quick salad. And that's what I did. And then I gobbled them up with some Massaged Kale Salad . And then a few days later, when there was a small cupful left in the fridge, I learned that after this slow soak in a little bit of balsamic vinegar, the beets deepen and darken and turn to something akin to pickled beet

Day 124: Jealous Marys ♥

A low-cal, low-sugar cocktail, perfect for sipping poolside during hot summer afternoons. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real . Naturally Gluten Free. ~recipe updated, first published way back in 2005~ ~ more recently updated recipes ~ Lovely color, yes? And it tastes great, too, perfect for a small soirée on the patio in real life. It's a cucumber rendition of a tomato bloody mary, puréed in a blender then strained, at my house in a [ tool whose name I can't remember but will insert later, that would be a chinois ] that lives in the basement until moments just like this. And this is my first-ever contribution to a virtual blog party, where food bloggers from all over the world will make and post cocktail food and drinks. Check The Happy Sorceress for a recap! PERSONAL NOTE See those big male hands? :-) Here's who that is, The Man With the Hands (I Married Him!) !

Day 123: Cucumber Salad with Lime & Fresh Mint ♥

Today's simple cucumber salad: Thin slices of cucumber tossed with fresh lime juice, fresh mint and just a touch of heat. Weight Watchers Friendly, just PointsPlus 1! Low Carb. Gluten Free. ~recipe updated from the Recipe Box, first posted 2005!~ ~ more recently updated recipes ~ SO. WAY BACK IN 2005? This salad had "good bones" but turned out to be, let me be frank, a loser. Even after doctoring a recipe from a reliable recipe source? Nothing special. BUT. NOW TEN YEARS LATER? I played with the recipe until finally, it earned a hard-won ♥. Now? It's like a spicy cucumber mojito, a mix of wet cucumber, fresh lime juice and a smattering of fresh mint. Drink up, cucumber lovers!