Category Archives: Tips

A Few Kitchen Tips

Kitchen Tips ~ LifeOfJoy.meWell I failed again at planning for the recipe of the week. :(  I’m going to have to get a bit better at this. ;)

Consequently, I thought I’d share a few kitchen tips with you.

  • When chopping onions, it won’t bother your eyes if you chew some gum.
  • When storing cut onions, completely wrap in foil and store in the refrigerator.
When Sauteing:
  • I start sauteing veggies in a pan sprayed with oil, when they begin to stick, I add a bit of water to release them from the bottom of the pan. I add more water as needed to keep them from sticking.
  • You probably already know this but here goes anyway. Wrap celery in foil and store in the veggie drawer.
  • When I buy a head of leaf lettuce and get it home, I put paper towels in the bag with it to absorb some of that moisture that the store sprays on it so frequently . . . ugh.

I think that is all I have for today. I’ll try to have a good recipe for you next week!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Cooking Failures

Crockpot Rice Mishap ~ LifeOfJoy.meI think it is sometimes good to share mishaps. Firstly, because it lets you know that nobody is perfect and everybody has things happen. Secondly, so that others can learn from our mistakes.

I decided to put our dinner in the crockpot Sunday, so that when we got home from church, we would have a nice hot yummy meal ready for us. As you may have already guessed, this did not happen as planned. ;)

I was up early and managed to get the chicken, salsa, and seasonings in my 6qt crockpot. I then put the brown rice and water in my little 1.5 qt crockpot. I then put a note on the front door to ensure that we had turned ON the crockpots. Yes, I learned this one from experience. You see, we are gone for about 5 hours and I am typically filling the crockpot an hour before we leave. We do not need food in the crockpot an extra hour, so I wait until we are getting ready to walk out the door to turn it on and then just as I am walking to the door, I usually put my hand on the outside of the crockpot to feel if it is warm, thus ensuring that not only did I turn it on but I also have it plugged in. Yes, another thing learned the hard way.

Well, this Sunday as I was putting the finishing touches on my hair, Mike asked if I wanted the crockpot turned on low. I said yes and knew he was standing right over the crockpot when he asked, so I knew it was done.

When I walked out of our bedroom, ready to leave, I went over to the little crockpot and turned it on low. I ensured that the light came on and out the door we went.

Fast forward five and a half hours. We walk in the door and all I’m smelling is rice. No nice spicy aroma of taco chicken. :( Uh Oh!!! I asked someone to check the chicken because I didn’t think it was done, if it was even on, while I changed my clothes. (One of Mike’s pet peeves is when I cook in my good clothes.) I overhear that it is not cooked, so I yell out to them that they should put it in the dutch oven on the stove and have a snack until dinner ends up ready.

I finished changing my clothes and checked on the rice. I was eager to see how it had faired. I’d read a blog post somewhere recently where a lady made a chicken and rice dish in her crock pot but when she used brown rice it came out really sticky. She fixed this by using instant brown rice instead.

I removed the lid and saw nice pieces of rice. I put my spoon down in the crock and felt MUSH!!! I folded the rice and took a taste — UGH!!! Rice was totally mush! What was the problem? Now, I will tell you that I did cook it on low because we were going to be gone for over 5 hours and on high it would have been a burnt mess.

Oddly enough, I saw a blog post link on my facebook news feed yesterday morning about cooking rice in a crock pot. I read her post and saw that she did use brown rice too. So . . . I commented on her page and hopefully she can tell me how to fix it. I’m guessing that since it is in my crockpot for so long that I need to reduce the amount of water that I add. See when I cook brown rice on the stove, even in one of my pots with the tightest fitting lids, I have to add the higher end of the water suggested rather than the lower end. However, I am guessing with the crockpot since no steam escapes at all that I need to use the lower measurement. I will try this one day with a smaller batch of rice. If I get a response from Carrie over on, I’ll update this post.

Thankfully, all was not lost with the rice as our cats, chickens, and even one of our dogs enjoyed it. Dinner was good about an hour and a half later even though I had to cook the rice too. ;) Actually, I almost burnt the taco chicken on the stove because I was expecting it to take longer to cook than what it did. LOL Oh well, live and learn!

Update: Carrie thinks I just overcooked it. :( Bummer! Now I’m wondering if Auto would work . . . I think I’ll try that next.

Until next time, I hope you don’t have any cooking mishaps, and God bless,

Michele ºÜº

How to Core an Apple

Well, I thought I might share my egg roll recipe here today but I realized that we did not take any pictures of the final product last week. :(  I’ve toyed with what other recipe to share today and decided that rather than push it and be rushed getting this post published that I would share a tip with you today.

I have broken my fair share of apple corers. So much so, that I have stopped buying them. I still have times when I need my apples cored though. I’ve been using this method for so long that I’m not sure if I came up with this on my own or if I read about it online but here it is any way. :)

Cut the apple in half pole to pole, from stem to blossom end.Apple Cut Pole-to-PoleSplit apple and melon baller

Now, take a melon baller (You know that odd little tool that you keep in your gadget drawer that you never use because you cut your watermelons in slices.) and remove the core from each half of the apple.




The last step is to notch out the stem and blossom end.




When I make apple pie or apple cake, I peel the apples before cutting or coring.

Today I made a Waldorf Salad with my apple. It is very simple to make. I chopped the apple, finely diced 2/3 of a stalk of celery, cut about 12 grapes in half or fourths, and chopped about 1/3 cup of walnuts.IMG_9070

Then I add about 1/3 cup Miracle Whip Salad Dressing, sprinkling of sugar or drizzle of honey, a dash of milk but you could add a dash of lemon juice instead, and a dash of salt (and pepper if you like).

Wasy Waldorf Salad

I hope you enjoyed this tip and simple “recipe.”

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº