Quick and Dirty Veggie Sides

Let’s face it: unless you’re Martha Stewart (and if you are, hi Martha, how you doing?  I’m a BIG fan), you can’t whip up awesomeness in your kitchen with only the freshest ingredients every single night of the week.  So if you’re like me, you probably have a sizable collection of frozen vegetables in your freezer.  Fun fact for you: frozen vegetables actually contain more vitamins than the fresh ones you get in the grocery store, because they are flash-frozen at the peak of freshness.  And now you know.

The great thing about frozen vegetables is they’re ready in minutes and having them on hand saves you a trip to the store in the middle of a snowstorm.

Problem is, they’re a little on the boring side.  So here’s a quick way to add some kick-ass to your frozen food.

Get your frozen vegetables from their package to a large frying pan or flat saucepan.  My method involved smashing the package on the counter several times to loosen up the veggies.

Tonight we had peas and spinach.  Lots of lovely chlorophyll.

Add to that a tablespoon or two of butter, some minced garlic, and some fresh herbs.  I used basil here.  Some salt and pepper if you’re feeling sassy.

Heat on medium until the vegetables are thawed and the excess water is absorbed.  Add a few tablespoons chicken broth and stir until that is absorbed as well and the vegetables are tender. 

Serve hot!

Fresh Eggs

You buy a carton of eggs at the grocery store.  If you just got ’em, that means they must be fresh, right?

Wrong.

While those eggs are still fine to eat, the freshest of fresh eggs, for us urban folk, generally come from farmer’s markets or produce exchanges.  If you are fortunate enough to have access to fresh eggs, then your cakes and custards will be the fluffiest and most tender.  Congratulations.

Here is a quick test to determine how fresh your eggs are, and it was taught to me by Miss Awesome (not her real name, but, surprisingly, pretty close).

Take your egg.  Plop it in a bowl of water so it is completely submerged.  If it sinks, it’s fresh.  If it floats, it’s not.

The reasoning behind this is because egg shell is porous (which is why you shouldn’t put your eggs in the door of your refrigerator, as they’ll absorb all the smells of your fridge), and over time air leaks in through the shell.  So you can tell that your egg has been around for a while if it floats, because it’s had time for the good stuff inside to shrink and for the shell to absorb air.

And now you know.  Eggs.