Give Your Pancakes a Flavor Boost With Infused Maple Syrup

Pancakes, waffles, and French toast are all great, but these breakfast basics are really just a vessel for us to eat more maple syrup, right? While unflavored maple syrup is a delight in its own right, every now and then it can be a real treat to dress it up.

Flavoring maple syrup is a fun way to make breakfast an adventure. Here are five delicious ways to do it.

Source: 5 Maple Syrup Twists to Take Your Pancakes on a Breakfast Adventure

I did something similar recently. I made some blackberry sauce by simmering frozen blackberries with a little water and mushing them through a strainer to get out the seeds. Then I heated the sauce with a shot of my homemade vanilla rum and some maple syrup.

It made a wonderful, fruity, purple maple syrup.

Make Delicious, Snappy Sichuan Green Beans Without a Wok

Gan bian si ji dou—Sichuan-style dry-fried green beans with chilies and pickles—are one of the best and most mistranslated vegetable dishes in the world. The real version should be bright and light, featuring beans with blistered skins and snappy interiors and tossed with chili-flavored oil, Sichuan peppercorns, scallions, garlic, ginger, and chopped preserved mustard root. It’s a pretty far cry from the oily, drab, pork-smothered versions you find in Chinese take-out joints. While a bit of minced pork is not totally out of the question, it’s hardly a required ingredient.

Source: The Food Lab: For the Best Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans, Ditch the Wok and Turn on the Broiler

A word of caution – green [snap] beans have a fair amount of vitamin K in them:

  • 1 ounce/28 grams of green snap beans contains 4 mcg of vitamin K, 5% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • 1 cup/110 grams of green snap beans contains 15.8 mcg of vitamin K, 20% DV

Give Your Toast a Pleasant Edge With Ginger Butter

My motto in life? Give me toast, or give me death. That’s a bit of stretch, but not too far given I’m very fond of the stuff and eat a slice of it every morning. Mostly I’m a swipe of Kerrygold kind of girl. Definitely an add a sprinkle of salt before taking a bite kind of girl, but now, I’m a don’t forget the ginger kind of girl. Because ginger has made my butter better.

Source: Make Ginger Butter and Put It on Everything

Coconut oil or peanut butter would make a good stand-in…

Toast and Season Your Rice Before Boiling for Unbelievable Flavor

The secret to a better pot of rice lies in seasoning and flavoring the grains before they even hit that pot of boiling water.

Source: The Tastier Way to Cook Rice

Instead of transferring it to the boiling pot, you could combine this tip with Alton Brown’s pour-over method to really take your rice to the next level. Either way, it’s an easy enough step, and it makes for extra tasty rice.

How Much Flavor You Get from Ginger Depends on How You Cut It

There are the ingredients that wax and wane in the kitchen. The ingredients that somehow find themselves in every meal or are left to collect cobwebs in the corner of cabinets and grow soft in the back of the fridge. But not ginger — never ginger. This rhizome, often described as a root, is often used in my kitchen as a way to bring heat to a dish without reaching for a pepper — I just have to be sure to reach for the right one.

Source: Need to Kick Up Your Dish? Reach for (Mature) Ginger

Curious about how much vitamin K ginger has?  Know that you can use the peels to make tea

Freeze it. When you need it, grind it. The first thing you’ll notice is that the stringy part is no longer stringy and grinds right off. The second thing you’ll notice is that you’ll have fresh tasting ginger even when you keep it in the freezer for months. After more than half a year, there’s still no freezer burn or shriveled up ginger.

Make Easy, Delicious Cold Noodles with This Simple Soy Vinaigrette

Here’s to easy hangover food 😉 😀

  • Chard is really high in vitamin K – I don’t recommend taking up the habit if you don’t regularly eat it already.
  • The video measures the liquid in grams – the recipe here has common measurements.
  • The chef strains out the ginger and garlic… This appears to be a bit of ad libbing. While the original directions state to “strain”, it does not specifically call out garlic and/or ginger.

Infuse Melted Butter with Spices for Tastier Baked Goods

You probably already know that toasting spices or sizzling them in oil or butter helps their flavor bloom—and the same principle applies for baking, too. For recipes that call for melted butter, just heat that butter with whole or crushed spices, like a split vanilla bean, a broken cinnamon stick, or a few crushed whole cloves or cardamom pods. With heat, the essential oils from the spices make their way into the browned butter and the two swirl around and become one tasty mess. Besides spice, this method creates toasty depth in the butter, a guaranteed flavor booster.

Source: How to Spice Up Your Christmas Cookies (Literally)

That’ll make for a killer pancake recipe…  Don’t forget about using eggnog to make French toast.

Q: Could you do this for recipes that call for solid butter by cooking the spices in then re-cooling the butter?

A: You will boil off the water when browning the butter, so – no. Even if you just melt the butter and don’t brown it, you will lose water content.

Make This Digestive Tonic to Relieve the Pain of Holiday Overeating

Mint, ginger, fennel, and cayenne are known for their digestive properties. Turn this into a spritzer by using club soda instead of water.

Source: Overeater’s Tonic

Never tried anything remotely like this, nor do I know anyone who has used something like it beyond napping.  If necessary, I just take Tums antacid for heartburn…

Save Money by Making Your Own Pumpkin Spice Mix

As the leaves start to change color and cheery pumpkins show up on doorsteps, summer seems like a distant memory and we’re smack-dab in the middle of fall. And while pumpkin spice-flavored treats make their appearance just about, well, everywhere, do you even know what it contains? Here’s what it is and why you should make it at home. (Hint: It’s as easy as it gets!)

Source: How To Make Pumpkin Pie Spice

I spice my coffee with an equal parts mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper. It’s so good!  Very popular with tea and coffee in India. Crushed Black peppercorns are awesome in them.

How to Make Your Own Bitters for a Signature Stamp on Every Cocktail

Any bar worth its rimming salt should be stocked with at least a couple of bottles of bitters. Sure, you can make a cocktail without them, but you can also roast a chicken without salt or pepper. Like these everyday seasonings, cocktail bitters add flavor and depth to almost any beverage, and making your own allows you to put a unique stamp on every cocktail you serve.

I urge you to think of bitters as a sort of “cocktail spice rack”, and to think of every cocktail as a choose-your-own-adventure type of situation. Homemade bitters are so easy to make (you just throw stuff in jars) that there’s no reason not to have a bottle to suit each and every one of your whims. Plus, they make great, super thoughtful gifts. (It’s September, everyone, which means it is just about time to start stressing about the holidays.)

Source: How to Make Your Own Bitters for a Signature Stamp on Every Cocktail

No matter how good you think they would be, never try to eat the fruit soaked for bitters. 😉

If you find yourself at a bar unable to afford decent bourbon (or the well sludge is on happy hour) ask for a splash of aromatic bitters with your drink. Turns a really crappy bourbon into a mediocre-to-poor bourbon, and they’ll never upcharge you for it.