How to Pass Off Store-Bought Food as Your Own

Taking it out of the container would be a start 😉

From now until January 2nd, you’ll be invited to many parties of the house, cocktail, and dinner variety. If you love to cook, making and bringing something won’t be a problem, but if you have the baking skills of a young Cher Horowitz, you may need to lie. By “lie” I mean “buy some food you did not make and pretend you did.” This isn’t honest, or righteous, or even very easy, but it can be done.

Source: How to Pass Off Store-Bought Food as Your Own

I figured if I covered cranberry sauce, why stop there?

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Turn Leftover Lasagna Noodles Into Delicious Pasta Crackers

While lasagna (the dish) will save dinner, lasagna (the noodle) will prove equally heroic for throwing together small bites and snacks with little effort and time. So when cravings strike next, think outside the layers and try these five, noodle-filled bites.

Source: 5 Surprising Ways to Snack on Lasagna Noodles

I like to cook lasagna a day or so before I plan on eating it.  The leftover noodles never go to waste as I always reserve a part of the sauce and some cheese for making lasagna noodle roll-ups after the lasagna has been constructed and put in the oven. Very messy and very, very tasty!

Soak Pasta Instead of Boiling It for Easier Baked Pasta Dishes

Here’s something I’ve always wondered: when baking pasta, as in, say, lasagna or baked ziti, why do you always cook the pasta first? Aren’t you inviting trouble by cooking it once, then proceeding to put it in a casserole and cooking it again? Well, there’s the obvious first part of the answer to this question: pasta needs to absorb water as it cooks—a lot of water, around 80 percent of its own weight when perfectly al dente. So, add raw pasta directly to a baked pasta dish, and it will soften all right—it’ll also suck up all of the moisture from the sauce, leaving it dry or broken.

Source: The Food Lab: For Easier Baked Ziti, Soak, Don’t Boil Your Pasta

I thought the pasta drew moisture from the sauce.  It does… resulting in dry sauce. I’ve always wondered about those pastas marketed as not needing to be boiled first—how are they different from regular pasta or is this just some marketing ploy? Anyway, traditionally recipes recommend boiling the pasta first.

Cheese Swaps that will Update your Favourite Cheesy Dishes

Sometimes a little change can make a big difference, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to cheese. You can completely change a dish just by substituting the cheese you usually use for something new.

Source: Cheese swaps that will update your favourite cheesy dishes

I knew about the ricotta & goat cheese instead of cream cheese in cheesecake.  I’m not keen to try until I figure out how to stop the cracking.  Around here, there’s numerous interpretations of poutine.  Bacon is a popular addition.  I liked the last one I had, but it was quite salty.  I can say with experience that Grilled Brie with Pears was awesome.

Now I’m hungry 😦