Should You Avoid Microwaves?

I remember the first microwave we had in our house.  It was the mid-70’s and my Dad worked for a company called Winchester Electronics based in Watertown, Connecticut.  I have no idea if they’re still around, but one of their biggest consumer product lines was microwave ovens.  Since he worked for the company he got one at a steep discount for about $550, which was a fortune back then.

Microwaves have come a long way, but ultimately they haven’t changed that much. The principle is still essentially the same. They use radiation to manipulate the food at the molecular level, making them vibrate by the short radio waves emitted into the food. The vibration creates energy which heats up the food. This is why the food cooks quickly — because all the molecules on the inside are cooking at the same time as the ones on the outside, unlike conventional heat which starts on the surface and makes its way inside the food.

So that’s all I’m gonna say about how microwave cooking works. Now I want to talk about why you might want to avoid using them, or at least minimize their use. Continue reading “Should You Avoid Microwaves?”

Easy Garlic-Saving Trick

Years ago I was in the habit of buying those tiny trays of frozen crushed garlic. They disappeared from the stores for a while, and I forgot about them. When I decided to write this post for you, I did some digging and found out they still exist (at least online), but the ingredient label shows they also contain canola oil and salt, neither of which I want in my garlic. (Here’s why you may not want to consume canola oil.)

Anyway, I want to share with you this great garlic-saving trick I’ve been using a lot lately. If you like fresh garlic in your food but don’t like the sticky painful mess of peeling and chopping, then check this out.

When a recipe you have calls for, say one or two cloves of chopped garlic, make a whole head of it. It takes a little extra time but you gain overall efficiency in “mass production.”

  1. Break up the whole head of garlic by rolling it firmly around in a kitchen towel (these are my favorite). Go ahead and be aggressive with it, you’re going to chop it up anyway!
  2. Take a small knife and start chopping off those hard stubby ends. When you’re all done, take a large knife and press-smash the garlic with the side of the knife. The peels will start to pull away and fall off.
  3. Pull out the raw garlic cloves and either put them in a mini-chopper or set them aside in a bowl. Discard the detritus. Chop the garlic to desired size either by hand or in the mini-chopper.
  4. Set aside however much you need for tonight. Put a scoops of chopped garlic into the cells of a small ice cube tray , then wrap the tray in plastic and freeze.
  5. Once  frozen, pop them out of the tray, and place in an air-tight container back in the freezer for later use.

Garlic’s health benefits are huge! A natural gut healer, anti-oxidant, and pre-biotic, you can’t go wrong with using a lot of garlic in your food.

Using foil vs towels to keep food warm

You’ve just pulled something nice and crispy out of the oven, but the rest of your meal isn’t ready. How do you keep it warm? Should you use aluminum foil or a towel to keep your food warm?

If you cover your food with an impermeable material (i.e. something that won’t let steam escape such as aluminum foil), your food will continue to steam inside it’s cover, essentially removing the nice crispy layer you so wanted to sink your teeth into. Continue reading “Using foil vs towels to keep food warm”

Magically Steamed Green Beans

To make super easy steamed green beans, simply add a small bag of pre-cut and pre-washed green beans to a rice cooker while you are making the rest of your dinner.  Follow the directions on your steamer.  Here’s the one I use.

Result: Beautifully steamed green beans with 30 seconds of effort!

P.S. I recommend setting the timer for 5 minutes less than the instructions, otherwise they come out a tad overdone.

P.P.S. Spend an extra minute trimming off the ends, which can get brown or soft after a few days in the frig. While you’re at it cut the longer ones in half and make them more uniformly sized, insuring they’ll all be cooked to the same doneness.

The Art of Dicing an Avocado

Years ago I learned (from somewhere — maybe my Mom, maybe a YouTube video, it hardly matters) the absolute best way to dice an avocado in beautiful, delicious, creamy, uniform cubes. Follow my pictorial below and you’ll be transforming avocados into gorgeous green gourmet goodness in no-time flat.

1) With a medium-sized very sharp knife (I always have very sharp knives, I sharpen them every single time I use them) slice the avocado all the way around lengthwise, cutting the flesh all the way to the pit. Twist the two halves apart.

Avocado cut in half Continue reading “The Art of Dicing an Avocado”

EZ Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Pork Carnitas

The original version of this recipe received 733 reviews with an average 4.5 star rating on

My version of these yummy slow cooker carnitas is spicier and has a stronger Indian flavor.  You will also need to start it one day ahead but I promise you it is worth it!  You can either start it the night before and eat it the following night, or start it in the morning and eat it the following day.  Either way it needs to sit in the frig for 8-10 hours before cooking.

Here we go! Continue reading “EZ Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas”