Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stay-at-home Saturday: A Tip and a Recipe

TNT: What to do with leftover celery (and other produce conundrums)

Remember that chicken and rice soup from a couple of weeks ago? It called for a stalk or two of celery, but I had to buy a whole bunch of it. Not one to just throw out perfectly good celery, yet unwilling to eat raw celery, I needed a plan. I did a little research and it turns out that you can freeze celery to use in another dish!

Here are the steps:
1. Wash the celery
2. Cut it up into desired size (I will use it in soup, so I cut it into bite-sized pieces)
3. Spread out on wax paper that is placed on a large baking pan (please ignore the Krispy Kreme boxes in the background. Thank you.)

4. Freeze for a few hours.
5. Scoop into labeled bags or containers and store in freezer.
The reason you do it this way is to avoid freezing your celery into a great big lump. When the pieces freeze unattached they won't stick together in the bag. That makes it easy to measure out what you need! (There's no need to thaw before you use it again.)

I've done this with bananas, onions and strawberries. However, with onions, I don't freeze the pieces individually. I just measure the onions according to what I usually use, which is 1/4 and 1/2 cups, and freeze them in a baggie. When I'm ready to use the onions I just dump them into my pan or pot. This is an excellent way to put your freezer to work for your budget!

Caramel Popcorn

This recipe is an oldie from an old church cookbook and let me tell you, it is soooo good. It's not healthy and it's not fancy, but it's a crowd-pleaser every time. This Friday Movie Night recipe is always a hit. And if you're making it just for yourself on a Tuesday night, that's okay too! Just halve the recipe (or not) and dive in!

-5 quarts popped popcorn (Let me just say that I have no idea how much this is. If you have an air popper then maybe the bag of kernels will tell you. Otherwise just buy plain, unsalted microwave popcorn and start with two full size bags.)
-1 stick butter
-1 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup clear Karo syrup
- 1 pinch of baking soda (literally, just get a pinch out of the box)

1. Melt butter, brown sugar and Karo syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Boil one minute, stirring now and then.
3. Add baking soda and stir (call the kids in for this - it foams like a science experiment!).
4. Pour over popcorn and stir.
5. Devour!


Ashlie Miller said...

Yummy recipe!

I notice that you freeze do you go about that? Do you puree them or slice them?

AmyA said...

I slice them and spread them out in a baggie (so they won't stick together). They will turn slightly brown, but it doesn't affect the flavor. Frozen bananas are good to throw in smoothies or to thaw and use in banana bread. If you find your bananas are brown but don't want to throw them out, freezing is a good option.