Acisor's Profile

Display Name: Acisor
Member Since: 8/17/12

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I try to prep everything first, and then shower. That way, spills and stuff don't get on your party clothes. Then, even if the food isn't exactly done as guests are arriving, I'm just pulling from the oven and plating, and I'm all fancy... not rushing around fixing my hair or throwing a dish together.


10 Tips To Help You Throw a Great Party Without Losing Your Mind (Or Blowing Your Budget) Entertaining Tips from The Kitchn
5/28/14 02:54 PM

I'm always embarrassed of this confession, but I shop for the sale meat. Not just when cuts go on sale, but often, in the evenings, grocery stores will tag steaks, pork, and packs of chicken half-off or a few bucks off. Usually, it's because that night is the "sell-buy" date. When I find cuts I regularly use on "clearance," like ground beef, chicken breast, or pot roast, I stock up and freeze it. It lasts a few weeks past the sell-by date in the freezer and I can afford more protein this way.

I also allow myself one new spice or condiment each shop. I love little flavor adds, like capers, olives, roasted peppers, curry spice, etc. but buying a bunch at once can be expensive. The key is having a plan for it in that week's meal rotation, and knowing it can be used in other recipes and dishes later on, before it goes bad. (My one fail on this was anchovy paste... that tube will be hanging around for a while. Yuck.)

I also don't follow recipes exactly. If I'm inspired by a sauce or meat dish, but don't have a couple of the ingredients, I improvise instead of running to the store. Capers can sometimes take the place of olives and still give the salty, brine taste. Sundried tomatoes instead of roasted red peppers... you get the drill.


Tips for Sticking to a Budget: Getting Grocery Shopping Under Control Budget Living
5/19/14 04:12 PM

I have a space issue... a TINY pantry means that I have to be frugal about what I want to stock. A tip I've found to get double-duty out of your sugar:

Crystalized white sugar can be pulverized in a food processor/blender (I use a dinky Magic Bullet) and turns into powdered sugar. Really, when you buy the bag at the store, it's just sugar mixed with an anti-caking agent. If you're only grinding up what you need to make frosting/glaze, etc., it won't have time to cake. And you only need to invest in one bag of sugar!

Also, I second the "ethnic" aisle for grabbing canned staples. Minced garlic, roasted peppers, capers, etc. are almost always a few cents cheaper here than in whatever aisle they're normally found in!


The Most Essential Pantry Staples for Cooks on an Extreme Budget? Good Questions
5/1/14 10:27 AM

If you're looking for a healthy option, I prepped tonight's meal ahead of time so all I have to do is throw it together... a healthy spin on Asian take out.

Marinate sliced chicken breast in garlic peanut sauce (I used a high-quality bottled sauce) the night before, and cook up a batch of quinoa in chicken stock. Tonight, when I get home, I'm going to skewer the chicken and grill it up like peanut satay, and fix the quinoa like fried rice. Toss in snow peas, grated carrot, chopped spring onion, frozen peas, carrots, and edamame, and scramble an egg (season with soy sauce and sesame seeds)... it comes together in under a half hour, tastes guilty, but is super healthy!


Make-Ahead Ideas for a Weeknight Dinner Party? Good Questions
5/1/14 10:08 AM

I don't yet have children, but I do share an incredibly teeny bathroom with roommates. Aside from a medicine cabinet, we have no storage. I bought a canvas-mesh shoe organizer and hung it on the back of the door, and it holds nearly everything! Big bottles of lotion, toothbrushes, hair spray, vitamins...

I'd imagine if kids are roaming around, not to store things they can easily eat/get into in the bottom pockets. However, our bathroom looks picture-perfect and super-tidy...until you close the door and all your necessities are in easy reach!


Small Bathroom Ideas: Space-Saving Products For Families And Kids
4/8/14 10:08 AM

I live in a 1920's-house with MINUSCULE closets. I added a pop-up, covered "closet" to my attic to store out-of-season clothes (without having to fold/box up each season) and a garment rack in the corner of my room. I try to hang "display clothes" on the garment rack - new pieces, a favorite beautiful leather jacket, a sequined top. It helps inspire me to wear them and keeps my nicer articles of clothing from being mushed up against every-day slacks and blouses in the closet.


How To Deal When Your Closet Isn't in Your Room (or Maybe Isn't Even a Closet)
4/3/14 01:59 PM

My one added suggestion for digitizing documents - save them to a DISK! It's great to have an easy-access PDF on your hard drive, but for back-up, save a copy on a CD, label with the document contents and dates, and store in a safe place.


Drowning in Paper? What to Keep, What to Toss, What to Digitize Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies
3/11/14 10:01 AM

I've always done this with celery! Yum!


Frugal Tip: Reuse Your Leftover, Store-Bought Pickle Brine
3/5/14 05:09 PM

Last time I went on a day ski trip and wanted to avoid lodge food, I made a big batch of pasta salad (full of veggies and ham and salami)... it kept in the car (granted, it was 14 degrees outside so the Jeep was a refrigerator.)

Homemade version of gyros are easy and portable, too! I made a lamb "meatloaf", sliced it thin, and stuffed it in pita with cucumber and tzatziki sauce.

bake up a bitch batch of home-made chicken tenders (rolled/breaded in crushed cheez-its are my favorite, and I'm sure delish to a 5-year-old) and the next time you're at a fast food restaurant, grab a few extra ketchup packets. Healthier than fried chicken, but the same concept that chicken can be eaten cold/room temp

Pita with hummus or babaganoush (spelling is off I'm sure -- the mashed eggplant is what I mean though!) and veggies is a good vegetarian/meatless Monday option

Not exactly the healthiest option, but as a kid my mom used to make "spaghetti pie" out of plain leftover noodles. She would whisk eggs with cinnamon and a pinch of salt and bit of milk, pour it over a greased glass baking dish of just cooked plain spaghetti noodles, and bake it until it "set". I don't know the exact recipe though, sorry!


What Are Some Make-Ahead Meals I Can Take To My Kid's Baseball Games? Good Questions
2/26/14 10:29 AM