How to Cook Tofu

Cooking Tofu for Dummies

Whether you are new to vegetarianism or you just want to impress a vegetarian loved one, you may find the idea of cooking that tasteless, white square block that seems to be a staple in vegetarian diets rather intimidating. People oftentimes ask, “How do you cook tofu?” “How do you make it taste like anything?” Well, it’s actually not that difficult. After reading and following the steps below, you will be on your way to cooking good tofu that can be easily used in a stir-fry, an Asian-style rice or pasta dish, or a salad.

This is how to cook tofu:

Step 1: Buy a package of tofu (of course!). Make sure that the package says that it is either firm or very firm tofu.

Step 2: Once you are ready to prepare the tofu, open the package, drain all the water from it and take out the tofu.

Step 3: With some paper towels, wrap the block of tofu and gently squeeze as much water from it as possible without altering its shape. Once you’ve squeezed out most of the water (this is important because it won’t cook as well if it’s water-logged) unwrap the tofu from the towels.

Step 4: On a cutting board, slice the tofu into cubes the size of your choice. Set aside.

Step 5: Put vegetable oil enough to cover the surface in a skillet, and put the skillet on medium-high.

Step 6: Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Amino Acids (much less sodium) to the skillet. These sauces are essential to the tofu cooking process, because it is what helps brown the tofu and give it a “skin.”

Step 7: Add the tofu when the skillet heats but before it gets too hot. Be careful not to splash oil on yourself.

Step 8: Allow the tofu to cook on all sides, or at least two sides if you’re pressed for time. You will let the tofu fry in the skillet on each side for at least about 5 minutes. You want to check the side that’s cooking to see if it has browned. If it hasn’t browned after about 8 minutes, you may want to add more soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Amino Acids. Because they are dark in color, not to mention very flavorful, you want to use these sauces to brown the tofu or to give it a “skin,” and to give the tofu some flavor. Using either one of these when cooking, along with a moderate amount of oil, should at least allow your tofu to brown on its sides, if not give it a skin, which will also give the tofu a chewier texture. While cooking, make sure that the tofu does not stick to the skillet by using your spatula to lift the cubes occasionally. You can also check the “browning” process by flipping the tofu cubes on a side that hasn’t browned with a spatula. If the tofu has browned or formed a skin, use the spatula to turn it to a side that needs browning.

When all the sides of tofu (or how ever many you desire or have the patience for) have cooked to your satisfaction, you can add fresh vegetables or a frozen package of stir-fry ready vegetables to the skillet to cook along with the tofu, or you can cook the two separately.

When the tofu is done, you can also pour some Asian sauce over it, depending on what you’re cooking, and let it cook in that sauce for a while to absorb additional flavor. Use the tofu like you would chicken, beef or pork in your dishes, except you may want to add more seasoning to tofu. On a bed of rice, Asian noodles or salad, add the tofu to your favorite vegetables and you’ve got yourself a tasty vegetarian entree with tofu–good tofu. Hopefully, you now know how to cook tofu!

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How to Organize Your Kitchen

For many families, the kitchen is the “hub” of the home. Everything revolves around the kitchen, and an unorganized, cluttered kitchen, is a recipe for family disaster.

We all know how it is when we can’t find something we’re looking for. We dig through cupboards and pantries. We become agitated and grouchy, and, without realizing it, we take that out on those around us. The best way to avoid issues such as this, is to organize your kitchen, from top to bottom.

Start with your counter tops and sink. Wash all dishes and scrub the sink. Clear the counters of excess clutter and scrub them. Now, you feel a little better about your kitchen and are ready to move on.

First, grab a couple of boxes to keep handy while you organize. Mark one as “donate”, and the other as “unsure”. The “donate” box is obvious. You probably have kitchen items that you never use, have duplicates of, or just don’t want anymore. Donate to a charity that can use them. The “unsure” box is for items you want, but are not sure where to put them quite yet.

Start with your cabinets. Organize all your dishes. Those dishes you need for baking and cooking should be readily available near the stove. Make the investment at your local department store and purchase some wire racks that allow you to stack different items. Sure, it is easy to stack those small plates directly on top of the dinner plates. But it is never easy to reach in and grab a dinner plate with those little plates on top!

Keep a cupboard available for small kitchen appliances. They should not be kept on the counters, where they will take up space. Try to keep as much items as you can off of your counters. Perhaps you might want to invest in a breadbox for bread. (Remember to use your “donate” and “unsure” boxes as you go!)

If you have a deep pantry, you might want to consider using baskets, or removing the shelving altogether and adding a cart, with “basket drawers”. These can be found at home improvement stores, and are great for keeping things from getting shoved to the back and forgotten about!

Keep your refrigerator and freezer organized and clean. It is important to clean out your refrigerator every week, prior to going grocery shopping. This will help you tailor your grocery list as needed, and make ample room for the groceries you are about to buy.

Finally, take that “donate” box out to your car so you won’t forget to take it to your favorite charity location. Go through your “unsure” box one item at a time and find a home for it.

Organizing will help your mood, and give you a fresh start in the kitchen. It will also help your pocketbook, as you will waste less money buying things you don’t need. Now is the time, so go grab those boxes!

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Harvest & Izzy and MO’s

Harvest

 Late spring kale from the garden

Late spring kale from the garden

The garden is quite fruitful after the hard winter, as the earth has been quite active with the soil being rich and productive. We only got easy radishes and kale in, but what a meal it makes for our kung pao and pickles!

 

Tahini Mocha & Chocolate babka at Izzy and MO’s

Tahini Mocha & Chocolate babka at Izzy and MO’s

Izzy and MO’s is here! Our sister restaurant, a deli focusing on the Jewish diaspora, has been three long years in the making is open finally! House cured fish and meats, handmade bagels, and babka. Open 7-3 Monday – Friday with Weekends coming soon!

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MAY DAYS

MAY DAYS

Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun…

Early May Events

05/02 “Sexy” with James Drakeford Gallery Hop Opening 8PM

05/05 Cinco de Mayo’s Till Taqueria 3-close

Extraordinary menu of Latin favorites with handmade tacos, and tequila features

05/10 Mother’s Day Brunch 9 AM-3PM

Celebrate at Till with our delicious Coffee House Brunch. Every Mom receives a free floral gift!

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Biodynamics

What is biodynamics?!

We are asked and still the explanation can be part garden hack, part astrologist. The Biodynamic Association, which has been around since the 1920’s gives this explanation.

Biodynamics is a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, gardens, food production and nutrition.

Biodynamic initiatives seek to embody triple bottom line approaches. Ecological, social and economic sustainability.

Biodynamic farmers strive to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem that generates health and fertility from within the farm itself. Preparations made from fermented manure, minerals and herbs are used to help restore and harmonize the vital life forces of the farm and to enhance the nutrition, quality and flavor of the food being raised. Biodynamic practitioners also recognize and strive to work in cooperation with the subtle influences of the wider cosmos on soil, plant and animal health.

For more info on ways to have a healthier growing space, stop by this weekend and say hello to the chef, Magdiale

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How to Buy Customized Pillows

Customized pillows are very well received making it quite popular to a huge number of individuals. Customers want to try them out for their own right away but where and how can you get one of these customized pillows in the present? Let us look at some of the ways you can acquire customized pillows.

Find a Local Retailer

You can start your search for these types of pillows by looking for local retailers who offer these types of services. Most stores that offer customizable pillows also oftentimes provide related services. Finding a local retailer is great as you can order your pillows and have them made directly while taking part in the creation process.

Shop Online

With the help of modern technology, more and more stores have integrated their services online. This in turn makes their services become very much accessible to a huge number of individuals. The same can also be said with regards to personalised pillows with a number of these stores expanding their outlets over the internet. As a result, just about anyone will be able to order customized pillows at any given time at the comfort of their very own homes or offices.

Most online stores today have also integrated unique feature allowing their customers to customize and create their pillows over their website. They can choose from a number of pictures available at their site or add their very own photos by uploading them. Designing these pillows are also fairly simple as you can drag and resize your images to fit your preference and needs.

Ordering your customized pillows is also pretty straightforward. Most if not all online stores require that you register to their website requiring you to fill important details before you can begin your orders. Some stores allow the customization of pillows without the need to register an account just yet which is a very much welcomed feature to those who are still undecided. Once you’ve finalized your designed hit submit to have them processed. It may take some time for your submission to be reviewed but you can wait for their reply in your email. After that you, you choose your payment and wait for a couple of days to have your customized pillows delivered straight through your doorsteps.

Consider the tips listed above as you begin your journey in the creation of the perfect customized pillows that you have been thinking of.

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