Post 99: Using two identical sweaters to make a 2 piece outfit for 10 Sh (About $2.50) and The benefits of blanching vegetables before freezing, passover lasagna

I enjoy taking a pair of identical sweaters and changing one into a skirt and then I have a matching outfit.

The long waist band of 6 inches makes a perfect bottom for a skirt. The adomin sleeves will be perfect turned inside to form pockets.  The tops of the pockets are attached to the waistband. The fabric also creates soft pleats.

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The “skirt” is a loose fitting knit.

 I Love to surprise my friends with my creations. It just takes some imagination

 

     

How to blanche vegetables:

       1.    Prepare beans by cutting of end          and leave in cold water.

       2.   Salt a large pot of water. Salting          is crucial for seasoning the beans as          well as preserving their natural taste . Though you do not have to include salt in your water, doing so will help prevent nutrients and flavors from seeping out of your beans. Salted water has a higher density than the water inside the beans. This helps keep most of the taste concealed in your beans rather than having them leak into the boiling water.

  1. Salt your water liberally. The general rule of thumb is that blanching water should be “ten times saltier than the sea.” If you have trouble judging by taste, simply add a couple of tablespoons of kosher salt or other salt that you prefer, for every quart of water in your pot.

  2. Salting your beans generously helps maintain that bright green color, which is great if you intend on presenting a colorful dish. It also ensures that the beans will be seasoned evenly.

  3. Don’t worry about your beans tasting too salty. They will only be in the boiling water briefly and won’t soak up as much salt as you think

  4. Prepare an ice bath. An ice bath is essential for the second main step of blanching, which is “shocking” your beans in cold water to stop the cooking process.

    1. Don’t prepare the ice bath after the cooking process. Shocking needs to occur immediately after beans have been boiled so that they do not become overcooked in their own steam. Also avoid preparing an ice bath while your beans boil. Since it is a quick process, you can easily lose track of time and over cook your beans. Have the bath ready.

      Place your green beans into the boiling water a few at a time. Let them sit in the water for about 2 minutes.Don’t overcrowd your beans. Steadily distributing them will ensure even seasoning and cooking.

5. Taste a green bean a minute or so after boiling. It should taste crisp yet cooked.

If your green beans are tender, you have overcooked them.

6. Remove the green beans from the pot. Use tongs or a strainer to carefully scoop them out of the boiling water.

  • Don’t feel rushed. Although blanching requires speed, it also requires care. You don’t have to scoop out all of your green beans in one go.

  • Place your green beans in the ice bath immediately. As you scoop out the beans from your water, immerse them evenly in the bowl of ice water.

    • Keep your beans in the ice water until they have cooled down completely. Removing them before they have fully cooled allows cooking to continue from the inside out, which can result in a mushy final product.

    • Also avoid keeping the beans in the ice bath for too long. If you can’t feel any more warmth with your fingertips, the beans are likely cooled. Keeping the beans in the water for too long risks making them heavy and soggy.

      7. Wrap the green beans in a paper towel. Allow them to fully dry before eating or mixing them with other foods.

      • Pat your green beans while they are inside the paper towel. This will help speed up the drying process.

 

Skipping the drying process risks making the beans soggy and defeating the purpose of blanching, which is to achieve a crispy texture.

        1. Blanch Green Beans Step 9.jpg

          2nd Method

          Blanch your green beans in the microwave. Substitute a casserole dish and microwave for a pot and stove.

          • The steps are generally the same as blanching on the stove with a few minor tweaks. Instead of keeping your green beans whole, chop them into small pieces. Put salt on them directly instead of in the water.

          • Fill a casserole dish with 3 quarts of water. Place two cups of green beans into the dish and cover. Microwave the casserole dish for 5-6 minutes, stopping to stir at least twice throughout the cooking process. Shock and dry the beans as you normally would after boiling.

          • This technique is best for smaller quantities of green beans and for when you may not have access to a pot or stove. Know that microwaving may not be as effective as boiling when trying to achieve crunchier and brighter green beans.

            3. Place your pot of water on the stove to boil. Make sure the water volume is at least twice as much as the amount of beans you intend to blanch.

            Though you may be blanching only a few green beans, using a big pot is ideal because it minimizes the length of boiling time. The goal of blanching is to cook the beans as quickly as possible to avoid losing crunch and color.

            Keep your water at a steady boil. Pay attention to the bubbles in your pot. Small bubbles forming at the edges of the pot are just air bubbles from the water and don’t necessarily mean your water is boiling. When big bubbles begin to steadily stream from the bottom of the pot, your water is ready to go.

            4. Fill a large bowl with water that is cold or at room temperature. Grab some ice cubes from your freezer and distribute them evenly throughout the water.

            Avoid setting your beans down on a surface before shocking them in water. The longer your beans sit, the more they continue to cook.

          • Arugula Matzo Lasagna

            by Kim O’Donnel

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