Loading...

Follow Homemaker's Habitat on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid
Homemaker's Habitat by Homemaker's Habitat - 3w ago

This naturally gluten-free, vegan Mango Coconut Rice Pudding is a delicious tropical summer dessert that comes together quickly using leftover cooked rice.

Mango Coconut Rice Pudding

Between the crazy cool weather and my work schedule, the first half of June felt a little lackluster around here. Finally, this past weekend summer felt like it officially arrived. We had our block party — an epic 15-hour, 10-family street party that culminates with a potluck dinner in the middle of the street. Since a number of our neighbors have dietary restrictions (vegan, Kosher, gluten-free and peanut allergies), I always like to offer a few “safe” items that everyone can enjoy — including this super easy and summery Mango Coconut Rice Pudding.

We often have leftover rice in the house since (our favorite Chinese takeout restaurant tends to send extra boxes with every order) and this recipe is a great way to transform it into something new and special.

If you don’t have cooked rice in the house, you can certainly make this Mango Coconut Rice pudding with uncooked rice — just follow your package instructions to cook it up before continuing with the recipe.

Sizzling Summer Flavors

In winter, I tend to make a more traditional rice pudding spiced with cinnamon and raisins. When the weather warms though, I love taking advantage of tropical flavors and summer produce. Coconut milk lends the perfect creamy, tropical flavor and texture to this recipe. A squirt of fresh lime juice and delicious ripe mangos complete the dish. Even better, this recipe is naturally gluten free, dairy-free and vegan so its safe for just about everyone to enjoy.

My kiddos love having this for breakfast while I tend to save mine for late night Netflix binging. Its the perfect cool, creamy bite on a warm summer night.

Print
Mango Coconut Rice Pudding
  • Author: Homemaker’s Habitat
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Total Time: -26023445.15 minute
  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Category: Dessert
Description

This naturally gluten-free, vegan Mango Coconut Rice Pudding is a delicious tropical summer dessert that comes together quickly using leftover cooked rice.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked white rice (jasmine rice works especially well, but use whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 quart (4 cups) “original flavor” coconut milk beverage 
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • zest and juice from 1/4 a lime
  • 1 mango, seeded, peeled and diced
Instructions
  1. Combine cooked rice, coconut milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, medium heat then reduce to low heat and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Continue stirring to mixture every few minutes to prevent rice from sticking until the mixture reaches a thick, creamy consistency*. 
  3. Add lime zest and juice and stir to combine. Divide pudding between 4-6 small glass jars or bowls. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until set– at least 4 hours or overnight. 
  4. Top each serving with diced mango just before serving. 
Notes

* Pudding will continue to thicken as it cools. Do not overcook. 

Keywords: Rice pudding, gluten free, vegan, desserts, summer

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @https://www.instagram.com/homemakershabitat/ on Instagram and hashtag it #homemakershabitat

The post Mango Coconut Rice Pudding appeared first on Homemaker's Habitat.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This gorgeous BLT Platter Salad is a showstopper for picnics and potlucks and also makes a perfect summer weeknight meal. Arranging on a platter keeps the salad from wilting and picky eaters can build their perfect plate!

BLT Platter Salad

Picnic season is here, not to mention those busy summer nights when you might linger at the pool or park until well after your normal dinnertime. Whether you’re looking to impress a crowd or simply need to get something simple on the table for dinner, this BLT Platter Salad comes to your rescue!

All about Arranging

With all the flavors of your favorite BLT sandwich, this BLT Platter Salad makes a perfect hearty side dish or light main dish for parties, picnics or an easy weeknight dinner (pair with some grilled chicken for a heartier meal).

Even better, it requires almost no cooking — simply cook your bacon (we like to do ours on a sheet pan in a 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes), combine your dressing ingredients and arrange everything on a big platter. The key to making this salad shine is the arrangement — use tomatoes in different sizes and colors, slice mini bell peppers into rings, add cucumber rounds and (at the last moment) avocado chunks.

Dressing on the Side

For this salad, I prefer to choose light, crisp greens — my favorite is a variety called Sunny Crunch from a brand called Bright Farms (a client of mine) but any mild, crunchy lettuce variety will work. To keep the greens fresh, serve the dressing on the side! This setup is also ideal for serving at picnics and potlucks (not to mention picky eaters).

Speaking of dressing, this one is SO GOOD and so easy! Simply a mix of Minced fresh basil, Greek Yogurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper and a garlic clove. And yet, its addictively creamy and delicious paired with all those veggies!

This salad is seriously one of my favorite things to bring to cookouts and picnics because its so pretty, but we also eat it pretty regularly as part of our weeknight routine. If you’re looking for other easy, family-friendly summer dinner ideas, here are a few of my favorites:

Chopped Salad Flatbread Pizza

Grilled Chicken Fajita Kabobs

Grilled Teriyaki Salmon

DIY Grilled Vegetable and Pasta Bowls

Easy Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps

Also, just a note that we’re getting into the time of year where you might hear from me more sporadically than usual. I’ll be spending more time with the kiddos while trying to squeeze work in at all sorts of odd moments. I hope you’ll bear with me through the summer!

Print
BLT Platter Salad is Perfect for Potlucks and Picnics
  • Author: Homemaker’s Habitat
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 main dish servings
  • Category: salads
Description

This gorgeous BLT Platter Salad is a showstopper for picnics and potlucks and also makes a perfect summer weeknight meal. Arranging on a platter keeps the salad from wilting and picky eaters can build their perfect plate!

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 glove garlic, peeled
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Salad

  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 10 ounces green, leafy salad greens
  • 2 pints tomatoes in various sizes and colors (cocktail tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes, some whole, some halved, some quartered)
  • 1/2 cup cucumbers sliced and quartered
  • 1/2 cup mini sweet bell peppers, seeded and sliced into rounds
  • 5 radishes, quartered
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 avocados, seeded and diced
Instructions
  1. Combine dressing ingredients in a blender cup and blend until combined. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water, as needed, to thin the mixture to dressing consistency. Pour into a serving dish and chill until ready to serve. 
  2. Meanwhile, arrange remaining salad ingredients on a large platter. Start by gently arranging salad greens in small piles on the platter. Then carefully tuck heavier ingredients like tomatoes and radishes in piles next to (but not on top of) the greens. Sprinkle additional ingredients onto platter in small groups. Be sure to leave enough space to add the bowl of dressing. Wait to add the avocado until just before serving. 
Notes

Salad can be made up to 2 hours ahead — gently cover greens with wet paper towels and store in the refrigerator until time to serve. 

Keywords: BLT platter salad, salad, summer salads, potluck, side dish

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @https://www.instagram.com/homemakershabitat/ on Instagram and hashtag it #homemakershabitat

The post BLT Platter Salad is Perfect for Potlucks and Picnics appeared first on Homemaker's Habitat.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

“Thank you for helping us Grow (or Glow)!” These FREE PRINTABLE Teacher Gift Tags are perfect for tying to a small plant or candle. They’re a great way to add a personal touch to end-of-year gift cards.

FREE PRINTABLE Teacher Gift Tags

As the daughter and sister of two first grade teachers, I know for a fact that the best end-of-year gift you can give is a gift card. Many teachers even end up using their gift cards to buy supplies for the following school year. They really are the most useful gift you can give.

Even so, given on their own, gift cards can feel pretty transactional. To make the gift more personal, I like to pair gift cards with a heartfelt yet inexpensive item. I’m particularly fond of giving either a small candle (citronella is especially great for the start of summer) or a mini succulent. Depending on which one I choose, I add one of my FREE PRINTABLE Teacher Gift Tags that states either “Thank you for Helping us Grow!” (pair with a small plant) or “Thank you for Helping Us Glow!” (perfect paired with a candle).

An Inexpensive Addition

If you’re thinking to yourself — “I’ve already spent a fortune on gift cards! Anything extra needs to be super affordable!” — I’ve got you covered. I found these citronella jar candles at the dollar store for (thats right) — $1. The adorable succulent is from Trader Joe’s — where they almost always have a wonderful selection of miniature potted plants for $3 or less.

FREE and Easy Download

As a mom myself, I know that teacher gifts are often purchased hours before the last day of school and none of us have much extra time to jump through extra hoops. Thats why my FREE PRINTABLE Gift Tags are one hundred percent free. You don’t even have to enter an email address. Simple click the the link above and you’ll be taken to a Google Drive folder. You can either choose to download the single PNG file or an entire sheet of cards in PDF.

Thats it! Simply print my FREE PRINTABLE Gift Tags and attach one to your gift and you’re ready to go!

If you’re looking for some other easy and affordable gift ideas, check out my:

DIY DECOUPAGE FLAMELESS CANDLES

DIY DECOUPAGE PENCIL BOX

DIY FELTED EYEGLASS CASE

Happy end of the school year to you all!

The post Grow or Glow | FREE PRINTABLE Teacher Gift Tags appeared first on Homemaker's Habitat.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Homemaker's Habitat by Homemaker's Habitat - 1M ago

This Spring Pea and Basil Soup is fresh, bright and incredibly easy to make using frozen peas. The perfect soup for rainy spring weather!

Spring in Chicago means an endless ping-pong match between flip-flops and fleece lined boots (sometimes in the same day!). When my heart craves spring, but my frozen feet crave comfort, this Spring Pea & Basil Soup checks ALL THE BOXES. 

Easy Peasy Puree

The mild, sweet flavor and naturally creamy texture of frozen peas works beautifully with fresh basil. Leeks and onion add savory notes, along with Aneto Natural Vegetable Broth which adds the ideal flavorful base as a foundation. After a quick sauté in a pot, transfer this mixture to a blender to puree into perfect smoothness and you’re ready to serve.

Despite the bright green color, this soup is surprisingly kid-friendly. As far as vegetables go, sweet, mild peas tend to be an easy sell. They’re also loaded with protein and fiber, making this a wonderful complete meal.

Make it a Meal

To round out dinner at our house, I serve this Spring Pea and Basil Soup with a dollop of lemony yogurt on top. The yogurt adds a beautiful color contrast, a wonderful tang and additional creaminess to an already yummy bowl.

To make this a heartier meal, serve your Spring Pea and Basil Soup with some easy sandwiches alongside. My kiddos love this one served with grilled cheese and for the adults, I highly recommend my asparagus, fresh mozzarella and prosciutto sandwiches — this is basically the ultimate cure to spring showers!

Featured Items

Aneto Natural Vegetable Broth

Print
Spring Pea and Basil Soup
  • Author: Homemaker’s Habitat
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
Description

This Spring Pea and Basil Soup is fresh, bright and incredibly easy to make using frozen peas. The perfect soup for rainy spring weather!

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter, diced
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 leeks, white and green parts only, diced
  • 4 cups Aneto Natural Vegetable Broth
  • 5 cups frozen peas
  • ½ cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Topping: 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream mixed with the juice of 1 lemon and 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Optional garnishes: Freshly minced basil, 1/4 cup fresh or frozen peas (thawed)
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add onion and leeks and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add peas and broth and bring to a boil. 
  3. Transfer pea mixture to a blender in batches. Add basil and puree until smooth. Return soup to pot and continue to simmer for 5 minutes more. 
  4. Season generously with salt and pepper and teaspoon of lemon juice.
  5. Serve with a dollop of lemon/yogurt mixture and a sprinkle of fresh basil.

Keywords: Peas, Soup, Vegetarian, Pea Soup, Spring

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @https://www.instagram.com/homemakershabitat/ on Instagram and hashtag it #homemakershabitat

This post contains affiliate links, if you purchase something via one of these links, I will receive a small portion of the profits at no additional cost to you.

The post Spring Pea and Basil Soup appeared first on Homemaker's Habitat.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

If you’re planning on celebrating Mother’s Day at home, you better not make mom cook! I’ve got some easy Mother’s Day Meal Ideas that are so easy the kids can help make them (plus some bonus DIY Gift Ideas!). In fact, these are so simple that Lillian and I will be sharing of few of them on Chicago’s WCIU The Jam tomorrow morning (Monday, May 6 at 6:34 am).

From breakfast in bed to brunch for a crowd, a super simple dinner and even cocktails and dessert, we’ve got you covered. Most of these are easy enough that bigger kids (8 or 9 and up) could do them almost completely on their own. Of course, younger kids will still need some supervision from a grownup. Lets get started: 

Breakfast Parfait Bar

A breakfast parfait bar is one of the easiest Mother’s Day Meal Ideas ever. This is a really fun, creative way to start the day! And since we’re using ready-made ingredients from the store, all you need to do is set everything out on a platter and its ready to go!
Start with the yogurt. You can either set out empty jars alongside a big bowl of yogurt or, to make this even easier, look for flavored yogurt cups in little glass yogurt jars, which you can find now in almost any grocery store (we like Yoplait Oui). You can peel off the labels to make them feel homemade. Next add a couple varieties of store bought or homemade granola and a variety of berries. Thats it!

If you’re serving mom breakfast in bed, plate everything in separate bowls and put bring them to her on a little tray. If you’re hosting brunch for a crowd —maybe grandma is coming by — this works great as part of a buffet.

No-Cook Brunch Board

Here is another one of my all-time favorite simpleMother’s Day Meal Ideas for a crowd. This Brunch Board has absolutely everything you expect at a good brunch: flaky sweet pastries, fresh and juicy fruits, savory meats and cheeses, salty, crunchy nibbles and spreads. Even better, mot a single item requires any preparation beyond some washing and slicing. Most of the arranging can be done well in advance — the night before even. And its completely portable. Just as comfortable on a dining room buffet as it would be at the center of a patio table.

The key to pulling off this Amazing Brunch Board is in the artful arrangement. Pick items that offer as many contrasting colors, textures and flavors as possible. Hit the bakery for croissants, pastries or coffeecake. Next, head to the deli for a few gourmet cheeses, cured meats, nuts and crackers. Don’t forget the fancy jams and mustards. Next, head over to the produce section and be prepared to spend some time here. Start with fresh, juicy berries since they’re easy to plate and always a crowd favorite. Next grab some grapes, citrus and perhaps some kind of tropical fruit as an unexpected twist. Before you leave the store, be sure to grab a few bunches of fresh flowers. They’re really key in elevating this meal to occasion status.

Salmon Nicoise Entree Salad

One of our family’s favorite weeknight meal ideas, this Salmon Nicoise Sheet Pan Salad is also one of my favorite Mother’s Day Meal Ideas for lunch or dinner. Click the link above for my quick-and-easy recipe or, to make things even easier for the kids to help with, you can swap in a couple of Home Chef Oven Ready Garlic Butter Salmon Meal Kits for the salmon and green beans.

No-Bake Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits

Every mom deserves dessert on Mother’s Day, and this one is really easy to make. Whip up the filling for these No-Bake Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits, then layer over crushed cooked and top with diced berries. Click the link above for the recipe and mom will thank you.

Grapefruit Basil Mimosas

Ok, you caught me! This is one of my Mother’s Day Meal Ideas that the kids maybe shouldn’t help with too much. But for you Dads and other caregivers out there, I know mom would sure appreciate these Grapefruit Basil Mimosas. These are as pretty as they are delicious and simple to make. Click the link above for the easy recipe.

So that’s it. Armed with these super simple and scrumptious Mother’s Day Meal Ideas, you’re sure to make mom very, very happy.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

If you’re still looking for some super simple, last-minute Mothers’ Day give ideas, be sure to check out my:

Easy DIY Decoupage Flameless Candles

Click through to download the free printable “You Light Up Our Lives” label!

‘Spec’-tacular DIY Felt Eyeglass Case

The post Mother’s Day Meal Ideas the Kids Can Help Make appeared first on Homemaker's Habitat.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This easy Leftover Ham One-Pot Pasta is a great way to use up leftover ham and makes its own better-for-you magical cream sauce while it cooks. It’s a kid-approved easy weeknight dinner.

Leftover Ham One-Pot Pasta

This yummy, easy pasta is something I came up with on-the-fly last night as a way to use up a seemingly endless supply of leftover ham from our Easter dinner. I hadn’t intended to do a recipe post about it but the kids enjoyed it so much and it was so easy to make, I snapped a couple of quick pictures mid-meal. So, if you’re wondering why there are basically three of the same pics in this story, its because I shot it over the course of 2 minutes before the kids started a riot asking for second helpings.M

Magical Cream Sauce

This Leftover Ham One-Pot Pasta was so good it definitely is worth rioting over. It’s fast, it’s good, it’s a great way to use leftovers and it all comes together in one pot. I used the same method here that I’ve used in the past for other one-pot pasta dishes like my One-Pot Tuna Casserole and my One-Pot Pasta with Spring Vegetables. My like the latter, you start by sautéing some garlic and also ham, then add dry pasta and a mix of chicken broth and milk or half & half. As the pasta cooks down, it transforms the milk and broth into a magically creamy sauce — using far less fat than a traditional cream sauce. Even better, since we’re simmering the entire mixture with ham, each and every bite is also infused with smoky ham flavor.

Once the pasta cooks down, simply add your veggies and a handful of parmesan cheese for the most wonderful meal. I wasn’t sure how the kids (who have been SUPER picky lately) would respond but they both enjoyed this tremendously. My extra-persnickety five-year old ate two gigantic helpings and is currently polishing off the leftovers as his lunch. Now that’s magic.

Print
Leftover Ham One-Pot Pasta with Parmesan and Peas
  • Author: Homemaker’s Habitat
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: One-Pot Pasta
Description

This easy Leftover Ham One-Pot Pasta is a great way to use up leftover ham and makes its own better-for-you magical cream sauce while it cooks. It’s a kid-approved easy weeknight dinner.

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup leftover ham, finely diced
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) bow tie pasta 
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole or reduced fat milk (skim/fat free milk may curdle)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup baby spinach or kale, finely chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Juice of one lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and ham and saute for about 1 minute. Add pasta, broth and milk and bring to a simmer* over medium-high heat, stirring often.
  2. Once simmering, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring often until pasta is cooked to al dente and liquid has reduced to a sauce consistency, about 10 – 12 minutes. If liquid absorbs before pasta is cooked, add an extra 1/2 cup of liquid. Be sure to keep the temperature at a simmer — the sauce may curdle at a higher temperature. 
  3. Add cheese, peas and spinach or kale, stirring until mixture is fully incorporated and veggies are heated through.
  4. Add lemon juice and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and, if desired, additional parmesan cheese.
Notes

* Be sure to keep the temperature at a simmer — the sauce may curdle at a higher temperature. 

Keywords: Leftover Ham, One-Pot Pasta, Weeknight Dinners, Easy Dinners, Kid-friendly meals

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @https://www.instagram.com/homemakershabitat/ on Instagram and hashtag it #homemakershabitat

The post Leftover Ham One-Pot Pasta with Parmesan and Peas appeared first on Homemaker's Habitat.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Whether you’re stocking your very first kitchen, building a bridal registry, or giving your cupboards a refresh, I’ve got the tips to help you choose the Perfect Cookware for Your Kitchen. Here’s what I rely on in my kitchen (for everything from family meals to professional food styling gigs) and recommend for yours.

Many thanks to Anolon for providing the majority of the cookware featured in this story.

Cookware can be Confusing! So many brands, so many price points, so many different sizes, types and materials. It’s hard to know where to begin! I remember when I moved into my first apartment and my mom helped me pick out an inexpensive set we found on sale. Then choosing a “better” set while building my bridal registry a few years later. Looking back, I had no idea what I was doing and my choices reflected that fact.

Its been 10 years since we got married and, between culinary school, food styling gigs and more home-cooked meals than I could have imagined, I’ve learned a few things. I just finished giving my own cookware collection a long overdue overhaul and I’m spilling my secrets with you. Here are the pieces you need from brands that I trust. Even better — its all available at prices we can all live with.

Cookware Pieces You Should Have Cookware Pieces That Are Nice to Have Non Stick vs Stainless vs Cast Iron

Not sure if you should choose Stainless Steel Pan, Non Stick or Cast Iron Cookware? The right answer is “all of the above.”

Each material offers its own set of benefits, helpful in different cooking situations. Are you trying to sear a steak or a piece of fish and create gorgeous browning? You absolutely can’t bean cast iron. Boiling a pot of water, simmering tomato soup or sautéing some veggies? High quality stainless pots and pans are incredibly durable, safe to use with acidic foods like tomatoes and look gorgeous on your stovetop. Scrambling an egg? Bust out your non-stick skillets.

I reach for my stainless cookware most of the time. It’s an absolute workhorse and the pieces that I have from the Anolon Nouvelle collection are definitely the highest quality cookware I’ve ever owned. When it comets stainless cookware, you want to choose something with a heavy base made with multiple layers of metal for optimum heat conduction. The pieces in the Anolon Nouvelle collection have a 5-layer metal base with a copper core for super even heat retention and distribution. These pans are heavy and durable and beautiful, but also dishwasher safe. I’ve been really pleased with the Anolon Nouvelle collection so far. The line offers the performance and gorgeous look of super high-end cookware with a price point I would characterize as a “worthwhile investment” for anyone who cooks regularly.

Of course, there are situations where a nonstick pan is absolutely essential. If you’re preparing delicate foods like eggs, fish or tofu, this is the pan to reach for. Be sure to choose a high-quality surface material. The Anolon Accolade Pans in my collection have an anodized finish that can be used with metal utensils and have held up really well so far. I’ll be interested to see how they fare after years of regular use.

Finally, you should pick up a couple of cast iron pieces. They are basically indestructible — seriously my mom has been using the same skillet since the early 70s and it looks exactly the same as ever. You can get a good cast iron skillet for under $20 and use it for everything from pancakes and potatoes to pork chops. An Enameled Dutch Oven is another must-have. Pricey imported and designer brands can run in the hundreds of dollars but my Lodge Dutch Oven works beautifully can cost less than $60.

Cookware Set vs Mix-and-Match

Trying to decide between getting a full cookware set or choosing pieces individually? I recommend thinking about how much room you have to store cookware, as well as which pieces you think you’ll need and use most. You may be best served by picking and choosing individual pieces you need from a variety of materials. But if you have the storage space in your kitchen and like to cook, be sure to explore sale prices on full sets.

Since I use stainless steel cookware most often, it made sense to choose a stainless steel cookware set that had nearly every piece I needed. Then I supplemented with a few additional pieces made from other materials. Depending on your storage needs, price point and the sales you see while shopping, you can decide what works best.

Whether you’re buying fancy new pans with the most high-tech non-stick surface or a good ole fashioned cast iron skillet just like grandma’s, its important to choose cookware that suits your cooking style, is competitively priced and provides quality and durability you can enjoy for years to come.

Anolon Nouvelle provided cookware free-of-charge for me to photograph and test for this story. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, if you purchase something via one of these links, I will receive a small portion of the profits at no additional cost to you.

The post Mystery Solved: How to Choose the Perfect Cookware for Your Kitchen appeared first on Homemaker's Habitat.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Homemaker's Habitat by Homemaker's Habitat - 1M ago

This easy Sheet Pan Salmon Nicoise combines the elegance of a classic nicoise salad with the ease of a sheet pan meal featuring delicious roasted salmon.

Sheet Pan Salmon Nicoise

This gorgeous, sheet pan meal is absolutely perfect for spring and combines a few of my weeknight family meals into one: its an easy sheet pan meal, its a healthy, hearty elegant salad AND is a deconstructed DIY platter meal designed to encourage everyone to try new food and build their own perfect supper.

Of course, the inspiration for this meal is a classic French Nicoise Salad — probably my favorite salad ever. The original typically features a combination of boiled potatoes and green beans, canned tuna, olives, onions and hard boiled eggs paired with a simple dijon dressing. I’ve shared something similar in the past — you can check out my Build Your Own Nicoise Salad. The main difference between that version and this Sheet Pan Salmon Nicoise Salad is roasting the veggies instead of boiling and swapping in fresh salmon for the canned tuna. This version feels a bit heartier although both are delicious.

Roast for the Most Flavor

Roasting the veggies and salmon does two things for this Sheet Pan Salmon Nicoise — it builds flavor while also saving time. No need to worry about boiling multiple pots of water or blanching your green beans. Simply start the potatoes in the oven first, and those can get started roasting to golden perfection while you prep the dressing and remaining ingredients. You’ll add the salmon and green beans to the sheet pan during the final 10 minutes then serve them alongside your cold veggies and super simple dijon vinaigrette.

Eggs Optional

What’s that you say? What about the eggs? Eggs are, indeed, traditionally part of a Nicoise Salad and would be a welcome addition here if you don’t mind the added step of cooking and peeling eggs but if you’re not in the mood for that extra step, this is still a hearty meal without them.

I’d actually planned to include eggs here since my daughter loves them but ended up with a funny story instead (if you’re not interested in stories, just keep scrolling): I had hard boiled eggs peeled and ready to go on this platter, but because most of the meals I share here are our actual family dinners fixed in a flurry of mid-week, 6pm chaos (not just something I’ve cooked up specifically to photograph during the workday), my husband had just walked in ravenous from the office while I was futzing with the platter. And before I realized what was happening, he’d eaten all of my eggs. Every. Damned. One. I was not pleased but its our real life, so there. After grumbling at him more that I reasonably should have, I tossed on some lemon wedges (my daughter’s preferred dressing) and continued on.

It still makes a really pretty platter don’t you think?

One Pan or Two

A word of caution about the sheet pans — you can absolutely roast all of the veggies and the fish on one half sheet pan (which are larger and sturdier than “cookie sheets”) but if you’d like to serve your salad on the same platter like I’ve done here, move everything to a fresh, cold sheet pan. Otherwise the heat from the baking pan will end up wilting your lettuce and other cold veggies, which is not appetizing.

Of course, you could always serve the hot items directly from the hot sheet pan and arrange the salad and cold items in a bowl or separate platter. Either way this Sheet Pan Salmon Nicoise Salad is still something of a show stopper.

Its also perfect for families, since everyone can pick and choose to build their own perfect meal. In our house, my youngest ate fish, green beans and potatoes. My older one ate those items, plus lettuce and tomatoes. My husband ate everything (plus all of those aforementioned eggs). Ultimately everyone was happy and well-fed – and thats the sign of an ideal weeknight meal.

Featured Products:

Aluminum Half Sheet Pans

JK Adams Ash Cutting Board

Print
Sheet Pan Salmon Nicoise Salad
  • Author: Homemaker’s Habitat
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Sheet Pan Meal
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: French
Description

This easy Sheet Pan Salmon Nicoise combines the elegance of a classic nicoise salad with the ease of a sheet pan meal featuring delicious roasted salmon.

Ingredients
  • 1 lb.  small golden potatoes, cleaned and halved
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 ounces haricots verts or green beans, trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons plus ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 pound skin-on salmon fillet
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 cups butter lettuce
  • 10 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup cucumber slices
  • 1 small purple onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup niçoise olives, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers, patted dry
  • 4 large hard boiled eggs, chilled and peeled (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 
  2. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt and arrange on the baking sheet, sliced side down. Place baking sheet in the oven and roast potatoes for 20 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Combine the mustard, sugar, lemon juice and shallot in a small jar or bowl. Add 1/4 cup olive oil. Add a lid and shake or whisk until it is well combined. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, toss green beans with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Set aside. 
  5. Pat salmon dry with paper towels, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. 
  6. After 20 minutes, remove the sheet pan from the oven and toss. Move potatoes to one side of the sheet pan. Place the salmon in the center and the hericot verts on the other side. Return pan to the oven and continue roasting until the haricots vests are fork tender and the salmon flakes easily, about 12 – 15 minutes.
  7. Assemble the salad ingredients on a separate platter with lettuce, plum tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, olives, capers, and eggs . Serve with salmon, potatoes, hericot verts and dressing alongside and encourage diners to create their own perfect plate. 

Keywords: Sheet Pan Meal, Salmon, Fish, Entree Salad, Sheet Pan Salmon Nicoise Salad

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @https://www.instagram.com/homemakershabitat/ on Instagram and hashtag it #homemakershabitat

This post contains affiliate links, if you purchase something via one of these links, I will receive a small portion of the profits at no additional cost to you.

The post Sheet Pan Salmon Nicoise Salad appeared first on Homemaker's Habitat.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Enlist the whole family to help clean and organize the house. Follow this easy plan for Spring Cleaning Success.

What’s your family cleaning style? Is it a group project or do you roll solo? If the very thought of enlisting your troupe to tackle Spring Cleaning tasks sends chills down your spine, I’ve got five simple strategies to get you started — including tips for getting the kids excited about helping.

1. Be a Team Player

Sometimes, the very thought of delegating tasks can create a roadblock. Even if you fear it will take your four year old 15 minutes to fold a pair of socks, its still worth trying.

For a long time, I attempted to shoulder most of the cleaning chores at our house, but as my business grew it became completely overwhelming. Enlisting consistent help from my partner was key in getting our family into a consistent cleaning plan. Turns out my husband is a ninja at cleaning the kitchen counters and stovetop and will happily wash and fold several loads of laundry (my most dreaded chores) while watching sports. As the kids have gotten older, we’ve enlisted them in the Spring Cleaning chores as well. Even preschoolers can help clear the dishes and wipe the table after meals and getting them into a consistent clean-up habit teaches responsibility and self-sufficiency.

As my business has grown, we eventually hired a cleaning service to help us tackle the big chores (I’m lookin at you toilets). But even with the extra manpower, having consistent help from the entire family on a daily basis has been the most essential part of keeping our house clean on the regular.

2. Collect the Clutter

Once you’ve got your gang on board, your very first Spring Cleaning task is to collect the clutter. Make sure that you have a designated spot for everything: A tray for your mail, hooks for your backpacks, a system for your recycling, a bin for the Legos (all. the. Legos.), books and toys. You’re still going to have to remind everyone to pick up, but the task will be so much simpler if they already know where everything should GO. If your kids are readers, adding labels can be extra helpful (great for Grandparents and caregivers too). If you’re a type-A parent with a houseful of pre-readers, it might be worth your time to create picture labels.

3. Get the Right Gear

Spring Cleaning goes much faster when you have all the necessary gear gathered together at your fingertips. It can be as simple as a bucket filled with all your cleaning supplies, but when you’re ready for an upgrade I absolutely love this complete Cleaning Set I received from Satto. The set includes a storage bucket, collapsible cleaning handle and 10 attachments designed to tackle almost any cleaning job, from sweeping to dusting to tub scrubbing. Even better (and giving a nod to my first tip), the entire set stores right in the bucket for easy transport and storage.

When the cleaning set arrived in the mail, I was surprised by how excited Lillian got about using the tools. The set made it so easy for her to change out the handles, I’ve had her dusting and sweeping on the regular ever since. Hand-to-God, she has actually asked to help clean since we received this set from Satto!

4. Assign Little Tasks to Little People

Still freaked by the thought of your three-year-old tackling toilets? Me too! Let’s face it — despite the fact that they’re probably the most enthusiastic of our helpers, preschoolers can only do so much before everyone ends up in tears.

The good news is there are still plenty of Spring Cleaning chores they can tackle. Start small with simple chores like wiping down the kitchen table after mealtime or using a hand sweeper to chase down cookie crumbs. You can even assign them their own “special” cleaning gear. You may be surprised just how excited they get about having their own blue reusable cleaning cloth or mini dustpan set (speaking from experience here).

5. Reward Hard Work

Spring Cleaning may start in the spring, but that doesn’t mean it has to end there. Consider establishing a reward system to entice your team to keep the clean going.

Admittedly, I am the worst about remembering these things, so to keep my gang on track, I created simple chore charts using wipe off boards and magnets. No need to break the bank with your reward system — think about what your kiddos’ love most and go from there. It could be anything from a dollar store dinosaur to a movie movie date to extra screen time. Whatever works for you.

It may take some extra planning and patience to get the Spring Cleaning sash started, but seeing your sparkling clean house, not to mention your family’s pride when they complete their chores (and not having to do it all as a mom) is definitely worth the effort.

The post 5 Easy Tips for Successful Spring Cleaning with Kids appeared first on Homemaker's Habitat.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview