| From My Table |

From My Table

A few years ago, my mother-in-law bought me a cookbook titled Thoughts for Buffets. The book was first published in the late 50s, and my mother-in-law, who enjoyed the book years ago, thought I’d enjoy looking through it. When I write “looking through it,” I don’t mean that there were pictures, because of course there weren’t any, but it was definitely an interesting experience.

What struck me as I went through the book was the number of premade store-bought products included in its recipes. Ingredients like mashed potato flakes, sweetened coconut, Reddi Wip, and canned peaches made their way into many recipes, which is telling of that decade. It was a pretty novel in those days to have ingredients that did half the work for you, and this cookbook was obviously playing off of this excitement.

Today, we’ve done a 180, and we shy away from canned peaches in recipes. We’re obviously a lot more knowledgeable nutrition wise. The ingredients we like to use are cleaner, with items you can pronounce. But we still have the same needs: save time, cut corners, and still appear a step ahead. I see spice blends as our canned peaches. Trendy stores like Trader Joe’s have them flying off the shelves.

This week, our favorite sisters, Faigy and Chavi, created recipes that start with spice blends. We often hear murmurings of disappointment that not all of you can access some of the store-bought spice blends lots of people seem to be using. Taking care of your FOMO, not only do you get a fresh batch of great new recipes, but you also get a spice blend recipe you can use again the next time you make the recipe. For another win, use these blends on other foods too. The sky’s the limit!

Food Editor, Family Table

I’ve had this idea for ages, and finally made it happen! Coat popcorn in your regular Muddy Buddy recipe (margarine + chocolate + peanut butter), toss in confectioners’ sugar and watch it disappear.

Bread Refresh

When warming stale bread, splash a little bit of water on it before rewarming. (Yes, this works with sourdough too!)

Sugar Cookies Made Easy

I recently bought a Duncan Hines Mega Cookie Sugar Cookie Mix and pulled it out for a Sunday activity. I added flour to make it easier for the kids to use like a regular sugar cookie dough and cut shapes out of it, and they had a great time.

(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 725)

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