Getting Stuffed

Food that comes in its own edible wrapper can be fun to make and eat. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
There’s something special about food that comes in its own edible wrapper. It can be filling, comforting, flavorful, unique—but mostly it’s fun to eat. It can also be fun to make if you approach it with the right mindset.

Self-contained perfect bites have plenty of advantages. Some, like Sourdough Empanadas, travel well and make ideal meals at school or work. Others, like Pumpkin–Goat Cheese Ravioli with Butter–Nut Sauce, can be frozen for later quick-and-easy meals. With Mushroom-Stuffed Blini, it’s hard to decide whether the freshly made packets or the leftovers, sautéed until crispy, taste best.

These scratch-made recipes also have a downside: They take time and effort. The key is to keep the entire process relaxed and fun. I have several tricks that will help you enjoy the time, break the project into stages, and sample some of your creation along the way. Hopefully these tips will ease you into some of the food projects already on the blog—and the new ones I’ll be sharing this month.
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Spiced Shrimp

 By changing the tang, two similarly spiced dishes taste completely different yet complement each other beautifully. Get spiced shrimp recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Like last week’s spiced potatoes, shrimp play well with so many flavors—including Indian spices. You could simply turn that potato recipe into a shrimp dish, cooking the sauce first and adding the shrimp at the end. But if you want to serve shrimp and potatoes together, it’s more fun to vary the flavors.

I like to do that by changing the tang. Last week’s potato dish picks up tang from pickle brine, tomatoes, and as an optional bonus, tamarind. This week’s shrimp dish grabs it from yogurt. I get more flavor from homemade yogurt, but store-bought also works. With that flavor shift, you can rely on the same spice base. A little onion, garlic, and ginger just enhances the base.

In the end, two similarly spiced dishes taste completely different yet complement each other beautifully. The same concepts can be applied to many other spiced shrimp dishes, letting you use your pantry power to put sunshine on your table even when you’re snowed in.
Learn to make Indian-Inspired Shrimp in Yogurt and other variations

Watermelon Treats

Melons’ natural sweetness and juiciness make them ideal for refreshing desserts. Get watermelon recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
It looks like today could be the last 80°F day of the season in my area, so it’s the best time to enjoy a refreshing, cold, fruity dessert. Watermelon are still available in the local markets, and homegrown ones are still ripening on the vine. They won’t last much longer in the shops or the greenhouse.

Melons may not be the first fruits you think of when you consider a dessert; apples, strawberries, raspberries, and huckleberries are all more likely candidates. But melons have the advantage of pairing their natural sweetness with a satisfyingly slurpy moisture, making them ideal for refreshing desserts. Throw in some fresh herbs for bright, contrasting notes, and you’ll successfully capture the feel of summer in a bowl or glass. Better yet, your freezer and refrigerator will let you hold onto that feeling long after temperatures have dropped.
Learn to make Watermelon–Mint Sorbet and Watermelon–Basil Shrub

Quick Food Preservation

Refrigerating, freezing, and dry storing are the trifecta of quick preservation. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Preserving your harvest often seems like a daunting, time-consuming task, involving pounds of produce, stacks of jars, and boiling kettles on some of the hottest days of the year. Large-batch canning can operate that way: as a project, albeit one that fills your pantry. But it’s not the only way to preserve what you grow. Preservation can happen every time you come in from the garden with a little more than you and your family will eat at the next meal.

Refrigerating, freezing, and dry storing are the trifecta of quick preservation. As I mentioned while describing their pros and cons last week, produce preserved in these ways requires minimal prep and handling. Most of the tools and packaging you need are likely already in your home. Storage times can vary widely with these techniques, but some tips and tricks will let you get the most out of each. Best of all, a wide range of food can be preserved simply and easily with these quick preservation techniques.
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