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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, April 05, 2010

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Edible & Organic Servingware

Frugal Kitchens 101
Coming up with a different presentation for foods can be a bit tricky but not if you turn to using the food itself as part of the presentation. This is a fun way to use parts of the food that would normally be discarded to the compost bin. While some food parts mentioned could also be used to create other foods (eg. candied citrus slices, watermelon pickles) for the most part these are going to be the peelings and outer shells you would not normally consume. This week's Frugal Kitchen 101 focuses on some of these edible and non-edible organic servingware for a fun presentation that costs you nothing other than creativity.

  1. oranges - Cut an orange in half the scoop out the contents to form 2 shells. Place on small plate. Fill the orange shells with orange parfait, orange jello or orange sherbert. If using sherbert garnish then serve immediately. If using parfait or jello return to refrigerator to set well then garnish just before serving.
  2. coconuts - One classic use for whole coconuts is as a large beverage holder. Carefully cut or saw the top off a husked coconut. Pour off any coconut milk. Fill with drink of choice just before serving. Place the coconut uncut end down into small bowl to prevent tipping while filling. Add a long straw and fancy drink umbrella.
  3. cucumber - Cut an English (seedless) cucumber into 1 - inch pieces. Hollow out the inside so only a half inch of cucumber remains. Fill with prepared tuna fish salad. Serve as an appetizer. Cut an English cucumber into 2 - inch pieces removing inside except for half inch. Fill with vegetable dip for individual serving sized vegetable dips. Cut an English cucumber into 4 - inch pieces removing inside except for half inch. Chill well then fill with summer cocktail.
  4. melons - Just about any melon can be carved into a lovely basket for holding melon balls or cubes. The simplest design is cut in half to form 2 serving bowls. Form your balls or cube, add grapes and strawberries then fill each bowl. Get a bit fancier by shaping into a basket with handle or even use a design for a higher end look. Chill bowl well before filling with fruit mixture.
  5. peppers - Sweet peppers are ideal for stuffing that can be served either hot or cold.
  6. tomatoes - Cut a small tomato in half. Hollow out just the inner portion (seeds) leaving the outer thick portion. Fill with herbed feta cheese then garnish as the centre for indiviual side salads.
  7. breads - Yeast breads make great serving bowls for dips and stews.
  8. cheese - Melt cheese into lace then form over a cup to form a bowl. When cooled fill with salad greens just before serving.
  9. tortilla shells - Not only can tortilla shells be used as wraps they can be fried and formed for tacos or as a bowl for salads.
  10. potatoes - Bake potatoes as normal. Split in half then scoop out the insides. Set this aside to add other ingredients to for twice baked potatoes or if making potato skins use the potato flesh for mashed potatoes, soups or potato bread.


4 food lovers commented:

A Year on the Grill said...

great tips... wonderful useful post

Garden Gnome said...

Thanks Dave :)

Chey can cook! (and more) said...

i love the ideas, especially the tomato!

Garden Gnome said...

Thanks Chey :)