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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Michelle's cooking/organizing lesson

This is a great cooking and organizing lesson from my low carb buddy,
Michelle Machin. She's on the Atkins face book page about as much as I am.
I'm tickled that she wrote something to help us all on our low carb journey!!

Below are Michelle's words:

Every day I see people post here that they do not know how to cook, or need ideas for this, that, and the other. I'm going to put on my teacher/mommy/granny hat for just a minute and post two of my most important tips for food prep and portion control (yes, Atkins is about portion control, too).

Tip #1: Use measuring cups! Keep measuring cups where you need them. Go to the $1 store and buy several sets--I bought 10. (You don't need quite as many sets of measuring spoons--one for dry ingredients and one for wet ingredients.)

I keep a 1/4 cup measure IN my bag of shredded cheese. I keep a 1 cup measure in the box of cereal for the kids (well, I did...they don't eat cereal any more). I keep a 1/4 cup measure in the bag of blueberries in the freezer. If something needs to be measured, and I use it more than a once a week, the appropriate measuring cup stays in the container with the food. I also keep the cheese slicer in a gallon size zip lock baggie with the chunk of cheese--I hate using a wet slicer, and this one slices exactly 1 ounce.

When I was making four servings of PIM yesterday, I portioned some ingredients directly into the bowls. The cheese, however, needed to be used between the layers. I pulled out four 1-cup measures and put 1/4 cup of shredded cheese in each one. Then I put a 1-cup measure beside each bowl. When it came time to sprinkle in a layer of cheese, I used the measuring cup assigned to each bowl. That way, I made sure that each bowl got exactly 1/4 cup of cheese.

Tip #2: Buy a scale. You may think you don't need one, but you do. For years, I was stingy and used the scale I bought for WW back in the 1970's. Last year, I bought a new one--and I love it! It has a nice flat glass top, so I can use coffee filters, paper towels, or a paper plate to weigh the food, and it goes up to about 5 lbs (so I can use it for canning). I use to keep track of carbs (or look them up) and it is often more accurate to use the weight. For example, yesterday I wanted to know the carbs in kale chips. I put all my washed, cut kale in a zip lock bag (part of the preparation process) and weighed the whole thing--it came to 4.7 ounces, and was much easier than trying to put on all that kale in measuring cups.

Thank you so much Michelle!!!

Now I'm gonna add my 2 cents worth! :-)
One of the first things I do if I'm going to be cooking a lot that day,
is to run a sink 1/2 full of soapy water with Clorox in it (about 1/2 cup).
I keep a white dish rag in it, that way,
as I mess up I can wash up easily and wipe down counter tops
between recipes.
I don't want e coli growing in my kitchen!!
Michelle said:
hot water deactivates the bleach when it comes to killing germs
(works great for whitening, though).
That is one of the things they taught us in the
food service management classes
(I held my certification for about 25 years).
See, yall, even I learned a good lesson today!
Love Michelle for all her great thoughts and worlds of knowledge.
I gotta go watch the Casey Anthony trial now and paint.

OK...lesson over! there will be a test soon!!!
Email me:


  1. You are welcome, Joan! Thanks for posting it FOR me, so I don't have to start my own blog. :)

  2. Oh, that is so funny, Joan. When I cook, I keep a white dishcloth in a 4 cup measure bowl of cool water with bleach in it. Twenty-seven years of restaurant management built some strong habits.

  3. Hi Joan! I found you recently & I love your recipes and helpful hints! Your 100 list of snacks is awesome!! I tried your cabbage dressing and I've eaten it for the past 3 days. It's wonderful!! I will be by here often.

    Oh yeah, I'm on the BFC diet. Hasn't worked as good as Atkins so I may need to back off the carbs :(


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