People often think if you’re cooking, baking, or blending you don’t need to use the best ingredients – but quality matters….always! A cake made with 99cent baking chocolate chips isn’t going to be as delicious as ones made with Milka. Ditto for a shake made with last week’s overly ripe fruits versus farmer’s market berries. I don’t have to tell you, however, that using the best is expensive, but there are hacks. Frozen, fruit for example, is better if farm fresh isn’t an option since those fruits are frozen at peak ripeness. Milka is my hack for chocolate because it’s not that expensive and in my opinion tastes better than any fancy brand out there. Now for wine. Admittedly I’m not a big connoisseur, in fact, I rarely ever drink alcohol, but I looooove booze in my sweet and savory foods.
Wine in particular is a great way to add flavor to sauces without loading in the calories because you need so little to pack in flavor. My problem with wine is because I don’t drink on the regular it’s not worth opening a bottle (no matter the price) just for a few tablespoons and then have it go bad in my fridge after a few days, which is why I love the idea of Holland House. The brand makes cooking wines that last for months: Marsala, Sherry, White, Red, White with Lemon. They make for a great hack if you’re on a budget and looking to add flavor without a ton of calories to your sauces, dressings, marinades etc. Remember that most store bought sauces are full of added sugars and fat. While you can easily use these for savory recipes, for sweet ones I still prefer Kahlua, Bailey’s, bourbon, rum…I’ll bake a cake and then just before it’s ready I’ll pour my booze of choice (always something that can last for months after being opened)…so good!
Image: Serious Eats