HACSI Tip #2: Making Stock

sometimes, we have stock in our freezer. we save our scraps and then make a bunch and it’s so convenient and delicious. but this tip is for those times where there are not a mass of ice cubes made of broth, and earth balance containers with frozen mounds of brown veggie deliciousness.

it involves my bff: the pressure cooker.

i made this up–though i am sure zillions have before me–because i read this post on the kitchn about making a quick stock. but you know what develops flavors even quicker than a sometimes-covered pot? a pressure cooker!

i use the same basic collection of things in the kitchn post:

  • 1 onion, quartered or eighthed
  • a few crushed (but not chopped bc that is not very hacsi!) garlic cloves
  • any other good stock veggies around: carrots, celery, mushrooms, etc. these can be frozen–limp, no longer tasty bc the texture is so unappealing celery? throw it in the freezer and throw it in the pot!
  • herbs and spices: peppercorns (a bunch, unground–you know, 10-20), some thyme, some rosemary, some bay leaves, anything else you want really.
  • parmesan rind, if you happen to have one around–these can be saved in the freezer, too, and give a rich, umami-y flavor.

then, i covered with water. this is important: you will be making a really concentrated stock, because too much water in the pressure cooker will not let pressure develop, and it will bubble out all over! so only put as much water in as yr pressure cooker can take–you can add more once its done.

carrot, onion, thyme, and peppercorns, floating in water inside a pressure cooker

before! everything is so distinct and pretty.

then, bring to a boil (when the top starts rattling), and let it go for 10 minutes. you can quick release it or just let it go on its own, and you can strain out the aromatics whenever you are ready to use it.

brown liquid, shiny and with onion and herbs floating in it

way less pretty–but so brothy!

i usually water it down by half, then see how it’s doing. salt to taste or just cook with it–it’s not as good as stock simmered for hours and hours, but it’s way better than bouillon powder!







ones and halves: the chewy cookie method

2 chocolate chip cookies, on parchment paper atop a toaster oven baking sheet

see? toaster oven baked cookies!

i didn’t initially see this as a hacsi post, but was convinced that it is. making a log of cookie dough and freezing it, so you can have fresh baked cookies whenever you want? totes hacsi!

and having an easy cookie “recipe” that you can always pull out of yr back pocket without looking it up? wicked hacsi! so, with no further ado:

the basic ratio i use is 1:1:1:1 (and the halves). and it’s endlessly multipliable! what that means is, everywhere it says 1 you can put in 3. everywhere it says 1/2, you can put in 1.5, etc–except for the salt, which you should be a little more sparing with.

1 stick of softened butter or earth balance

1 cup of flour

1 cup of sugar (yr favorite blend of white and brown)

1 egg (if you want to use egg replacer, i suggest using ener-g, and mixing it with soy/other non-dairy milk, instead of water)

1 cup mix-ins: chocolate chips, dried fruit, whatever else you might want!

plus, the halves!

<1/2 t of baking powder

<1/2 t of baking soda

<1/2 t of salt

1/2 t of vanilla

use general cookie-making technique: blend the softened butter and sugar, add the egg and vanilla. mix the dry ingredients, then once everything is mixed, add the mix-ins.

bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes, until browned on top.

and, voila! each stick of butter makes about 18-24 cookies. whatever part of the cookie dough you don’t want, you can make into a log, wrap it up (with parchment or saran wrap, then foil, i would suggest!), and put into the freezer.

cylinder of chocolate chip cookie dough, on parchment atop foil, sitting on a wooden table.

unwrap when you want, slice some off, and wrap it back up!

the part you do want, though? i recommend eating them when they are warm and delicious.

small chewy, browned cookie on a white background.

like this!




HACSI Tip #1: Melting butter

So, this tip is only really good if you don’t have a microwave–which we happen not to. If you have one, here’s yr tip: YOU ARE VERY LUCKY AND CAN HACSI MELT YR BUTTER IN YR MAGICAL ELECTRIC MACHINE. But for the rest of us, here’s my thought.

Sometimes, I want to melt butter when i am baking something, but it seems like such a pain to get a pot, wash it, etc. So, what’s my solution?


“Wow, that’s not particularly novel or impressive.” you may be thinking. “A miniature pot. Weird, and helpful if I want to pretend that I am a giant, but not much easier.” But! Look!

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