Your kitchen’s se­cret weapon

Yep, it’s the freezer. If all you have in there is a box of fish fin­gers, you’re miss­ing a trick. Use it right to eat health­ier, waste less and cook faster.

Glamour (South Africa) - - All About You -

Food writer and au­thor of Freeze (Orion Pub­lish­ing; R548), Jus­tine Pat­ti­son, shares her top four food short­cuts to make your food last and your daily has­sles dis­ap­pear.

1SUPER- QUICK STRIPS

“In­stead of freez­ing whole chicken breasts or steaks – which take time to de­frost – cut meat into 1.5cm strips and toss in a lit­tle sun­flower oil and sea­son­ing be­fore freez­ing. They’ll last for about four months and you can cook the strips straight from the freezer.”

2CHEF’S CHEAT

“Car­rots, onions and cel­ery are the holy trin­ity of veg­eta­bles that form the base of most sauces. Pre­pare a big batch, sauté with a lit­tle oil un­til they start to soften, then cool, bag and freeze for up to three months. When you’re ready to use your veg, sim­ply snap off what you need and cook from frozen.”

3HANDY HERBS

“It’s hard to use a whole bag of herbs be­fore it goes limp. Roughly chop what you have left over, di­vide into an ice cube tray, then cover with a lit­tle olive oil to stop the herbs go­ing brown. They’ll keep for four months – add to your cook­ing while frozen.”

4BANANA SLICES

“In­stead of throw­ing away over­ripe bananas, I slice them and keep them frozen – for up to six months – to put straight into smooth­ies. No need to de­frost: once blended, it adds a lovely creamy tex­ture.”

Yes, you can freeze…

Eggs Crack an egg into a plas­tic con­tainer, lightly mix the yolk and white to­gether, and add a pinch of salt or sugar per egg (de­pend­ing on whether you’ll be us­ing them for sweet or savoury dishes). Av­o­cado Re­move the skin and stone. Mash in a plas­tic con­tainer with one ta­ble­spoon of le­mon juice per av­o­cado. Cheese This works with hard cheeses only. Grate first, so it doesn’t go crumbly. Rice Cool freshly cooked rice quickly, ideally within an hour. Freeze in in­di­vid­ual por­tions to avoid a block of frozen rice. But­ter High fat con­tent = per­fect prod­uct to freeze. Keep in the orig­i­nal pack­ag­ing – it works for mar­garine, too. Nuts In­stead of let­ting them go soft, keep them in a Zi­ploc bag (ei­ther shelled or un­shelled) in the freezer. Flour It does go off (whole­wheat flour es­pe­cially has a shorter shelf life) and can har­bour mites if not stored prop­erly. Trans­fer from the pa­per bag (which is too por­ous) into a Tup­per­ware con­tainer or a Zi­ploc bag first, then freeze.

Beau­ti­ful young stars might be ex­pected to come with glam­orous trap­pings and elab­o­rate de­mands, but Emma Roberts, 25, isn’t one of them. Stand­ing at just 158cm, Emma is del­i­cate, with wide brown eyes and thick brows. She laughs eas­ily, talks fondly about her fam­ily and friends, and is sur­pris­ingly hon­est and vul­ner­a­ble.

“Be­ing an ac­tress with the whole world com­ment­ing is hard at times. It starts to feel like noth­ing is yours and noth­ing is pri­vate,” she says, and although this ob­ser­va­tion is not rare in her world, she ex­pands on it. “I love ther­apy,” she adds. “It’s great to have some­one you can talk to who’s not your friend or fam­ily, and not worry about what they think about you.”

But if wor­ry­ing about how she was per­ceived was once a big pre­oc­cu­pa­tion, things are dif­fer­ent now: “I’ve never felt more com­fort­able with my­self since I turned 25. I feel like I’ve crossed the bridge into be­ing a wo­man,” Emma says.

It was her aunt, Ju­lia Roberts, who set Emma on her life’s jour­ney – as a young child, she would sit spell­bound on the set of Erin Brock­ovich, “and I would run and hide,” she re­calls. “I’d hide in her makeup trailer and hear, ‘Where’s Emma? She has to go home!’ It felt like camp – just that feel­ing of cre­ativ­ity.”

She begged to be al­lowed to au­di­tion, and won a part in the 2001 movie Blow as the daugh­ter of a drug smug­gler’s wife, played by Pené­lope Cruz. At 13, she starred in Un­fab­u­lous, a se­ries about a tween with a crush on a class­mate.

At every step of her early ca­reer, Emma’s mother, Kelly Cun­ning­ham, warned her about the risks of choos­ing a ca­reer in act­ing too soon, and asked her to de­lay her am­bi­tions.

Kelly was, for a time, the live-in girl­friend of ac­tor Eric Roberts (Ju­lia’s brother), who has had drug-abuse is­sues and run-ins with the law, and their bit­ter split in­cluded a cus­tody bat­tle for young Emma that Eric lost. And so, act­ing was more than a love; it was an es­cape, even if it didn’t al­ways yield re­wards. “I was dev­as­tated when I didn’t get the part of Wendy in Peter Pan. My mom said, ‘Maybe you should stop, be in school and fo­cus on be­ing a kid.’ And I said, ‘No! I want a shot at glory!’” Emma says.

She was se­ri­ous about that. And also for­tu­nate, as it was Kelly, she says, who “made sure that I had the most nor­mal life pos­si­ble” and who drove her “to any friend’s house I wanted to go”.

At 16, she starred in the movie Nancy Drew, and her ca­reer re­sumed its up­ward glide. Sev­eral small movies, in­clud­ing It’s Kind of a Funny Story and Palo Alto fol­lowed. But it was her splashy role as a witch-in-train­ing in Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story: Coven that brought a new level of fame. When the call came, she re­calls that she was at home, “silently jump­ing around on the couches”.

Then, the me­dia scru­tiny be­gan. In July 2013, the ac­tress, who had be­come ro­man­ti­cally at­tached to her Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story co-star Evan Peters, was ar­rested for a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­ci­dent af­ter some­one in the ho­tel where she and Evan were stay­ing called the police to in­form them of a fight. Evan didn’t press charges, they re­leased a state­ment call­ing it a “mis­un­der­stand­ing”, and the re­la­tion­ship re­sumed. Within months, Emma was wear­ing an en­gage­ment ring from Evan. Then, last June, they con­firmed that they’d called it off.

When asked if he’s gone from her life, her re­sponse is brief, her ex­pres­sion wounded and with­drawn: “I don’t want to talk about that.” What she will say is this: that she re­placed that di­a­mond en­gage­ment ring with three other rings on her left hand that she bought for her­self af­ter “a breakup”. Buy­ing them was an ex­pres­sion of some­thing that her mother told her: “Al­ways love your­self, and al­ways know what you’re worth.”

Emma goes out of her way to defy the stereo­type of the beau­ti­ful girl as mean girl, and she cham­pi­ons the defenceless. In real life, she’s the po­lar op­po­site of the de­li­ciously nasty char­ac­ters she’s played on Scream Queens and Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story. Most heart­felt of all, she says, is her pro­tec­tive­ness of her 15-year-old sis­ter Grace, who has never sought pub­lic­ity, but has been scru­ti­nised none­the­less. “I love her more than

“I’ve never felt more com­fort­able with my­self since I turned 25. I feel like I’ve crossed the bridge into be­ing a wo­man.”

“Al­ways love your­self and al­ways know what you’re worth.”

any­thing or any­one in the world,” she says. Then she ex­plains how she was post­ing pho­tos of the two of them cel­e­brat­ing dur­ing last year’s hol­i­day sea­son, when Grace stopped her cold. “She said, ‘Please don’t post that; peo­ple are call­ing me ugly on your In­sta­gram.’”

Emma grows solemn think­ing of this cru­elty. “I’ve met some of the most beau­ti­ful peo­ple in the world, who have been some of the most aw­ful peo­ple,” she says. It was this re­al­i­sa­tion, the idea that a young girl she loved was be­ing judged on her looks, that con­trib­uted to her de­ci­sion to ap­pear in an ad cam­paign for the lin­gerie brand Aerie. Specif­i­cally, she posed for un­re­touched pho­to­graphs wear­ing T-shirts, panties and bras.

“You can put your­self out there and not Pho­to­shop or Face­tune your­self,” she says. “It’s fine to say, ‘Oh, I looked bad in that pic­ture, but the day was such a fun day.’ I also wanted to show peo­ple: yes, there is an Emma Roberts, but there is also an Emma!” Mean­ing: “Not red car­pet, hair down, ba­si­cally no makeup.”

Her breasts in the Aerie lin­gerie shots are the size na­ture made them. “I’m a small B,” she says. “I’m stand­ing up for all of the small-busted girls!”

When asked what the fu­ture holds for her ca­reer, Emma lists op­tions mixed with cer­tain­ties. Later this year, she’ll ap­pear with Dave Franco in Nerve, a film about so­cial me­dia and its fear­some ma­nip­u­la­tion of an in­no­cent high school girl by an anony­mous com­mu­nity of on­line watch­ers. She’s also talk­ing about pos­si­bil­i­ties with di­rec­tor Gia Cop­pola.

But Emma’s am­bi­tion ex­tends be­yond act­ing. “I think as I get older, there might come a time when I want to be more be­hind the scenes; I would love to pro­duce and maybe write,” she says. Cre­ativ­ity and be­hind-the-scenes power are wor­thy goals for any­one, par­tic­u­larly young women in Hol­ly­wood. Still, there’s poignancy in Emma’s rea­son­ing.

“I thought about it a lot dur­ing Scream Queens, with the full makeup and hair and heels and minidresses every morn­ing,” she says. “I thought, ‘I want to show up to work one day and not care what I look like.’ It would be nice to just slip away for a lit­tle bit.”

But slip­ping away isn’t her style. And it’s also not likely on the cards. Emma Roberts, even just Emma, as she puts it, is go­ing to be with us for a long time.

“You can put your­self out there and not Pho­to­shop or Face­tune your­self.”

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