I know a lot of the cooking shows on TV today talk about Balsamic Vinegar like its liquid gold, and it is delicious, don’t get me wrong…there are just so many varieties out there, how do you know when to use which one?

I ran a few tests with some vinegar’s I had on-hand which means I am probably missing a whole slew of vinegars you can purchase…but these come from MY kitchen and what I know about them.

Lets start with Red Wine Vinegar. It is important to use a vinegar that lists its ingredients and plainly shows wine on the label. Believe it or not, I have ran across a few that don’t have an ingredient label which scares me. 😐 This vinegar should be maroon in color and when you open the bottle should have a sweet-ish smell, not a super stinky one. My favorite recipe for red wine vinegar is a dressing.

  • 1/3 c Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I use old jars from jam or pickles to shake my dressings up…add all ingredients and shake like there’s a good song on the radio! 😉

Rice Wine Vinegar is one of my favorites. Its tangy, smooth and mild in taste so when you’re making a real rich and/or fatty dish, this helps cut it down. This vinegar should be a pale yellow and when opening the bottle has a nutty smell. My favorite recipe for this is my Asian Sesame Chicken.

  • soy-ginger-kabobs-main.jpg1 lb chicken tenders
  • 1/4 green onions- sliced to 1/3 inch pieces
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste (about 1 tsp each for me)

Put everything into a zip locked baggy and marinate for at least an hour – better if over night. I like to put mine on the grill because of the grill marks and flavor but you can just as easily put it in your oven on 350 for 20 mins, or until cooked through, or even in your wok with veg and rice.

Apple Cider Vinegar is the one I call the miracle vinegar. It has such good qualities for your health whether its for lowing blood sugar levels, helping prevent stroke and heart disease, lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and its being tested for preventatives against cancer! That’s some big stuff! Apple Cider Vinegar should look amber in color, like Boston in autumn. I like it best in my beverages and here’s how..

photo courtesy of findininglover
  • 1 1/2 c fresh grapefruit juice ( I prefer using pink grapefruit)
  • 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp raw honey

Stir together and drink.

Note: If you are looking to drop a few pounds, this juice may become your best friend. Both the ACV and the grapefruit will help you out. Grapefruit also lowers cholesterol, and  helps prevent cancer and arthritis.

Champagne Vinegar is not a commonly known vinegar like the others listed above but its more of a delicate vinegar. It’s coloring looks just like champagne, sans beautiful bubbles. This vinegar is sweeter than apple cider and white wine, probably one of the sweetest I’ve tried. It isn’t easily found like the others but if you find it, grab it, you wont be disappointed!

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 or 3 dashes hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Put everything into a blender and use as a dressing. My favorite is to use either on a spinach and strawberry salad or still warmed roasted brussel sprouts with chopped bacon or pancetta bits. (My mouth is watering)

Foster holding Liam when he first came home. Feb 2015!

And then, of course, plan ol’ Distilled White Vinegar. I use this stuff for everything! Of
course for dying eggs on Easter but its a great organic cleaning agent and gets those annoying water spots off of my glass shower walls. I used it for when my puppy, Liam, was potty training too; really helps with the odors and coloring sometimes left behind. The aroma is pungent but fades quickly as it evaporates.

And there you have it! The vinegars in my pantry. What are your favorite ways to use vinegar?

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