APPLES...MAKE THEM LAST
Apples last longer if you wrap them in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bags in the fridge, or wrap in a newspaper and put in the fridge.
Apples keep well 6 months at a temperature between 45 F and freezing. Store them in a styrofoam chest or a double cardboard box in a cool mudroom or cellar. This can approximate root cellar conditions.
Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little"stringy things" off of it. Thats how the primates do it. Take your bananas apart when you get them home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
To prevent mold on berries, wash with part white or apple cider vinegar with 10 parts water. Dump berries and swirl, drain, rinse and wash. Vinegar kills mold spores bacteria on surface of fruit. Raspberries will keep 1 week, strawberries 2 weeks in fridge.
Before cooking any of these, cut an X into the end of the stalks. This way the stalks will cook as quickly as the florettes.
For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt mints in a double boiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.
CAKE BAKING TIPS
All ingredients should be at room temperature, prepared pan should be floured and buttered, fresh baked cakes must fall neatly out of pan for cooling, sift dry ingredients, sifted flour is lighter and easier to incorporate into batter
Use a wooden spoon across pot to keep boiling water from over-boiling. Use a can opener to safely open pesky plastic packages.
Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the fridge and it will keep for weeks
CHEESE...KEEP IT FRESH
Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresher longer and not mold.
CLEAN UP AS YOU GO
To keep order in the kitchen when cooking or preparing food, clean up after each step. This will also help to prevent the transfer of germs Between cooked and raw ingrredients.
CORN...MAKE IT SWEETERWhen boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corns natural sweetness.
EGG TESTING FOR FRESHNESS
Put egg in a pan of cold water, if its a fresh egg it will fall to bottom, if rotten it will stay on the top.
Pour eggnog without alcohol into ice cube trays. When almost frozen,insert wooden sticks to create "eggnogsicles" for you or the kids
Thaw frozen eggnog to use as a desert topping for ice cream, cake or fruit
Ovens should be turned off 5- 10 minutes before the end of cooking time. Keep door closed and remaining heat will finish the job saving you on your utility bill.
Did you know the darker the flesh of a fish, the higher it is in calories.
Poached fish will be firmer and whiter if you add a bit of lemon juice to the cooking liquid..
FRUIT...HOW TO MAKE IT LAST LONGER
Keep unripened fruit in a perforated plastic bag. The perforations will allow the necessary circulation of air and the plastic will trap the ethylene gas which fruits produce naturally to promote ripening.
FRUITS & VEGETABLES...KEEPING THEM FRESH
Wrap your fruit and vegetables in newspaper before storing in the bottom of the fridge and they will last longer. Always store tomatoes at room temperature, however..
To make garlic and onion odours disappear from your hands, mix a ratio of two level tablespoons of baking soda to a glass of water, soak your hands for 30 seconds to a minute and the smell will disappear.
Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if you want a stronger taste of garlic.
GREASE REMOVAL...DURING COOKING
Put a few coffee filters on a plate and put your fried bacon, french fries, chicken fingers etc in them. Soaks out all the grease.
GREASY SOUP...NO MORE
This is for those of you who make your famous turkey soup after Thanksgiving dinner (or for that matter any kind of soup). Is your soup or stew too greasy? This may help. Wrap ice cubes in a paper towel or cheesecloth and skim the top of the stew/soup. The fat will adhere to the ice. This method also works using lettuce leaves.
Dust your grates with oil or cooking spray brfore you start to keep food from sticking. Remember the 4 by 4 rule before you start to grill: If you can keep your palm 4 inches over the coals for 4 seconds, its medium heat.
Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking. (I brown mine in a beef oxo cube, for a little extra flavor or even sometimes beef soup and do the same for ground chicken).
Before putting your Ham in the oven, slit the rind lengthwise on the underside. When the ham is done, the rind will pull away without taking half the ham with it.
Any salty nuts, olives, antipasto pcatti with hard cheese and cured cold meats go well with ice-wine
JAMS...EASY TO SPREAD
To keep heavy jam and marmalade easy to spread try this. When the jar is about 3/4 full, put a teaspoon of water on top of the jam or marmalade. Let stand overnight to absorb the moisture.
Use fresh lemon juice in your marinades. It tenderizes meat blends well with many flavors,(from soya sauce to ginger to BBQ sauce)and accents their taste Let meat rest at least 5-10 minutes before slicing. The meat will absorb and redistribute the juices
MEASURING CUPS...NON STICKY
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill it with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry the cup. Next add your ingredients, such as peanut butter and watch how easily it comes right out.
Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave with coffee filters. They make execellent covers.
ONIONS CHOPPING...STOP THE TEARS
White Bread prevents tears while chopping onions, spear a piece of stale bread on end of your blade near handle, and the bread will absorb most "vapors"
Don't toss out those skins before you put them to use. Recent research confirms that the outer skin of onions have powerful antioxidents and anti-inflammatory powers. Toss the whole onion, scale and all, into pot next time you are making soup or stew.
Sprinkle oven spills immediately with salt. When the oven is cooled, simply whisk and wipe.
OVERCOOKED...ASPARAGUS, BROCCOLI, BRUSSEL SPROUTS
Chop and combine with a can of cream soup, heat and serve.
Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating, peppers with 4 bumps are firmer and better for cooking.
Heat up leftover pizza in a non stick skillet on top of the stove. Set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza.
To prevent a popsicle from dripping, poke one or two holes in a coffee filter and wrap around popsicle stick.
Truss poultry with unwaxed dental floss. It won't burn and it's much stronger than thread.
Any thing that takes over an hour to cook, does not need a pre-heated oven, with the exception of cakes and pastries.
RECIPE...Carmelized Onion & Potato Flan
Makes 12 servings (1/2 cup each)
1/4 cup virgin oil Tuscan Italian dressing
1 tbsp oil
1 large onion thinly sliced
2 lb.Yukon gold potatoes(about 6) very thinly sliced
1 cup 4 cheese light shredded cheese
3 tbsp Parmesan grated cheese
Instructions: Heat oven to 400F, heat dressing and oil in large non stick skillet on medium heat. Add onions, cook 10-15 mins or until onions are caramelized, stirring frequently. Set aside Layer 1/3 each of potato, onion and shredded cheese in 2.5 ltr casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat layers, twice cover. Bake 30 mins. Sprinkle with Parmesans. Bake uncovered 45 mins or till potatoes are tender and top is lightly browned. Let stand 5 mins before serving.
Nutrition: calories 110, fibre 1g, fat 4g, sugar 1g, carbs 15g, protein 5g
RECIPE...Cheesy Mushroom Fish BakeIngredients:
RECIPE...Lemon Shrimp Pasta SaladIngredients:
RECIPE THANKSGIVING...Cheddar Mashed Potato Casserole
2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes(about 6) peeled quartered 2 tbsp non-hydrogenated margarine 1/2 cup sour cream 1 cup double cheddar shredded cheese 2 tbsp bacon bits Instructions: Cook potatoes in boiling water, until tender,drain, heat oven to 350F,Instructions: Add margarine and sour cream to potatoes, mash until smooth, spoon 1/2 into 1.5 casserole dish; cover with layers of cheese, remaining potatoes mixture and bacon bits, bake 30-35 mins. Serving size 1/2 cup (125 ml) Calories 150: Fibre 1g: Total fat 7g: Carbs 17g: Protein 5g:
RECIPE THANKSGIVING...Creamy Tomato Basil Casserole
2 2/3 cups cooked long grain white rice 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables,thawed and drained 2 cups chopped leftover turkey 1 tub(270g)Philadelphia tomato basil cooking creme 1 cup 25%less sodium chicken broth 1/2 cup 4 cheese Italiano shredded cheese Instructions: Heat oven to 350F, Layer rice, vegetables and turkey in an 8in square baking dish, sprayed with cooking spray Mix cooking creme and broth until blended: pour over turkey. Top with cheese; cover. Bake 40-45 mins. or until heated through. Uncover after 30 mins. To make in advance, assemble recipe as directed. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, bake 50-55 mins or till heated through, uncover after 40 mins. Serving Size...2 cups = 500 ml calories 430: cholesterol 95 mg: fibre 3 g: total fat 11g: carbs 48g: protein 33g:
Love fish but can't stand smell of it in kitchen once its cooked. Simmer a pan of water on stove with spices such as cloves, cinnamon sticks or allspice, or cut up a lemon and simmer slices in water.
SMELL...WHEN COOKING BROCCOLI, BRUSSEL SPROUTS, CABBAGE, CAULIFLOWR
You can't stand the smell of broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower or cabbage when cooking, put a piece of bread(rye works best) or slice of red pepper in pot along with vegatable. The smell disappears.
Sweet Potatoes taste even sweeter if stored a few days at a warm temperature and high humidity. They produce an enzyme that gives a sweet taste when cooked.
STEAK...GRILLED EVENLY COOKED & TENDER (6/15)
For a evenly cooked tender flavourful grilled steak score the steak first.
4 oz. of regular cheese is equal to 1 cup shredded cheese.
TOMATO VS ORANGE JUICE
Tomato juice is not only lower in calories than apple and orange juice, but the acidity may even help curb your appetite if you drink it before your meal.
TOMATOES...ARE THEY READY
A ripe tomato is firm and only slightly soft. To store ripe tomatoes, place them in a cool dark place in a single layer with stem up. Never refrigerate tomatoes, doing so spoils that garden tomato taste.
To serve wine with Turkey a California Zinfandel I am told is good
Your turkey is very dry. Slice cooked turkey and arrange it on ovenproof platter. Make sauce of half butter and chicken broth and pour over meat. Let stand about 10 mins in a 250 oven to let it soak up juices.
TURKEY...NOT QUITE DONE
Guests at the table and turkey is still pink or raw at the bone. Dark meat takes longer to cook than white meat so remove breast meat and serve first. Meantime turn oven to 450 and continue roasting legs and thighs until done another 15 min. or in microwave on high for several mins.
If you cook your Turkey ahead of time, on serving day, intermix slices of turkey with lettuce leaves..(this keeps the turkey moist) and place in a foil pan in the oven.
VEGETABLE COOKING...EASY DOES IT
You need not cover vegatables completely with water. A small amount of water not only uses less energy, it also saves valuable vitamins and minerals.
VEGETABLE NUTRIENTS PROTECTION
Summer greens like swiss chard, kale, turnipgreens and beet tops are packed with nutrients. The darker the leaf the better. To avoid boiling nutrients away, lightly saute or steam the greens just till they are barely limp.
VIBRANT VEGETABLES...VIBRANT & REFRESHED
Refresh green vegetables such as french green beans in ice cold water. This stops them from overcooking and helps maintain their colour. Reheat quickly before serving.
WEIGHING CHOPPED FOODS
To weight chopped foods, place the chopped ingredients into a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.
WRAPPERS FOR MESSY FOODS
Coffee Filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.