Wednesday, October 31, 2007

now you can look it up

We're in the process of creating a cooking glossary covering all of those crazy terms you've heard before but we're sure what they mean. It's getting updated daily.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

why would it be wooden

Always use a wooden spoon when cooking: unlike a metal spoon, it doesn't transfer out the heat and mess with the temperature in unpredictable ways.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

turn to the back

Those recipes on the back of product packages are usually really good. They're thoroughly researched, enough for the company to place on their product. Just beware of the recipes that require those company products exclusively. Then they're just trying to get you to buy more of their products.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

very vanilla

You can make your own vanilla by placing two split vanilla beans in one liter of vodka. Shaking the bottle once a day, let sit for two months.

Vanilla Recipes

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

potato bonsai

Got a potato that's starting to look like a bonsai tree? Don't throw it away. Turn it into a bonsai.

Visit the potato bonsai gallery to get some ideas: http://www.bonsaipotato.com/gallery.php?gallery_type=1

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Friday, October 26, 2007

color it up

When choosing menus try to choose items of different color. It will make the meal seem more complex. Comfort foods are often beige. A vegetable adds a nice contrast.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

size does matter

Try to get comfortable with your larger knives. They'll save you a lot of time since they can cut more food at a time.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

leftover survival guide

Roast turkey 3 to 4 days
Stuffing 1 to 2 days
Giblet Gravy 1 to 2 days
Canned Cranberry Sauce 5 to 7 days
Homemade Cranberry Relish 5 to 7 days
Roast Pork 2 to 4 days
Roast Beef/Veal/lamb 3 to 4 days
Baked ham 3 to 5 days
Meat w/ sauce or gravy 1 to 2 days
Cooked vegetables 3 to 5 days
Pumpkin pie 2 to 3 days
Fruit desserts/pie 3 to 5 days
Cooked Seafood 1 to 2 days
Gumbo 1 to 2 days
Soups 2 to 3 days

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rules for Leftovers

2 Hours x 2 Inches x 4 Days

2 Hours from oven to refrigerator. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within
2 hours of cooking the food. Otherwise throw it away.

2 Inches thick to cool it quick. Store food at a shallow depth - about 2
inches - to speed chilling.

4 Days in the refrigerator - otherwise freeze it. Use leftovers from the
refrigerator within 4 days, except stuffing and gravy, which should be
used within 2 days.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

time to clean the microwave

To clean your microwave, heat a bowl of water on high power for 5 to 10 minutes. Keep the door closed for several more minutes to allow the steam to do its magic. Using pot holders, carefully remove the bowl of water. Then wipe the walls of the oven -- almost effortlessly. To deodorize add 1/4 cup of vinegar.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

cut out the fat

Use non-stick cookware so that you don't have to use as much, if any, fat.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

it's good for how long?

Every wonder how long foods are good for? Here's some common items and their expiration dates.

Flour unopened: up to 12 months. Opened: 6-8 months.
Sugar unopened: 2 years.
Brown sugar unopened: 4 months.
Confectioners sugar unopened: 18 months.
Cocoa unopened: indefinitely. Opened: 1 year.
Whole spices: 2-4 years.
Ground spices: 2-3 years.
Paprika, red pepper and chili powder: 2 years
Baking soda unopened: 18 months. Opened: 6 months.
Baking powder unopened: 6 months. Opened: 3 months.
Cornstarch: 18 months.
Dry pasta made without eggs unopened: 2 years. Opened: 1 year.
Dry egg noodles unopened: 2 years. Opened: 1-2 months.
Salad dressing unopened: 10-12 months. Opened: 3 months if refrigerated.
Honey: 1 year.
Ground, canned coffee unopened: 2 years. Opened: 2 weeks, if refrigerated.
Jams, jellies and preserves unopened: 1 year. Opened: 6 months if refrigerated.
Peanut butter unopened: 6-9 months. Opened: 2-3 months.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

a little herb will do ya

Dried herbs are more potent than fresh. Use 1/3 the amount in dried as is called for fresh.

Basil Recipes

Dill Recipes

Parsley Recipes

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

boil those stains away

Stains can be removed from cookware by boiling it in 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 1/2 cup vinegar,
and 1 cup of water for ten minutes. Before using the pan again,
season it with oil.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

leave the skin on

Many vegetables and fruits, including potatoes and apples,
retain many of their nutrients in their skin. So when possible,
leave the skin on and cook them whole.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

the best way to clean your grinder


Use your pastry brush to clean your spice and coffee grinders.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

The ultimate chocolate chip cookie revisited

To make chocolate chip cookies perfect, don’t fold all your chips into the batter. Arrange some on top of the cookies before popping them in the oven.

If your chocolate chip cookies are refrigerated -- make them perfectly round by storing the dough inside a cardboard tube from a roll of paper towel

Original Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Post

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

tomato slice perfection


To slice a tomato evenly, prick one side with the tines of a fork, then use the prick marks as a cutting guide.


Here's an easy Tomato Salad recipe to practice this technique:

10 small tomatoes
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon basil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Slice each tomato into 8 to 10 wedges. Combine with remaining ingredients to blend.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Can you smoke it?

To chop leafy herbs such as basil or mint, stack the leaves, roll them into a cigar, then shred. Then mince if desired.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

i never meant to make the onion cry

To reduce the tears when peeling or slicing onions, chill them first.

Alternatively, cut off the top but leave the root on.

The root contains the largest amounts of sulphuric compounds, which cause tears when the onion is cut. But remember to remove the root prior to cooking or eating.

http://www.fasteasyrecipe.com/recipes/onions

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

keeping the tupperware stain free


Spray your plastic storage container with nonstick cooking spray and you'll never see a tomato stain again.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

cleaning smelly hands

Whether fish, garlic, onion or some other food that leaves your hands smelly. Rub your fingers thoroughly with the bottom of a stainless steel spoon under running water. Then wash your hands with soap. The metal magically neutralizes the fumes!

Baking soda also works wonders. Lightly wet your hands and then sprinkle on baking soda. Rub the soda all over yourhands, then rinse the soda and odors away.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

instant side dish

If you freeze wild rice it will last 3-4 months compared to a week in the refrigerator. Make a whole bunch and just freeze away for an easy instant side dish.

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Monday, October 8, 2007

sugary brown secrets

Store your brown sugar in the freezer and you will never have to deal with that hard lump again.

Brown Sugar Cookies

2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
3-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and sour cream and beat until creamy. Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in small bowl; gradually add to sugar mixture, beating until mixed. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

read your recipes

Read the recipe through from beginning to end before you start. Make sure you have all the right ingredients, utensils, and appliance. we can't count the number of times we've started a recipe only to read that it needs marinate overnight.

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Saturday, October 6, 2007

freezing works wonders


Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces. It's easier to store than full bottles and will stay fresher frozen.

Instead of throwing away the left over tomato paste, and there's always a bunch left over, we know, spoon the left over paste into ice cube trays.

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Friday, October 5, 2007

how to boil water

A jar lid or a couple of marbles in the bottom half of a double-boiler will rattle when the water gets low and warn you to add more before the pan scorches or burns.

Noodles, spaghetti and other starches won't boil over if you rub the inside of the pot with vegetable oil.

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

slips right off


To easily remove the silk from corn on the cob brush a damp paper towel down the cob.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

15 second microwave magic

To get more juice from a lemon microwave it for 15 seconds and you'll get twice the amount of juice you get from just squeezing.

To easily remove the skin from garlic cloves microwave for 15 seconds and the skins slip right off.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

white white califlower


Cauliflower can get a weird brown when cooked, to keep your cauliflower white while cooking add a little milk to the water.

cauliflower recipes

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Monday, October 1, 2007

tips, tricks and techniques

this month we're going to focus on ways to make life in the kitchen that much easier and faster. We'll offer advice and other words of wisdom throughout the month.

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