Make your day in the kitchen a worthy
achievement with these homemaker-tested tips. They will make home tasks less of
a chore and let you get to accomplish more in half a time.
Table salt is what we’re raised on, with additives, including iodine. Kosher salt is also called “coarse salt”, no additives; has a
sharper taste and larger grains than table salt; preferred by many chefs. Pickling
salt is very similar to kosher salt, but with some additives for a sharper
brine. Rock salt is only for your driveways, walkways, and ice cream
freezer; don’t cook with it!
salt is tops for taste; obtained from the ocean; has trace minerals; fine or
coarse grains. Preferred by many chefs over kosher salt. “Hain” brand is a
fine grain, best for general cooking and bread; “LaBaleine” brand is coarser
with softer taste; “Maldon” brand is more expensive and great for seasoning
at the table; “Fleur De Sal” brand is top-of-the-line, is hand-harvested and
Best cheesecake. Soften
cream cheese thoroughly. Mix on low speed just until smooth. Place a cup of
water in the oven with the cheesecake. Cool slowly, away from drafts, covered
with a paper towel. Store cheesecake in the refrigerator. Add fruit toppings
just before serving.
Bad lemon juice.
Bottled lemon juice loses its freshness and becomes unpleasantly sharp and acrid 2-3
days after opening. If a recipe says “fresh”, use fresh! You don’t need
your guest puckering and making faces over your lemon pie!
Tomato storage. Never store tomatoes in the fridge or even on a sunny windowsill! That concentrates
the sugars, dries the juices, and spoils the taste. Put fresh tomatoes
(especially those pinky hot-house types) into a paper bag with an apple…ripe
in one day!
Is the taste of fresh garlic too strong for you? Boil the peeled cloves in a little
water for a few minutes and then use it in your recipes. They can also be
simmered over very low heat in extra virgin olive oil; then you also have a
flavored oil to use. Just don’t store it that way—it breeds bacteria, and
will make you quite ill!
Seed fresh tomatoes.
To remove seeds from fresh tomatoes, cut in half crosswise, hold each half upside
down over the sink, and squeeze gently—there they go!
To salt or not to salt.
Pasta water—salt before or after boiling? Either way works for taste, but ‘tis said that
unsalted water boils faster. The most important thing is to make sure your pasta
water is salted properly!
Bread-making tips. If you’re gonna do it, do it right! Keep one wooden board for kneading bread
only. Keep one non-stick shallow baking pan for baking bread only. Make sure the
date on your yeast packet is current. Even using a mixer with dough hook, still
knead 3-4 minutes. Use only a large ceramic bowl for rising.
Saving herb(s). Make sure the herbs are completely dry, and store in a sealed plastic bag. This will
keep in the refrigerator’s vegetable crisper for about a week. To store large
bunches of herbs, stand them up in a glass filled with water. Loosely cover the
top of the bunch with a plastic bag, using a rubber band to secure it. Be sure
to change the water every other day.