Fresh basil can be dried, but freezing holds the flavor better, and there are two easy methods.
1. Freeze Whole Leaves: Blanch basil leaves in boiling water for two seconds and immediately place in an ice bath. Dry the leaves completely, then place in a freezer-safe container, layered with parchment paper or wax paper, and freeze up to four months. For the best flavor, do not thaw before using.
2. Purée And Freeze: Remove the leaves from the stems and wash and dry them. In a food processor, purée the leaves with olive oil (use about a tablespoon of oil per cup of basil). Freeze the purée in ice cube trays, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag and freeze up to four months. To purée works best in soups, stews, and sauces.
“Work With What You Got!”
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved
Make prep a snap with herb ice cubes, ready to toss in the pan.
Freezing herbs is an excellent way of preserving fresh delicate herbs that cannot be successfully dried. They will lose their fresh appearance and texture, but are still suitable for use in cooking. They should keep for up to 3 months.
To freeze chopped herbs, half-fill ice cube trays with chopped herbs and top up with water. Freeze, and then remove the cubes from the tray and place in freezer bags.
To use, add the appropriate number of frozen cubes to soups, stews, and stocks. Heat until melted. A standard sized ice cube tray will hold about 1 tablespoon chopped herbs.
Alternately, pack chopped herbs in plastic containers and freeze. Sprinkle them directly into soups and stews.
To freeze whole sprigs or leaves, place in freezer bags, expel any air, tightly seal and freeze.
Alternately, open freeze whole sprigs or leaves on trays. When the herbs are frozen, transfer them carefully to freezer bags, expel any air, seal tightly and return to the freezer until ready to use.
Delicate herbs that cannot be dried successfully, but that are suitable for freezing, include: basil, chives, tarragon, chervil, coriander (cilantro), dill and parsley.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserve
Ways To Make The Most Of Seasonal Citrus
Add zip to baked goods, stir-fries or stews. Make citrus salt!
Lemons juice helps keep sliced fruits and root vegetables from turning brown. Finish savory dishes with a squeeze of lemon juice to enhance the flavors.
Freeze citrus juice or zest until you’re ready to use it.
Bake peels on the lowest possible heat until dry, but still pliable. Use to flavor black tea, roasted chicken or braised meats.
Garnish desserts and cocktails with candied peels or enjoy them as a sweet snack.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved
Freezing is an easy way to enjoy fruits and vegetables from gardens or farmers’ markets well into the winter. There are a variety of freezer bags to use for storing and freezing. I think that using a vacuum sealer is the best freezer method out there. Vacuum sealers protect foods by removing the extra air and creating a tight teal. If you want to preserve your fruits, vegetables, and meats through long-term freezing, a vacuum sealer is an investment to consider. Conventional storage bags and containers trap air in the container with the food, which can cause damage from frost and freezer burn. Because the sealer sucks all the air out of the bag before creating a tight seal, the food in the bags is better protected against the elements. A vacuum sealer costs between $75 and $200 and requires the purchase of special bags designed for this use. Besides preserving garden produce, this is a great tool to help you maximize the shelf life of other food items you buy in bulk at club stores or on sale.
To enjoy cakes at their best, follow these tips:
*Allow cakes with butter type frosting to stand for about an hour before slicing.
This allows the frosting to set.
*For cakes that are filled or frosted with whipped cream make sure to assemble
Them no more than 2 hours before serving. This will prevent them from
*To cut your cakes use a thin bladed knife cut pieces. Run the knife under hot
Water and make sure to wipe the knife dry before cutting the first piece
And in between subsequent cuts.
*For storing cakes most cakes can be covered and stored at room temperature
For 2 to 3 days. It is good to have a cake cover, but if you don’t have
A cake cover then just invert a large bowl over your cake. If you directly
Cover the cake with plastic wrap then it will for sure make a mess of the
*For those cakes that have a filling or a frosting that contains eggs, whipped
Cream or cream cheese it is best to store your cake covered in the fridge.
*If you want to freeze your cake then you should put your cooled and unfrosted
Cake layers on a baking sheet. Freeze them until they are nice and firm.
After the layers are frozen then transfer them to large freezer bags or wrap
Them and seal them in freezer wrap. They will keep in the freezer for up to
4 months. Thaw them before frosting.
*If you are serving your cake directly from the pan then cover them and freeze
Them in the pan. Make sure to thaw them before frosting them.