Caring For Your Waffle Iron:
To temper a new waffle iron or griddle make sure to grease liberally before using. Allow the grease to bake in. Repeat this process several times and the tempering will be more thorough. Never ever wash a waffle iron or griddle. After each baking just wipe with a soft oiled cloth.
Keep Glass From Cracking
Have you ever cracked a glass or a jar by pouring hot liquid into it? Well, hot water will not crack a glass or jar if it is set on a knife blade and a spoon is put in it before pouring in the hot water. Another way to keep a glass or jar from cracking is to put a wide rubber band around both the top and bottom of the glass.
Yesterday I was asked how to keep salt shakers unclogged.
For Clogged Salt Shakers:
Heat a teaspoonful of rice and mix with the salt. You could also use a pinch of ground arrowroot added to the salt. Both methods will prevent the salt for clogging the shaker. To keep the metal tops from being eaten away spread a bit of heated paraffin on the inside of the metal top. When the heated paraffin begins to cool open the holes with a pin or a wooden toothpick.
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.
I recently discovered this awesome product. If you are storing home-made ice cream or transporting your favorite store bought brand, this insulated ice cream keeper is a must. I cannot tell you how many times I have brought ice cream home from the store only to find ice cream soup. The Zak ice cream Tubbie fits a pint of ice cream from the store so that you can keep it cold on your way home. It is also great for packing cold salads to either take for lunch to your office or a party as well as holding homemade ice cream. This ice cream keeper (made by Zak) is fully insulated with a freezable gel lid to keep contents cold for up to 90 minutes. The 1 pint container measures 5x5x5 ½ inches. These ice cream keepers come in a variety of fun colors and are freezer and dishwasher safe, but NOT microwavable. The seal on the top seems to get quite tight and can be difficult to get off (which can be annoying) right after the container leaves the freezer, but within a few minutes it thaws enough to remove easily or you can run it under warm water for a moment. The cost is from $16 to $25 per Tubbie and can be purchased at either Amazon or the Zak Designs website.
Baking powder is a leavening agent that reacts to liquid and heat and creates carbon dioxide gas, which expands the bubbles created by the creaming process, causing the cake to rise. Baking powder loses its effectiveness after six months to a year. Be sure to check the date on the can when you buy it or mark it yourself.
I hate to throw food away. I really do. Here are some ideas that will transform one night’s extras into a fresh meal.
Toss up a salad. Add leftover roasted meat or fish to fresh lettuces and vegetables. Sprinkle an assortment of cheeses and add your favorite dressing.
Stir up a soup. Cook leftover meats and vegetables in a chicken or vegetable broth. Add fresh or frozen vegetables and cook through. Season as you like. If you have leftover cooked pasta you may want to add as well. Let's not forget tofu.
If you cooked too much pasta don’t worry about it. You can add sausage and spinach to the next night’s leftover pasta. Add a little olive oil and grated cheese and you’re set.
Make some French bread sandwiches. Slice the French bread lengthwise. The long loaves are great for piling with leftover meat and topped with cheeses. Place under the broiler for tasty open-faced sandwiches.
Be creative. I have come up with some good recipes out of a fridge full of leftovers.
Use these amounts as a guideline for how much fish or shellfish to purchase per person.
Whole Fish 12 Ounces to 1 Pound
Drawn or Dressed Fish 8 Ounces
Steaks or Fillets 4 to 5 Ounces
Shelled Shrimp 3 to 4 Ounces
Live Crabs 1 Pound
Whole Lobster 1 to 1 1/2 Pounds
Lobster Tail 8 Ounces
Cooked Lobster Meat 4 to 5 Ounces
I nearly always cook with kosher salt (coarse salt) for its ease and its pure mild flavor. It’s coarser in texture than standard table salt, but the crystals are actually fine flecks that cling to food and dissolve quickly. The large irregular flakes also make it easier to sprinkle evenly and discriminately, especially when seasoning food to taste with a pinch of the fingers. If you are substituting table salt for kosher salt in a recipe, begin with half the amount listed.