Posts tagged Tips
Tuesday, November 12, 2013

a better use for your butter wrapper

butter wrappers

I stopped by a friend’s house recently while she was in the middle of baking something. She had softened her butter earlier in the day and was about to cream it with sugar. Carefully, she peeled the wrapper off the butter, and into the mixer bowl the butter fell. Then, she crumpled up the butter wrapper and threw it away.

“Don’t…” was all that I managed to blurt out, but it was too late – the wrapper landed deep in the garbage bin.

“What? Why? It’s just a butter wrapper,” she said.

A wrapper that’s been generously slathered with softened butter – that could’ve been used for buttering the pan that she was using to bake. When I’m baking with butter, it’s a natural by-product, so instead of softening more butter, I just use what is left on the wrapper and most of the time, it manages to be enough. Plus, it’s a great way to be efficient and frugal in the kitchen.

Continue reading a better use for your butter wrapper.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

how to store your foil, plastic wrap, parchment paper, etc. in a tiny kitchen with limited storage

New organizational kitchen tip.

Forgive me for a such a short post, and also for the longest post title known to man. I sound like a broken record when I explain my silence here: work, recipe testing, clean. Lather, rinse, repeat. But I have been working on a recipe here for you – I just need to shoot it. But it’s ready to go and it’s a really good one, I promise!

Continue reading how to store your foil, plastic wrap, parchment paper, etc. in a tiny kitchen with limited storage.

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

baking powder vs baking soda – and “the science of good cooking” giveaway!

Thanks for this, @testkitchen! Already found an answer to a long-burning question on baking soda vs powder!

Hi, friends. Today we’re going to geek out a bit. Sometimes you come here and there are stories or ramblings, but today, think of today as a mini science class. We’re going to talk about amino acids and browning and alkaline dough. I bet you can’t wait to get started.

For awhile now, I’ve been wondering about leaveners and the difference between the two. Why would you ever use baking powder instead of baking soda, and, more importantly, why would you ever use both? I’ve asked many folks this question, and gotten somewhat satisfying answers, but nothing that really made sense. I needed to delved deeper; I needed a super-geeky answer.

Enter a book to do just that, answer all my science-driven kitchen questions – Cooks’ Illustrated The Science of Good Cooking. Just the mere word “science” made me excited. The book was on my shortlist of cookbooks to purchase, but the generous (and lovely) folks over at America’s Test Kitchen, some of whom I met at the Cookbook Conference a few weeks ago, sent me a copy. And the first chapter to catch my eye, Concept 42, was appropriately titled “Two Leaveners Are Often Better than One”.

After reading through the book and thoroughly geeking out, I thought that you, readers, might benefit from a book like this on your shelves. Everyone, I think, could benefit from this book on their shelves. So I asked if they’d be willing to partner up on a giveaway, and much to my delight, they said yes!

Continue reading baking powder vs baking soda – and “the science of good cooking” giveaway!.

Monday, February 25, 2013

how to store leftover egg yolks

egg yolks

I’m always sad when I have to throw out a perfectly good ingredient just because I can’t find much use for it at that very moment. I’ve been too cold to contemplate ice cream, and at the moment, there’s no room in my freezer – as it is chock full of fish (courtesy of the lovely folks from the Alaska Fish Council – more on that at a later date).

But I bet that if you’ve ever made marshmallows, or meringue, or macaroons (or macarons for that matter, you had leftover egg yolk and you probably wondered how to save it, right?

A few weeks ago, when I was elbow deep in testing marshmallow recipes for my hot chocolate addiction, I wound up with quite a few loose egg yolks. I simply stirred the yolks with a pinch of salt, put a piece of plastic wrap on top of the yolks, covered with a lid, and placed the container in the freezer (with a date written on top of a piece of masking tape, which I find to be an indispensable tool in the kitchen). Those yolks will be good for at least about 2 months, and I’m willing to bet that I’ll have that ice cream hankering sooner rather than later. Or better yet, I’ll make lemon curd instead!

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

how to keep your radishes crisp for over a week

Making radishes last all week

Every week when I go to the market, I pick up a bunch of radishes, among other things. I can’t get enough of them in the summer, and yes, I realize that this blog is named for a radish so it’s no surprise that I am awash in these guys come spring and summer. I love to just bite into them and dip them in soft butter flaked with fleur de sel; I love to generously slice them to my favorite summer salad; I’m a huge fan of the butter-herb-radish crostini – I’ll talk about it next week.

But radishes are great on day one and then are so so, and by the end of the week, they’re soft and have lost their crunch. There’s almost an unpleasant leathery chewiness to them that’s just not appealing.

So how to keep radishes from losing their bite and crunch all week? I believe I’ve found a solution.

Continue reading how to keep your radishes crisp for over a week.

Monday, April 2, 2012

homemade matzo meal

Homemade matzo meal

Perhaps this is to be filed under the “obvious” category, but still, I feel the need to post this. The other day, I was wandering around my local supermarket looking for something – what I can’t remember anymore. There were two ladies talking behind me, and one lamented that she’s been all over this neighborhood trying to find matzo meal, but no one had it. What was she to do this weekend, come Passover?

Normally, I don’t eavesdrop on others’ conversations, and in the rare case I do, I certainly don’t walk over and give them advice. But in this case, I felt that it would be wrong not to say something.

“Sorry to butt in,” I said, “but your problems are easily solved if you have a food processor.”

The ladies were listening.

“Well, you just stick some pieces of matzo in your food processor and pulverize them until you get them finely ground. Sort of like making your own breadcrumbs.”

“Are you serious,” one of the ladies was incredulous, “that’s all that matzo meal is? You’ve just solved a huge problem for me!”

And with that, she grabbed a few boxes of matzo and headed towards the check-out.

This made me think that perhaps it’s not a widely known fact that matzo meal is simply ground up matzo – a breadcrumbs substitute over the holiday.

So, if you find yourself in need of matzo meal and only boxes of matzo lying around, just grind them up – and voila! Matzo meal in mere seconds.

Continue reading homemade matzo meal.

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