Monday, September 19, 2011

Keeping hors d'oeuvres nice and cold

Entertaining anytime soon?  I like to keep hot food hot and cold food cold.  Sometimes a cold hors d' oeuvre turns room temperature before they are gone and warm shrimp cocktail, for example, isn't too good warm.  So the next time you are entertaining and want to keep things cold for a few hours, try this ten second tip:

Most of us have a bundt pan but hardly use it.  Here's another use:  Fill it part way with water and freeze.  This particular pan makes it easy to remove when frozen.  Once removed, place on a round platter atop a paper towel or cotton napkin to prevent slipping which will also soak up the water from the melting ice.  Next, place your garnish such as lettuce and put your cold hors d'oeuvres on top.  You can put a small bowl in the center hole, or simply put an attractive garnish.  Remember to chill your platter first to slow down the melting of the ice.  This works particularly well with items such as shrimp or seafood cocktail but will work with most anything.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Ten Second Tip for the Kitchen -Slicing meats

When making a dish such as as stir fry or a stew which requires meat like chicken, beef or pork, try this ten second tip:  Freeze your meat for about 15 minutes so that it is just firm (Not frozen solid).  This will make it so much easier to slice not only evenly, but thinly as well.  Make sure you keep your chef knives nice and sharp and always, always rinse and dry your meats before preparing - You never know what got picked up at the butcher.  For more clever tricks and tips for the kitchen, visit my web site:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ten Second Tip for The Kitchen - Meatloaf tips

Unless you are a vegetarian, we have all made meatloaf from time to time.  People love new ways to make this American classic and so I share a few tips on the subject:

To Mix:  The next time you make meatloaf, put all ingredients in a zippered plastic  bag and knead the ingredients in the bag.  No mess!  You can also use your potato masher to mix ingredients and also keep those hands grease free.

To make a meatloaf that cooks faster, don’t use a loaf pan.  Instead, mold your loaf on a cookie sheet or metal pie plate lined with foil or parchment.  The longer and skinnier you make it, the faster it will cook.  As an added bonus, you won’t have a pan to clean and will have more browned crust. 

For individual portions:  Divide the meatloaf into muffin tins.  This will not only  cook faster, it’s great for kids too.

To prevent sticking in pan:  Meatloaf will not stick if you place a few strips of bacon on the bottom of the pan.

Let me know how you make out - Post your comments here and tell me if any of these Ten Second Tips for the Kitchen have been useful to you.  Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ten Second Tip for the Kitchen - Baking Cookies

Doing any baking for the holidays?  Here's a triple ten second tip for the kitchen when baking cookies.  Everyone has baked cookies at one point or another - so hopefully this tip will be useful.  first, when you are mixing your dough, most recipes require adding the dry ingredients (Flour, baking powder, salt, etc.) to the wet ingredients.  The problem is sometimes a lot of this floury mess ends up on the counter and not your dough.  So, next time, put the dry ingredients onto a paper plate - The cheaper, regular kind - And bend it to funnel into the batter gradually.  You'll find this is much easier and much neater.  Next, when ready to put the dough on a cookie sheet, try this ten second tip as well:  Scoop the dough out with a mini ice cream scoop or melon baller.  By dipping the scoop in milk occasionally, you'll find the dough won't stick, and by using the scoop to begin with, you'll produce perfectly round cookies that, because they are the same size, will cook at the same rate.  If you've never tried parchment paper, it's the best - Line your cookie sheet with the paper and they can slide right off.  No mess and much faster to put another batch into the over!  For more ten second tips for the kitchen, visit my web site:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ten Second Tip for the Kitchen - Freezing Soups

In preparation for Thanksgiving I made many soups:  Butternut Squash, French Onion, Split Pea, Lentil, Watercress and more.  I thought it would be great to have on hand for the full house I expected and it was.  I used one of my own Ten Second Tips and froze two-portion bags of soup in zippered freezer bags.  This works perfectly.  When your soup is cool, put the bag in a wide mouth glass or measure cup.  Put 3-4 ladles of soup (Which is about two portions) and zip.  Try to get the air out as much as you can to avoid freezer burn.  What I do that works great is I freeze them on a cooking sheet in my freezer until frozen.  When they are frozen (And don't forget to label!) I line them up in my freezer like a book on a shelf.  This is not only great for saving freezer space, it's actually so simple when you want to thaw.  I just dropped the bag in a bowl of warm water and it was thawed and ready when I needed it.  No container to clean!  Remember, most soups freeze beautifully.  Make a big pot and always freeze some extra for later - When you are busy or too tied to go to the store, it's nice to have on hand.  And THAT's a ten second tip for the kitchen!  Look for more tips on my website:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ten Second Tip for the Kitchen - How to fix a salty soup

When fall arrives every year I go straight to the stove and cook up my favorite stews and soups to freeze for cold winter days.  Sometimes, I can over salt a soup, in which case I simply drop a fresh, peeled potato in the pot.  While the potato is cooking, it is simultaneously absorbing the salt in the soup!  When cooked, remove the potato and discard - You will find that the soup (or stew) will be far less salty.  Repeat as necessary.  For more great ten second tips for the kitchen, or to purchase my book visit my site: