Help Around the Kitchen - March 2013
Ideas for March
As the cold weather comes to a close it's time to start the annual spring cleaning of your kitchen.
It’s Peanut Butter Lover’s Day! Go savory with this classic spread by blending it with canned coconut milk and a dash of soy or chili-garlic sauce for a quick stir-fry seasoning.
Savory and Sweet Peanut Butter Recipes
Nothing beats a batch of homemade cookies, so keep them soft by storing them in an airtight container with a slice of bread.
Make Cookies From Scratch
Rarely will you use a whole can of chipotle chiles packed in adobo sauce—a little goes a long way. Spread the leftover chiles on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze before transferring to a resealable freezer bag.
Rachael's Quick Chipotle in Adobo Tip
Prepare soups and stews the day before you plan on eating them — or make enough for leftovers. The extra day gives ingredients time to come together for flavors to develop and intensify.
Simple Soup Recipes
Freeze leftover buttermilk by the tablespoon in an ice cube tray. Transfer the pre-measured frozen cubes to a labeled resealable freezer bag. If separated after thawing, whisk or blend together before using in a recipe.
Tyler's Buttermilk Biscuits and More Recipes
Reheat leftover pizza on a preheated baking sheet at 450 degrees until the cheese melts. The high heat is the secret to making the crust crisp again. Whatever you do, skip the microwave, which makes crust tough and chewy.
Make Pizza With Giada
Place an unfrosted cake with its edges atop wax-paper strips before frosting to keep your cake stand or serving plate neat and tidy. Remove and discard the strips after frosting.
How to Frost a Cake
Keep unpeeled ginger fresh for months by refrigerating in a resealable plastic bag with all the air pressed out.
How to Store Ginger
And don’t bother with a vegetable peeler when it comes to peeling fresh ginger — use the edge of a spoon to quickly scrape away the skin.
Ginger-Infused Dinner Recipes
Daylight Savings begins. Get a head start on weeknight dinners by roasting a pork butt for pulled pork. Divide into portions suitable for your household and freeze in resealable plastic bags. The fat in this cut of meat makes it the perfect contender for make-ahead frozen meals.
Sandra's Pork Ragu and More Pork Dinners
For even results, slice decorative goat cheese rounds from a log by using a piece of dental floss pulled taut between your hands.
Prepare a Cheese Course With Giada
Use a wooden skewer to clean out the nooks and crannies of kitchen appliances like a stand mixer or food processor. Wrap a damp cloth around the tip to tackle sticky corners.
Check Out Bobby Flay's Kitchen
After working with fresh chiles like jalapenos or serranos, press your fingertips into the cut end of a halved lime to tame the oils that can lead to a burning sensation.
How to Handle Chiles
Rip open a bag for National Potato Chip Day! Roll up the leftovers and store them in the freezer to keep them crisp.
Potato Chip-Chocolate Toffee
When a recipe calls for a buttered baking dish, use a pastry brush for less mess and to distribute the butter evenly.
Make Your Own Butter
Roll leftover uncooked bacon strips into coils and freeze on a flat surface. Toss them into a resealable plastic bag so you can just grab what you need.
9 Things to Make With Bacon
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Store your potatoes in the pantry or another cool and dark place — just not the refrigerator, where starches convert into sugars and affect flavor.
Dinner Tonight: Corned Beef Hash
Caramelize as many onions at one time as possible and freeze by the spoonful on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Store the frozen mounds in a resealable freezer bag and add to soups, sandwiches, omelets and just about anything you can think of for a sweet spike in flavor.
How to Caramelize Your Onions
Hard cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano can be grated and frozen in an airtight container.
Anne Burrell's Parmigiano Crisps
Usher in the first day of spring with spring cleaning! Reorganize your stash of plastic containers: Toss out pieces missing a partner and soak containers overnight in warm water mixed with baking soda to remove any lingering odors.
Spring Clean Your Kitchen
Free up your baking dishes when preparing make-ahead frozen casseroles: Line the dish with aluminum foil, leaving a few inches of overhang. Assemble the casserole and freeze. Lift the frozen casserole out and wrap tightly before storing again in the freezer.
Dinner All Week
Celebrate spring with a shaved asparagus salad. Snap and discard the woody end from each spear, then use a vegetable peeler to shave thin strips. Toss with a citrus dressing, crumbled goat cheese and chopped fresh herbs.
Robin's Roasted Asparagus Bundles
Melt crystallized honey by submerging the container in a pot of hot water removed from the heat.
Alton Shares His Honey Tips
Organize the containers in your freezer using color-coded lids, such as green for vegetables and red for meat. You can also use colored tape (available at most office supply stores) to create a border around the lids instead.
Easy Dinners All Week
Celebrate Passover with a soul-warming bowl of matzo ball soup. Use a push-lever ice cream scoop to quickly turn out equal-sized matzoh balls.
Wolfgang Puck's Matzoh Ball Soup
Leave the pit in a halved unused avocado to prevent browning. If the avocado is chopped or sliced, tossing with lemon juice will do the trick.
How to Choose and Store Avocados
Need an extra trivet? Use disposable wooden chopsticks lined up in neat rows to protect any surface.
More Double-Duty Kitchen Tools
When freezing or refrigerating pungent foods like chopped onions, wrap them in freezer bags or aluminum foil, which are more likely to contain odors than plastic wrap or resealable sandwich bags.
Make French Onion Soup
Dip a knife in a pitcher filled with hot water in between cutting cake slices. This helps keep the cake and frosting from sticking to the knife for neater slices — and cake!
Make a "Carrot" Cake
If you don’t have a sifter, use a food processor or blender to sift flour when called for in baking recipes.
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