Help Around the Kitchen
Ideas for October
Even though your oven is back on, we've got tips to help you cut down on the mess this month.
The average American eats about 200 pounds of meat, poultry and fish in a year, which is twice the global average. Draw inspiration from World Vegetarian Day and experiment with vegetarian dishes to introduce to the family diet.
Sicilian Cauliflower Pasta
Broiler pans can be difficult to scrub clean, so try this trick the next time the gunk’s on good: Lay paper towels dampened with hot water flat on the broiler pan and let sit for about 20 minutes. Stuck-on bits will wipe right off.
Homemade Cleaning Products
All mushrooms absorb water like sponges. Only rinse them if they're going into a salad or soup. If you're pan-frying, just rub them down with a damp paper towel or brush them with a pastry brush.
How to Clean and Store Mushrooms
Grape season’s in full swing, so try out this easy hors d’oeuvre the next time you have guests: Roast grapes at 350 degrees F until caramelized, about 45 min. Serve with a creamy blue cheese and crackers.
Or Try Red Coleslaw With Grapes
Use this easy test to check if the oil is ready for deep-frying: Submerge the end of a chopstick in the oil — small bubbles should form instantly.
Snacks That Taste Better Fried
Stainless steel cookware may develop a buildup of mineral deposits, which show up in the form of cloudy white spots. Use a cleaning solution of vinegar and warm water to wipe them away.
Solutions for Common Issues With Stainless Steel Cookware
For most recipes, allow at least 20 minutes for an oven to preheat to the right temperature. When baking bread, let the oven preheat for an hour for optimal results.
Butter tends to absorb odors easily, so store it in a resealable plastic bag once you've opened the package.
Make Your Own Butter
Use your microwave to toast foods like nuts and shredded coconut: Spread them out on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high, stopping to check each minute to prevent them from burning.
Coconut Cream Pie
It’s National Angel Food Cake Day! Let the cake cool upside-down before removing from the pan to prevent collapsing.
Coffee Angel Food Cake
When making homemade pizza, cook vegetables before using them as a topping. Otherwise, they’ll release their liquid during baking, which can lead to a soggy crust.
Giada's Pizza Recipe
Wear a plastic sandwich bag like a glove when greasing baking dishes with shortening and store the bag in the shortening tin for later use.
5 Tools for Easier Baking
To get rid of odors in the microwave, heat a bowl of water and some lemon slices for 30 seconds — residual food stains should be easier to wipe clean as well.
Remove Stains From Clothing
Bake a breakfast cake to celebrate National Dessert Day! Store cakes at room temperature under a cake dome — an overturned stockpot will work, too.
Cherry-Chocolate Coffee Cake
Roast pumpkin seeds after carving a pumpkin. Rinse the seeds before the pulp dries, removing any strings and pulp. Toss with oil and spread on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, then roast at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes, tossing once.
Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Use an ice cream scoop to transfer muffin batter into a muffin tin for ease and less mess.
When making meatballs, double the batch and freeze on a baking sheet before storing in a freezer bag.
Make a quick browned butter sauce for dinner: Melt a stick of butter over medium heat until it begins to foam and turn brown. Remove from the heat and serve over vegetables, fish or chicken.
Or Use Brown Butter in Waffles
When baking a standard 9-inch pie, a 12-inch pie crust is needed to fill the pie plate and provide a bit of overhang for crimping and insurance to patch up any holes.
Make a Chocolate Silk Pie
Quick-pickle thinly sliced red onions by soaking them in vinegar for about 15 minutes. Their sweet and sour crunch pairs well with grilled pork chops or finely chop and stir into a tuna or chicken salad.
Beef Tacos With Pickled Red Onions
Need a pastry bag for icing? Just transfer the frosting to a plastic sandwich bag and snip off a bit of the corner — go slow; it's easy to make the hole bigger, but you can't make it smaller. (This trick works well for piping in deviled egg filling too.)
Apple Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting
When cooking with nuts and oats, toast them — even if the recipe doesn’t call for it — to bring out an extra layer of flavor.
Top Baked Apples With Toasted Oats
Many ethnic cuisines call for thinly sliced steak, which can be hard to find at the average supermarket. Pop a steak in the freezer for about 20 minutes and thinly slice the steak yourself.
Rachael's Teriyaki Noodles With Steak
Stir pasta in the first minute or two of cooking to keep it from clumping and sticking together.
Cajun Mac and Cheese
When flouring a pan for chocolate cakes, use a combination of cocoa powder and flour to prevent whitish residue from appearing on the cake.
Use a vegetable peeler to make decorative curls out of a bar of chocolate, and use the curls to garnish cupcakes, cakes and puddings.
Your Chocolate Questions, Answered
When buying frozen fruits and vegetables, shake the bag gently to check that contents move freely and aren’t clumped together, which is more likely to happen when the product has thawed and been refrozen.
Drain fried foods on a wire cooling rack set over a paper towel-lined baking sheet. The air circulation prevents steam from building up, which will cause the crunchy coating to go soft.
Fried Shrimp With Tartar Slaw
Look for pin bones in salmon fillets by gently flexing the fillet — the pin bones should protrude from the surface, making them easier to spot for removal.
Cedar Plank Salmon With Maple-Ginger Glaze
Remove sticky remnants from a food processor blade by first emptying the work bowl, then reassembling the food processor and pulsing a few times. The last sticky remnants should be pressed up against the side of the bowl, ready to be scraped clean.
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