Letting the Dough Slide

A stand mixer with a dough hook does a remarkable job of saving time and hand work when making bread. However, as the blender mixes the dough it will often climb onto the hook and never be properly kneaded. If you lightly grease the dough hook in advance with a cooking spray or other oil the problem is eliminated.

dough hook

Kitchen Aid Dough Mixer

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Holding cheese

I have over the years acquired name plates for cheese on a cheese platter but the hard cheeses are still hard to slice without placing a finger on the cheese. A definite No No!  The Easoms of Astoria suggest using corn cob holders to solve the problem.  Works wonders.

More on Herbs

It is funny, in reading the original “Three Meals a Day”; Jessie Read continually refers to the use of dried herbs in most recipes.  As Heather as pointed out in other posts, “times they are a changin’ !”…Now we have fresh herbs sold year round in grocery stores or we grow them ourselves both in/out doors.  One of my favourite conveniences is the relatively new “herb pastes” that are now sold in most grocery stores. These pastes give all the vibrant flavours of fresh herbs with the convenience of dried.

Just tonight, for example, I mixed a melody of herb pastes, combined it with butter (yes, Julia would be proud)…gave a chicken a good rub down with the mixture and plopped it on a can of Guinness for a trip to the oven.  A quick, healthy (well…tasty anyway) chicken in about 90 minutes for the kids and I.

The herb pastes hold in the fridge far longer than fresh herbs (after cutting, of course) and give you ready access to the dynamic flavour that makes food come alive!

Grill Wipes

When you are preparing your grill for direct cooking it is preferable to wipe the grill with oil to prevent food from sticking . I used to use  a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil for this, but I have found a more convenient way. I now buy Original disposable grill wipes by Grate Chef (www.gratechef.com). I have found them at Home Depot in the US and Canadian Tire in Canada. Just place one cloth on your grill brush and wipe away. I reuse them several times and  keep them in the resealable package. For about 3 dollars for 6 you can’t go wrong.

Uses for Ice Cube Trays

With the invention of the ice maker refrigerator, the ice cube tray often ends up at garage sales or in the trash. I had many but I found many uses for them. They measure approximately 1 tablespoon. I make cubes of the following items for use later: Lemon Juice, applesauce, homemade stock, pesto, leftover coffee, leftover opened tomato paste, fruit filled ice cubes for special drinks, flavoured butter( both savoury and sweet), to name a few. Just think what you might need a tablespoon of when you’re pressed for time.

Silicone Baking Mats ( Silpat )

I was an early adopter to using silicon baking mats. It saved me a lot of effort on cleanup and no more burnt cookies. My challenge has always been storing our 4 mats. They just flop around in a mess with the other baking items in the cabinet. A tip by Sharon Sneller in the most recent issue of Cuisine at Home solves the problem. Simply store your mat in an empty paper towel roll. The mat stays clean and undamaged and is easily stored in a drawer or your cabinet. You are also doing your part for the environment by recycling the empty roll.

Recycle It!

Stable Whipped Cream

Over the holidays I was asked how to keep whipped cream from weeping when it is prepared ahead. I had encountered this same problem in my past and recall sharing my solution before. I am not sure where I learned this, but here is the recipe for Stable Whipped Cream