Choosing, washing, and storing summer berries

June 4, 2010

We’re coming into the time of year when warm, sun-ripened fruits are at their peak. Berries are a favorite for their sweet, delicious flavor that works in everything from cobblers to waffle toppings to sauces for grilled meats. However, berries are more perishable than many other fruits, so take extra care when handling them. To… Read more »

Garlic: To press or not to press?

When it comes time to add minced garlic to a dish, do you reach for a press or a knife? Ever wonder which results in a better flavor? For those who own a garlic press, the process is simple. Pull a garlic clove, pop it in the press and squeeze. Voila! Fresh garlic ready for… Read more »

Making a basic white sauce

May 5, 2010

A basic white sauce is one of the most versatile recipes in cooking. A white sauce can be transformed in a number of ways with various cheeses, wines and spices to enhance a dish. However, the end result is highly dependent on getting the basic recipe right. Here’s a basic recipe with tips for getting… Read more »

Ingredient Substitutions

It happens to even the most prepared cooks: in the midst of making a recipe you find you’re missing a key ingredient. No worries! Our list of easy substitutions can help in a pinch. Ingredient Amount Substitution Allspice 1 teaspoon ground 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves Apple Pie Spice 1 teaspoon… Read more »

rhubarb-pie-recipe

Make a lattice top pie crust

April 16, 2010

Making a lattice top for a pie is easy – and fun! Here’s the secret… Prepare pastry for a 2-crust pie. Roll out and fit bottom crust into pan; add the pie filling. Trim pastry edge to 3/4-inch overhang. Roll out the second crust to the same size as the first (2 to 3 inches… Read more »

How to choose the perfect avocado

So, how does one go about picking the perfect avocado? It may seem counterintuitive, but the best way to get a perfectly ripe avocado is to buy a hard, unripe one. Avocados are different than most fruits. They begin to ripen only after they’re picked. If you choose an avocado that seems soft and ripe,… Read more »

Cooking with okra

Cooking with the traditional Southern vegetable okra can be tricky. Use frozen okra to keep your dish from getting a slimy texture. If you are using fresh – simply freeze it before slicing and then add it to your gumbo. And, never cook okra in cast iron – it darkens it.

Use a quality zester for perfect lemon flavor

  When a recipe calls for citrus zest or a quick shave of a hard cheese, I turn to my Microplane Zester/Grater. It’s so easy to use and one of the tools I don’t cook without. This Zester/Grater is perfect for zesting lemons and limes – it grates the zest without picking up the bitter… Read more »

Keeping coffee fresh

Ever wonder what’s the best way to keep coffee? The freezer? The fridge? Out of sunlight? In a vacuum-sealed canister? There are a lot of suggested methods, so let’s settle the debate. It’s worth noting that coffee beans are taken from a living plant – so it has a limited shelf life. Because of this,… Read more »

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