Helpful Hints

Jan 31, 2013

The secret to great potato pancakes

PotPanck_8837Whenever I order potato pancakes at a restaurant, they’re so greasy I can’t eat them. So naturally, I had to find a way to make my own healthy potato pancakes. After a few attempts I finally made some on Tuesday that turned out great with very little oil. The trick for me was draining the potatoes well but saving the starch and using a cast iron skillet. Finally… healthy potato pancakes! I’ll be posting the easy recipe soon.

Jan 14, 2013

Color in the Kitchen

I swear cooking is more fun when you have colorful tools. This knife block may look fancy but I put it together myself with inexpensive knives from Target.

Knives

Jan 13, 2013

Who knew?

Attention bread bakers:Yeast I’ve been using this yeast for years because it doesn’t require proofing but I never read ALL the information on the back. Duh!! I just saw that this yeast eliminates the first rise so you save almost an hour off baking anything with yeast. So… I get cinnamon rolls an hour sooner! Yay!! And here we thought it was MEN who never asked for directions! 😉

Jan 12, 2013

Don’t refrigerate…

… tomatoes. It makes them mealy and they won’t taste as good.

… chocolate. It has a negative effect on the texture.

… potatoes. Their starch will turn into sugar and they’ll turn dark when you cook them.

… coffee. The condensation in the fridge affects the flavor.

Jan 11, 2013

Spoonulas

Spoon + Spatula = SpoonulaSpat

It’s a spoon-shaped spatula, perfect for mixing, stirring, scraping, lifting, folding, even sauteeing if it’s silicone (heat resistant up to 500 degrees).

It’s the only thing I use when I saute because it can’t scratch my non-stick pans and it’s flexible so it fits into every curve and corner. A spoonula will also scrape out a bowl better than anything.

Thanks to whoever invented this!

Jan 4, 2013

A new steamer

Anyone with non-stick pots will be happy to see what I found. It’s a new silicone steamer that won’t scratch your pots, it’s flexible so it fits into almost any size pot, and it has silicone handles for easy lifting. Steaming vegetables retains most of their nutritional benefits so even if you don’t have a steamer, cook them in a covered pot with very little water.

Steamer

Jan 2, 2013

How to get the best (crispy) pizza crust

Pizza crust_8403If you like a super crispy pizza crust like I do, then a pizza stone is the way to go. Last night I was craving a plain cheese pizza but it had to be well done and crispy so I used my favorite pizza stone (yes, I have more than one!). This one is black so it absorbs heat really well. I placed it in the oven and preheated it as high as it would go – 500 degrees. Those commercial ovens go a lot higher than that but I preheated the oven and stone for almost an hour and put my pizza in there using a wooden peel. I used to sprinkle the peel with cornmeal but now I just use parchment paper. I cover the peel with parchment, place my pizza dough on top and spread the sauce and cheese. Then I slide it onto the stone, paper and all, and later on when it’s almost done, I remove the paper and let it finish. In this photo I had just removed the paper and I still baked it another couple of minutes for an even more well done crust. Then… no fork, no plate… just slice, pick up, and into the pie hole!