Monday, February 23 , 2015

Nutty Way to Fix Stinky Fish Smell

You need to eat more fish! That's what all the smart health experts say. Fish fillets are easy to prepare, and there are many ways to make them taste great. Too bad they can smell so fishy when you cook them up. Here's what to do…

If there's a frying-fish odor when you're cooking fish on your stove top, add one teaspoon of peanut butter to the pan to eliminate the smell. The peanut butter will also add an interesting taste.

Check out this easy, healthful recipe that combines fish and peanut butter.

Caution: If you’re preparing peanut butter fish for guests, be sure none of them has a peanut allergy.

More help with kitchen smells and germs…


Thursday, February 19 , 2015

Quick Way to Peel Garlic

You know the usual way to skin a garlic clove…you smack it with the flat side of a knife (or we like the bottom of a large, heavy can). The skin comes right off…and what do you have? Smashed garlic, ready to go. But what if you want a nice, whole naked clove to make uniform slices or to use in your 40-cloves-of-garlic recipe? Here's what to do…

Rapidly rub a clove of garlic between your palms (as if you were briskly rubbing your hands together to keep them warm), applying firm pressure but not too much—you want to keep the clove whole. The thin garlic skins should come right off, while your beautiful garlic clove stays intact.

If you want to peel many cloves (or you don't want your palms to smell like garlic), you can immerse the clove(s) in cold water for 20 minutes. If you forgot to plan ahead, immerse in hot water (just-boiled or from the tap is fine) for five seconds. The skins will slip right off. The hot water will soften the garlic slightly, but it will stay firm enough to slice.

Thanks to David Boyer, editor of The Daily Burst free e-letter for help with this tip.

More help in the kitchen…


Wednesday, January 21 , 2015

Simple Solution for Food Scraps

If your favorite kitchen food-prep area isn't conveniently located near a waste bin, cooking can be a chore...all that back and forth! You can follow those wise celebrity chefs who use a “garbage bowl,” but we have another solution…

Use a smallish plastic bag—the kind you would get from a drugstore or use in a bathroom waste basket—fold over the edges, and use that as your garbage bowl. (Double up if you want to ensure no leaks.) Chuck into it all your onion skins, chicken fat, carrot peels. When you're finished with your food prep, tie the ends of your “garbage bowl” tightly to contain the odors, and voila! No bowl to clean, and your main garbage bin won't reek of last night's dinner.

More help in the kitchen…


Tuesday, January 13 , 2015

Take the Bite Out of Onions

Onions add a unique flavor to dishes…unfortunately they also have a stinky bite! But when we hold the onion from our salads or sandwiches, we miss that distinct onion taste. Here's what we do to sweeten the taste of raw onions.

Cut the onion into thin slices, and put them in a bowl. Then pour just-boiled water over them. Let the slices stand for two to three minutes, then drain and refrigerate until the onion is cold…and sweet.

More ways to make vegetables taste great…


Monday, January 12 , 2015

Pancakes Lighter Than Air

Are your gluten-free (or gluten-filled) pancakes a little on the heavy side? Here's a trick to make them light and fluffy.

Instead of using milk or any other liquid called for in your pancake recipe, use the same amount of seltzer or club soda (at room temperature). The carbonation bubbles will cause the pancakes to rise higher and stay airier.

More help in the kitchen...


Tuesday, January 06 , 2015

Better Way to Store Your Wine

Don't store wine in the kitchen on a rack on top of the refrigerator—this is often the warmest part of the house. Or in a sunny corner—warm wine loses its flavor and can even turn to vinegar. Regular refrigerators are too cold for certain kinds of wine. What to do? Wine fridges are great, but they can cost a pretty penny. Here's a way to store your wine with what you have.

Store your wine collection in a cool closet. The darkness is good for the wine…and the temperature will be pretty close to drinking temperature for both reds and whites (you'll want to pop the whites in the fridge but it won't take long). And you don't even have to invest in an expensive wine rack. If you're keeping wine in a closet, use the boxes the wine comes in, stacked on their sides.

Thanks to Jeff Siegel, author of The Wine Curmudgeon's Guide to Cheap Wine (Vintage Noir Media), for help with this tip. WineCurmudgeon.com

More ways to enjoy wine for less…


Tuesday, December 23 , 2014

Don't Grate Your Fingers

Food processors don't produce the even shred that we like for salads or toppings or whatever. Sometimes you just have to grate by hand, which can be a tricky endeavor when you get down to the stubs...no one wants to waste so much or have grated fingertips in their food! Here's a super solution: Go to a sewing-supplies store, and get thimbles that fit the fingers that are in jeopardy each time you use your grater...usually your thumb, index and middle fingers. With the thimbles in place, you'll be able to grate faster and more completely—no more leftover stubs of potato, carrot or cheese!

Tuesday, December 23 , 2014

Our Favorite Beef Marinade

Marinades aren't just for great flavor. They can also make your meat more healthful, if you use the right ingredients. This is what to do…

A marinade made from white vinegar will destroy bacteria as it tenderizes meat. Use one-half cup vinegar on a two- to three-pound roast (double up on larger roasts). You can use red wine vinegar or balsamic for extra flavor if you'd like. Add one-quarter cup of chopped fresh rosemary to protect against cancer. According to recent research, marinating or seasoning meat with rosemary produces two natural antioxidants, camosol and rosemarinic acid, that destroy heterocyclic amines—cancer-causing carcinogens that occur when you roast, grill or broil meat. Studies found that animals given rosemary extract after being exposed to a carcinogen had less DNA damage and fewer tumors (read this).

Let your roast beast marinate overnight, and then prepare the meat per your recipe after draining, but without rinsing.

More healthy food ideas…


Wednesday, December 17 , 2014

Don’t Be That Guy Who Buys Too Little Champagne

If you're having a party tonight and you're trying to figure out if you bought enough champagne for your crew, this is what to do…

If you want to figure out how many bottles of bubbly to buy for your New Year's bash, instead of winging it, start with a list of the people who are coming (don't forget yourself!). Then write down how many glasses of champagne you think each guest is likely to drink—for some it may be none or one…for some, two or three…and for others, well, you are collecting car keys at your front door, right? If you've invited people whose drinking habits you don't know, count each in for two drinks to be on the safe side. Once you've added up all the expected servings, you can figure that each bottle of champagne will provide about six four-ounce servings (or 12 two-ounce servings, if you're toasting with mini portions). If you want to add regular wine to the blend, figure about five glasses per bottle (people tend to pour a little more wine in a glass than champagne). Now you can do the math and then go out and buy the indicated number of bottles…plus one. Like we said, you don't want to be that guy who runs out, right?

More help with celebrations…


Wednesday, December 17 , 2014

Wine Cork Disasters

Did you get some bits of cork in your excellent bottle of wine? Not all of us can be expert wine uncorkers. Don't throw the wine out or bother decanting. It's still very drinkable once you get the cork bits out. A restaurant-manager friend told us an easy way to do that…

Stick a paper-covered straw (like the kind you see in bars or in McDonalds…grab a bunch when you get a chance) into the bottle, and the cork will adhere to the paper like a magnet! Carefully pull out the straw. Don't let anyone make you laugh.

More great tips on wine…