Quick Tips

Freezing Fresh Herbs:pix-2008-freezing-herbs

Larry and I like to buy fresh herbs when we make special dishes.  Often times we have a lot left when making a recipe, so we cut them up and freeze them. This method works well with several herbs, such as, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano.

Here’s how:
1. Chop leftover fresh herbs by hand.  Spoon them into ice cube trays, using approximately 1-2 tablespoons of herb to each cube.  Fill the cubes with water, about 1 tablespoon.  This all depends on what size ice cube trays you have.  Place in freezer to harden.
2. Once the cubes have frozen, transfer them into zipper lock bags and seal.  Store in freezer until ready to use them in sauces, soups or stews.

Rice Water

To measure water for cooking rice, rest the tip of your index finger on top of the rice, and add enough water to reach the first joint of your finger. This works for any size pot.

Extension Cords
An extension cord should be as thick as the appliance cord you plug into it.

Chilling Wine
Keep the white wine in your fridge and take it out 30 minutes before serving. Keep red wine out of the fridge until 30 minutes before serving.

About Onions
1. Yellow Onions – The all-purpose onion, with a nice balance of flavor and sweetness. Spanish onions are quite sweet and more delicate in flavor.
2. White Onions – These have a sharper and more prominent flavor than yellow onions. They are more tender and have a thinner, more papery skin.
3. Red Onions – With their deep purple outer skin and reddish flesh. They are fairly similar to yellow onions in flavor, though they are more crunchy. Red onions are most often used in salads, salsas, and other raw preparations for their color which becomes washed out during cooking. To mellow their flavor for eating raw, soak them in water before serving.
4. Sweet Onions – Walla Walla and Vidalia are the most common kinds of sweet onions. These onions really do taste sweet, and perish quickly, so they are the exception to the rule: they can be refrigerated until ready for use.

Herbs-Fresh or Dried?
Fresh Herbs are best when used at the end of cooking, to finish a dish, like adding thyme or basil at the last moment so the flavors are still fresh and bright.
Woody herbs like oregano, thyme, and rosemary tend to dry very well and retain their flavor. On the other hand, basil, chives, and other soft, tender herbs tend to lose a great deal of their flavor once dried. Choose fresh for these, to avoid mediocre flavor.
Dried herbs tend to do best if they’re added during cooking, so their flavor has time to infuse the whole dish. Add them too late and they tend to taste a little bitter or earthy.

Potatoes
Any potato can be baked, but Russets are the classic choice for baking, fries, hash browns, potato pancakes/latkes, and they make the fluffiest mashed potatoes. If you don’t know what potatoes to use in a recipe, you’ll be safe with white potatoes such as Onaway, Elba, and Yukon Gold. These are considered all-purpose potatoes. They are creamy when baked, yet hold their texture when boiled.

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