When I learn something new, I’m going to post it on this page, so check back periodically – maybe you’ll learn something, too!
Fun Fact #1: Beet Juice Stains. Last night I cooked fresh beets for the first time. When peeling and chopping, it’s a good idea to wear disposable gloves or your hands will turn an interesting color which may clash with your wardrobe…
Fun Fact #2: A Shot Equals 1.5 oz. I am not a drinker – I am interested in this fact for making my own espresso! I usually have a double-shot, so the amount of coffee is under 1/3 cup. This morning I wasn’t paying attention and had 1/2 c of the bean juice before I knew it. A touch strong, that!
Fun Fact #3: Juicing a Lemon. If you nuke your lemon in the microwave for 10-15 seconds before you cut and juice it, you’ll get more juice!
Fun Fact #4: Baking Bacon. I’ve always made bacon the “regular way” – toss it into a frying pan, keep turning it, splash grease all over, drain on paper towels. Pretty messy and labor intensive for something so simple! Not long ago, I was at a breakfast meeting and was served wonderful bacon. When I asked the caterer how she made so much bacon without a huge mess, she said she just baked it. Who knew?!?!? The directions for baking bacon is even on the package – I never looked! All you need is a shallow pan with a rack and bake according to the package directions. No turning, no splatter – just tasty bacon as crisp as you want it to be!
Fun Fact #5: Kneading Dough. The most important thing is to have a well-floured surface – like a Roul-Pat mat or the Tupperware brand. Also – take off any rings you might be wearing because this is messy and will gum them up. Take your dough and scrape it out of the bowl onto the surface as one lump, sprinkling flour over the top of the dough, too. Bring the dough in from the sides of your lump and push them into the center, adding more flour to the sticky moist bits as you go. Keep bringing the edges into the center while maintaining your lump shape until the dough is no longer sticky, the required number of times stated in the recipe.
Fun Fact #6: Drying Herbs in the Microwave. If you have fresh herbs and the recipe calls for dried, sometimes it is difficult to determine the amount you need. The simple solution is to quickly dry your fresh herbs between 2 white paper towels in the microwave. Make sure the herbs are clean and free of excess moisture; lay them on one towel and cover with the second. Nuke for one minute at high power. Check them for dryness and nuke in 20 second increments until they crumble like commercially dried herbs.
Fun Fact #7: Boiled Eggs. I have a deep seated suspicion of cooking something and not being able to visually judge its progress. This is what boiling an egg is to me – a dicey process. This is the way I do it and it has worked every time – even though I never trust the results until I crack the egg! Place your eggs into a deep sauce pan. Add cold water until it covers the eggs. Bring to a full roiling boil on the stove, turn off the burner, cover and set your timer for 25 minutes. After the timer goes off, run cold water over the eggs until they feel cool, dry them on paper towels and refrigerate. I also write a “B” on them with a pencil – boiled eggs don’t work so well when making cookies…