Archive for the ‘Tuesday’s Tip’ Category

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Difference between yeasts

On today’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer find out the difference between Active Dry yeast and Instant Rapid-Rise yeast when it comes to bread and dough. Does it make a difference?  Find out today!

So when I first started this blog I was kind of shocked that many had a fear of making bread or doughs; like it didn’t make sense. I thought “didn’t everyone grow up making homemade bread like I did?” but I was mistaken (my apologies). I totally understand that fear as while making dough is only a few simple ingredients – flour, water, salt, yeast, the process itself can be intimidating. But even before that the type of flour and yeast makes a difference. If you want a chewier type bread, that has pull/tug when you bite it – you use bread flour. When you want a softer type bread with not as much chew, you use all purpose. That’s the easy part.

But what about yeast? When you go to the store you have a few options: Active Dry, Instant/Rapid-Rise and Cake yeast (we won’t get into that as not many use the cake yeast that much or only in certain applications). I, personally, use cake yeast but it’s in certain types of pizza doughs or nut rolls.  But today let’s just dish about active dry and instant yeast.

Are they interchangeable? Does it really matter?

Well…sort of.

To keep your yeast fresher longer, store it in the fridge or freezer!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – How to store cut apples and prevent browning

Fall weather is all about hoodies, fuzzy socks and stone fruits and apples. I love serving a tray of sliced apples with assorted dips and cheeses. Find out today how you can cut your apples and prevent them from browning!

Tight up the street from me is a little farmer’s market that sells their own apples from the orchards right behind them. They must have 15-20 varieties to choose from all as delicious as ever. Typically I visit there 2-3 times a month in the Fall as, while everyone is pumpkin-everything crazy, I’m all about apples. Like pumpkin, apples go be either savory or sweet dependent on the recipe. Apples are awesome in pies, Duh Lor we knew that but did you know that apples also pair amazingly delicious with onions. Yes, onions. Onions, when they cook they caramelize thus becoming sweeter. A crisp, more tart apple paired with caramelized onions is one of my favorite additions to roasted pork.

With us becoming a more health conscious society, we are eating more fruits and veggies (yeah!). Into the lunch or gym bag goes the apple but what about for the little kids? We tend to want to slice up their foods or if you’re like me – I can’t bite into an apple. Even though I haven’t had braces for a million years I still have that fear if I bite into an apple that I’ll jack up my teeth. Yeah I know, I’m weird but having braces sucks!  I had them as an adult and I was miserable for 18 months. I had more cuts in my mouth, my cheeks, my lips and let’s not even talk about those damn little rubber bands you had to use. I think in total I swallowed about 4 packs of them things!  So for me I’ll cut my apples TYVM.

But let’s talk about what happens when you cut apples.
What’s your favorite apple?

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Tips about Apples

With Fall here, apples are abundant! Today I’m sharing with you some of my tips about what are the best types of apples for cooking, baking and saucing.

I can’t help it but every time I hear someone mention apples I don’t think about the company or the phone, nope. I think about “Good Will Hunting” and the line “How do you like them apples?”  Ya I know, I’m a dork but it’s such a great movie. Maybe it’s because I’m an uber math nerd or I like it when the underdog shuts up the pompous jerk.  Now you would think the first thing I, of all people, would think about when I hear the world apples would be: apple pie, apple strudel, apple cake, apple crumble, baked apples, stuffed apples or caramel apples. But sadly I don’t but it is a very close second.

Since here in Pittsburgh, apples are in season, knowing which apple to pick for which “application” is important. Do you want to make applesauce? What about a pie?  Baked goods?  Cakes?  Just like all chocolates are the same, not all apple varieties are the same. Each one will give you a different result dependent on how you use it. Some apples just won’t work right in say applesauce where as other apples will just turn to mush if you bake them.

The list below comes from information passed on through the years in my family, kitchen failures in my house (trust me, there’s been many) or tidbits I’ve picked up throughout the years.

Do you have a favorite type of apple?

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Using Fruit and Chocolate Chips in Cake

Love to bake cakes, muffins and cupcakes but hate it when you add fruit or chocolate chips to the batter only to have them fall to the bottom of the dessert? Find out on today’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer the bakery secret to prevent it from falling!

So you picked the perfect basket of blueberries or bought the most amazing chocolate chips. Your stomach is grumbling at the thought of those luscious items in your best cake or muffin. You whip up the batter (while sneaking a few tastes for yourself). You add in those luscious berries or sinful chocolate chips being ever-so-careful not to crush them or break them. You hold your breath as you put the pan into the oven and then you sit there, staring at the oven door silently willing time go faster just so you can eat the end result. You pull it out of the oven and the smell just consumes you but you wait till they cool as you know better. Finally, it’s time to cut it and <insert failure sound> all of those gorgeous berries you cradled so lovingly, all of those sinful chips all fell to the bottom of the dessert leaving you with nothing more than a layer of disappointment.

Has this happened to you? Yeah, me too. Sucks, huh? Oh sure I’ll still eat the dessert but to be honest, the flavor isn’t quite the same. You get too much of fruit or chocolate (though let’s be real, is there ever a thing of too much chocolate?) in one bite and none in the other. The ratio of cake/muffin to mix-in is way off. Plus to be honest, if it’s muffin or cake you’ll end up with a soggy bottom from the fruit. And let’s be real here, no one wants a soggy bottom! But today I have a super simple trick to help you fix this and prevent it in the future!
No more falling mix-ins with this tip!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Perfect Stove Top Rice

On today’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer, learn some of the basics when it comes to cooking rice on the stove top and some common cooking mistakes.

Nowadays there’s a piece of specialized kitchen equipment for every food you want to make. We have grills, fryers, steamers, rice cookers and so forth but do we really need a gadget for every single thing? Probably not. Sure it would be nice but not everyone has a 10,000 sqft house with unlimited cabinet space or closets. Today let’s take a step back and go old school like our parents did and actually make rice in a pot on the stove. Yes the stove. No microwaves, no steamers, no pressure cookers. Just a pot and lid.

What prompted this was a question I posted on Facebook asking you guys what’s one food/recipe you struggle with making. Mine is just simple skillet boneless chicken. It’s more often a miss than a hit with me but I’ll get it right and get it consistent. Well one of the comments that many of you made was about rice. Just simple rice on the stove.

So with rice the rule of thumb is usually a 2:1 ratio of water to dried rice. I say usually as that ratio depends on the type of rice AND the length of the grain that you’re cooking. It can be rather confusing. Too much water and your rice is gummy, not enough and it’s hard and crunchy. Hopefully this post will help take some of the guessing out of it for you.

Try cooking rice in the pot for a great flavor!

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