Posts Tagged ‘kitchen tips’

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Cooking without heat!

Even when the sun is blaring and it’s a bajillion degrees out you still have to feed the family. Today I’m sharing with you some of my favorite no cook/no bake recipes!

Now living in Pittsburgh the weather isn’t perfect. We get lots of rain, lots of gray days and lots of cold days. Gorgeous 75-80F degree days where there’s not a cloud in the sky are rare. When the sun is out it’s hot and HUMID. We’re talking high humidity. Like this girl doesn’t even bother trying to style her naturally curly hair when the humidity is about 40%. Why bother? You take one step out the door and you look like a poodle that just licked an electrical socket.

And since you’d rather be caught dead than to go out looking like that you stay inside where the AC is running, you can look like Medusa and no babies get scared by your hair. BUT… you have to eat. Sure you can resort to eating chips/cereal/ice cream (which all are perfectly OK in my book) but it gets old.

Turning on the oven is the last thing you want to do and grilling is out of the question with high humidity/high heat. So today I’m showing you how you can have delicious meals without turning on the stove or even the toaster oven!

Stay cool with a full belly!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Perfectly Crumbled Ground Beef

No longer do you have to fight the wooden spoon or spatula to get perfectly crumbled pieces of ground meat when you use this handy trick. Put down the spoon and reach for the potato masher!

Taco Tuesday’s are a real thing whether you stuff ’em with ground beef, sautéed veggies, seafood or dessert (fyi… ice cream tacos rock!) but for me I always kind of secretly hated making the meat filled ones as I never could get those perfect little pieces. I was the one that had inconsisent chunks of meat. A few perfect uniform pieces with about 486 mamouth chunks thrown in. Mine certainly didn’t look picture worthy even though the flavor was spot on.

So I figured while I was in Mexico last month I’d ask the authorities.  While I was with a few chefs I said “So I have an embarrassing question to ask as I can’t figure something out in Mexican cooking. How do you get your cooked meats for tacos so perfectly uniform? I make it and it’s tough and I’ll go from boulders to pebbles in meat size!”

The chef giggled and said “Oh seniorita I cannot share that. That’s an old Mexican secret.”  Before I could respond he said “Nah it’s so simple, all you need is a potato masher.”  Wait, what?  Potato masher?  Like as in the thing I use to um…mash my potatoes?

Grab your potato masher for Taco Tuesday!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – How to peel a kiwi

I love kiwis but I HATED trying to peel them. Now that I found this handy little trick to do it, they are super easy!  Find out today’s edition of Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer on how to easily peel a kiwi!

Oh kiwi how I love your fat little fuzzy self. You’re sweet with a bit of tartness. You’re funky feeling, shaped but quintessential for an epic fruit salad. But dear lord you’re a pain in the butt to peel.  Now if you’re like me when it came to peeling kiwi you’d use a sharp knife, cut of the top and bottom and then attempt to peel it. First you’d try a veggie peeler and nope, doesn’t work. Then you’d use a sharp parry knife only you’d end up cutting off half of the flesh leaving you with a peel kiwi pretty much the size of a large grape.

 

BUT I have a handy trick for you to peel it easily.  All you need are a knife and spoon!

find out how to peel that fuzzy little thing easily!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Reviving Day Old Muffins

Believe it or not, day-old muffins exist. Instead of pitching them, learn this simple kitchen trick to revive them back into deliciousness in seconds!

Yes, there really is a thing as day-old muffins especially if you live in my house where I simply cannot bake 6 muffins or even a dozen. Part of being chef/blogger/whatever is you make your recipes over and over and over to ensure that the recipe is perfected. Now granted a good portion of the food is either eaten by us, donated or given to friends/co-workers but still, there are always lots of foods here to choose from with muffins being no exception. However muffins are one of those things that, after a day or two, they lose their deliciousness as they either start to get stale or hard. Or conversely, they get ‘wet’ if you will.

On today’s tip I’m sharing with you a few tricks that I’ve learned over my years being in the kitchen to help bring them back to life.

Mmmm muffins – almost a cupcake but not quite

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Natural and Dutch Process Cocoa

If you’re a baker knowing the difference between cocoa powders is crucial. Not all cocoa powders are the same and today I’m sharing with you the differences. 

Dutch-processed and Natural cocoas are both unsweetened cocoa powders and are from cocoa beans. They are fermented, dried and then roasted but that’s where the similarities stop and science comes into play. Yeah I know, science – blech, but if you’re going to bake AND you want stuff to turn out right, you kind of have to pay attention. It’s all about alkalinity and pH levels. I know, stuff that makes your brain hurt (or at least mine).

You see Dutch-processed cocoa powder is washed with a potassium solution to neutralize its acidity. Chocolate is acidic. By neutralizing it, you end up with a darker cocoa powder and one that is typically paired with baking powder. Remember my whole post on the difference between baking powder and baking soda?  Yeah, you need to use baking powder with Dutch-processed cocoa.

So then what’s natural cocoa? Why use it?

Always follow the recipe when using cocoa

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