Posts Tagged ‘kitchen tips’

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Separating Eggs

Separating Eggs are easier than you think. There are gadgets and gidzmos that will do it for you but for me I’m all about these 2 hands (shows you her hands).

Eggs are natures perfect kitchen ingredient. One simple little thing can transform into a bajillion different recipes and creations. They are super high in protein and nutrition and for me one of my favorite ingredients. I always have at least 3 dozen on hand at any given time. Now sadly, even though I live in the country I have zero access to buying farm-fresh eggs as honestly those are absolutely the best. Oh sure my actual next door neighbor has a ton of chickens but we don’t like them therefore we don’t like their eggs. lol #worstneighborsever

What prompted this post was I had someone say to me the other day that no matter what they did they always screwed up separating eggs. She had been trying to make meringue however hers never whipped. You see, the issue is even if you get the teensiest bit of yolk in it, the egg whites will not whip up. Also some may say “Well hey, they sell cartons of egg whites. I can just use that. Eh… sort of.. It *may* work but 90% of the time it doesn’t. Just watch using carton egg whites as depending on their age I’ve had them not whip up at all.

So then what? Well you have those fancy gadgets that you crack the egg into and the yolk is supposed to sit on this ledge while the whites drain through. Ehhhh.. doesn’t always work. Dependent on how you crack your egg and where you can actually bust the yolk or hit the yolk on the edge of the ledge thus piercing it and allowing some of the yolk drip into the whites. The pros of this is you don’t get your hands messy. The cons – it often doesn’t work.

How do you like your eggs?

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – freezing leftover pancake batter

Have extra pancake batter but not a lot of room in the freezer to store your cooked pancakes?  No problem, just freeze the batter!  Find out how today!

In my house freezer space is a premium. Like we’re talking trying to find 5 acres of prime real estate in Malibu for a bargain. It’s pretty much impossible to find and when you do find it, it’s costing you an arm and a leg. Or in my case I’m forced to make a whole ham, turkey, 2 roasts and warm up 2 containers of chili just to make room for new stuff. LOL  I can’t help it, it’s how I was raised. Growing up we had 2 HUGE chest freezers. One was in the kitchen (with a regular fridge/freezer) and the other was 12′ long and you could pretty much fit a horse in it. And Mom kept all of them stuffed to the brim with homemade foods. Mom was a kitchen GENIUS when it came to making something out of nothing AND making it delicious. She cooked for pretty much a football team every night as it never was just the 8 of us. Oh no. We always had some neighbors, random friends and heck, even the mailman stop by for one of her delicious meals.

So that style of cooking – cooking for an army was how I was trained. Now it’s taken me DECADES to learn how to cook for just the two of us but if you ask Mr. Fantabulous I still cook way too much of something at a time. I can’t just cook a meal that there are no leftovers. There were times when we couldn’t afford to go to the store to buy something but Mom came to the rescue with one of her bulk freezer meals.  One thing she always, ALWAYS made in bulk were pancakes. We’re talking 30-40 dinner plate size pancakes easily were in our freezer at one point. Having 4 brothers that were bottomless pits, Mom refused to spend every waking moment in the kitchen catering to them. So when they were starving (which was pretty much ever 30 minutes) they could grab a frozen pancake, toast it and they were good to go.

I’ll do that now though not make 30-40 but rather 4-6 at most. This is something Mr. Fantabulous can make himself when he gets the midnight munchies (he’s a night owl) or when I’m not home and he’s starving. They freeze beautifully but like I said, I don’t always have freezer space for that. Well, what I started doing was freezing the pancake batter. Now keep in mind this is ONLY for pancake batter, not Belgian Waffle batter. You can’t freezer that batter as you’ll deflate the eggs. Don’t try it – I already tested it and it failed.

What do you top your pancakes with?

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Freezing Avocados

When avocados are in season, they are pretty cheap but when they are out of season the price is ridiculous. Find out today how to freeze them for later use!

Living in Pittsburgh we really don’t have an avocado season as they aren’t grown here but in the warmer months they tend to be less expensive in the stores. Typically I can buy a bag of 6 large ones for $5. But now, in late October you’re lucky if you can get away with not spending $2 each! It’s ridiculous to say the least!  What I found out is that you can actually freeze avocados! Genius, right?! It’s pretty simple to say the least but there is a catch. So avocados are soft and one of those veggies that turn brownish when air hits it. This happens as result of exposure to oxygen in the air, as well as the presence of phenolic compounds in the avocado itself. It’s the same principle as why apples brown. When you freeze them they don’t really brown but the texture is altered slightly.

When you freeze an avocado, slices or halves, and then thaw it out to use, the texture becomes even more softer. What this means is that you really can’t use it as slices on a sandwich or for presentation. It still tastes perfectly amazing but because it gets really soft, it’s best used for items like guac or chopped up in salads. But again, it’s not a big deal as they taste amazing still.

Freezing avocados are definitely a great way to have delicious avocados all year round!

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?

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