Posts Tagged ‘kitchen tips’

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 – TKW Family Tips and Tricks

This week on Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer I’m letting the TKW Family share their best kitchen wisdom to help us all become better cooks and bakers.

Kitchen wisdom. Those family secrets, tips, and tricks that have been passed down through generations is what we’re talking about today. Maybe grandma said “keep the bacon grease in a jar in your fridge for amazing fried potatoes” or maybe you found a killer trick on how to slice cherry tomatoes on Pinterest. Somehow, some way folks came to know of these great tips and today they are sharing their kitchen wisdom with the world.

I posted on Facebook about a week ago asking for folks to share their best kitchen wisdom. I love doing posts like these as it honestly helps me become a better chef. I’m humble enough to admit that I don’t know everything and take the approach that there is always, ALWAYS something to learn albeit in the kitchen or in life.


The response was overwhelming and I absolutely LOVED reading your responses. Some stuff I knew but there were somethings where I was like “Really? Oh cool!”. But what I loved more than anything was the interaction between the TKW Family members. It’s so awesome to see friendships bloom off of a single post. It warms my heart that the TKW Family is so loving and truly treats each other as a family member.
Have a tip to share? Comment in the post!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – When you can’t find ClearJel for canning

It’s fresh fruit season which means lots of canning for pies and treats. Today’s tip I’m sharing with you what you can use when you can’t find ClearJel.

So if you’re like me you’ve found it near impossible finding the product ClearJel in the grocery store when you’ve decided you want to can fresh pie filling. Sure the stores carry SureJel but no ClearJel. You re-check your recipe and sure enough it calls out specifically ClearJel. Do you reach for the SureJel in its place?

The answer is no. SureJel and ClearJel are two different things that produce different end results. SureJel is a pectin that, when cooked with sugar will thicken the mixture for say preserves or jelly. ClearJel is a starch that, when cooked, becomes a thickener. The beauty of ClearJel is that it’s, well, clear – meaning the ‘sauce’ of the pie filling is clear or rather the color of the fruits it contains. Got it?

So then what are you to do?  Reach for flour? Corn starch?  Oh god no. Oh sure they will work…but it will be SUPER cloudy and the fruit filling will look murky. Yeah no, don’t do it.

This tip is a great in a pinch!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Hulling Strawberries with a Straw

Put down the knife and quit using your fingers to hull out a strawberry. Reach for a drinking straw to hull out your strawberries!

Growing up Mama grew strawberries for the sole purpose of making strawberry preserves. God how I miss hers. It was thick and packed with chunks of strawberries. It made the BEST peanut butter and jelly sandwich ever. Sure I can make it today but it’s just not the same; it’s not hers, ya know?

I can remember us out in the garden for what seemed hours picking strawberries (and sneaking a bajillion in my mouth). We’d get back to the kitchen, she’d fill the sink up with cold water and we’d literally dump bushels of them in. My job was to give them a bath which entailed sticking my arm in the ice cold water and moving the berries around to clean them. She’d scoop them out into a strainer and onto the newspaper lined kitchen table the strainers went. Mom would, one by one, use a small parry knife to hull out the strawberry. I’d use my fingers as best as I could. This was such a long and arduous process yet Mom made it fun and she never once complained.

Tuesday's Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer

God how I miss those days.Throughout the years I’d make her preserves for myself and my sister as that was Dianna’s favorite thing. I swear if she could have gotten away with it, she would have just eaten the preserves with a spoon.

Hull your berries with this simple trick

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