Kitchen Tips - February 2009

  • Love the taste of pepperoni on your home-made pizza, but not all the grease? To eliminate some of the grease, place the pepperoni slices in a strainer and submerge in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Then remove and blot dry with paper toweling to make the pepperoni less greasy and more-tender.
  • To remove seeds from a cucumber, just halve the cucumber lengthwise and drag a teaspoon down the middle of each half. Discard the seeds and slice the cucumber crosswise for crescent-shaped slices or chunks.
  • When rolling out sugar cookie dough for those heart-shaped Valentine cookies, dust the counter with powdered sugar rather than flour to prevent the dough from sticking and add a little extra sweetness.
  • To prevent lids on sticky ingredients such as honey, molasses and maple syrup from sticking, apply a little vegetable oil to a paper towel and wipe the bottle threads. If you do this the first time the bottle is opened, the lid will never stick.
  • To make chocolate curls for decorating your Valentine's desserts, melt a cup of chocolate chips, then pour into an empty Crisco stick container. Chill until solid, remove the bar from the container and warm to room temperature. Hold the bar with a paper towel, then slice a vegetable peeler along the length of the chocolate to create a curl. Chill until needed.

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