SHAATRA DOES IT

Forget About It

Don’t discard that baby bottle brush just yet! You may be past the bottle and Sippy cup-washing stage, but that brush has more uses than you realize! Have a vase, salad dressing bottle, or thermos to clean? Your bottle scrubber will do the trick just great. Oh – and no need to wedge your arm all the way in to clean deep inside your non-removable freezer drawers. Just implement the – you got it! – bottle brush. Many brushes also come with a mini-brush attachment, perfect for cleaning thin objects.

Want a noodle soup that’s clear and pretty? Here’s a method that’s worth the extra effort. Boil the noodles separately and then add them to your soup. When noodles are boiled inside the actual soup pot, their starch is released into the soup, clouding it up. Bonus: Your noodles won’t disintegrate or become mushy.

Scenario A:You love the crispy crunch of salad, so you sit and check those romaine leaves for critters and creepy-crawlies. You dump those leaves –
hours of hard work – into a Ziploc bag and perhaps even remember to toss in a paper towel or two as well. You enjoy the salad for 24 hours but after that, it’s either spoiled or soggy. In time, you forego serving salad at mealtime altogether for fear of watching it go to waste.

Scenario B:You love the crispy crunch of salad. After ensuring their bug-free status, you toss those lettuce leaves into your Salad Sac. You grasp the drawstring closed and enjoy the crispy crunch of salad all week long.

Want a happily-ever-after ending to your salad experiences? The Salad Sac, a terrycloth bag designed especially for leafy greens, absorbs all moisture, leaving you with fresh, dry, crunchy greens. This gadget, allowing for easy and long-lasting storage, is a most worthwhile addition to the fridge of any salad lover.

Can you suggest some ways to use leftover chicken from Shabbat? I always “repurpose”
it for Chow Mein, but I would
love some new ideas…

The sky’s the limit with that chicken surplus of yours! Add these quick and easy ideas to your menu:

Heap chicken onto French bread or wraps and top it with your favorite sauce. You can mix and match sautéed green peppers, hot peppers, pickles, onions, and avocado with it.

Add shawarma spice to chicken, bake it a bit and serve with pita bread, pickles, and tahina.

Present your leftover chicken on skewers for delectable chicken kebabs. Complete the meal with the sautéed veggies of your choice.

Consider serving egg rolls or chicken wontons. These may require some preparation, but they’ll be a hit with your guests.

Of course, there’s always Chow Mein…

Ah, peanut butter! Who could resist peanut chews, peanut butter cookies or peanut butter blossoms? Dr. Ambrose Straub of St. Louis, Missouri sought a source of protein for his elderly patients who couldn’t chew. The year 1890 found him grinding peanuts into a paste. Apparently, it was a success; in 1903, he patented a fancy piece of equipment to do the job. Later, his peanut butter paste was sold to the public and made famous at a fair. The development of the hydrogenation process further enhanced the peanut butter, keeping the oil in suspension to create the creamy peanut butter we know and love today.

By Miriam Sasson
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By: Miriam Sasson

Forget about it 

Forget about removing cakes from their pans too soon. Once your dessert bids farewell to your oven, give it some time to cool off before you act upon it. See, when cakes are baked, there’s a hefty buildup of steam that needs to be released. If the steam stays locked in, the water will be absorbed right back into the bottoms of those cakes, making them soggy and sticky. So give your dessert a few extra minutes to sit out before taking the next step.

Go for it!

Pancake lovers, here are some tips to make your breakfasts even more scrumptious.

 Substitute all or some of the liquid in your pancake recipe with club soda for fabulously fluffy pancakes.

·         Leave those lumps alone! Trying to banish those bumps from your batter will result in the overdevelopment of gluten, which will yield tougher pancakes.

·         Sugar is what gives your pancakes that golden, caramelized look, so… go for it and sprinkle some on!

By the Number

48%

The sugar content in carob powder

How does this percentage affect you, you wonder? Well, carob is generally marketed as a lower fat alternative to the cocoa powder in chocolate. This substitution should be examined more closely, however. Though the fat content of carob is less than one percent (as opposed to chocolate’s whopping 23 percent), carob powder’s sugar content of 48 percent makes one second guess it as a viable alternative – especially because the sugar content in cocoa powder is just five percent. Quite often, once carob is processed out of its natural form, it becomes higher in both sugar and fat than plain, ol’ chocolate. Sorry, carob, you just don’t compete with cocoa!

Item of the Month

No, this is not a seesaw for crickets or a Play-Doh mechanism. It’s a crafty little item that gets your garlic crushed in no time with a few easy motions. Manufactured by Joseph, the Rocker garlic press will mince your garlic, leaving it clear and dry, with a delicious taste either fresh or sautéed. What’s really innovative about this garlic press is that it’s quick and quiet. Simply rock it back and forth and give it a quick rinse for easy cleaning. If you are a frequent garlic crusher, it may be time to replace your clunky, loud garlic press with the Joseph Rocker.

Q & A

Why is my soup always watery? Why can’t I seem to ever get it right?

Soup is one of my favorite kinds of dishes More often than not, it’s a healthful, cost-efficient and filling option that’s easy to make and pleases everyone in the house. You can become a pro at making soup by bearing in mind these basic rules:

As a rule of thumb, fill your pot with water so that it covers your veggies by two inches. Don’t try to add too much more than that, with the intent of “making your soup go further,” as too much water makes the soup… well, watery. Also, so that your spices give off optimal flavor, leave your soup to simmer once boiled. Keep the lid on the pot, season later on and, for the most mouthwatering results, cook your soup at least a day in advance of when you plan to serve it.

Food for Thought

Emulsification. Do you remember that word from science class? Emulsification is the process of combining two liquids that do not normally combine. Oil, meet Water; Water, say hello to Oil. That sort of thing. What’s the ingredient responsible for emulsification? Lecithin. Lecithin is a natural emulsifier, commonly found in egg whites, that does the job nicely. (Hence the presence of egg whites in so many store-bought dressings containing oil and vinegar, two ingredients that generally keep away from one another).

***

 (Source: 10,001 Food Facts, Chefs’ Secrets & Household Hints by Dr. Myles H. Bader)

By Miriam Sasson
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