Forget About It

Forget about… salting your dishes before they’re baked. Have you ever removed a delicious dish from the oven, only to find it tough or dried out? Who would have imagined that it was the salt at fault? But that’s the truth. Salt tends to dry out and toughen foods as they bake. Therefore, your best bet is to add salt to baked dishes only after removing from the oven, or before serving. This, of course, does not apply to recipes that call for salt within a mixture.

You’re tossing a salad and need just a few drops of fresh lemon for the dressing. You return the unsqueezed portion of the lemon to the fridge, knowing that it’s merely a way stop before it reaches the trash, all dried up. It’s a shame to waste a whole lemon for just a few drops of juice, isn’t it? Absolutely! Which is why, for the future, you should follow this neat trick: simply puncture a lemon or lime with a skewer or something like it to extract a few drops. When you return the sour fruit to the refrigerator, the hole will actually seal, rendering the lemon fit for later use.

You purchase a few sprigs of dill or parsley, and only use half. You either scrounge around for other ways to use the second half or you wind up tossing it out when it rots. Enter the Cuisipro Herb Keeper! The Cuisipro herb preserver is designed to maximize the life of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, dill, and parsley. The tray of the herb preserver is designed for optimal storage, as it grasps the sprigs of herbs so that the stems are submerged in water while the leaves are above water. The tray also allows for easy picking of the leaves and avoidance of the stems. Made of sturdy glass, the Cuisipro Herb Keeper fits on most refrigerator door shelves.

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Tomato Sauce

Have you got your tomato sauce varieties straight?

Here’s the lowdown:

Diced Tomatoesare cut small but not actually crushed and will retain their form in cooked dishes or dips.

Crushed Tomatoesand tomato puree have a smooth, saucy texture with the only differences being tomato puree’s slightly thicker consistency and stronger flavor.

Tomato Sauce– Though we tend to lump all things tomato under this category, tomato sauce in its technical form refers to tomato puree, with seasoning and water added to it.

Tomato Pasteis your tomato in its thickest and most flavorful form.

Of all the canned tomato varieties, paste will hold up best when frozen. Salvage unused tomato paste by spooning the paste onto a plate or into ice cube trays. Freeze and defrost as needed.

Do you have a margarine-free chocolate chip cookie recipe that works?

Yes, one does exist! Below is an oil-based recipe that beats its margarine-loaded counterpart. (Thanks, Aviva, for sharing!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugars, oil and vanilla.
Add eggs. Combine flour, soda and salt, and add to mixture.
Pour in chocolate chips. Preferably, refrigerate dough for two hours. Bake for 10 minutes and enjoy!

¾ cup brown sugar

¾ cup sugar

½ cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup chocolate chips

Manischewitz, the nearly 130-year-old company, was founded by Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz in Cincinnati, Ohio. What began as a family business manufacturing machine-made matzos spiraled into a public corporation.  They’ve long been manufacturing additional items – for Passover and all year round – including crackers (yep, Manischewitz takes credit for those addicting TamTam crackers), noodles, and wine. Manischewitz matzos, the first matzo to be square-shaped and mass-produced, were originally greeted with skepticism. Despite being halachically acceptable, the concept was revolutionary considering that
hand-baked matzos
were customarily round.