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The Incredible Peelable Egg

Sunday, October 30, 2011 4:09:37 PM America/Los_Angeles

Nearly as elusive as the search for true love, an honest man, or the perfect pair of jeans is the search for a hard-cooked egg that is consistently easy to peel.  Today that search is over.  Here is the answer:  Steam it! 

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1 Comments | Posted in Cool Tips By Piper

The Steak Gauge at the End of Your Arm

Thursday, November 10, 2011 8:33:44 AM America/Los_Angeles


Did you know that you have a great steak gauge at the end of your arm?  Pretty handy (yes, OK, pun intended).

Depending on which finger you use to touch your thumb, the fleshy part at the base of your thumb will simulate the feel of a steak that is rare, medium rare, medium, or well done.

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0 Comments | Posted in Cool Tips By Piper

Stainless Steel Steals the Smell of Garlic

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 4:38:16 PM America/Los_Angeles

One of the kitchen smells that lingers longer than any other seems to be the smell of garlic, particularly on your hands.  As much as we love it on food, and we do, on our hands when we leave the kitchen...not so much!

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0 Comments | Posted in Cool Tips By Piper Cole

A Little Trick with Jicama

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 9:52:31 PM America/Los_Angeles

 I love fresh water chestnuts.  But fresh water chestnuts have about as much in common with the ones that come in a can as beautiful fresh green beans have with canned green beans--there is no comparison. 

Fresh water chestnuts have a sweetness and crunch that adds a wonderful touch to Asian (or any) soups and salads.  The only problem is that it is really difficult to find fresh water chestnuts, even at the Asian grocery stores.  So, we had to look for a substitute.  And we found one that was pretty close in both taste and crunch: jicama!

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1 Comments | Posted in Cool Tips By Piper Cole

How to Suprême a Citrus

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 9:58:23 PM America/Los_Angeles

I'd always admired those beautiful shimmering citrus segments with no extraneous membranes or other nasty bits, but I thought it was beyond my skill level to actually get them that way.  I was wrong.  Suprêming a citrus is actually very easy, once you get the hang of it, and, in fact, rather satisfying when you see...and taste the results.  Here's how you do it:

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0 Comments | Posted in Cool Tips By Piper Cole

Defrost on Aluminum, or ..

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 10:01:56 PM America/Los_Angeles

Aluminum is a great conductor, and conducts the cold of a frozen object away, making that object thaw more quickly--simple physics!  We did an experiment with an ice cube on both a ceramic plate and a quarter sheet aluminum pan.  After 4 minutes, you can see the difference above: the ice cube on the aluminum pan is half melted, while the ice cube on the plate is still completely frozen.  This is the same principle behind those "As Seen on TV" magic defrosters, so save your money and use what's already in your kitchen.

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1 Comments | Posted in Cool Tips By Piper Cole

Lighten Up!

Friday, December 2, 2011 6:52:43 PM America/Los_Angeles

Probably the scariest thing about making a soufflé is folding in the egg whites.  You just finish beating the egg whites to get all this air into them, and then you have to take this fragile fluffy cloud and fold it into some really dense heavy stuff (your soufflé base), and you're cautioned that if you do it wrong, your soufflé won't rise and you'll have an ugly mess on you hands (or, more importantly, in your dish!)

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0 Comments | Posted in Cool Tips By Piper Cole

Luxury in Your Mouth, Not on Your Waist

Monday, December 5, 2011 11:49:19 PM America/Los_Angeles

If you read the Guilt-Free Panna Cotta recipe in Monday's Newsletter, you may have noticed an ingredient called "Faux Fromage Frais", which translates to Fake Fresh Cheese.  Here's the back story and some great uses for this very handy, non-fat ingredient, that we use almost daily.

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0 Comments | Posted in Cool Tips By Piper Cole

Popcorn to Cook: Your Pan is Ready!

Friday, December 23, 2011 2:16:38 PM America/Los_Angeles

It's always important to have the oil in your pan hot enough before you add your other ingredients, otherwise they don't cook quite as well as you'd like.  Until I learned this trick, I always held my palm over the pan and then guessed; this method takes the guesswork out of it.

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0 Comments | Posted in Cool Tips By Piper Cole

Doctor: Your Chilis are Ready!

Friday, December 23, 2011 2:22:22 PM America/Los_Angeles

One of the worst things you can do when preparing fresh chilis is to clean them with bare hands, and then (usually inadvertantly) rub your nose/eyes/elsewhere, with fingers that still have traces of the oil from the chili - the capsicum.  Ouch!  Unpleasant!  Painful!  Annoying! Even if you wash your hands several times, the oil sticks to them persistantly, and you're never assured that there won't be pain.

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0 Comments | Posted in Cool Tips By Piper Cole

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