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    July 2005    Page 12       > About LCL Magazine     > Cover Page      > Inside Cover    Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11  12     

 
Feature Articles
 The Magic of 5-HTP
 All Scream for Ice Cream!
 It's the Calories, Right?
 Measure Your Progress
 Binge Eating: Why?
 Summer Berries!
 DIY French Manicures
 Make Your Summer Spicy
 Recipes from Dreamfields!
 Cookout Time!
 Make an Apple Cheesecake!
 Kitchen Tips


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               Kitchen Tips

For awhile now, we've been collecting tips, hints, tricks, and interesting uses for things sent to us by fellow low carbers, or that we've discovered ourselves. So it's time once again to share some of them with you here. I hope you can find some useful ones!


Whipping Cream:

Most of us low carbers use a lot of cream! To speed the process of whipping cream, chill the mixing bowl and beaters in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes beforehand.

Cheese Garnish:
Hey — now that you're not using potatoes anymore, here's a use for that potato peeler. Use it to create cheese peels for garnishing salads, soups and more.

Toasting Nuts:
Toasting nuts intensifies their flavor. Fire up a skillet (high temperature) and spread pecans, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, etc. over its surface. Stir constantly. When the nuts start to turn brown, remove from the heat and reserve for use in all your favorite dishes! Keep a constant eye on them during the process — nuts can turn from brown to black in seconds.

Nuts can also be toasted in the oven (or a toaster oven). Spread on a cookie sheet, then bake at 400°F for 5 to 10 minutes. Be sure to stir the nuts occasionally while roasting. Broken pieces will toast faster than whole nuts.

Sharpening Scissors Sharpening Scissors and Kitchen Shears:
Ever been working on a project or trying to cut vegetables when you realize your scissors has become too dull to do a good job?

A very simple (and quick) way to sharpen shears is to simply cut a piece of steel wool (like an SOS or Brillo Pad), or use a Scotch-Brite pad. They both work great.

Flavorful Ice Cubes:
When ice cubes melt, they water down your drink. Prevent dilution by making flavored ice cubes from diet drinks, sugarfree Kool Aid or Crystal Light, or even DaVinci Sugarfree Syrups!

A New Use for Paper Plates:
Consider keeping a package of cheap paper plates in the drawer under your microwave (or a nearby cabinet if you have no drawer.) They fit very nicely over nearly any size bowl or plate to prevent splatters. Since they are so handy, you'll remember to use them, and save yourself messy cleanup later. (Especially if you're the one who'd be doing the cleanup, but not always the one using the microwave!)

These work much better than wax paper, paper towels, or Saran Wrap, and you can keep several sizes of paper plates at the ready for when you're using extra small or extra large bowls.

Blanching Almonds Blanching Almonds:
Almonds are less bitter without their skin, which is why some recipes really require blanched almonds.

But if you only have the skin-on kind, you can blanch your own in a pinch.

Here's how: First, place the almonds in a saucepan, add just enough water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water reaches a boil, drain the almonds, then cool them by running under cold water. To peel, just pinch them — they will pop right out of their skins.

Boiling makes the almonds soggy, so before using, toast at 325° for 10 minutes to recrisp. If you're making almond flour/meal for low carb baking, starting with blanched almonds will result in a finer, more delicate baked good.

Removing Onion & Garlic Odors from Containers:
To deodorize a plastic storage container in which onions or garlic were stored, wash thoroughly, then stuff a crumpled piece of newspaper in the container, and snap on the lid. In a few days the smell will disappear.

Super Fast Meatloaf:
Need to get dinner on the table quicker? If meatloaf is on your menu, remember that it will cook faster if you make it in small rounded loaves or even in muffin cups. This can also make for a really attractive serving display.

Long Lasting Celery:
Want to be able to store your celery sticks longer? I used to be frustrated at how quickly celery would get brown or soft in its original grocery store packaging. Here's the answer:

Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator. It will keep for weeks... Alternatively, when you purchase your celery, slip a couple of small plastic bags over both ends. While it's in your fridge, it will stay fresher and crisper much longer.

Sweet and Sour Cutting Board Make a Sweet and Sour Cutting Board:
A lot of herbs and vegetables give off pungent smells and oils that can adulterate other foods. So I confine them to only one side of my cutting board. The other side I use for slicing fruit or anything else that might be affected by strong odors.

To keep them straight, I simply mark the end of my cutting board within delible ink.

Remember, though, that after chopping garlic or onions, you can run a lemon quarter over both the knife blade and the cutting board to remove the odor.

Oven Spills:
When I began low carbing, I learned to love crustless pizzas made on cookie sheets (a layer of cheese at the base for my "crust".) But the downfall is that I often get cheese or oil spill-overs. Here's a great solution:

If something spills over in your oven, first sprinkle it with salt and remove with a metal spatula, then wipe with a damp sponge.

Egg How to Know if an Egg is Bad:
You can judge the freshness of an egg by placing it in cool, salted water about an inch deeper than the egg is long. As an egg ages, the air cell expands. So, depending on how the egg lies in the water, you can tell whether the egg is fresh enough to eat on its own, or if it is old enough that, because of the taste, you should use it only for baking, or if it is best to just discard it.

Here's the basic guide, but one little warning — You can't tell the age of a frozen egg by floating it. Even a fresh egg will float if it's frozen.

  • Lies on its side: Very fresh. Enjoy.
  • Lays at an angle: 4-7 days later. Still perfectly fine to eat.
  • Stands up on one end: 10-16 days after freshest point. Best used for baking but still fine for blending with other ingredients.
  • Floats on top of water: Egg is spoiled. Discard.
Onions & Green Peppers:
You can buy frozen chopped onion or green peppers for a quick recipe shortcut, or since they freeze so well, chop a whole bunch at once and freeze them in single servings.

I do this for use in pizza, sauces, even Denver omelets!


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