Clever Ideas

Tidbits For Your Kitchen & Home……..

No More Droopy Tulips Stems: Here is a trick I learned from my late mother-in-law, Adele – add a penny to your tulip vase and it will keep the stems straight and upright. Works perfect every time! 

When you drain the water, just remember to have your sink strainer in place to retreive the penny.

Kitchen Scale for Pasta Portions: Take the guess-work out by using a scale. One duty of our kitchen scale is to weigh out pasta portions so we cook what we need, and eat.  I estimate 2 to 3 ounces of pasta per person, depending upon how hungry we are.  For a correct reading, be sure to “tare” out the scale after you have placed the empty container (pitcher, sturdy glass or plate) on it.  If you don’t have a scale, you can use a 1.5 to 2 inch bundle of angel hair pasta, or about two cups of uncooked penne pasta – enough for two foodies.

Lemons: Store your lemons in the refrigerator to prolong their freshness.  I buy organic lemons, wash them and then put them in a bowl in the refrigerator vegetable drawer.  They will keep for about 3 weeks!  Anytime I need fresh lemon juice, zest or slices I just go to the refrigerator – it’s convenient and gives me more cooking options.  This is also works great for oranges, apples and limes.

Mix It Up: Fancy and funky glasses aren’t just for drinking – dress up dessert by using glasses instead of bowls. They are a fun and easy way to make dessert more elegant.  Add some cloth napkins, fancy spoons and you are ready to indulge in style.

Extra Flavoring:  Save the rinds from your Parmesan and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.   They add a wonderful depth of flavor and richness to sauces and soups.  Just put them in a sandwich ziploc bag and throw in the freezer.  The frozen rinds will keep for six to eight months, well sealed.

Crystallized Ginger:  Ginger is known to help digestion and ease nausea.  In the kitchen, it’s great to have on hand for baking, fruit salads, marinades and granola, or just to eat on its own.  The crystallized, or candied ginger slices are my go-to for an upset stomach. When we fly, I pack some slices in my purse just in case I need an in-flight fix from turbulence.

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