Monday, February 14, 2011

Helpful Tips

I know I have been very lax with my blogging lately.  That is because I have been working on getting my book ready to go to the publisher by the end of this week.  It is taking up quite a bit of my time right now so I do hope you will all forgive me.

In the meantime, I read this online last week and really felt that is was worth passing along to you, my readers.  There are some really great tips and ideas in this article.  After reading it feel free to contribute your household tips for the rest of us to use.

I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did:

1. Line the bottom of your refrigerator’s crisper drawer with paper towels. They’ll absorb the excess moisture that causes vegetables to rot.

2. To keep herbs tasting fresh for up to a month, store whole bunches, washed and sealed in plastic bags, in the freezer. When you need them, they’ll be easier to chop, and they’ll defrost the minute they hit a hot pan.

3. A bay leaf slipped into a container of flour, pasta, or rice will help repel bugs.

4. Stop cheese from drying out by spreading butter or margarine on the cut sides to seal in moisture. This is most effective with hard cheeses sealed in wax.

5. When radishes, celery, or carrots have lost their crunch, simply pop them in a bowl of iced water along with a slice of raw potato and watch the limp vegetables freshen up right before your eyes.

6. Avoid separating bananas until you plan to eat them – they spoil less quickly in a bunch.

7. Put rice in your saltshaker to stop the salt from hardening. The rice absorbs condensation that can cause clumps.

8. Stock up on butter when it’s on sale – you can store it in the freezer for up to six months. Pack the butter in an airtight container, so it doesn’t take on the flavor of whatever else you’re freezing.

9. In order to make cottage cheese or sour cream last longer, place the container upside down in the fridge. Inverting the tub creates a vacuum that inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes food to spoil.

10. Believe it or not, honey is the only nonperishable food substance, so don’t get rid of the stuff if it crystallizes or becomes cloudy. Microwave on medium heat, in 30-second increments, to make honey clear again.

11. Prevent extra cooked pasta from hardening by stashing it in a sealed plastic bag and refrigerating. When you’re ready to serve, throw the pasta in boiling water for a few seconds to heat and restore moisture.

12. Keeping brown sugar in the freezer will stop it from hardening. But if you already have hardened sugar on your shelf, soften it by sealing in a bag with a slice of bread – or by microwaving on high for 30 seconds.

13. If you only need a few drops of lemon juice, avoid cutting the lemon in half – it will dry out quickly. Instead, puncture the fruit with a metal skewer and squeeze out exactly what you require.

14. If you’re unsure of an egg’s freshness, see how it behaves in a cup of water: Fresh eggs sink; bad ones float.

Now for a special treat, a sneak peak at my book.  Here is just one page from my upcoming cookbook Titled,  "Venison and Vine".  Please let me know what you think.

Venison with Sherry-Mushroom Sauce

The perfect meal for you or fancy enough to serve your guests. Serve with Roasted potato wedges and asparagus.

Wine Pairing:  d’Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz 2008   With a plum aroma this wine is very light on the palate.

Cook and Prep time: 1 hour

Serves: 3

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground sage

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 tablespoons butter, divided

1 cup chopped Vidalia onion

2 cups baby bella mushrooms

6 (3 ounce) venison tenderloin steaks

2 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup sherry

1/2 cup water

1. Combine 1/2 cup flour, sage, salt, and pepper in a re-sealable bag, set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large pan over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook until almost soft. Add mushrooms, and continue cooking until soft. Remove from pan.

2. Turn heat to medium-high and melt 2 tablespoons of butter in pan. Toss the venison steaks in the seasoned flour and shake off the excess. Sear venison in butter for 6 to 7 minutes per side and remove.

3.  Reduce heat to medium-low, and melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Whisk in 2 tablespoon cornstarch, followed by the sherry and water. Return the vegetables and meat to the pan. Increase heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

1 comment:

Carol said...

This sounds good,Jeri. Can't wait to see your cookbook.