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A couple things you may not have thou...

nihon_no_cook's picture

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1) You can use a garlic press to mince ginger root for things like salad dressings, etc. Peel the worst of the brown peel from a hunk of ginger with a paring nice, trim the hunk to fit in your garlic press, and squeeze. It works best if you squeeze it directly into the dish you will use it in (i.e. aim for the bowl you will use to make the dressing, or the sauce you need to add the ginger to) rather than onto a cutting board, since this method extracts a lot of juice. All the pithy parts that would otherwise get stuck in your teeth end up in the garlic press, while the useable stuff ends up in your dish. Builds forearm strength, too!

2) A hand-cranked nut chopper (you know, with the glass jar on the bottom, and the tines that turn to force the nuts through) works well to make chocolate "flakes" for things like cookies or muffins. Just take chocolate chips (or small chunks of bar chocolate) and run them through once - the finer chocolate melts more quickly, and distributes well in mixtures for even chocolatey-ness.

3) If you've run short of freezer containers (perpetual tupperware shortage in our house), you can freeze leftovers in a plastic bag in the container you will use to reheat them. For example, if you want to freeze two servings of soup for a future meal, line the saucepan you plan to use to reheat the soup with a gallon-size plastic bag, then pour the soup into the bag. Press out all the air, then put the whole thing in the freezer. When the food is hard enough to retain its shape, remove the bag from the saucepan, label the bag, and return it to the freezer. To reheat, leave the bag on the counter (or run under warm water) for a few minutes to loosen the plastic. Remove the frozen food disk from the bag, pop it into the appropriate container (or a larger one, if the original one isn't available), and reheat.

4) If your veggies go limp in the fridge, many can be revived with a glass of water. Celery, most herbs, and even broccoli can be perked up if you cut off the bottom of the stem, then place the cut end in a glass of water (the same way you would keep flowers alive longer). Broccoli stored this way stays crisp for over a week - celery for similar periods of time.

5) After misreading the directions on how to freeze bread dough, I found out that standard bread dough can be frozen either before or after the first rise, with similar results. Haven't tried this with any other recipes. Be sure to wrap a little loosely, so that the dough has a little room to expand, since it will continue to rise for a few minutes, even in the freezer.

mangia!'s picture

(post #25907, reply #1 of 6)

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Great ideas, Nihon. Thanks for sharing. I especially like the ginger one.

nihon_no_cook's picture

(post #25907, reply #2 of 6)

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One more - last night I finally figured out that you can use a rotary cheese grater (like you use for Parmesan cheese) to make really nice fine breadcrumbs. I smooshed up the heels of the bread we had with dinner, stuffed them in the feeder of the grater, and grated away. In like 5 minutes I had about 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, all of nice uniform size - and no bloody knuckles from my box grater!

yeah, I know - the food processor will do it, too - but I don't have one, and the cheese grater worked just fine.

NLM's picture

(post #25907, reply #3 of 6)

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The rotary graters for hard cheeses can also be used for grating chocolates and nuts (I put them in the fridge first to prevent clumping and melting of the chocolate). Thanks for the tips, Nihon, keep them coming as you think of them!

zzz's picture

(post #25907, reply #4 of 6)

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Slicing Fresh (Soft) Mozzarella

An egg slicer works really well...

nihon_no_cook's picture

(post #25907, reply #5 of 6)

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Yeah, sorta like using dental floss (unused, of course) to cut other sorta soft sticky things.

galena's picture

(post #25907, reply #6 of 6)

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I keep bread crumbs in a pint jar in the freezer.
Always ready