Kitchen tips: Dishwasher*oven*refrigerator*microwave

Before going to bed or after breakfast, use clorox clean-up with bleach on your counters and exterior appliance surfaces as directed, so that your kitchen will be clean, fresh and ready for the next time you use it.

Dishwasher
Offensive dishwasher odors can often be removed by simply running the wash cycle for 30 seconds to add water to the bottom of the washer. Then pour in 1 cup of baking soda and let it stand overnight, and restart it in the morning.

Oven
To tackle that brown-stained oven window, make a thick paste of water and baking soda. Apply to the inside of the window, leave for 10 to 15 minutes then scour with clean water.

Refrigerator
Vanilla Va-voom
Vanilla extract makes a great deodorizer for the fridge. Pour a little on a cotton ball and put it in a small dish or cup where it won’t be disturbed.

Microwave
Microwave Clean
To remove baked-on food more easily, simply fill a measuring cup full of water and sliced lemons and microwave until water boils, usually 3 minutes. The moisture makes old food easy to wipe clean.

Lettuce Recall

Lettuce Recall, never fear……
The lettuce being recalled is the romaine lettuce. You can still have pretty salads and a salad that is so cool and refreshing without the fear of your lettuce being on the recalled list.

I prefer the green leaf head lettuce. I find there is no after taste, no re-tasting later during the night or feeling yucky after having eaten a salad.

The green leaf head lettuce can be found in most groceries. It is a great source of Vitamin, A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, calcium, iron, copper and antioxidants lutein and beta carotene. It is very low in saturated fats and cholesterol. On the charts, it would be listed as 0 for both. One cup and a half of loosely shredded is about 15 calories or a cup is about 9 calories.

Be sure to wash the lettuce in cool water and pat dry with a paper towel if you do not have a salad spinner which takes out the excess water, prior to bagging it for the refrigerator. If you take our the moisture, it should be good for about 3 days in the refrigerator.

When storing lettuce, be sure to store away from apples, pears and bananas. Ethylene gas, a natural ripening agent, causes lettuce to have brown spots and to decay much faster than normal. Discard lettuce that appears slimy or has black spots. Slimy lettuce is a sign of decomposing and the black spots are normally mold.

Of all the lettuces I have tried, I keep coming back to the green leaf head lettuce. When spun in a salad spinner after rinsing, its crispness and taste is so good. The green leaf head lettuce doesn’t bother me after eating it as many types of salad leaves do. I do not know why it doesn’t but it doesn’t. I’ve heard others say so too after trying this particular lettuce. Try it for yourself, now that romaine, is not the lettuce of choice in many areas due to the recall.

Check out my recipe section for several great salad choices–with or without the meat, they are excellent salad recipes.

Bon Appetite!

Chocolate tips…

Chocolate melts quicker when it is chopped up. Use the food chopper to chop your chocolate, before melting.

Melting chocolate in the microwave is wonderful in the micro cookers. It melts smoothly, it doesn’t stain, and the cooker isn’t hot to touch. Microwave 1 minute on 50% power, then in 20-second increments until melted.

When working with chocolate, keep it away from droplets of water. Be sure the container you are using is completely dry. One drop of water will change the outcome of your recipe.

Chocolate can be stored for a long time if it is kept in a tight container, away from humidity and in temps
60-70 degrees F. When exposed to direct sunlight, chocolate, especially white chocolate can go rancid changing its quality and flavor.

Tips when using bananas

Do you peel your bananas correctly? Peel a banana from the bottom and you won’t have to pick the little stringy things off of it. That’s how the primates do it.

Do you know how to keep bananas longer? Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Dip a banana in boiling water for approx. 10 – 15 seconds, which will make the peel turn black from pulling the acid into the peel. Peel to use for your recipe and your banana won’t turn dark.

Milkshake and Bananas? Try using frozen bananas instead of ice cream. They make a thick and creamy milk shake without the extra fat.

Bell Peppers–Green, Red, or Yellow?

In the produce section of the grocery store, looking for a bell pepper and there are three colors. Which do you choose? Green, Red or Yellow?

If you are choosing based on vitamin C, skip over the green one. Although a green bell pepper has 2 times as much Vitamin C as an orange, the red and yellow peppers have 4 times as much!

Now that you have chosen the color of the bell pepper, do you want 3 or 4 bumps on the bottom of the bell pepper?

Bell Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Bell Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

When a recipe only calls for a portion of a bell pepper, cut the bottom off and leave the core in the middle. This will allow the moisture to stay in the pepper when storing the left over section.

Lemons, Limes, and Oranges, Oh My!

Did you know about 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice equals the amount of juice from 1 lemon? This will save you the time from measuring when you are preparing a recipe.

Lemons, limes, oranges will produce more juice if you will leave them out at room temperature prior to preparing a recipe.

If you’re juicing lemons, oranges or limes, and you forgot to take them out of the refrigerator, you can heat them for 20 seconds in the microwave and roll on the counter for a minute, you’ll get more juice.

Prior to using your citrus press to juice your fruit, take a few minutes to zest it. Zesting citrus can be done using a zester (small tool) or my favorite method is using my microplane grater for finer shreds. Take the fruit and rub over the microplane until you get to the white pulp layer, then turn it and zest the next part, until you have zested the entire fruit. If the recipe doesn’t call for the zest, zest it and store it in the refrigerator or freezer for future recipes. The zest can also give off a nice aroma in the refrigerator or in your home if you set it out for a few minutes on a small dish.

If you are making fresh lemonade, orangeade or limeade zest the fruit prior to juicing. Place the zest into the pitcher and then juice the fruit into the pitcher. Friends and family will think it’s the best they have ever drank.

The zest of the lemon lemon can be placed in ice cube trays. Fill with water and freeze. Add to iced tea or your favorite drink for extra pizzazz!

Just add lemon zest to get a little extra kick to the flavor of most any recipe without the calories!
Lemon Zest is great on any chicken, in any green salad to make it taste just a little fresher, and it’s so tasty on dessert pizza and tortes.

Simple Healthy Tips For Mealtime

Did you know, it’s important to spend a little time on the presentation of your meal?
You are more likely to enjoy a meal if it’s visually appealing as well as tasty.

A simple meal of meatloaf and mashed potatoes can go from a hum drum look to a magnificent display by simply cooking your meat loaf in a bundt style stone or pan. Once the meat loaf is finished, dump onto a platter or in large round bowl, putting your mashed potatoes in the center. You could top the potatoes if you wish with a sprig of parsley or cilantra to add color.

Make every meal an occasion. Set the table. Use the real deal, not paper plates. Eat with your family. Sit down with them and eat together. Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy your food without distractions like television. At the family meal, you can truly connect with members of your family and hear about their day by being truly present with them.

You are less likely to overeat if you eat slowly and savour every mouthful. As you savour every mouthful of the meal, listen and savour every moment of sharing by the family during this special time together.

Bringing the family back to the table should be a goal for each of us. Meals at home are normally healthier, eaten in less of a hurry, and the reconnection of families. “priceless”!

Today’s kitchen tip…

My Kitchen tip for today is to give your Caesar Salad or Chicken Caesar Salad Pizza that special touch with added taste—Add the juice of one lemon, 1-2 cloves of pressed garlic, and some freshly grated parmesan cheese to one cup of Ken’s creamy Caesar dressing. Delicious! Bon Appetite!

Use and Care of Bamboo Kitchen Products

To keep your bamboo kitchen products’ appearance beautiful follow the cleaning, care and usage tips in this article and the instructions that came with the product.

Bamboo is to be washed immediately after using it to keep from having food buildup stick to the bamboo finish. I recommend a soft towel not a brush to clean your bamboo products. Scrubbing bamboo with brushes or cutting food on the bamboo will permanently damage the finish with scratches. Wash the bamboo with a soft cloth using soapy warm water, rinse the bamboo product with warm water, and towel dry immediately. Let the bamboo sit out on the counter to be sure it is completely dry before returning to the cupboard. Never soak bamboo in water because it will separate because of the glue used in its creation. Never place bamboo in a dishwasher. The heat, pressure and humidity can cause mold in the product, and if this occurs, the product should be thrown away. For dried on food particles or food odors, apply a paste of baking soda (1/2 cup) and water (3 tablespoons) for 15-20 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with warm water and dry immediately.

Store bamboo kitchen products away from heat sources. Bamboo should never be used as a dish for cooking or reheating food in the oven, on the stove top or in the microwave. Again, high heat will ruin the product; thus, bamboo is not the recommended container for candles.

As with any kitchen product, be sure to read the care and usage material sold with your products. Warranties are normally void if the products are used incorrectly. Companies can tell how abuse occurs in their products.

So choose wisely bamboo kitchen products that have warranties to add a flair to just about any home decor and go “green” with bamboo in your kitchen today.

Choosing to “GO GREEN” with Bamboo in the kitchen

Bamboo is beautiful for decorating every room in your home especially adding beauty to your kitchen and dining room. It’s versatile to accommodate any decor and it’s a durable product.

A Bamboo Platter in the middle of a dining room table with a fresh pineapple surrounded with bananas, apples, and oranges adds natural color to your room.

A Bamboo Bowl is beautiful sitting in almost any room in your home but when added to the counter in your kitchen with fruit or potpourri, your kitchen pops. Add a small bamboo platter underneath the bamboo bowl with a beautiful painted gourd (matching your color scheme) to catch the eye of others as they enter your kitchen.

Another use of a large bamboo platter is to use it as a backdrop behind a bamboo knife block or behind a colorful oil vase and oil dripping dishes. This adds beauty and color to your kitchen counter.

Whether you use bamboo spoons with your favorite cookware, bamboo bowls and platters to decorate or serve up your favorite meals, bamboo carving boards or cheese boards when entertaining, bamboo kitchenware will help make your kitchen “green”. without breaking the bank or family budget. It will also help the environment as it is the “alternative to the widespread clear-cutting of our worlds precious timberland—beocming increasingly poular as the millennium’s new ‘wood'”. (Anremarie Donkin).
Bamboo grows quickly, is one of the earth’s fastest growing plants, and it grows without pesticides and fertilizers which can harm our natural resources.

Choose today to go “green”! Bamboo will help save our natural resources and add beauty to most any room in your home.

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