Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tip Tuesday

Hello, and Happy National Cheese Ball Day! Yes, it is a real, designated day to celebrate. According to some internet research, it’s been celebrated for years; however, it is not a federally-proclaimed holiday. So let’s all mix up (or buy) our favorite cheese ball, grab some crackers or veggies and enjoy!

Here’s a good recipe given to me by an employer over 25 years ago (Thanks, Barb!):

Vegetable Cheese Ball

2 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups shredded vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, celery, green pepper)
garlic powder to taste
onion salt to taste
Worcestershire sauce to taste

Mix all well. Form into ball. Serve with crackers. (Ball could be rolled in chopped nuts, chopped parsley, etc.)

Today’s Tips:

1) When chopping vegetables, don’t scrape them onto your knife blade to move them to your bowl or pan – that will dull the blade. Use the back side of the knife.

2) An easy way to fill deviled eggs – place filling mixture into plastic zip-close bag, cut a small portion off bottom corner, then pipe into egg halves.

3) To easily slice meat for a stir-fry or other recipe requiring thin slices, place meat in freezer for a few minutes.

4) Use an ice cream scoop to drop cookie or biscuit dough onto baking sheets. They will be of more uniform size and will all bake more evenly.

5) If a recipe calls for self-rising flour and you have none on hand, make your own! Mix 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder.

6) When baking in glass pans, reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees.

7) When baking bread, place a small pan of water in the oven. Bread will not be dry or hard. This technique is good for baking cheesecakes, too. Simply place the springform pan in a rimmed baking pan and add about 1/2” water. This should keep the cheesecake from cracking.

8) To freeze fresh berries, do not wash them first. Place in a single layer on a flat pan and place in the freezer. When frozen, put in freezer storage bag or container. Wash before using.

9) It sounds strange, but bananas should not be stored in a bunch. Separate the bananas and place in bowl or basket. And do not store with other fruit, especially apples.

10) If you do have some of those bananas get too ripe, simply freeze them for baking banana bread. I’ve frozen them whole (peel and all) with good results. Or remove from peel, mash and add a bit of lemon juice.

I hope you all have a great week! Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

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