Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A to Z of Kitchen Tips: I is for...

Ice Cubes

  • For clearer ice cubes, boil your water first.
  • We all know that ice cubes in beverages can dilute the flavor. Make ice from fruit juices or leftover coffee or tea to keep your favorite beverages cold without becoming watery. How about lemonade ice cubes in iced tea?
  • Fruit juice and tea ice cubes can add punch to your smoothie recipes.
  • Make ice cubes of leftover fresh herbs to use in soups, sauces and stews all year round! Just chop herbs, place about 1 tablespoon in each section of your ice tray, fill with water and freeze. Once frozen, transfer herb cubes to a zipper freezer bag for storage.
  • Don't forget about leftover tomato products! Freeze tomato sauce or paste or even leftover V-8 or tomato juice into ice cubes and store in the freezer for your cooking needs.
  • If your freezer doesn't have an ice maker, just make ice the old-fashioned way in trays, and empty your trays into a zipper bag, paper lunch sack or other sealable container to make sure you have lots of ice available whenever you need it.

Instant Pudding Mix
  • A secret weapon in the kitchen! Instead of making with 2 cups of milk for pudding (for a 4-serving size package), prepare with 1-3/4 cups of half and half or heavy cream for a quick mousse. Your guests will never know! Serve in cordial glasses with fruit, coulis or favorite liqueur for an impressive dessert any time of year.
  • Instant pudding can NOT be made entirely with soy milk, but you can replace half the milk with your favorite soy beverage to reduce fat and punch up the protein.
  • A box of instant pudding added to any cake batter (from a mix or otherwise) is a delicious way to add extra flavor. For example, a lemon pudding mix added to a regular yellow cake will give a bit of lemony goodness.
  • Here's a quick & dirty way to prepare your mousse or pudding from instant: pour milk into a large plastic tumbler (you know--the kind you keep around for the husband and kids); insert your immersion blender and sprinkle in the instant powder while pulsing your blender. It'll be combined in no time, with no bowl to clean up! Just cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 minutes before digging in!


Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

Great tips, Amanda!

Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

Amanda, I have a special award I designed myself. You are the first recipient. Come by my blog to pick it up. Enjoy!

Amanda said...

Oh my goodness! Thank you!

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