Ask the Test Kitchen

Oil Explanation

Will you explain the difference between olive oil, virgin olive oil and extra-virgin olive oil? —P.G., Killeen, Texas

With all of the different olive oils on grocery store shelves…

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Okra Alternatives

I've often seen recipes that call for okra, but I have not been able to find it in any Canadian stores. What is it? What might I substitute for it? —S.M., Peace River, Alberta

Okra is…

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Old-Fashioned Pound Cake

I have a recipe for an old-fashioned pound cake that calls for Snowdrift and butter. What is Snowdrift? —R.K., Franklin, Tennessee

Snowdrift is a brand name for vegetable shortening.…

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One Part This, One Part That

I'm confused when recipes call for 1 part of an ingredient like oil and 2 parts of another ingredient like sugar. Does one part mean 1 ounce? —R.C., Miami, Florida

Parts refer to the…

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Parchment Paper

When I'm baking cookies on parchment paper, which side of the paper should I use? And can it be used more than once? —D.P., Willowick, Ohio

Parchment paper is a heavy paper that's…

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Parmesan Shrimp Fettuccine

I tried making shrimp fettuccine that called for grated Parmesan cheese. It clumped and gummed up immediately. What happened? I did everything the recipe said. —P.S., Hope,…

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Pasta Pointers

When cooking pasta, should you add oil to the water? Also, should you rinse pasta before serving? I have heard conflicting answers to these questions. —J.A., Dartmouth, Nova…

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Peeling Kiwi

I've heard there's a way to peel kiwi with a spoon. Could you explain how to do this? —N.M., Bloomington, Minnesota

There is a quick and simple way to peel kiwifruit with a teaspoon.…

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Peeling Pumpkins

I'd like information on peeling pumpkins and easily preparing them for freezing. I'm fairly new at this and would appreciate any advice you can give me. —L.S., West Baldwin, Maine

I…

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Perfect Pizza Crust

I love to make homemade pizza, and my family loves to eat it. How do you get a chewy crust that's crispy on the outside? Are any special ingredients needed? —L.D., Shelley, Idaho

You…

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