General Food Tips

About Poaching

Poaching is used for delicate foods, such as fish fillets. The proper temperature for poaching is 160° to 180°, which is lower than simmering.

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Balsamic Vinegar

Over the years, balsamic vinegar has gone from an exotic ingredient to a pantry staple. This Italian vinegar is a dark, thick, sweet-smelling liquid. When used in cooking, it adds a rich, dark…

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Bean Substitutions

1 pound packaged dry beans (uncooked) equals 2 cups dry or 6 to 7 cooked (drained).

1 cup packaged dry beans (uncooked) equals about two 15-1/2-ounce cans of beans (drained).


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Boxed Mixes & Higher Altitudes

Betty G. of Idyllwild, California says, “I live in a small town in the mountains. I keep a packaged brownie mix on hand in case I need a quick dessert. In the higher altitudes, boxed mixes need…

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Bread Crumbs Made Easy

I’ve found the easiest way to make bread cubes is to first freeze the bread, then trim and cube a stack of frozen slices. Not only is it neater, it’s easier to divide the cubes equally for layered…

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Canning with Less Mess

My stovetop used to get really messy while I was canning. Now I cover it with heavy-duty aluminum foil, making holes for the burners. When I’m done canning, I simply remove the foil and save…

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Chocolate Kiss Replacement

When a recipe calls for chocolate kisses, I use chocolate stars instead. Not only are they less expensive, they’re prettier…and you don’t have to spend time unwrapping them. —Sue B., Tiffin,…

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Chocolate on a Budget

When a recipe calls for melted semisweet chocolate chips, it’s cheaper to use semisweet baking chocolate squares in the same amount ounce-for-ounce. After the chocolate is melted, nobody knows…

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Clarified Butter

To make clarified butter, melt butter over low heat without stirring. Skim off foam. Pour off clear liquid and discard milky residue in bottom of pan. Store clear liquid in an airtight container…

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Coconut Milk

A sweet milky white liquid high in oil derived from the meat of a mature coconut. It is not the naturally-occurring liquid found inside a coconut. In the United States, coconut milk is usually…

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