Heloise Hints

Heloise Hints

How to Crack Brazil Nuts

posted by lwhite

nutsIf you are going to use Brazil nuts in cooking, you are going to have to crack the shell. And it’s one tough nut to crack, but here are several ways to make it easier.

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* Put the nuts into the freezer for several hours.
* Or place the nuts into boiling water and let boil for a minute or two. Then plunge into cold water.
* After trying either method, then get out the nutcracker for a less difficult cracking!

Storing Nuts

posted by sballou

nutsNuts are indispensable to cooking and baking. They add such crunch and flavor to practically any dish. Some nuts are expensive and you don’t want them to spoil before using. Here are the step take to keep them fresh.

1. Try to keep nuts in their shells in a cool, dark place. They won’t be exposed to air, light or moisture, which causes them to spoil.
2. Shelled nuts last longer, up to a year, if you keep them stored in the freezer in a freezer-safe container or bag.

Storing Canned Goods

posted by sballou

cannedgoodsIf you are setting up your first pantry, here are some hints on how to make the canned goods last longer and stay fresher.

* Don’t store canned goods in the basement close to a furnace or steam pipes.
* Never place canned goods in the garage or on a porch where the temperatures will be too cold or too hot.
* Fluctuating temperatures negatively affect sthe quality of canned goods, so store them in your house in a pantry and away from the kitchen stove.

Halloween Dessert Decoration

posted by sballou

halloweengoodiesIf you are making a variety of desserts for Halloween likes cupcakes, cakes, cookies or even ice cream, to save time, try these easy ideas for decorating them.

* To create a pumpkin or scary faces like skulls, use mini chocolate chips, candies, chopped nuts, prepared frostings, colored sugar or even crushed potato chips or cookies.

Floral Arranging

posted by sballou

floralarrangementIf you are going to arrange silk or dried flowers in a big vase, here are several hints to help make this decorative foliage more stable.

* Put sand or cat-box litter in the vase to hold the arrangement in place.
* Be aware that the cat-box litter will also act as hidden room deodorizer.
* Or add marbles to the bottom of the vase, which will be a substitute for the use of a floral frog.

Easy Halloween Goodies

posted by sballou

halloweengoodiesIf you have to bake Halloween treats for your children’s school, here’s an idea that your children’s classmates and friends will love! They’re just a tad different and that will delight them.

1. Bake cupcakes in ice cream cones with flat bottoms.
2. Cover with orange or chocolate frosting.
3. Decorate with jack-o’-lantern or candy corn candies.

Fast After-School Snack

posted by sballou

afterschoolsnackWhen your children come home from school, they often are hungry. Here’s a quick and easy nosh they can make. Keep a package of flour tortillas and also a package of individually wrapped processed-cheese singles on hand. Teach them how to make this tortilla treat.

1. Your kids can place a single cheese slice on top of a tortilla and then fold it in half and put it on a microwave-safe plate or paper plate.
2. They should microwave it just for 25 or so seconds—only until the cheese has melted. Be sure they let it cool for about a minute before eating.
3. Make sure they watch it carefully. NO WALKING OFF!

Garbage Disposal Stinks?

posted by sballou

garbagedisposalThe garbage disposal is such an indispensable item in our kitchens. And with daily use and abuse, it can accumulate all those food odors. Here’s what to do to contain and prevent them.

* At least weekly, grind all those leftover lemon or lime or other citrus rinds down the disposal.
* When you use the disposal let lots of cold water for at least 15-20 seconds.
* Be aware that the splashguard might also be the source of smells; so wash it with hot soapy water.

When Using Flour for Cooking

posted by sballou

flourWhen you buy flour in paper packages, where and how do you store it in your kitchen? You can keep it the original packaging or put it into a sealed plastic or glass containers. Also you can store it in the refrigerator or a cool dry place. But here’s a hint you need to know when you are using it to bake with…

* If you store flour in the refrigerator, you must take it out and bring to room temperature before you use it. If you don’t do this, the recipe just may have a heavy texture.

Sharpening Scissors

posted by sballou

sharpeningscissorsYou don’t need a special tool to sharpen scissors. Simply go to your kitchen and pull out a roll of aluminum to get rid of those dull edges. Here’s what to do next.

1. Tear off 3-4 pieces of aluminum foil, place each on top of the other.
2. Take the scissors and cut the foil about 12-15 times. The scissors should be sharper.
3. Then buff the edges of the scissors with a steel-wool pad and you’ll be ready to cut anything.

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