General Cooking Tips:
- From Melody: One good way to keep
peppers is in vinegar. Just measure enough vinegar to cover peppers in whatever
container you wish to store them in. Bring vinegar to a boil, drop in peppers, then let cool
enough to pour into a glass jar. Put lid on and they will keep in a cool dry place (not
necessarily refrigerated) for a long time. I like the dried ones too, but there are only so
many I can use up, and it feels like a sin to waste homegrown produce. You can slice the
peppers, or put them in whole, whatever you prefer. This is a good way to re-use an old
mustard jar. You could add pimentos or any seasoning that you prefer - a touch of garlic
or onions? I also love making relish with shredded cabbage and hot peppers the same
way, possibly adding a little bit of sweet apple to give an unusual twist.
- From Yakityak: When I cook chicken in the crockpot I usually wind up browning it in the oven
right before serving it. I usually set the oven at 350 - 375 F. That way, the chicken isn't
that unappealing grey color that it usually becomes after disintegrating in the crockpot
for hours on end, and it seems to make a better effort at sticking together instead of
converting to shredded chicken before my eyes.
- From Yakityak: I know all of the cooking supply stores sell fancy contraptions for separating egg yolks, but I've found that the old fashioned way taught to me by my aunt is the easiest and least fussy. You just crack the egg as close to the middle as you can, and pass the yolk back and forth between the two shell halves over where ever you want the whites to go. You don't need to really actively try to get the whites to separate... it just does with enough passes.
- From Yakityak: Peelng tomatoes is easy. You plunge them into boiling water for about 30 seconds. The skins crack, and it's easy to peel them right off. Tomatoes don't cook much in those 30 seconds, so don't worry about it altering the flavor too much.
- Getting the hot pepper oil off your fingers after you've made salsa can be a real bear. Many people suggest using lemon juice, and I've never found that to work. Another suggestion I've heard is to wear gloves. I find this hazardous. Too many people are violently allergic to latex, and vinyl gloves diminish your grip and your sensitivity to the point that working with sharp knives can be dangerous. Nitrile gloves are expensive. But, don't despair. I have an easy inexpensive solution. When you are done working with the salsa, rub your hands thoroughly with extra light olive oil. Wash several times with hand soap. Repeat as necessary. I find it almost never takes more than 2 applications of olive oil to remove the residue. You can probably use any vegetable oil to do the job.
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