December 2011 Tips

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Peeling Garlic

As a little girl, my main task in the kitchen was, peeling garlic. Not my favorite chore. Over the years I have tried various gadgets to make this a more pleasant task, but never came across one that was very effective, until now. This method really works.

All you have to do is take a head of garlic and bash it, using the heel of the palm of your hand. (I use the back of a strong wooden spoon.) Then put all the loose garlic into a metal bowl. Use a matching bowl to cover, then shake vigorously. All the peels come off. In just 10 seconds you have beautifully peeled garlic. Here is a link to a video, by the chef who devised this method. Peel Garlic in 10 seconds

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More Cooking Tips from, The Reluctant Gourmet

To roast garlic, sprinkle the bulb with a little olive oil and white wine, salt and pepper, wrap it in tin foil and roast in a 350 degree oven for approximately one hour. Try using a hand blender to puree soup. It is easier than transferring to a food processor.

Mushrooms should be wiped off with a damp cloth and not washed under the faucet since they are like sponges and will absorb the water. (I often do run water over mushrooms, held in a colander, then wipe with paper towels. You should definitely not allow it to soak in water.)

Make sure your roasting pan is the correct size and is placed on the middle rack. When roasting, save the pan juices for your gravy. Leeks are full of hard to get at sand and dirt, chop them first, then give them a bath in cold water and drain in a colander.

Try using carrots instead of sugar to sweeten your sauces. Cracked pepper corns: Opt for putting the peppercorns in a zip lock bag and cracking them on a cutting board with a hammer. Noisy, but it it works. Otherwise, set your pepper mill to course grain instead. When buying cabbage, look for heads that appear heavier than their size with crisp leaves.

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Health Tip from Nurses on the Doctor Oz show

Remedy for Mild Burns: Whole Milk

The next time you have a mild burn, try running whole milk instead of tap water over the area. The proteins and lipids in the milk promote healing, so the condition of your skin will improve faster. Nurse Nate Barkley suggests soaking a towel with milk to make a cold compress; hold it on the injured area for around 15 minutes. Make sure to wash your hands and the towel afterward to prevent bad odors.

Remedy for Itches: Mint Tea

For itchy skin you should not scratch, try applying mint tea to the affected area. The menthol in mint has both anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties. Mint also contains muriatic acid, which is an anti-inflammatory that is easily absorbed into the skin. To try this secret home remedy from Nurse Donna Cardillo, boil 2 cups of water and steep one ounce of dried mint leaves. Then, let the tea cool, and saturate a clean cloth to use as a compress on the itchy skin.

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