Category Archives: How-To’s and Tips

How to Make Barrel Aged Vanilla Extract at Home (Without a Barrel)

How to Make Barrel Aged Vanilla Extract

Many spirits are barrel-aged, including rum, whiskey and even gin, to name a few, because spending time in a barrel softens the bite of the alcohol and adds additional flavors to the spirit. Most – but not all – spirits are aged in oak barrels and the wood will add slightly different properties depending on how it was prepared. These days, people have been experimenting ... Read More »

How to Bloom Gelatin

How to Bloom Gelatin

When you are working with gelatin in a recipe, the directions will typically ask you to “bloom” the gelatin before using it.¬†Blooming is the process of soaking gelatin in cold water before using it. The water serves to soften the gelatin, whether you are using gelatin sheets or powdered gelatin, and prepare it to dissolve easily when combined with the rest of your ingredients. If ... Read More »

How to Cut Through Toasted Marshmallow

How to Cut Through Toasted Marshmallow

Sticky foods tend to be more difficult to cut through than others and toasted marshmallows may be one of the trickiest of all. Not only is the marshmallow gooey inside, but you need to preserve as much of the crisp exterior as possible and prevent the marshmallow from becoming completely smushed. Now, if you’re toasting marshmallows to make s’mores, you probably don’t need to cut ... Read More »

How to Toast Pecans in the Oven

How to Toast Pecans in the Oven

There are lots of recipes that call for pecans, from muffins to ice cream to pie, and just about every single one of those recipes will be better if you make it with toasted pecans instead of untoasted ones. Toasted nuts have a firmer texture than untoasted nuts and have a richer, more complex flavor that lacks the vegetal notes you sometimes find in raw ... Read More »

How to Neatly Cut a Meringue Pie

How to Neatly Cut a Meringue Pie

Meringue-topped pies can be very challenging to cut because the meringue can stick to the knife and tear, resulting in slices that are still tasty, but don’t look as pretty as they could. When you go to the trouble of making a beautiful meringue to top your pie, I think that you deserve a slice that looks picture-perfect – don’t you? Fortunately, it is possible ... Read More »

How to Get Perfect Bundt Cakes Out of the Pan

10 Tips for Perfect Bundt Cakes

Bundt cakes are some of the most visually appealing cakes that you can make. They come out of the pan ready to serve, with pretty swirling designs already set into your cake. At least, that is what you hope will happen when you bake a bundt cake. Unfortunately, bundt cakes have a tendency to get stuck in the pan, leaving you with a less-than-picture-perfect cake.¬†There ... Read More »

How to Juice A Passion Fruit

How to Juice a Fresh Passion Fruit

Passion fruits are one of my favorite fruits (although I admit that I do have a lot of favorite fruit!) because its unique sweet-tart, floral flavor really captures the essence of the tropics. The fruit is actually a type of berry and it thrives in temperate climates. While it is associated with the tropics and thrives in temperate climates, there are quite a few varieties ... Read More »

How to Use A Pastry Blender

How to Use A Pastry Blender

A pastry blender is a kitchen tool with metal tines that allows you to cut butter, or other fats, into flour quickly and easily. The tines are curved, so you can use the tool right in your mixing bowl, and they are attached to a handle that makes it very easy to grip. Pie crust, scones and other flaky pastries can all be made with ... Read More »

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