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Kitchen Secrets & Tips



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Kosher Kitchen Secrets and Tips from KosherEye
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cheesecaketips

Time, effort, and expense go into making a cheesecake and most of us do not make this delectable dessert on a regular basis. We are sharing some tips to insure that your cheesecake baking venture is a success.

  • Springform pans are normally used when making cheesecake as it allows easy removable of the cake. There are recipes that call for  muffin tins, cake pans and even mini cheesecake pans (they have removable bottoms). Just remember, if you use a plain cake pan, grease it well and line the bottom with parchment paper.

  • Grease the bottom and sides of the springform pan as it helps prevent the filling from cracking when the cheesecake cools. During the cooling stage, the cheesecake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Mix the cream cheese until perfectly smooth prior to adding the other ingredients, unless otherwise specified.

  • Always soften the cream cheese at room temperature before mixing. This will avoid lumps in the batter.. For a smooth texture, remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator at least 1 1/2 hours ahead

  • Overbeating puts too much air into the mixture and will cause air bubbles on the surface of the cake.  Use medium speed to avoid beating in too much air.  Also avoid overbeating when adding the other ingredients because the cheesecake will puff during baking, then collapse and split when cooled.

  • Unless specified, do not substitute reduced–fat or fat–free cream cheese or sour cream. They contain fillers that might prevent the cheesecake from setting properly. Never substitute whipped cream cheese for the solid block.

  • Cheesecake performs well when baked in a water bath. This method bakes the cake very gently, so it won't darken, curdle, or crack. It insures that the outer edge of your cheesecake won't bake faster than the center, which can cause it to puff–up, sink, and crack.

  • Springform pans should seal tightly and not allow the fat in the batter to seep out or water to seep into the pan. If not certain that your pan seals tightly, wrap heavy-duty foil around the outside of the pan, covering the bottom and halfway up the sides.

  • Do not open the oven door during baking as the draft can cause the top to crack.

  • Do not overbake the cheesecake - this can be a problem. It is normal for the center to be a little wobbly. Do not worry, as the cake continues to cook during the cooling time.

  • Cool the cheesecake on a rack, away from drafts until completely cool. Some bakers turn off the oven and leave the cheese in the oven with the door closed to cool for an additional hour to ensure it's completely set.

  • After a cheesecake is completely cooled, gently loosen the entire side of the cheesecake from the pan with the tip of a knife while slowly  releasing the spring form pan clamp. Carefully remove the side of the pan.

  • If the sides of your cheesecake are not smooth, just use a hot, wet knife and smooth them.

  • When chilling the cheesecake in the refrigerator, allow it to cool completely at room temperature,  then cover the pan (not the cake) with a paper towel and an inverted plate. The paper will absorb any moisture that forms as the cheesecake chills and avoids condensation on the surface of the cheesecake.

  • If your cheesecake does have a crack on the top, do not worry – cover it with either whipped cream or sliced fresh fruit.
  • When slicing the cheesecake, dipping  a knife in hot water and then wiping it dry before cutting will give you nice, neat slices.

  • Baked cheesecake freezes well. After the  cake is completely cooled, wrap it in heavy-duty foil. Thaw overnight in refrigerator without toppings. Toppings such as whipped cream and fruit should be added just before serving.

Trouble Shooting

  • If the cheesecakes top is cracked and golden, it was overbaked or the oven was too hot. 

  • If there are clumps on the surface, the filling wasn't mixed enough or the cream cheese was too cold to blend well.

 

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Butter to Olive Oil Conversion Chart

 

butter_olive_oil-001

 Compliments of Pompeian Olive Oil


 

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An Apple Guide

applechart

A very useful guide to apples that will help you make your choice of variety easier and help you gage exactly how many apples you’ll need to create your culinary masterpieces.

Apple Quantities:
  1 lb. = about 4 small apples
  1 lb. = about 3 medium apples
  1 lb. = about 2 large apples
  1 lb. sliced = about 2 cups
  1 lb. diced = about 3 cups
  2 medium grated = 1 cup

Best Apple Tip: When you slice an apple it has a tendency to brown quickly if you don’t use it right away. The best way to prevent this and not use lemon juice (which tends to change the flavor of the apple is to mix a quarter cup of apple juice with a cup of water and pour over the sliced apples. Drain and use when needed.

When you choose your apple look for FIRM and brightly colored apples. Apples do not ripen after being taken off the tree, so the color you see is the color you get. If they are waxed, wash them well.

Types of Apples and What To Do With Them:
•  Braeburn Apples: These are usually is orange/red on a yellow color. Delicious raw and great in salads. Also good in pies, sauces and baking.

  Cortland: Sweet/semi tart red apple on green/yellow color. Delicious raw and great in salads. Ok but not great in pies, sauces and baking.

•  Empire: A green and red apple that has a sweet/tart taste. Delicious raw and, pretty good for pies, sauces and baking.

  Fuji: A sweet, red/pink apple. Delicious raw and great in pies, sauces and baking. Short shelf life. Use immediately

  Gala: Has pink stripes on a yellow background. A very sweet apple. Delicious raw and salads. Also great for pies and baking but I don’t care for it in sauces.

•  Golden Delicious: A sweet, yellow apple that is wonderful for just about everything you want to make.

•  Granny Smith: This is a very tart green apple. Terrific for anything you want to make and it’s available year around.

  Honeycrisp: This apple is best raw and ok baking and sauces but not for pies, it breaks down too much when cooked.

  Jonagold: A cross between the Jonathan and the Golden Delicious apple. Sweet and tart combined. Good for most just about anything you want to make.

•  Jonathan: A tart red/green apple. Good for most just about anything you want to make.

  McIntosh: This is a green/ red apple that’s mostly sweet with just a hint of tart. Best raw or in sauces.

  Red Delicious: Sweet and popular and available year around. Best raw terrible for baking.

  Rome Beauty: One of my favorite baking apples. Not too sweet and can be used for just about anything.

                                       By Eileen Goltz, author, kosher food writer, Cuisine by Eileen

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Cake Mix Doctor Baking Tip

Add some extra crunch to a Bundt cake recipe – any recipe. Grease and flour a Bundt pan, then sprinkle finely chopped pecans—about 1/4 cup—in the bottom of the pan, then pour in the batter. The pecans bake into a crunchy crown once the cake is inverted onto a serving platter.

from Anne Byrn, author, The Cake Mix Doctor cookbook series

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Cake Pan Size Conversions

cake_pans_rec_square2

Trying to fit a square cake into a round pan? Find out how much batter you'll need. If you have an unusual pan size and would like to figure out its capacity, measure the amount of water it takes to fill the pan.

  • Compare that measurement to the volumes in our chart (or the cake pan size listed in your recipe) to determine how much batter you'll need.
  • To ensure a cake rises evenly, you should only fill your pans to the half-way mark.
  • The baking time may change as well, so it is imperative that you keep a watchful eye on your cake, and check for doneness using your preferred method.
  • It's always better to have a little extra batter, rather than not enough. Once you've filled the pans half-full, use any remaining batter to bake a few cupcakes.

 


Recipe Calls For

Volume

Use Instead

1 (8-inch) round cake pan

4 cups

1 (8 x 4)-inch loaf pan, or

1 (9-inch) round cake pan, or

1 (9-inch) pie plate

2 (8-inch) round cake pans

8 cups

2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans

1 (9-inch) tube pan

2 (9-inch) round cake pans

1 (10-inch) Bundt pan

1 (11 x 7-inch) baking dish

1 (10-inch) springform pan

1 (9-inch) round cake pan

6 cups

1 (8-inch) round cake pan

1 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pan

1 (11 x 7-inch) baking dish

2 (9-inch) round cake pans

12 cups

2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans

1 (9-inch) tube pan

2 (8-inch) round cake pans

1 (10-inch) Bundt pan

2 (11 x 7-inch) baking dishes

1 (10-inch) springform pan

1 (10-inch) round cake pan

11 cups

2 (8-inch) round cake pans

1 (9-inch) tube pan

1 (10-inch) springform pan

2 (10-inch) round cake pans

22 cups

5 (8-inch) round cake pans

3 or 4 (9-inch) round cake pans

2 (10-inch) springform pans

9-inch tube pan

12 cups

2 (9-inch) round cake pans

2 (8-inch) round cake pans

1 (10-inch) Bundt pan

10-inch tube pan

16 cups

3 (9-inch) round cake pans

2 (10-inch) pie plates

2 (9-inch) deep dish pie plates

4 (8-inch) pie plates

2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans

2 (8-inch) square baking dishes

2 (9-inch) square baking dishes

10-inch Bundt pan

12 cups

1 (9x13-inch) baking dish

2 (9-inch) round cake pans

2 (8-inch) round cake pans

1 (9-inch) tube pan

2 (11x7-inch) baking dishes

1 (10-inch) springform pan

11 x 7 x 2-inch baking dish

6 cups

1 (8-inch) square baking dish

1 (9-inch) square baking dish

1 (9-inch) round cake pan

9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish

15 cups

1 (10-inch) Bundt cake pan

2 (9-inch) round cake pans

3 (8-inch) round cake pans

1 (10 x 15-inch) jellyroll pan

10 x 15 x 1-inch jellyroll pan

15 cups

1 (10-inch) Bundt pan

2 (9-inch) round cake pans

2 (8-inch) round cake pans

1 (9 x 13-inch) baking dish

9 x 5-inch loaf pan

8 cups

1 (9 x 2-inch) deep dish pie plate

1 (10-inch) pie plate

1 (8-inch) square baking dish

1 (9-inch) square baking dish

8 x 4-inch loaf pan

6 cups

1 (8-inch) round cake pan

1 (11 x 7-inch) baking dish

9-inch springform pan

10 cups

1 (10-inch) round cake pan

1 (10-inch) springform pan

2 (8-inch) round cake pans

2 (9-inch) round cake pans

10-inch springform pan

12 cups

2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans

1 (9-inch) tube pan

2 (9-inch) round cake pans

1 (10-inch) Bundt pan

2 (11 x 7-inch) baking dishes

2 (8-inch) round cake pans

8-inch square baking dish

8 cups

1 (9 x 2-inch) deep dish pie plate

1 (9 x 5-inch) loaf pan

2 (8-inch) pie plates

9-inch square baking dish

8 cups

1 (11 x 7-inch) baking dish

1 (9 x 2-inch) deep dish pie plate

1 (9 x 5-inch) loaf pan

2 (8-inch) pie plates

from allrecipe.com

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Cleaning Tips

• To keep your mop clean and fresh smelling, soak the mop head in one gallon of hot water and one cup of hydrogen peroxide for 10 minutes.  Then simply ring out the mop and allow to air-dry.

• Hide scratches in wood floors with tea. Brew 1 bag of tea for every quart of water. Dip the Libman Cotton Wet Mop into the cooled tea. Wring out well and mop floor. Tea also makes a great cleaner for wood paneling. Dry with an old towel.

• To get rid of permanent markers on your floor, use toothpaste and a soft Libman cloth!

• To give your floors a quick shine, add baking soda to your mop water & mop with a Libman mop.

• Get to the dirt in your carpet! Sweep your carpet thoroughly before vacuuming. The broom fibers will dig down into the carpet, moving dirt to the service.

• When an enamel pan is badly burnt, sprinkle it with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of salt. Let stand for an hour, then gently rub the pan with a Libman scrubber.

• Clean & deodorize the inside of your refrigerator with a solution of 3 tablespoons baking soda to one quart warm water. Wipe dry with a Libman cloth.

• To remove crayon marks from walls, cover the crayon mark with toothpaste, let sit for 30 minutes, then wipe clean with a Libman cloth.

• Quickly clean your food processor or blender by filling it 1/2 full with water and adding a couple drops of liquid dishwashing detergent. Cover and run for a few seconds. Brush with a Libman kitchen brush, rinse, and let dry.

• To remove excess grout from tiles, apply a paste of baking soda and water with a Libman scrub brush. Wait 1 hour, then rinse.

• Removing hard water spots from clear shower doors: Spray glass cleaner on the doors, gently scrub with the scrubbing bristles. Wipe clean with rag or with the sponge side of a mop.

• To remove rust stains on whites, dampen the stain with lemon juice and then rub salt into the spot with a Libman scrub brush. Set in the sun to dry, then wash as usual.

• Clean car tires! A Libman brass brush cleans car tires just as well as pots! The contour of the handle will save your knuckles and cleans quicker than a sponge.

• Fill your Libman bucket with warm water and lemon soap or lemon juice, and wash your deck with a Libman mop. The scent will help to keep the mosquitoes away!

• Clean hard-to-reach surfaces safely and easily. The Wonder Mop can be used for surfaces other than floors!  Simply clean tall surfaces such as cabinets and the top of your refrigerator.

• No more bending! The Swivel Duster is specially designed for all those hard-to-reach places like ceilings, above cabinets, and ceiling fans.  Try it out on baseboards, too!

• To remove yellow water marks, use a paste of cream of tartar and peroxide. Scrub with a Libman scrub brush.


Compliments of Libman Company

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A quick and easy way to seed a pomegranate from About.Com.

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How to Clean a Spice Grinder

To clean a spice grinder, just grind some raw rice or piece of bread. It helps absorb the old flavors.

Virginia Willis, author of Bon Appétit Y’all

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Tomatoes & Alcohol

"I like to think about the science of cooking. For instance, tomatoes contain flavors soluble in alcohol only. If making a tomato dish, it helps to add a touch of alcohol. Even sliced tomatoes, if spritzed with white wine, the flavor will be heightened. "

Virginia Willis, author of Bon Appétit Y’all

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Quick Way to Bring Eggs & Margarine to Room Temperature

When baking, most recipes call for eggs and margarine/butter to be at room temperature. If you forgot to leave them out, don't worry – here is a great tip from Reyna Simnegar:

Microwave the margarine for 10-15 seconds and place the eggs in warm water to bring them to room temperature.

Reyna Simnegar, author of Persian Food from The Non-Persian Bride

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