Why Tempering Chocolate is Difficult, and How We Found an Easier Shortcut
Good chocolate right out of the wrapper has an attractive sheen and a satisfying snap when you break it in two. But if you melt the chocolate to use as a coating or for drizzling and try to use it immediately, it will set up into a soft, blotchy, dull-looking mess that melts on your fingers. Why the difference?
Pizza, bananas, and jam are some of our favorite things, so we couldn’t resist sharing these quick tips. Just don’t feel compelled to use them all at the same time—but who knows?
Bananas: Even More Magical Than You Thought
Did you know that you can use a banana peel to polish tarnished silverware? After you enjoy a banana, rub the inside of the peel along the silver and you’ll see the magic happen. Just wipe it off with a clean cloth afterward to have sparkling silverware again. It doesn’t work with really dark spots, but this trick works great with lightly tarnished utensils.
Best Way to Reheat Pizza
Microwaving cold pizza makes the crust soggy, and reheating it in the oven takes almost 30 minutes. The best way to reheat cold pizza is to put a few slices in a cold skillet, cover it, and turn the burner to low. About 8 minutes in the pan gives the cheese time to melt while the bottom crisps perfectly. No more soggy slices.
DIY Salad Dressing with Leftover Jam
To savor every last morsel of homemade or storebought jam, add olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and herbs/spices when the jam jar is nearly empty, screw the lid on, and shake away. In seconds you’ll have delicious fruity salad dressing, and nothing is wasted from the precious jams.
All of these quick tips are from the newest issue (August/September 2014) of Cook’s Country (learn more about print and iPad editions).