Sweet Kitchen Tips 9

Did you know that Leeks were prized for centuries for everything from strength-giving qualities to magical properties.  They are related to both garlic and onion, with a flavor milder than either. In other words - yummylicious. The best way to choose when purchasing them is to make sure they have crisp, brightly colored leaves and unblemished white sections. Avoid any with withered or yellow-spotted leaves.  The smaller the leek, the more tender it will be. They store well in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 5 days.  Save the tough green leek ends you trim off, you can put them in a cheesecloth bag and use to flavor soups.

And since we talked about leeks.. let’s talk also about carrots.

Scientist have now discovered that carrots contain calcium pectate, an extraordinary pectin fiber that’s been found to have cholesterol-lowering properties.  The best ones when purchasing are young and slender.  Choose those that are firm and smooth; avoid any with cracks or signs of softening or withering.  If they have greenery on top, it should be moist and bright green.  But carrot greens rob the roots of moisture and vitamins, so remove them as soon as you get home.  They store well in a plastic bag up to two weeks and remember as they age, they lose flavor.  Don’t store them near apples, which can give them a bitter taste.

and more tips when dealing with tarts…

For storing an unbaked tart, slipped the 8 or 9-inch tart shell pan right into a gallon-sized zipper lock bag.  Seal the bag and then refrigerate or freeze as desired.

And have you tried to remove the outer ring and ended up with it around your arm like a hula hoop? No more!  Set a wide can (such as a 28-ounce tomato can) on a flat surface.  Set the cooled tart and pan on top of the can.  Hold the pan ring and gently pull it downward - the can will support the pan base and the tart as you remove the ring.