Tag Archives: techniques

Did you know? How to keep cookies fresh

1 Mar

Don’t you just hate how fast fresh-baked cookies seem to get stale?  Timely with my recent post about Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies, I thought I would post about a few secrets I’ve learned to keep them fresh, soft and not stale.

Here are a few secrets that I’ve learned to keep cookies tasting fresh:

  • Always keep cookies in a container (like Tupperware) with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Store cookies with a piece of bread!  The moisture from the piece of bread will help keep the cookies soft, moist and fresh (if you don’t want to waste a piece of bread, use the ends of the loaf that no one ever seems to want to eat anyway!)   Change the piece of bread every other day, or when it feels dry.
  • Freeze them!  Did you know that cookies freeze very well?  I didn’t know this until a few years ago.  Again, wrap them well and put them in a container with a good lid to keep them fresh for much longer in the freezer!  All the cookies I made around Christmas time stayed fresh for about 2 weeks because I kept them either in the freezer or in the garage (which hovers at a temperature just above freezing at this time of year!).

And if you want more cookie advice, this is a great article from Good Housekeeping on all your cookie baking questions!

Did You Know? Secrets to thin and tender chicken for stir fry

14 Dec

This is my first “Did You Know?” post (of hopefully many more), where I’ll write about a cooking tip or technique.

Today it’ll be secrets to making chicken stir fry at home that mimics that from Chinese takeout restaurants.  Not that saucy crispy stuff, but the very thin and tender chicken in vegetable stir fries, that looks like this:

Image from Here

The Tips:

1.  To slice the chicken very thin, slice it when it’s semi-frozen.  This makes it significantly easier to cut it very thin because it isn’t squishing beneath your knife (also – a very sharp knife makes this MUCH easier).

2. Slice the meat against the grain.  With chicken, this is cutting it the short way, not the long way (the width of the meat, not the length) – so you end up with oval shaped pieces, not long strips.

3. Velveting the meat.  This is official name for the Chinese cooking technique, and it’s great for both chicken and shrimp!  It’s very easy and definitely worth the extra step.  Whisk together:

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

plus an optional teaspoon or so of soy sauce, if you so desire.  Toss the sliced chicken (or shrimp) with the mixture and let sit 30 minutes in the fridge.  Drain off any excess liquid before stir frying.  This coating will, as the name implies, give the chicken a nice velvety texture.  But to taste the difference, also make sure you….

4. Don’t overcook it!  Get your wok (or large skillet) very hot, add the oil, place the meat in the pan and cook until just opaque.   Take it out and set it aside while you cook the rest of the ingredients (vegetables and sauce), then add the chicken in at the last minute to coat and warm through.

These simple tips will really help transform your ho-hum stir fry to something extra delicious.  Stir fry is my go-to meal – I make it at least once every two weeks – so expect more stir fry recipes on the way soon!