Tag Archives: tips and tricks

How to Clean and Store Berries - perfect for summer, now that berries are popping up at the farmers markets!

In season berries taste so much better than out-of-season berries, and this time of year the grocery stores, berry farms and farmers markets are teeming with them. We stock up on the red, blue and purple fruits, and then we realize we have no idea how to store them properly. What are we to do? How can we possibly eat this many berries before they all go bad? Today, we will teach you how to take fresh, ripe berries and store them properly so you can avoid those moldy disappointments and last-minute rushes to make as many cobblers and muffins as possible for your neighbors. You’ll be able to use your gorgeous berries in all kinds of fresh dishes and smoothies, and you will know exactly what to do next time the kids come home from a berry farm field trip.

The instructions we have provided for cleaning and storing your berries are for strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and the like.

How to Clean and Store Berries - perfect for summer, now that berries are popping up at the farmers markets!

If you are planning to store your berries in the fridge…

keep them in their original container so they can breathe at around 32-34°F. Keep your berries dry. If they look too crowded or humid, you may want to lay a paper towel under the berries in the bottom of the container. As a general rule, avoid the crisper drawers at all costs as they are much too humid for sensitive berries. Wait to wash berries until just before you are ready to use them, then rinse gently under cool water. You can let them get closer to room temperature before serving to enhance their natural flavors. Berries typically keep in the fridge for two to seven days, depending on the type of berry. Generally, the more fragile the berry, the shorter it will keep.

If you are planning to freeze your berries for later use…

rinse them in cool water as you would before serving berries stored in the fridge, then allow them to dry completely. (Blueberries, by exception, should not be washed before freezing, as their skins become tough. Instead, wash them right before using after they’ve thawed.) It’s not necessary to freeze the berries individually on large, wax-paper lined cookie sheets first, though some sensitive berries, like raspberries and blackberries, can benefit from it. For heartier berries, just place them in a sealed container and freeze until ready to use.

You might also like…

How to clean and store lettuce

How to Clean and Store Lettuce
Food Focus: Strawberries

Food Focus: Strawberries

Lemon Triple Berry Cobbler

Slow Cooker Triple Berry Cobbler

Center Stage: Blueberry Mint Sorbet with A Simple Pantry

Blueberry Mint Sorbet

 

 



Earth Day Kitchen Tips from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog from @hamiltonbeach

 

Reduce Food Waste

Everyone wants to reduce the amount of food wasted in the kitchen, but what are the best ways to do that? Here are five incredibly easy ways to reduce food waste for a greener kitchen this Earth Day.

1. Buy what you need and eat what you buy

Before you go grocery shopping, plan ahead and make a list. Think about what you really need and stick with it. Use the foods that spoil first and remember what you bought so you don’t end up with spoiled surprises.

2. Store food properly to keep it fresh

Learn how to store lettuce, berries and other perishables properly and understand shelf life limitations, so you can keep your food fresh as long as possible.

3. Skip the trashcan

If you’re worried you won’t use food before it spoils, share it with neighbors, friends or coworkers or bring a dish to the office or a potluck dinner to help make use of the extras. If you absolutely can’t use it, compost your inedible items to make soil conditioner for your garden.

4. Use the roots

Place the roots of green onions in a glass jar with a little bit of water – just enough to submerge the root tips. Change the water every few days to keep it clean. Within a week, you will have a full batch of green onions ready for cutting and eating again. This method also works with celery!

5. Make stock

Instead of tossing them, save the leftover ends from celery, onion, carrots, garlic and other vegetables in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer. The next time you roast a chicken, use the carcass and your leftover vegetables to make homemade Slow Cooker Chicken Stock.

Earth Day Kitchen Tips from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog from @hamiltonbeach

Reduce & Reuse Packaging Waste

Sometimes food and drink packing seems to pile up in as much abundance as the food itself. Consider one of these creative ways to utilize extra things you may have lying around before they end up in the trash bin.

  1. Make a tea tin herb garden.
  2. Because cardboard egg cartons are biodegradable, they make a perfect seed starter to help you germinate seeds for your garden, and you won’t have to buy the plastic seed starters from the lawn and garden store.
  3. Cover tin cans (without sharp edges) that used to contain soup, beans or tomatoes with pretty fabric, paint or twine and use them to house colored pencils, picnic utensils, pretty flowers, paintbrushes, herbs or succulent plantings.
  4. Use reusable bags when you do your shopping. Keep them in your car, so they will always be accessible when you find yourself at a grocery store, farmers market or retail store.
  5. Instead of buying bottled water which creates extra plastic bottle waste, make sure each family member has a reusable water bottle to take with them on the go. This not only saves waste, it saves money.

 

 



How to Make Perfect Whipped Cream (with lots of photos!) from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach

Do you shy away from homemade whipped cream because it seems complicated or fussy? Don’t! Making fresh whipped cream is incredibly easy (once you know what to look for), and the taste is far better than the canisters at the grocery store. If you’re going to work so hard on homemade pie, don’t top it with anything but the best.

How to Make Perfect Whipped Cream (with lots of photos!) from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach

Start with whipping cream that’s been refrigerated. (Tip: It doesn’t hurt to refrigerate or freeze your whisk and mixer bowl, too.) Whipping cream and heavy cream are high fat creams (35% and 36%, respectively), which means they’ll whip up nicely. Don’t bother trying to make whipped cream with a low fat milk or cream, because it won’t work.

How to Make Perfect Whipped Cream (with lots of photos!) from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach

Start by mixing on low speed (so you don’t make big splashes) until you see your cream start to get bubbly. This will probably take about a minute, longer if you’re whisking by hand. Pause, and add the sugar and any flavoring, like vanilla extract, almond extract, peppermint extract or Irish cream.

How to Make Perfect Whipped Cream (with lots of photos!) from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach

Mix again on low until you can see soft peaks starting to form. You can tell you’re getting close when the whisk begins to cut through the cream and it increases slightly in volume.

How to Make Perfect Whipped Cream (with lots of photos!) from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach

Soft peaks is a term people use when discussing whipped creams and meringues. It means the cream has increased in volume because the air has been incorporated. The whipped cream will be smooth and silky. It might drip a little, but overall, it’ll sit softly on the edge of your whisk.

How to Make Perfect Whipped Cream (with lots of photos!) from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach

If you want stiff peaks, beat a little bit longer. You may want to stop periodically as you go to make sure you don’t overbeat your cream. When the whisk starts to really pull up the whipped cream and the volume has about doubled, you’re probably at stiff peaks.

How to Make Perfect Whipped Cream (with lots of photos!) from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach

Unlike soft peaks, stiff peaks will sit upright and thick without dripping off your whisk. It’s firmer and stronger, yet remains smooth and creamy. You shouldn’t beat past stiff peaks for whipped cream as it will get grainy and eventually separate.

How to Make Perfect Whipped Cream (with lots of photos!) from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach

You know you’ve gone too far when your whipped cream starts to look more like cottage cheese. It’s no longer silky and smooth, but clumpy and peakless.

How to Make Perfect Whipped Cream (with lots of photos!) from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach

If you get to this point, don’t fret. You can keep going a little longer and make a perfectly good sweet butter. Add some cinnamon for a homemade spread perfect for thick morning toast or mashed sweet potatoes. The liquid that’s left is actually buttermilk. Pretty cool, right?

How to Make Perfect Whipped Cream (with lots of photos!) from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach


Whipped Cream

Ingredients
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Instructions
Place cream in deep container. Blend on high speed for 1 minute.
Add sugar and vanilla. Continue to blend until soft peaks form. Watch closely. It can be easily overbeaten.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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Come back tomorrow to see how we used our gorgeous homemade whipped cream in a holiday-ready coffee drink.

Salted Caramel Mocha Latte using the Perfect Whipped Cream from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach

Paint the town red (or just your countertop) with this high-performance mixer. The Eclectrics® Stand Mixer makes mixing easy, so you have more time for your favorite part — sharing all your homemade treats.

All-metal and dressed in a range of colors, Eclectrics® Stand Mixers belong on the countertop, where they’re always ready for jobs big or small. From the thickest cookie dough to the most delicate egg whites, a Hamilton Beach® Eclectrics® Stand Mixer has the power, speed and finesse to take on any kitchen task. Its 400-watt motor makes short work of kneading, mixing and whipping.

How to Make Perfect Whipped Cream (with lots of photos!) from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach



Basic Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach

In the Hamilton Beach test kitchen, we pride ourselves on coming up with great ideas to make cooking healthy, delicious meals for your family as effortless as possible. This recipe for basic, all-purpose shredded chicken is one of our favorite examples of easy and adaptable recipes. You can make it on Sunday and use the chicken in meals all week.

Basic Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach

Basic shredded chicken can be easily made in a slow cooker while you prep other foods for the week, and all it takes is a family pack of chicken breasts, an onion and a little seasoning. In a couple hours, you can remove the cooked chicken from the slow cooker to either slice or shred for use later. Our favorite way to shred warm, cooked chicken breast is in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Just add the chicken to the bowl and turn it on low until the chicken separates into shredded pieces. We work in batches and then divvy it up into labeled storage bags for use all week.

Basic Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach

The storage bags go into the fridge or freezer, and we pull from them to make Buffalo Chicken Sliders, Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup, Chicken Enchiladas, Curried Chicken Salad, Chicken Sandwiches, Chicken Fajitas and Chipotle Burrito Bowls. You could also try topping a Caesar salad or making quick and easy tacos with it. The next time you think about weekly meal prep-made-easy, add this quick and delicious recipe to the mix.

Basic Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach


Basic Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
YIELDS: 8 servings

Ingredients
1 large onion, sliced
4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 Tablespoon roasted garlic and herbs seasoning blend
Instructions
Place sliced onion in bottom of slow cooker crock.
Sprinkle chicken with seasoning.
Cover and cook on HIGH 2 to 3 hours or LOW 4 to 5 hours.
To shred chicken with a stand mixer, place half of cooked, hot chicken in bowl of mixer. Start on low and beat until chicken is broken up. Increase speed and mix on HIGH until chicken is evenly shredded. Repeat with second half of chicken.
Notes
Use the shredded chicken for salads, enchiladas, casseroles or sandwiches. Can be frozen for future use.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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For “one-pot” simplicity, nothing beats slow cooking. But when it comes to bringing hot meals to parties and potlucks, spills can be a concern. With the travel-friendly Set & Forget® Slow Cooker, messes aren’t an issue.



DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

Bedroom curtains are important for privacy, but they should also help create a peaceful atmosphere that inspires rest and relaxation. This was not the case in this city condo, so we removed the old curtains from the window and started from scratch to create beautiful window treatments without having to pull out a big sewing machine or a ton of equipment. These no-sew curtains can be made for any room of the house, and this technique can be used to make sheers, curtains or valances.

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

 

Because the home is located near other homes, a window covering offering plenty of privacy is a must. Natural light is also important to the homeowner, so we decided on a two layer window treatment with a textured sheer and a neutral, natural material for the curtain.

Supplies:

  • Sheer fabric
  • Curtain fabric
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Fusible Web (¾” for regular and heavy fabric; ⅜” for lightweight fabric)
  • Pins
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Curtain Rods (We used 2 tension rods since these curtains are nestled into the window frame)

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

 

Step 1: Choose your fabric and measure the appropriate length for your window and curtains. Add 5” on to the length you want your curtains to be. These curtains are 62” long when finished, so we cut the fabric to 67”. To make it easier, we left the fabric as wide as it originally came.

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

Step 2: Make a 1” fold on the long sides of your fabric and pin into place. Press fabric with your iron to make a definitive crease; remove the pins.

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

 

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

 

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

 

Step 3: Pick up hem fold and insert a line of fusible web in the crease. Trim the fusible web to the edge of the fabric, and fold the hem over the top.

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

 

Step 4: Use a dry iron to press the seam, sealing the hem and creating a nice, clean edge.

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

 

Step 5: Repeat Steps 2-4 on the bottom of your curtain. You don’t have to make an angled corner, but it does make a nice, clean look to the bottom corners of your curtains.

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

 

To make your corners, press a corner fold into the fabric, then add a triangle shaped piece of webbing under the corner flap and iron it into place. Do this on both bottom corners.

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

 

Then, cut the fusible web on an angle and measure a strip across the bottom, just as you did on the other sides. Iron the webbing into the crease to create a hem, as before.

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

 

Step 6: To make the top of the curtain, where the rod will go, make your 1 inch hem as before. Then, repeat the process with a 3” hem, placing the fusible web where the fabric meets, instead of in the crease. Iron the web into place. This creates a 2” pocket for your curtain rod.

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

 

You’re finished! One curtain panel is complete. Repeat the steps for your second curtain panel. Follow the same steps to create a sheer panel and put it on a separate curtain rod. Make sure to iron your curtains with lots of steam (and the Durathon iron has lots of steam!) before hanging them, so you don’t have any creases or wrinkles.

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

 

To hang the curtains, put up the sheer in the back and the curtain panels in the front, creating a layered look that allows the light to shine through.

DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon DIY No-Sew Curtains Tutorial from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach #Durathon

 

To view our complete line of Durathon irons, click here.