I stumbled across this article while doing my Saturday morning reading and thought I'd pass it along: it's the Guardian's compilation of handy kitchen tips, everything from how to keep avocado halves from browning to softening butter without using the microwave. I thoroughly enjoy reading articles such as these, although I must admit that I often forget to put them to practice when I'm in the kitchen. However, two tips stuck out that I've got to try: the softening butter tip and the herb freezing tip.
How many times have you gotten to the point in a recipe where it calls for softened butter and alas, yours is still in the refrigerator not the least bit soft and the last thing you have is 8 hours to spare while it sits out taking its sweet time to soften naturally. I've gotten used to either throwing it in the microwave for a few seconds or heating it on the stove top - but then when I combine it with the batter it slightly cooks the eggs I'm inevitably mixing it with for some sort of batter. I usually continue with the recipe slightly ashamed hoping that the almighty Martha never catches wind of what I've done. Anyway, there's a cool trick in this article that I'm dying to try - and if you try it before I do, please comment below and let me know if it indeed works, so I can continue forgetting to soften butter and still end up with flawless batter.
The other tip is a cool trick that puts those fresh herbs you have sitting in the fridge to use, instead of letting them sit in the back of your produce drawer on their way to rot city. You know you've done it - you get some sort of fresh herb, be it parsley, basil or mint and have a thousand cool ideas for dinner that week using one or even all three, then at the last minute something happens where you don't end up using as much as you thought, so you put them back in the refrigerator for "use at a later date". But we know what's really going on: they sit in the fridge under new produce or cheese and when you're cleaning out the drawer you find a soggy brown plastic bag of what could have been either parsley, basil or mint. If this has never happened to you, you're either A.) lying, B.) a fantastic home cook that should probably take over this blog, or C.) you don't use fresh herbs, in which case I can't really help you.
Regardless, this article has a cool trick that again, I'm dying to try. In fact, I have fresh parsley and cilantro sitting in my produce drawer at this moment that are patiently waiting to be put into a great dish and consumed rather than turn into some science experiment that inevitably gets thrown away.
Here's the link - check it out and let us know if you've tried anything and how well, or not so well the tips work.