A little organization in the kitchen pays big dividends. Keep in mind these smart moves from Parents magazine's food editors Fraya Berg and Jackie Plant set out in a feature in the magazine's June issue.
* When measuring honey, corn syrup or molasses, always measure the oil in the recipe first (or coat the cup with vegetable cooking spray); the sticky stuff will then slide right out.
* Slip a wet paper towel under a cutting board or mixing bowl to keep it safely in place.
* Before you toss a package of frozen veggies into your shopping cart, give it a shake. If the contents rattle, they're fresh. If they don't, choose another package.
* When making a beef stir-fry, stick the meat in your freezer for 15 minutes. Cutting very thin slices will be much easier.
* Press down and roll citrus fruits under the palm of your hand before squeezing to get the most juice. Another juicy tip: Pop refrigerated citrus fruits into the microwave for 10 seconds to warm them; they'll release even more liquid.
* Always insert a thermometer horizontally into the end of a piece of roasting meat for the most accurate reading.
* For great flavor and even browning, heat your skillet and oil until hot before adding meat or poultry. This is especially important when cooking low-fat cuts like chicken or pork tenderloin.
* Allow a roasted chicken (or any roasted meat) to rest at least 10 minutes before carving it. The meat will retain more juice, and it won't drip on the floor.
* To remove a layer of fat from gravy or a sauce, drag a paper towel lightly across the surface of the liquid. Repeat if necessary.
* Toast nuts in a dry pan for three to five minutes before using in a recipe. This brings out their best flavor.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.