To prevent the filling of an overstuffed sub sandwich from spilling out, remove some of the interior crumb from the top and bottom halves of the bread.
This creates a trough for the fillings and helps to stabilize the sandwich.
-- Adapted from "The Best Kitchen Quick Tips" by the editors of Cook's Illustrated
Choose a perfect pear
How do you tell when a pear is ripe? With the exception of Bartletts, most pears don't change color when they're ready to eat.
Here are some tips from the Pear Bureau Northwest for selecting the perfect pear:
* Place hard, unripe pears in a paper bag or covered fruit bowl.
* Check them each day by applying gentle pressure at the stem end.
* Pears are ripe when the neck yields to the pressure.
* Ripe pears will last three to five days in the fridge.
* Have some overripe pears? Turn them into smoothies, soups or sauces.
For more information, visit www.usapears.com.
Table for one: Solo dining can be a challenge when recipes often make quantities that would feed the average American family, with leftovers to spare.
But the American Institute for Cancer Research has developed a new pamphlet with information on how to shop, prepare and store foods for one.
The group suggests setting a table next to a window to enjoy the view, decorating with attractive dishes and a colorful tablecloth, and playing relaxing music.
To receive the free pamphlet, visit www.aicr.org or write to AICR, 1759 R St. N.W., P.O. Box 97167, Washington, DC 20090-7167.
Don't stew about brew
Adagio Teas, an online tea store, has a teapot that makes brewing loose-leaf tea sure and simple.
The pot features a filtering system that is activated once it is placed atop a cup. A valve at the bottom opens, releasing tea that's free of sediment while a mesh filter retains the leaves.
The teapot is available at www.adagio.com for $15 for a 16-ounce pot, $19 for a 32-ounce container.
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