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Thumb_2379396587_07510b951dWhat's the point of sifting flour?

Thumb_2379396587_07510b951dWhat's the point of sifting flour?

Originally, the point of sifting flour used to be to remove lumps and the occasional insect, although modern flour is generally free of those concerns. If you don't buy pre-sifted flour, sifting can still be a good idea for a number of reasons. First, it loosens up flour that has been sitting around in storage for a long time, aerating it and helping your baked goods to have a lighter texture. It's also a good idea to sift flour if you are combining it with other ingredients, such as salt, baking powder or soda, or cocoa powder, to give the mixture a homogeneous texture. Flour can be sifted either with an old-fashioned sifter, or by shaking flour through a sieve. Dry ingredients can also be whisked together with a wire whisk in a pinch, which also helps lighten up the flour.  Nevertheless, some people think that sifting flour is a pain, and skip it altogether, claiming they don't notice the difference. Do you? Recipe: Sour Cream Bundt Cake (VeganYumYum) Recipe: Banana Hazelnut Upside-Down Cake (Hogwash)

Thumb_451588375_6d7f0894f8_oWhat's the difference between white and brown eggs?

Thumb_451588375_6d7f0894f8_oWhat's the difference between white and brown eggs?

Don't judge an egg by its shell. Whether an eggshell is white or brown is determined by the breed of the hen who laid the eggs. It has absolutely nothing to do with taste or nutritional value. The only time you may want to consider the color of the eggs you're buying is around Easter and Passover time, since white eggs work better for dyeing and decorating purposes.

Thumb_eggRoot Source: Egg

Thumb_eggRoot Source: Egg

What can't you do with an egg? You can't grill it, but you can boil it, broil it, fry it, roast it, scramble it, simmer it, steam it or drop it from 10 meters in a balsam wood cage. incredible The really amazing thing about the egg is the versatility of textures it can create. It can be as light as a meringue, and as dense as a pound cake. It all depends on how you rearrange an egg's proteins--break them apart and whip them full of air, or use them to bind together heavier ingredients like cream and sugar. colorblind Some chickens produce white eggs, others brown. Some are even blue. Among the common grocery store offerings, there isn't too much difference, whatever the color. put together An egg is made up of a couple of different components: a semi-permeable outer shell, a viscous "albumen" or white, and the center yolk, which is also made up of microscopic layers. Many recipes call for either the yolk or the white alone. Don't worry, separating them is is easy enough to do. sinker As eggs age, they gradually lose moisture through the pores inthe shells. So an old egg will be much less dense than a new one. You can test an egg's relative freshness by putting it in a bowl of cold water; the fresher it is, the faster it sinks. And if it floats, toss it out. no boil Don't let the name fool you. Actual boiling water is too violent for cooking eggs; the constant bubbling shifts them around, possibly cracking the shell and letting the white leak out. Eggs should be cooked in barely simmering water, 3-5 minutes for soft boiled or coddled eggs, 10-15 minutes for hard boiled. what you need A nonstick pan is almost essential for eggs. It lets you fry or scramble or make an omelet without using a lot of butter. Unless you want to, of course. For the true egg devotee, try any of the recipes in The Good Egg: More than 200 Fresh Approaches from Breakfast to Dessert. Make sure to pick up a few dozen eggs first. If you're a stickler for perfectly round fried eggs (it can't overlap your English muffin, after all), try an egg form. what you do The lightest of desserts, this Apple Snow will look graceful on any table. Try your eggs Passover- style with Matzo Brie. Think of it as Jewish French toast. When scrambled eggs grow up, they become quiche. And what little scramble wouldn't want to be an elegant Quiche Lorraine? These Spicy Baked Eggs with Tofu are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or that late-night craving. featured recipe This springy Pasta with Leeks, Asparagus, Mushrooms, And Fried Eggs is the featured recipe of this week's Root Source Challenge. We loved the creaminess of the cheese combined with the yolk of the egg. Congratulations to Amy and Jonny of We Are Never Full.

Thumb_2244578006_e44cfc9d9eRoot Source: Unsalted Butter

Thumb_2244578006_e44cfc9d9eRoot Source: Unsalted Butter

what you should know Unsalted butter is always equally unsalted, but salted butter is never quite salted the same. The NaCl uncertainty is the main reason we prefer to use unsalted butter when we cook. Often that salt can subdue the sweet flavor of butter. (Unsalted butter is often labeled as "sweet butter.") salt conversion In most recipes, the little extra salt will go unnoticed. Still, as a general rule if a recipe calls for unsalted butter but all you've got is salted butter, cut 1/4 teaspoon of salt per stick of butter (1/2 cup) you use. stick it up Salt acts as a preservative for butter. Tightly wrapped in foil and stored in the fridge, salted butter can last for five months, while unsalted butter lasts about three before going stale. (Spot stale butter by slicing into the stick; the outside will be darker than the inside.) Then again, many people don't store butter in the fridge to begin with. cooking with butter Sometimes, when you want a nuttier flavor, you'll want to let the butter's foam subside. But butter has a low smoke point, so be careful using it as your cooking fat. It'll burn easily. Clarified butter, or ghee, has a higher smoke point (and also makes a tasty dipping sauce for crab, lobster and anything else). roux-dimentary Butter forms the foundation for countless classic sauces and thickeners, including béchamel, beurre manié and roux. what you need Have you ever wanted to make fresh butter at home? This traditional butter churn is based on the famous Dazey churn from the early 20th century. You can also make a small batch of butter by putting cream in a jar and shaking it for a long, long time until you've shaken it solid. The water-cooled crock owners we know swear by the constant supply of creamy, spreadable butter they keep on their tables. Other butter lovers who shun the refrigerator prefer the classic rectangular butter dish. what you do Sage and butter are absolutely delicious together. How delicious? Try this rich and pillowy tortellini with sage brown butter and parmesan to find out. Steamy Kitchen likes to top her slow butter- braised asparagus with parmesan and sea salt. With that savory finale, you definitely don't need salted butter. Drizzling roasted sweet potatoes with cilantro-lime butter gives them a burst of tart richness. Salted butter might interfere with the complex sugar-spice interaction in these orange-scented popovers with cinnamon-orange honey. These better-for-you whole-grain flapjacks from hogwash are made with quinoa, millet and flaxseed. After using butter to grease the pan, you can afford to use a little extra on the cakes themselves. Coconut & Lime's worked out one of the fastest and tastiest cinnamon bun recipes out there.

Thumb_1372762478_74fe60988fWhat is honey?

Thumb_1372762478_74fe60988fWhat is honey?

Golden, fragrant and naturally sweet, honey is the fruit of a long-standing arrangement between men and bees. Worker bees buzz around snatching nectar from the flowers, returning to the hive to concentrate the nectar and stash it in the viscous form of honey. Then the beekeeper snatches the honey from the bees. Honey can be drizzled in its liquid form, whipped to prevent crystallization or creamed and spread like butter. Finding crystals in your honey is actually a testament to its high quality. To smooth it out, set the honey jar in a pan of freshly boiled water, until the honey turns liquid again.   Honey has longstanding connections to love and sensuality. In the fifth century B.C., Hippocrates prescribed it for "sexual vigor." And Rosh Hashanah is celebrated with honey and honey desserts, to help ensure a sweet coming year. Recipe: Honey Cake (Cookthink) Recipe: Breakfast Quinoa With Dried Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts, And Honey (Cookthink) Recipe: Greek-Inspired Honey-Roasted Shallots (hogwash)

Thumb_2899582840_329b26f359Root Source: Honey

Thumb_2899582840_329b26f359Root Source: Honey

what you should know Golden, fragrant and naturally sweet, honey is the fruit of a long-standing arrangement between men and bees. Worker bees buzz around snatching nectar from the flowers, returning to the hive to concentrate the nectar and stash it in the viscous form of honey. Then the beekeeper snatches the honey from the bees.  crystal clear Finding crystals in your honey is actually a testament to its high quality. To smooth it out, set the honey jar in a pan of freshly boiled water, until the honey turns liquid again.   the buzz Colony Collapse Disorder has been killing off honey bees in the last several years. Since honey flavors so many food products, some companies are rallying to help the bees. honey bunch According to Martha Hopkins of The New The New InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook, honey has longstanding connections to love and sensuality. In the fifth century B.C., Hippocrates prescribed it for "sexual vigor." more than bears Honey can be drizzled in its liquid form, whipped to prevent crystallization or creamed and spread like butter. sweet wishes Rosh Hashanah is celebrated with honey and honey desserts, to help ensure a sweet coming year.  what you need Searching for some fine literature about bees and honey? Start with Sue Hubbell's A Book of Bees or Holley Bishop's Robbing the Bees. If your table setting calls for something more elegant than a plastic bear, you might want a honey dispenser. Instead of a spoon, try using a honey wand to coax the golden liquid from the jar without spilling a drop. And while you're whipping up some of our honey recipes, Sweet Honey In The Rock makes the ideal background music.   what you do Jaden's fantastic pecan-crusted tilapia is sweetened with a honey glaze. hogwash roasts shallots with honey and feta for a Greek-inspired twist on the French classic. Before winter spoils the mood, freeze a batch of honey ice cream with ginger-spiced pecans. Easier than baklava, these flaky honey and almond triangles are a delight. Glaze your carrots with honey for a smooth, golden sweetness. Featured: Satisfy your sweet tooth with Honey, Pistachio And Chocolate Chip Biscotti -- this week's Root Source Challenge featured recipe. Congratulations to Dishing Up Delights! Find more honey recipes at Cookthink.com. And if you haven't yet signed up for a free account at Cookthink, do it now!