Friday, June 02, 2006

Helpful Hints

You won't need sugar with your tea if you drink jasmine tea or any of the lighter-bodied varieties, like Formosa Oolong, which have their own natural sweetness. They are fine for sugarless iced tea, too.

Calorie-free club soda adds sparkle to iced fruit juices, makes them go further and reduces calories per portion.

For tea flavoring, dissolve old-fashioned lemon drops or hard mint candy in your tea. They melt quickly and keep the tea brisk!

Make your own spiced tea or cider. Place orange peels, whole cloves, and cinnamon sticks in a 6-inch square peice of cheesecloth. Gather the corners and tie with a string. Steep in hot cider or tea for 10 minutes or longer if you want a stronger flavor.

Always chill juices or sodas before adding to beverage recipes.

To cool your punch, float an ice ring made from the punch rather than using ice cubes. Not only is this more decorative, but it also inhibits melting and diluting.

Place fresh or dried mint in the bottom of a cup of hot chocolate for a cool and refreshing taste.

One lemon yields about 1/4 cup juice; one orange yields about 1/3 cup joice. This is helpful in making fresh orange juice or lemonade!

Never boil coffee; it brings out the acid and causes a bitter taste. Store ground coffee in the rifrigerator or freezer to keep it fresh.

Always use COLD water for electrip drip coffee makers. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons ground coffee for each cup of water.

Seeds and nuts, both shelled and unshelled, keep best and longest when stored in the freezer. Unshelled nut crack more easily when frozen. Nuts and seeds can be u7sed directly from the freezer.

Cheeses should be served at room temperature, approxitmately 70 degrees.

To prevent cheese from sticking to a grater spray the grater with cooking spray before beginning.

If you have any helpful hints to share, or if you think these hints are out dated and you know a better way, please let me know in the comments section.