Searching for a warm draft-free place to allow yeasted bread to rise? Preheat oven to 350º for about 2 minutes. Turn off and place covered bowl in warm oven. Oven in use? Throw a load of clothes in the dryer, place covered bowl on top, and let it rise!
Stale bread? No problem! Cube up the bread, toss with a bit of olive oil and herbs (oregano, parsley, basil and rosemary to name a few), then bake at 375° until golden and crispy. Voila! Perfect croutons for your spring/summer salads that last up to another two weeks!
Bunches of fresh herbs, like parsley and cilantro, will keep 2 to 3 times longer if you place them in a mason jar filled halfway with water. Try to keep loose leaves out of the water like you would with fresh flowers. Store in the fridge, replacing the water every now and then, and they’ll stay fresh for a couple of weeks.
Flash freeze fresh berries before using in baked treats such as scones, muffins, or quick breads. This keeps them from bursting while working with the dough. To do so, wash, dry, cut, and freeze berries flat on a baking sheet 2-3 hours before using.
Whenever a recipe calls for ‘room temperature’ eggs, you don’t have to plan hours in advance. You can place your eggs in a bowl of lukewarm water for about five minutes to do the trick. It’s especially helpful for whipping eggs for desserts.