Giftry + The Fauxmartha

When you find something that works, and works really well, it must be shared. With that said, it’s a double tip week. Stick with me, I’ve got some explaining to do. I’ve confessed it here before. I’m a terrible gift giver. Awful, really. Maybe the worst. Thinking of gifts (good ones worth buying and giving) is absolutely debilitating for me. I freeze up and forget every idea I never had for the person. Then I declare, “No gifts this year!” Eventually I order something lame online and keep eye contact to a minimum until the awkwardness has passed. I’m not kidding when I say this—gift giving is a real problem for me. Read more

If there’s one dirty dish I hate cleaning most, it’s a cheesy one. Hot water and a scrub brush just mean melted cheese shmeared everywhere. It’s counterintuitive, but turn your water temp to icy cold when cleaning cheesy dishes. The cheese will harden. Then trade your scrub brush for a pan scraper and scrape off the hardened cheese. Resume normal cleaning methods once all signs of cheese are gone.

After countless times of finding a layer of spoiled or smashed berries by the time I made it to the bottom of the container, I finally got smart and started eating berries upside down from the container (especially delicate raspberries). They last a bit longer this way too.

I made Kevin pinky promise we’d always have a gas stove. Our current apartment has an electric stove. I learned quickly: if you’re used to cooking with gas, turn the heat off 2-3 minutes before you’re finished cooking to keep things from overcooking or worse, burning (unless you have plenty of open burners or hot pads to remove the pan from the heat).

It may be the end of the season, but I’ve finally figured out how to cut watermelon without chopping off my fingers. For years I’ve shied away from buying them until I finally realized to cut it as I would cut anything round (from a carrot, to a butternut squash, to a watermelon). Always start by giving yourself a flat edge. Then liberally trim off the skin. The white and light pink meat hold very little flavor. Continue by dicing small portions at a time, always rocking and rotating to give yourself a flat surface.

We eat a lot of waffles around here. I can do things on repeat forever and ever, but Kev needs variety. Inspired by I am a Food Blog, we flavored our syrup with fruit this weekend. Add chopped berries or stone fruit to a saucepan with a thin layer of water and cook on medium-high heat until bubbly, about 5-10 minutes. Add desired amount of maple syrup and warm through. Serve. For added flavor, drop in a sprig of fresh herbs while cooking.

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