If you don’t have a fancy handheld citrus juicer, try cutting the citrus lengthwise (in a straight line between the little nubby ends of the lemon) to yield more juice when squeezing by hand. I swear it’s more effective than the common crosswise cutting method. And bonus! Not as many seeds seem to work their way out.
—Laura, The First Mess
Bread made from entirely whole wheat flour can be somewhat low-rising. It seems that this is what people expect when they use all whole wheat. BUT it doesn’t have to be this way. The secret of getting the dough to rise higher is to use a teaspoon each of vital wheat gluten and powdered soy lecithin per loaf. Together these things act as a dough enhancer, and the bread rises beautifully.
—Bev Haynes, Kinston, North Carolina

My vice is sweet cherry tomatoes, that I buy in bulk, and pop into my mouth like pieces of ruby red candy. I keep them in a bowl on the counter for quick accessibility and as an easy option if I’m at all tempted by sugar and salty bits that hide in my pantry. But sometimes I don’t get to my red little lovers in time. They start to shrivel and lose their peak flavor. So that’s when I give them a light bath in olive oil, a hit of salt and pepper, toss into the toaster oven and roast to a slightly browned, sweetened version of their former selves to add to salads and pastas. If they even make it that far, because they’re still a darn good snack!

—Heidi, FoodieCrush

Switch to aluminum-free baking powder to avoid the unwanted bitter taste in your baked goods that aluminum tends to gives off. It’s especially noticeable when making biscuits or scones that usually call for a good amount of baking powder.

For a flaky, all-butter pie crust, refrain from overworking the butter into the flour. Butter should be edamame-sized or pea-sized at smallest before rolling out dough. For more pie crust tips, check out Pie Crust 101.

Any barista will tell you that one key to a great pour over or french press is the “bloom”. Grind your coffee fresh, and when you put it in the press or the Chemex or cone dripper, pour just enough hot water over the grounds to get them completely wet and then let it sit for about 30-45 seconds. Freshly roasted and ground coffee will release the carbon dioxide and other gasses that tend to hinder extraction of coffee goodness into your cup. You’ll see the coffee grounds start to rise like bread. After the 30 seconds go ahead and finish pouring.

—Eric, FreshGround Roasting

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