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  1. Heart-Shaped Appetizers

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    Dining at home this February 14? For a romantic prelude or finale to the meal, serve dried Calimyrna figs. When cut lengthwise, they look like little hearts. They're a sweet complement to cheeses, crusty breads, and salads. An added benefit: Figs are packed with nutrients, such as iron and potassium, which helps lower blood pressure.

    Source
    Martha Stewart Living, February 2008
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  2. Using Leftover Cookie Dough

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    When scraps of dough get left behind after cookies hit the oven, turn them into a quick and tasty "streusel" topping for other baked goods, says pastry chef Chris Broberg.

    Form the extra raw cookie dough into a ball and freeze. Then, simply grate the frozen dough with a box grater over muffins, coffee cakes, cobblers, or other sweet treats.

    Here's another idea: Instead of freezing the dough, try baking the leftover dough strips then crushing them up to use as a crunchy topping for ice cream sundaes.

    Source
    The Martha Stewart Show
  3. Pumpkin-Pie Spice Blend

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    Give drinks, dessert, and breakfast a seasonal spin with this classic spice blend. Mix it yourself or use a store-bought version. To make spiced whipped cream for topping hot coffee, Irish coffee, pie, or cake, add 2 teaspoons of the mix to 1/2 cup heavy cream before whipping. The sweetened spice mix is good sprinkled on buttered toast or French toast.

    Making Your Own
    Even if you don't have pumpkin-pie spice in your pantry, you may well have everything that goes into it. Stir together 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Add 2 tablespoons sugar for a sweetened version.

    Source
    Martha Stewart Living, November 2009
  4. Citrus Trick

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    To get every last drop from an overly firm lemon or lime, zap it in the microwave for 10 seconds. The heat will soften the fruit, releasing its liquid. Slice it in two. Using one hand, squeeze half (cut side against your palm) over a bowl. The seeds will collect in your hand as the juice flows into the dish.

     

    Source
    Martha Stewart Living, June 2006
  5. Basil-Infused Olive Oil

    Martha Stewart Living, June 2006

    Garden-grown basil can pile up fast. Here's a good use for it: basil-flavored oil, delicious on salads or drizzled over baguette slices topped with ricotta cheese. To make it, blanch 1 cup of basil leaves and blend them in a food processor with 1/2 cup olive oil and a pinch of salt. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.

    Comments (1)

    • 22 Aug, 2010

      I always look for easy ways to offer appetizers. The idea of infusing basil into olive oil is simple. I took the basil and let it sit as directed.What I found was that this delicious basil olive oil was fantastic with just a little red pepper flakes sprinkled in.Get great italian bread n cut it into chunks, pour your oil into a pretty saucer, and now you have the makings of a great dipping sauce.
      Everyone at my party loved it AND continued to eat it after the dinner was served.

  6. What Is Dulce de Leche?

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    The name of this caramel-like confection, from Argentina and Uruguay, loosely translates to "milk candy": In a traditional process, sugar and milk are cooked over low heat for hours, until the mixture becomes thick and golden. Make your own dulce de leche, or find it in the international aisle or a Latin-foods market. It's great spread on toast, drizzled over tropical fruit such as mango, used as a dip for apple slices, or whipped into butter and spread on cornbread.

    Source
    Everyday Food, November 2010
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