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.
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- Pepper Jack cheese
- Guacamole or sliced avocado
- Sliced white onion
- Sliced pickled jalapenos
- Soft goat cheese
- Garlic mayonnaise
- Flat-leaf spinach
- Sliced cucumber
- Sliced red onion
- Barbecue sauce
- Coleslaw or shredded cabbage
- Sweet pickles or pickle relish
- Cooked bacon
SourceEveryday Food, July/August 2007
Asparagus is best cooked the day it's purchased, but it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to five days in one of the following ways: Wrap the bottoms of the stalks in a damp paper towel, and place in a paper bag; store in crisper. Or stand the bundled stalks in a bowl with about an inch of water.
Although many people believe that thinner asparagus spears are more tender than thicker ones, thick spears are actually just as tender. If the asparagus stems are tough, remove the outer layer with a vegetable peeler.
SourceEveryday Food, Volume 9 March/April 2003
These crisp parchment paper wrappers give muffins and cupcakes a festive air -- and they keep the baked goods from sticking to the pan, too.
Muffin Wrappers How-To
1. Cut 5-inch square pieces of parchment.
2. Spray a muffin tin with vegetable oil cooking spray to hold parchment in place.
3. Place 1 piece of parchment into 1 cup of the tin, pressing along folds to crease. Repeat with other cups and parchment pieces.
4. Scoop batter into cups, and bake.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, June 2009
Instead of watering down your drink with ice cubes that are destined to melt, give the entire vessel its own ice bucket. Slip one glass container inside another (we found these multipurpose cylinders at a floral-supply shop, jamaligarden.com), and put the ice between them. The effect is dramatic and guarantees that your punch retains its punch.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, June 2010
Some holiday parties require every serving dish you own -- and then some. Improvise a bread basket with a large rectangular cloth napkin or dish towel, preferably starched linen (the stiffer the fabric, the better it will hold its shape). Lay the fabric horizontally on a table. Fold the longer side up, slightly more than halfway. Fold the top half down in the same way, so the two edges overlap by an inch. Turn it over, and fold the shorter sides in to meet. For extra security, pin in place. Flip over again, and place rolls or a sliced loaf into the opening.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2010
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