Sachets of aromatic herbs, such as the classic bouquet garni of thyme, parsley, and bay leaves, add flavor to simmering soups, stews, stocks, and braises. But fishing these cheesecloth bundles out of the pot can be difficult. The next time you use one of the herb packets, tie a length of butcher's twine to the sachet, and then tie the loose end to one of the pot's handles. (Be sure the twine stays clear of the burner.) When the time comes, the bouquet garni will be easy to retrieve and remove.
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Prettily arranged ingredients, add flavor, and turn simple foods into edible works of art. We topped flatbread with sage leaves, sliced onion, tomatillo, and yellow tomato. (Another option is to use only an assortment of herbs.) One batch of dough yields 12 delicate slices, enough to present in a basket at the table. Save time the day of your party by making the bread a couple of days in advance and storing it in an airtight container.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, July 2006
Potatoes make satisfying side dishes in all seasons, summer included. What would a picnic be without potato salad? Opinions on which ingredients are essential to potato salad can vary (maybe your must-include is hard-cooked egg, or diced onion, or sweet pickle relish). Regardless, the starting point must be a basic recipe that promises a good outcome every time. My stripped-down method does just that -- all the salad needs are creative additions to make it your own.
SourceEveryday Food, June 2007
Why settle for ordinary eggs and toast when you can show your love with this version?
Using a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, remove the center of a thick slice of bread, and toast it. Melt 1 1/2 teaspoons butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Place bread slice in skillet, and cook until underside is lightly browned. Add another 1 1/2 teaspoons butter, and flip bread. Fit cookie cutter, coated with cooking spray, in bread's cutout heart, and crack an egg into cutter. Cover skillet, and cook until egg is set, 2 to 3 minutes. Use tongs to remove cutter. Serve with toasted heart for dipping into yolk.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, February 2009
Perfect for Rosh Hashanah: kids will be bowled over by this idea for apples and honey. Trim the top and bottom of an apple and hollow it out with a spoon or melon baller. (McIntoshes are easy to scoop.) Brush the inside with lemon juice, and fill with honey. Slice more apples for dipping.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, September 2010
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.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, June 2006
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