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  1. Kitchen Tip: DIY Steamer

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    You don't need special equipment to cook healthy veggies for dinner -- a heatproof sieve or colander is a perfectly good substitute for a steamer basket. Pick one that fits along the rim of a saucepan. Fill the pan with an inch of water, and bring to a gentle boil. Place cut-up vegetables in the sieve (don't overload it), and cover the pan. Cooking times will vary depending on what you're steaming. In general, when vegetables, such as broccoli and green beans, are crisp-tender and bright in color, or when potatoes can be easily pierced, they're done.

    Source
    Everyday Food, January 2009
  2. Stew in a Pumpkin

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    Small sugar pumpkins make seasonally appropriate bowls for hearty servings of robust stew. The pumpkins are hollowed and baked before being filled. Intense heat concentrates the vegetable's sugars, bringing out its natural sweetness -- so you can enjoy its rich, dense flesh as you spoon out your stew. White beans, red pearl onions, baby peas, and turkey sausage make up the deep-flavored mix.

    White Bean and Sausage Stew in Pumpkin Bowls

     

    Source
    Martha Stewart Living, October 2006
  3. Dessert Party Favors

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    Leftover dessert doubles as guest favors when packaged in boxes that are as pretty as, well, pie. Photocopy template at 400 percent; trace onto card stock. Cut out the image with scallop scissors along scalloped edges and regular scissors on solid lines. With a straightedge and a bone folder, score paper along dotted lines. Fold along scored lines, and secure tabs with double-sided tape. Line box with parchment paper, place a slice inside, and tie on a tag.

    Source
    Martha Stewart Living, November 2007
  4. Blueberry, Strawberry, and Mint Icings

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    Syrups made with fresh blueberries, strawberries, and mint make these pastel icings look as good as they taste. Simply stir confectioners' sugar into syrup to reach the consistency of honey. Then dip cupcake tops into icing, or pipe it onto sugar cookies.

    Make-Ahead Tips
    The icing can be prepared up to two days in advance; refrigerate it in an airtight container with a damp towel or plastic wrap on the surface. Cupcakes and cookies can be iced up to a day ahead.

    Source
    Martha Stewart Living, May 2010
  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.

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