2014 Recipe Round-Up

Before the year ends, I would like to say ‘Thank you so much‘ to all who has been there for me. Thank you for supporting The Not So Creative Cook. I have learned so much and met so many amazing people.

And as a tradition of so many blogs, I am joining them as I bring you my 2014 Recipe Round-Up. Let’s see what recipes made it to from 1 to 10. 😀

1. Dynamite Shrimp

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2. Egg Sandwich Spread

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3. Embutido (Filipino Meatloaf)

Embutido

4. Tiramisu Cupcakes

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5. Impossible Coconut Pie

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6. Bulanglang (A Filipino Vegetable dish)

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7. Moist Chocolate Cake

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8. Yema Cake

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9. Chiffon Cupcakes

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10. Tapsilog 

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Hmm, not bad.

Do you also have your recipe round up? Place the link on the comments below and I’d love to check them out.

Thank you, my WordPress Family. 

Have a blessed and fabulous 2015!! 

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2014 in review

Because you are special to me, I am sharing you my 2014 in blogging… 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 96,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

PS: A special shout out to Angie @ The Novice Gardener. Other bloggers found me through her blog and of course, Fiesta Fridays. ❤

 

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Introducing ‘new’ bloggers #25

Is Monday a lazy day? Or I am the one who’s lazy?

But hey, there’s no need to hate Monday. I tried my very best not to feel sleepy, but what can I do? My body won’t cooperate with me. Maybe I need to drink something to get a goodnight sleep.

But before I hit the sack, let me first bring these wonderful bloggers:

sayhello

Flat Cheesecakes

I’m currently living in a student flat so the goal of my baking is to make it cheap, affordable and easy food for any student or any person to make too! I’m also hoping to make other posts related to living on a student budget and how you can save money around the home.

Hmm, I love that. With all the things getting more expensive nowadays, it is good to find recipes using low budget. It is good Jess is here to help us. 😉 Now, look at these Zesty Rocky Roads – chocolate balls rolled in coconut with a touch of lemon rind.

My Sweet Journals –

As I am beginner that have learnt everything I know now from internet, food bloggers, culinary communities and watching cooking channels, and of course not to forget getting recipes and tips from friends and family. Hence, I want to share my experiences, experiments and joys that I have in my kitchen with my fellow home bakers.

Mariezka is a stay-at-home Mom with two kids. I am happy that she found blogging to be one of the things that she loves to do – to archive recipes that she has tested and as well as to share them. It’s really good that she started a blog, so I have found a good Malay recipe – Nasi Ayam.

Blackberry-Eating – Meet Chelsea. She’s a reader, writer, cook, photographer and of course, a blogger. 😉 She has this love for words and cooking:

Here, I celebrate and share my love for food and cooking.  In June 2012 I got my PhD in English literature, marking myself as someone who celebrates words – the way they feel on the tongue, the way they situate themselves into meaning.  It seems fitting that my great loves – cooking and words – should be combined in this way, here, in this funny little virtual space.

I, myself, love words and cooking, too. But, well, I don’t know how to use them in a correct manner… or let’s just say, my grammar is not that good. Who cares? Do you know what matters most at this very moment? These Brownie Chunk Cookies – brownies baked separately; cut into chunks and mixed them with the cookies. Amazing, yes?

Skinny Muffin –

I love blogs. Like, unhealthily am obsessed with food and cooking blogs. Really, it’s a tiny bit scary and probably keeps me from some more important things in life, sometimes. Like sleeping and studying for major physiology tests. However, after years of obsessing over other people’s food (and recently running!) blogs, I have decided to create my own.

Skinny Muffin is a vegetarian since 2008 – wow! I really wonder how does it feel to be a vegetarian. But right now, I’d love to enjoy these Chocolate Chocolate Chip Popsicles.

So Simple Sweets – Meet Georgia –

I’m a teenage amateur baker and photographer. I love to be in the kitchen- it’s my favorite place in the world! I have a passion for baking cupcakes, brownies, & anything I feel like! For me, the most rewarding part of baking is sharing and enjoying with others.

She enjoys crafting as well. How talented! I love crafting as well when I was a teenager. 😉 And I love these Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Cups – two of my favorite things in one cup. 😀


I hope you take time to visit their blogs and add them in your circle of blogging buddies. 🙂

Do you have any bloggers that you want to see here next Monday? Drop me an email and tell me why do you want them to be here. 🙂

Have a fabulous day! And thank you for spending time with me today. ❤

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Cakey Brownies

I will be honest with you. I will tell you something that you don’t know about me – I am a talkative person.

(Why I get the raising of eyebrows here?) Oh, is it obvious? How come? And when did you know about it? 😛

thenotsocreativecook-Nutty & Cakey Brownies1

Although I am a talkative person, there are times that I want to be in a silent mode. At work, I was alone in a room for quite some time and then new staff came and she was placed with me. She is a nice person; sweet and funny. We get along so well most of the time. She has two kids (boy and girl) and they go with their Mom at our workplace occasionally… and you’d expect a riot. 😀 I love them and I treat them like my siblings. I also love my colleague, but there are times that I miss being alone in that room – silent. I feel free. Well, not that I sleep during working hours whenever I want. I just missed the old times – me blogging, me reading books, me enjoying non-work related stuffs when I’m done with my job.

My point is, no matter how you enjoy those chewy and fudgy brownies, somehow, you still crave for the old, classic cakey brownies.

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I know it doesn’t make sense? What’s the connection with my sentiment with the brownies? Tell me you get my point. 😀 (I know by this time I am writing this, my mind is flying somewhere else – let’s say I am thinking of the brownies I want to post now, the bakes I want to make or the meals I want to cook… so please bear with me. 😛 )

Back to the brownies –

I love brownies in any form – with sundae, ice cream; chewy, fudgy.

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I admit that I love fudgy brownies more than any types of brownies – it’s rich and very chocolatey. But there are times that I crave for cakey brownies – simple and it reminds me of my childhood years.

Cakey Brownies

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • ¼ cup butter, unsalted, softened to room temperature
  • ¾ cups white sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp milk, lukewarm
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 3/4 cups, peanuts (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare an 8 x 8 baking pan lined with parchment paper. Lightly grease and set aside. Place the oven rack in the center of the oven.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and espresso powder.
  3. In a large bowl, add in butter and sugar. Mix until fluffy. Add in corn syrup, eggs, vanilla and milk. Mix until well combined. Add melted chocolate and mix again.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture and mix until well incorporated.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan.
  6. Top with peanuts if using.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave brownies in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before cutting.

Source recipe: Cakey Brownies by Laura in the Kitchen

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My favorite brownies during my childhood has peanuts in it, so to satisfy my craving, I added peanuts. These are so good. These bars are the cakey brownies of my dreams.

I am taking these cakey brownies of my dreams at Angie’s @ The Novice Gardener for Fiesta Friday #48. ❤

I am also sharing these at Time to Sparkle, Sunday Sweets

I hope you enjoy these. Have a fantastic weekend!

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Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

I don’t observe Christmas, but I really adore candy canes! 😀


Imagine yourself on your time off from work…

thenotsocreativecook-Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

You are comfortably sitting in front of the laptop – planning to catch up with blogging. Then your boss called you to say that you need to come to the office for an urgent matter. As a nearly good staff, you said ‘okay’. (And your ‘me-time’ day is ruined.)

When you come back home, you checked your cookie dough if it’s ready for the oven.

You thought that it’s ready because you’ve let it sit in the fridge for 5 hours. You touched it and you felt that the dough is still soft, thinking you should have mixed the dough last night. Meaning, you’re not 100% sure that it’s ready. Regardless, you still started baking them.

So, do you have those days that you wanted to make something and you are secretly hoping that you’ll get the same result with the source recipe? Even planned how to take photos of your supposed to be pretty cookies? Then it turned out not as what you expected? And you sliced the candy canes instead of crushing them because you can’t even manage to crush them. 😐

thenotsocreativecook-Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies 3You tried setting up for the photos and after minutes of trying different props (because you want your photos to look good) still, you can’t seem to figure out the right thing? And you think the light has something to do with not getting good photos? And you get tired and decided to take I-don’t-care-how-it-will-look-like photo? Then, you gave up!

thenotsocreativecook-Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies 2That was the kind of day I had last weekend.

The instruction said that it can be refrigerated for at least two hours or overnight. So I thought the dough was ready. I know you’d do better. 😀

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

  • Servings: 2 dozens
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3 candy canes, crushed

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine butter and chocolate. Microwave on low for 1-2 minutes or until melted, checking and stirring every after 15 seconds interval. Let cool down a bit.
  2. When the chocolate has cooled down, add in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  3. In another bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips. Add this mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix until incorporated.
  4. Keep in the fridge for about 1 hour, until firm, or up to overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop out about 1 tbsp of cookie dough, from into balls and place them on the prepared parchment lined baking sheets, keeping 2 inches apart from each other. Flatten the dough slightly and lightly press crushed/chopped candy canes on top.
  7. Bake for 9-12 minutes or.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave cookies on baking sheet for 2 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to continue cooling.

Source recipe: Foodess

Regardless of the not-what-I-expected look of the cookies, they are still super yummy – soft and very chocolatey. I would definitely make this again and I will see what happens the second time around. 🙂

I love cookies with a glass of milk. But I also love them with a cup of tea. I am bringing these cookies over Justine’s Tea Time. I hope she (and the crowd) will love these.

I am also sharing these cookies at Time to Sparkle, Sweet & Savoury SundaysTasty Tuesdays

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Tricky Tuesday #17: How to Deodorize Your Fridge

Did you have those moments that after cleaning your fridge, you still have those smelly something? You have already discarded everything unpleasant, so you are wondering where the smell comes from?

Over the weekend, I cleaned the fridge and discarded unpleasant stuffs. The fridge was shining white and I thought the smell will not come back. It’s not too bad, but still, there’s a smell. The baking soda I have is reserved for baking (I need to buy a new one), and the only thing I know that can deodorize the fridge is baking soda.

How in the world that I didn’t know about vinegar, coffee or even vanilla??

While searching on the ‘how-to’, I thought of sharing the same to you…

Of course, before using any deodorizer, make sure to clean your fridge first. If the smell is still present, you can try the following:

Baking Soda

To get rid of smells and dried-up spills inside your refrigerator, remove the contents, then sprinkle some baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub the sides, shelves, and compartments. Rinse with a clean, wet sponge. Don’t forget to place a fresh box of soda inside when you’re done.

Vanilla Extract & Cotton Balls

Soak a cotton ball or a piece of sponge with vanilla extract and leave it in the refrigerator.

Lemons

Dab lemon juice on a cotton ball or sponge and leave it in the fridge for several hours. Make sure to toss out any malodorous items that might be causing the bad smell.

Coffee Grounds

Distribute freshly ground coffee evenly on a plate and put it in the fridge for 24 hours. Coffee is known to absorb smells effectively.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is great at absorbing oils, but it works just as well for eliminating smells. Just open up a canister of uncooked oatmeal, or pour some in a bowl, and set it in your fridge overnight.

Onions

Cut onion in half and leave it on a shelf. The onion absorbs the smell and the moisture.

I will try some one of these, and I will see what happens.

Do you have anything to add? Please leave them on the comment box below. 😉

Thank you for spending time with me today.

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Sources: Reader’s Digest | Green Living Ideas | Life Hacker

Introducing ‘new’ bloggers #24

Hi, friends! How was your weekend? I hope you all had a wonderful and fun weekend. 🙂

Today is Monday (oh, don’t hate Monday) so I am here to bring you new set of friends. 😉

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The Stu Chef – Meet the Stu Chef, Mary, who believes that just a spoonful of sugar is never enough.

“Serious sugar addict/amateur baker who guesstimates pushes the limits of her measuring cups.”

Baking is her favorite hobby, especially with chocolates. She also loves anything with peanut butter and chocolate. (Hmm, good combo!) Here’s one of her post for her love of peanut butter – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookies. 😀 Not only she shares recipes, but she also shares something about her life and obsessions.

The Cinnamon Scrolls – Amanda loves cinnamon and writing, thus, the blog was named Cinnamon Scrolls. Her blog covers not only writing recipes, but also about travels and everything she prefers.

“I’m a huge advocate of healthy, wholesome eating, which is why most of the recipes I post fall into this category. However, I will not sacrifice a bite of something sweet if the craving hits, especially if it’s loaded or covered with cinnamon.”

…and as a lover of cinnamon, I am sure you could find cinnamon in these Banana Coconut Breakfast Cakes. I tell you, they are so lovely.

Lisa Goes Vegan – Meet Lisa who wants to inspire others to start healthy living.

“I hope to share my love for vegan food and cooking by sharing delicious, pure, plantbased & refined sugarfree recipes.”

She wants to show everyone that eating healthy doesn’t mean tasteless or boring. And I definitely agree. There are so many healthy and delicious foods around. Just look at this Choco Dream Mousse Pie. It looks so elegant and so dreamy.

Strawberry Mint

“Ever since I can remember, food has been my creative outlet and place of comfort. While most kids liked playing outside on the playground or dressing up for princess tea parties, I preferred being in the kitchen (while wearing a chef’s hat, of course).”

Hmm, there’s no wonder why she has so many recipes on her blog and they are all awesome. One of my favorites is the Grilled Sweet & Sour Shrimp.

Mint and Ginger

“The whole purpose of this blog is simply to stop asking ‘what do I have to cook today?’. Having lived aboard my country for a while made me recognize that there are a lot of different recipes from different cuisines out there waiting for us to try.”

Meet Ghada. Like most of us, she is a working person, but this blog is her own personal space sharing all those wonderful and delicious recipes. And the foods under this category, I just love them all. 😀

I hope you take time to visit their blogs and add them in your circle of blogging buddies. 🙂

Do you have any bloggers that you want to see here next Monday? Drop me an email and tell me why do you want them to be here. 🙂

Have a fabulous day! And thank you for spending time with me today. ❤

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Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Today is one of those few days where you could rely on me – that my brain is not that scattered. Or do you like a co-host with scattered brain? 😀 Yep! I am co-hosting today with Indu @ Indu’s International Kitchen. I know many of you have already added Indu in their circle, but if you haven’t, you must do so as she is such an amazing person. She shares so many delicious dishes and did I say she’s doing international? 😀 Anyway, I am so much happy to be co-hosting with her today. Let’s party, people. 😀 (And thanks, Angie, for this opportunity again.) ❤

Have fun with us! Link up by clicking the image below. (Click here for the guidelines.)


I am a girl who changes her mind most of the time. Here are some instances:

#1: I was in a grocery store with my friend. She knows that I always have a list and instant fried noodles is always included. When she noticed me pass by the noodles, she asked me if I’d not take it. I said ‘No, I still have at home.’ She knows me really well so she asked me again if I am sure and I confidently said yes. And because I want to roam around more, we separated and decided to meet at the counter. Guess what? She saw the cart with the instant fried noodles, and told me ‘I thought you don’t like to take that.’ And I said, ‘Well, you know me – I don’t want to run out of these.’ And I gave her a big grin. 😀

#2: On the mall, I was with the same friend and she knew that I want to eat so many things that day – donuts, fries, burger, and nuggets, and pizza… all fast foods. We were planning to eat, but on a later time. So she asked me: ‘Do you want donuts? Do you want fries? Do you want pizza?’ But I said ‘No’ to all of her offers. Well, I wanted to pretend that I am shy. 😛 (What?? Why are you looking at me like that? We have to honest here and you know me. 😀 ) Okay, back to the scene – we were walking and I saw my new favorite (Cinnabon) and I immediately stopped walking and grabbed her arm (for her to stop as well and she was like ‘what?’) I shook her arm and I told her ‘Ask me again what I want. Ask me. Ask me.’ And of course, she bought me those cinnamon rolls. 😀

And there are many more in my daily life. 😛 I get my mind changed every time – like if I want to bake during the weekend or no… and I decided not to bake and then I find myself baking on that weekend.

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The same thing happened to this dish I am bringing now – I thought about this many times if I will make this on the weekend. The reason is I wanted to use the remaining ingredients I have from the previous dish I made earlier (bell peppers, pineapple). I decided to use them on something else on a later day because I felt lazy on that day. The ending is, well, you find me in the kitchen preparing this dish.  And even while cooking, I am still arguing with myself if I will use some of the beef mixture for burger patties. But this time, I didn’t. Honest. 😀

Sweet & Sour Meatballs is perfect for a person like me who loves sweet & sour dishes and Asian/Chinese cuisine.

thenotsocreativecook-Sweet & Sour Meatballs

I used to prepare this dish using a sweet & sour instant mix because when I try not to and do the traditional thing, I always get too sour or too sweet – I could not really balance it. I am thrilled that I found a recipe that will make me say goodbye to the instant mix.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs Recipe

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons cooking oil

For the meatballs: 

thenotsocreativecook-Sweet & Sour Meatballs 3

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ cup crushed cornflakes or bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup onion, minced

For the sauce:

  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • ⅓ cup vinegar
  • 1 cup red and green bell pepper
  • 1 medium sized onion, quartered
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup carrot, sliced
  • Cornstarch slurry: 1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp water

Instructions:

For the meatballs: 

  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients until everything is incorporated.
  2. Scoop out about 1 tbsp of the mixture and form them into balls.
  3. In a deep non-stick skillet with medium-high heat, add in 6 tbsp of oil.
  4. When the oil is hot enough, fry the meatballs until brown.
  5. Removed cooked meatballs and transfer to a serving dish. Set aside.

For the sauce: 

  1. In the same skillet with medium heat, add in remaining oil if needed.
  2. Add in garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  3. Add in quartered onion, carrots and bell peppers. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add pineapple chunks and cook for another minute.
  5. Add in ketchup, sugar and vinegar. Give it a good mix.
  6. Pour in water and let it boil for about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the cornstarch slurry and simmer until the sauce has thicken.
  8. Add the cornstarch diluted in water and cook until desired thickness is reached.
  9. Turn off the heat and pour in the sauce over the cooked meatballs.

Source recipe: Panlasang Pinoy

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care for a closer look?

This dish is not overly sweet nor sour – I really love how dish satisfied my taste buds. I hope you try this and let me know what you think. 😉

Enjoy the party, people! Happy FF #47!

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Tricky Tuesday #16: Selma’s Tips & Tricks

When I started my blog, Tips & Tricks is one of  the pages that I want to have. But due to the billions of useful info/stuffs, I don’t know how to choose the best of the best. I may give you so many points and I am not sure if you’ll keep on reading once you’re tired. 😀 So I decided to make a post instead during Tuesdays.

Selma @ Selma’s Table told me that I can use her Tips & Tricks found on her blog and I was so happy. I know someday I will share them to you. If you know Selma, you might have already checked those things out. If not, then I’ll give you some of my favorites. She has so many info to share – from citrus to water, butter to baking, and also about knives.

As I said, I will give you some points:

  1. To get more juice out of lime halves that you have started squeezing , dunk them in and out of a bowl of water and give them a final squeeze. This is a trick used in professional kitchens according to Raymond Blanc.
  2. Slicing a lemon or lime vertically from stem end to nose also makes it easier to juice.
  3. Weighing liquid like water or milk is more accurate than measuring the volume. So if you need a 100ml of milk or water, pop your container on the scales, reset to zero and weigh out 100g.
  4. When folding beaten egg whites into a batter, use a large stainless steel spatula/spoon to do so. A rubber spatula deflates the mixture as it drags through the bubbles whereas the steel glides through preserving the bubbles that you have worked so hard to whip up.
  5. Keep used/empty butter wrappers in the freezer and use to prepare baking tins.
  6. Use cocoa powder rather than flour to prepare a tin when making chocolate cake.
  7. There is no need to sift flour and baking powder etc. Place the ingredients in a bowl and whisk well with a hand whisk to aerate and blend. The only time I sift, is when the ingredients like cocoa or icing sugar are lumpy.
  8. Store tomatoes, stem end down if they are off the vine. This stops moisture loss and bacteria entry and extends their shelf life too. Don’t store them in the fridge – the cold turns their starched mealy.
  9. Wooden chopping boards are kindest to knives. Plastic too. Don’t use anything really hard to chop on, like glass, tiles or steel as this will blunt the blade.
  10. Acid also blunts the blade, so if you have sliced tomatoes or lemons, give it a quick rinse.

See? Her tips and tricks are amazing. And there are more.Please hop on to Selma’s Tips & Tricks page.

Also, follow Selma on other social media: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter

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