Tricky Tuesdays: Heavy Cream vs Whipping Cream

I’ve always thought that heavy cream and whipping cream are exactly the same. I never doubted that they are two different kinds of cream until I cannot get a good whip from a whipping cream.

HC vs WC 2

Whipping cream contains between 30% to 36% fat content.

Heavy cream contains 36% or even more.

This fat content is needed to make the cream stable when whipped. The higher the fat content, the more it will be stable.

In my local grocery store, I rarely find heavy cream. If I can remember it correctly, there was once when I made these Tiramisu Cupcakes.

There are times that I don’t even notice if I take heavy or whipping cream, until I made cupcakes with whipped cream frosting and I got a total cream meltdown the moment I took my photos. I went back to the garbage bin to see what cream did I get and that’s the time when I searched about heavy cream and whipping cream.

Though whipping cream cannot hold its shape for a long time, there is one way on how to maintain its stability. The solution is the use of gelatin powder (agar-agar for the vegetarian substitute). The gelatin powder helps the whipping cream holds it shape a lot longer. You can run to Google and ask for ‘Stabilized Whipped Cream’ recipes and see what works for you. 😉

“Sharing will enrich everyone with more knowledge.” -Ana Monnar

Wishing you a day full of smiles! 😀 😀 😀

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Tricky Tuesday #25

So, who doesn’t like to make kitchen life easier? I came across these wonderful tips and thought of sharing them to you. I have tried some of them already and it worked on me. For the others, I will definitely try them.

Retain Pasta Moisture

Okay, let’s say that you cooked pasta, but you did not finish everything. It is better to keep the pasta and the sauce separate when keeping them inside the fidge. That is to avoid having too mushy pasta dish. To retain pasta moisture after keeping them in the fridge, boil water in a pot and drop your pasta onto it and drain. Of course, you don’t have to do that for a long time. Just let the pasta stay in the boiling water for seconds and you’re done! I do that all the time and it works for me.

Get Rid of Soup Fat

I love soups and fatty ones, I must say that I love them, too. 😀 But less fat, the better. The last time I cooked this Nilagang Baka, I included beef with bones and fat… Well, yeah, I got fatty soup. To remove the fat, place the soup in the fridge and let it sit there for 30 minutes and the fat can be easily skimmed as it will harden. If you don’t have that much of time, you can drop a large lettuce on your pot of soup and the lettuce will absorb extra oil. Discard the leaf once the soup is fine with you.

Reviving Limp Vegetables

Having problems with limp vegetables? Throw them out. No! Not in the garbage tin. Throw them out in a bowl of iced water and add a slice of raw potato. The vegetable will ‘magically’ freshen up.

Reviving Cloudy Honey

I had a small jar of honey and I threw it! Ooopsss! The color has changed and I thought it was spoiled or something. I didn’t know that it was just ‘cloudy’. To revive honey or to make it clear again, place the amount of honey you need in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on medium heat for 30 seconds, and stir to check if it’s clear. If not, heat again for 30 seconds. You can also place the container of honey in a hot water, considering that the water will not melt the container.

Reviving Stale Muffins

It happens that you bake a batch of muffins and you did not finish them all. You can revive day-old muffins by sprinkling them with water. Then, place in a paper bag and microwave for 5-10 seconds. The water will produce a steam that will restore the moisture of the muffins.

How about you? What do you do to revive your muffins or to get back your vegetables into good shape? I want to know. 😉

I hope you find these tricks useful. For more tricks, please hop on to Country Living. and tell me your favorites. 🙂 I hope everyone is having a week full of smiles. 😀 😀 😀

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Tricky Tuesday #24: Making Time For Your Blog

You might ask yourself ‘Seriously? A post about tips on making time for your blog from a blogger who has been MIA for months?’ And my answer is a big fat YES! 😀

I was on my way from work yesterday, the minions inside my brain were debating with each other on what to post after long months of being MIA for the Tricky Tuesdays series. One genius minion came up with this one. And the others were like ‘Seriously’?

See – I want to share something different than my usual shares before in which the post could also be a reminder for me more than anyone else… and this is what my genius minion suggested. Good one, I think. 🙂

For me, there are bloggers who blogs whenever they can and there are bloggers who badly wants to blog even if they have tight schedule. Count me on the latter. Making time for your blog may be difficult at times. But I believe that it’s all about priorities. So as I go on with the tips, I will share you my own, uh can I call it experiences? Okay, let’s do this…

Making Time for Your Blog - TNSCC

Make a Schedule 

Some of us are full-time workers and some of us are not. Either way, we are all busy with something. Making a schedule for your blog might help. As for me, I didn’t have one until recently. I was using office’s laptop and I didn’t (and still don’t) have my own. So I could say that I am blogging from work or only during the weekends when I take the laptop with me. But weekends means laundry, relaxing and lots of stuffs… so good luck with the blogging time. Few months back, my cousin got her own laptop which I must admit that I am the one who mostly use it because of my blog. So resting a little after work, I try to open my blog and do my thing.

Time Yourself

So here comes time management.

I could say that I was very good when it comes to time management. I mostly time everything I do – 2 hours for laundry, 1 hour for ironing clothes, 2 hours organizing/cleaning kitchen stuffs – you name it. And I stick to that time. Until one day, I can’t do it anymore that if I am in a class, I must have probably dropped it. A good friend told me that it is helpful that you time yourself.  And I told myself ‘You can do that! You were good at it.’ What I am saying is you divide your time. You can blog an hour or two in a day, depending on how tight your day is. At least make time… and by doing so, you check off some of your ‘to-blog’ list.

Prioritize Your Posts

Why did I start blogging? The answer is because I wanted to share my recipes and my versions of recipes… and somehow to inspire others. Then blogging buddies came – you learn things and your see how you can inspire and encourage others. Here comes the idea of me having a series called ‘Meet New Bloggers‘. And I thought that ‘Tricky Tuesdays‘ would be somehow useful, so I added it to my blog. Then ‘Versions & Verdicts‘ came… ‘In My Kitchen‘ came… and maybe something else will come. I don’t know. So it is important to know your priorities or let me rephrase that – know what you can do for the day, which doesn’t take that much of your time? or which doesn’t need a lot of thinking? Well, things like that. In my case, my first thing is recipe posts. Why? Because it doesn’t need ‘searching’ like what I do in the ‘Meet New Bloggers‘ series and ‘Tricky Tuesdays‘. Also, in recipe posts, I can do ‘mental blogging’ which I’d discuss in a bit. I also cook/bake during the weekends and all I have to do is take photos, write/edit the recipe and you’re done.

Mental Blogging 

Who does this? 😀 So when I am cooking or baking, I mentally write on what to blah blah blah when I publish the recipe. I do this whenever I can – before going to sleep, while walking from work to home, on the bus and even while I am taking a shower. Whatever I do, mental blogging is always there. Good thing that when my boss asks me, I don’t answer him anything about the blog. 😀 So, you know what I mean, yeah?

Plan Ahead

Another thing where I am good at – planning!

You can have a small notebook or you can write what do you want to cook/bake/post anywhere you want. You can also write topics you want to discuss. As for me, I always plan what I want to cook/bake during the weekends. When I am done cooking/baking, I write down the recipe posts/titles and put them on schedule. So I could tell you that I have few drafts in my mind (yeah, mental blogging) that I need to actually put on the WordPress drafts soon. 😀 So after that, you can make a new plan/schedule. 😉

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I hope you find this post helpful. How about you? What are you doing to make time for your blog? I’d really love to know. I hope you could share them to us. Leave your comments below. 🙂

Thank you for spending time with me today. Remember –

Blogging should be fun and not a burden. Like cooking/baking (or whatever you enjoy doing), blogging should be done with passion.

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Tricky Tuesday #23

Hey there! I am so sorry for being MIA in this series for a long time. Life got in the way and you know how that goes. 😐 Anyway, I am back with these new set of kitchen hacks and I hope you will like them.

Cleaning your blender quickly

I love making smoothies or shakes, but it gets annoying when it comes to cleaning your blender. You have to remove everything from the blending jar and clean. Gladly, I have found this trick and been using it for quite a while now. I use it during weekdays when I am on the run. But I make sure to clean the rubbers and everything during the weekends.

Click the image to direct you to The Burlap Bag

Peeling Kiwi with a Spoon

I hope I could love peeling fruits as much as I love to eat them. Sometimes, no matter how I love to eat fruits, peeling is something that hinders me to enjoy them. Maybe that is why Bananas are the only ones I eat mostly everyday because it’s super easy to peel them. Hmm… 😀 Kiwis are one of the fruits I’d love to put in my smoothies. I am happy to find this trick and I think I will find myself buying bunch of Kiwis today. 😉

Click the image to direct you to ‘Dinner Now, Dessert Later’ and see the photos on ‘How-To’

Saving Your Leaves Using the Paper Towel Trick 

There are times that I am super lazy when it comes to storing my leaves. I get lettuce from the market which are kept inside a plastic bag and I don’t do anything with them unless I am ready to use it in a salad. Undeniably, there are times that it gets to end its life and I regret that so many times. I asked myself ‘what can I do to save them’ and I found this trick. Not only it applies to leaves, but it also applies to other veggies and fruits. Click the image below to know more about ‘The Paper Towel Trick’.

Click the image to direct you to ‘The Mamas Girls’

Making Your Own Cupcake Holder

Sharing is good. But let’s not deny the fact that buying containers is sometimes a ‘pain’. I love to bake (I think you know that already 😛 ) and I love to give. I mostly buy plastic containers and put my cupcakes or cakes there and give it away. Of course, I would not expect that my containers will come back to me. I don’t want to use old containers or ‘stained’ containers. That sounds unpleasant. I came across this trick and I loved it. I have not done it yet, but I’ll surely do when I give away some goodies.

Click the image below to direct you to ‘Make the Best of Everything’ on ‘How-To’

Making Your Strawberries Last Longer 

My heart skips a beat when I see pretty strawberries sitting on the grocery chiller. They are so gorgeous and you just want them to stay that way. Alas, they don’t – you get to see molds after days of buying them. But this video will tell you know to make them last longer than usual.

That’s all folks! I hope you enjoy these tricks. Till next time. 😉

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Tricky Tuesday #22: Random Kitchen Hacks

It’s Tricky Tuesday time once again. Below are some of the amazing kitchen tricks I have found for you and me. 😉

 (1) Do you still remember when I said that you can extend the life of your bananas by wrapping the stem-end with a plastic wrap? You can extend them longer by separating them and wrap each stem-end with plastic wrap. 😉

(2) I love slightly green bananas and sometimes, I find it hard to peel them. The trick is you have to peel them from the bottom up – yes, just the way my monkey friends do it. 😀

(3) Medium-sized ice cream scoop is not only for ice cream or for filling your mini muffin pans. It can also be used to remove seeds from the gourds – the easier way, I must say.

(4) Do you love herb flavors in your soup or pasta but you don’t want to ‘feel’ them in your food? You can put your herbs in a tea ball and hang it on the side of the pot. When done cooking, you can pull it out and tada – you have a meal full of flavors, but without the unwanted texture.

(5) There are times when you buy fresh herbs, but you can’t use all of them. What do you do? Wrap them again and put them inside the fridge? You can do another thing and this is what I do with my fresh herbs. I buy a whole bundle of parsley and use how much I want to use. I trim the bottom end and put them in a glass with water (not touching any leaves), cover with plastic and keep inside the fridge. My herbs last for two weeks. Take note – you have to replace the water every after 2 days.

(6) Did you ever notice that there are times that your ice cream is forming ice crust? You can prevent this by putting wax paper over the top of the container just before you close the lid.

(7) It’s so divine when you open a jar of Nutella for the first time – it’s so runny and oh so delicious. After that, it will be exposed to air and will not be that soft and runny. The trick (and what I do) is to put a plastic wrap and put back the lid tightly. By doing so, the smoothness of your Nutella will last longer.

(8) To soften a ‘brick’ of sugar, pop it inside the microwave for few seconds with a glass of water next to it. It will draw up moisture and loosen up the sugar. Also, the same trick can be applied when heating pizza – put a glass of water next to it – it will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.

To know more of these amazing tricks, please visit Homemade Home Ideas.

 Thank you for being with me today and happy Tuesday!

Have you tried any of these? Please let me know, I want to know your thoughts. 😉

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Tricky Tuesday #21: Uses of Citrus Peels

Ways to Use Citrus Peels

It is not surprising to me that there are many uses of citrus peels. One of the things I know is you can make them as air freshener. For other uses, I didn’t know about it.

Here are some of them:

Infuse in Tea

I love citrus fruits and I sometimes add a thin slice of lemon or lime in my green tea when I am in the mood. But guess what? You can also add some citrus peels to your tea to give your tea a nice citrus flavor.

Citrus Vinegar Cleaner

As we all know, vinegar has so many uses like a natural cleaner. Well, I knew about that long time back, but I don’t use it as one because of the smell. If you don’t like to clean with the smell of the vinegar alone, you can add some citrus peels to it and you will have a good natural cleaner. Here’s a tutorial on how to make Citrus Vinegar Natural Cleaner.

Destink Garbage Bins & Trash Can Freshener

Who loves the smell of garbage bins? No one. Why not throw some citrus peels to it to regularly to keep it smelling fresh and kill the odor?

Ant Deterrent

Along with mint-flavored tea (used tea bag), lemon peels are also good as ant or other pests deterrent. It is suggested to place lemon peels where ants and other pests enter. Also, it also keeps the roaches and fleas away.

Chrome & Stainless Steel Polish

When you sprinkle some sea salt over metal and scrub it using a lemon peel, the shine can be brought back.

Did you also know that citrus peels are good as microwave cleaner, coffee cup stain remover and can be mixed with other dried herbs as potpourri? Find other uses of citrus peels here.

I hope you enjoy this post and please let me know how you use your citrus peels.

Happy Tuesday!

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Tricky Tuesday #20: Reusing Teabags

If you are following me for quite some time, maybe you would remember that I drink tea more than coffee. I know that used teabags can be reused for the dark circles around your eyes and for home. Aside from it can be used as fridge deodorizer, you will be amazed how you can reuse your teabags… especially when you’re a tea drinker. 😉

Reusing Teabags:

If you have a sink full of  dirty dishes due to the earlier party you’ve had and are very tired too finish the job and want to do it the next morning, you can drop a tea bag or two into the water and let everything soak. This will limit the scrubbing job as the teabag removes grease and food stains.

Aside from fridge deodorizer, it can also be used as a cupboard deodorizer.

Reusing teabags is not only limited in your kitchen. In fact, there are more other uses as well:

Homemade Glass Cleaner – Re-brew used tea bags and spray the weak tea onto windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces to loosen up dirt, grime, fingerprints, and other gunk. Be sure to wipe away with a clean, lint-free cloth to minimize streaks and dust particles.

Renew Wood Surfaces – Use weak tea made from pre-brewed bags to clean and shine hardwood floors and polish wood furniture.

Deodorizing Hand Scrub – After handling foods like garlic, onions, and fish, use pre-brewed tea bags to scrub your hands and remove those lingering scents. For more tips to save time and effort around the kitchen.

Neutralize Household Odors -Used tea is also great for removing lingering odors from your home. Mix dried used tea leaves into cat litter.  Drop a few dry used tea bags into the bottom of your trash bins to neutralize bad smells before they can escape into your kitchen.

Feed Your Garden -Rebrew used bags in a bucket of water and use the resulting weak tea to water your plants and protect them from fungal infections. Alternately, open up used tea bags and sprinkle the damp leaves around the base of your plants to fertilize the soil and deter garden pests like mice. You can also add previously-brewed tea bags to your compost pile for a boost of nutrients. Just remember to remove the metal staple if your tea bags are the kind that have them.

See? There are lots of uses. Amazing, yes?

Have you tired one of these? I have tried it as fridge deodorizer and it worked. In fact, I have 4 used teabags inside the fridge as I write this. 😉

Any ideas on how to reuse teabags? I’d love to know. Leave them down in the comment box below.

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Source: SFG, Natural Living Ideas

Tricky Tuesday #19: Valentine’s Day Treats/Recipe Ideas

Tricky Tuesday on a Wednesday? Hmm, let’s pretend that it’s still Tuesday. I just can’t go on with this absence of mine.

I have been missing from this series for quite a while. The reason is you know what happens when life gets in the way. You don’t have any second choice, but to let it get what it wants from you. Hopefully, after today, I will be a better blogger. I should get back my time management skills, although I don’t know where to find it. :/

For today, I am sharing you different stuff. Well, not different different, but not food hacks or kitchen tips. With the Valentine’s Day coming, I thought it’s good to share some beautiful Valentine treats.

I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day, but sharing won’t hurt… I just love seeing those lovely treats, pretty flowers and red things. Whether you celebrate this day or not, you might be interested in the following which I took over the web: 😉

Mini Chocolate Covered Strawberry Layer Cakes for Two

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Black Forest Donut Whoopies

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Strawberry Nutella Poptarts

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Red Velvet Milkshakes

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Brownie Bites with Strawberry Fluff Frosting

Tricky Tuesday #18: Cake/Baking Tips & Tricks

Hello, fellow foodies and friends!

Sorry for not bring to post (under this series) for the last two weeks (?) because you know what happens when life gets in the way.

Anyway, I am back with some tips for bakers out there. 😉

While taking a rest from work, I stumbled upon some amazing tricks in baking and below are my favorites:

Enhancers:

  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of meringue powder to your mix to help it rise a bit higher and make it a bit lighter in texture.
  • Add 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin to the batter, helps prevent the surface from splitting or cracking.
  • First add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the butter and sugar called for before mixing the rest of the ingredients. Helps make the cake lighter.
  • Take your time creaming the butter, beat/cream for at least 5 minutes to get lots of air into the butter. Add the sugar and beat/cream really well again.
  • Separate eggs first–beat yolks till golden and creamy then add to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat the egg whites until light and frothy before folding them into the butter mixture.

Moister:

  • Chocolate: Before adding the bicarb required, mix it with a teaspoon of vinegar.

Sifting:

  • Measure all ingredients to exact amounts first, then sift.

Prepping Tins:

Sample Homemade Magic Pan Grease: You can buy Magic Grease or make your own. This is used as a substitute to greasing then dusting with flour when directed to do so. Keep unused portion in an airtight container and refrigerate to use next time.

First Version: Mix 1 cup shortening (like Crisco), 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup vegetable oil and apply evenly with a pastry brush.

Second: 2 cups of Crisco and 1 cup of flour

More greasing tips:

  • Apply with a paper cupcake holder, a paper towel, a piece of wax paper, the butter wrapper paper or a plastic baggy. You could also use a pastry brush.
  • Try dusting the tins with a bit of the dry cake mix or cocoa (for chocolate) instead of flour.

Getting It Level:

  • Once you’ve poured the batter in, wobble the pan sideways a bit so the batter reaches up along each side (with the middle being slightly lower). As it bakes the middle and edges will meet and rise more evenly.

Oven:

  • Preheat the oven first before starting, make sure the rack is in the center (unless directed differently) and keep tin in the center of the rack. If you’re baking more than one at a time, keep them at least 2″ away from the walls of the oven and from each other.

Problems with Sticking To Tin:

  • Place a thick, clean towel in the kitchen sink and pour a kettle of boiling hot water over the towel to heat it (don’t plug the sink to retain the water, allow it to drain out). Set the pan on the hot towel and leave it for a minute or two, the cake should turn out easily.
  • Turn pan over on a sheet of wax paper or a cooling rack. Place a clean, thin cotton towel on top and using a hot steam iron, heat the bottom for a few minutes. The tin should lift off cleanly.
  • Cool cakes completely in the pans before trying to remove them. Don’t cool on the stove where there’s heat, they’re best cooled on a rack placed on the counter. Gently insert a knife between the outside of the cake and the inside of the tin. Run it along the edges to loosen things up before turning over.

Angel Food:

  • When done, take it directly from the oven and place it upside down on the neck of a bottle. This will help prevent the cake from falling as it cools. After 30 minutes, you can turn it over then remove from pan once cooled.

Frosting & Icing:

  • Don’t attempt to ice it until it’s completely cool. Dust the surface lightly with a pastry brush first, helps reduce crumbs in the icing.
  • First ice with a thin layer, then refrigerate (covered). After an hour you can do a complete frosting job. This helps keep the crumbs at bay and your outer frosting layer should be crumb free.
  • Have a bag of chocolate chips on hand? Just sit the whole bag in a bowl of very hot water, and mush the bag up every couple of minutes until all the chocolate has melted and there are no lumps. Snip the corner of the bag and squeeze out the melted chocolate directly onto the surface.
  • To help prevent a flaking or cracking, add a pinch of bicarb when mixing the frosting.
  • If icing is a bit too thin or runny, lightly dust the surface with flour then spread the icing. This will help hold it in place.
  • For single layers, turn upside down before icing so that the top is perfectly flat and even. When icing two rounds or squares, place a layer of frosting on one round, then place the other round upside down on top for a perfectly flat surface.

Keep Cut Slices Fresh:

Once you start slicing, the exposed or cut sides can dry out quickly. Here’s a way to keep things fresh:

  • Wrap the leftover cake with a few slices of apple or cubes of sugar or a slice of fresh bread set inside the pan (or in the open space of the plate). Make sure to store it in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic wrap.

So what are your favorites? Leave them on the comments below. It’s fun to know if we share the same favorite(s). 😀

Click here for more and some possible reasons why a cake fails.  

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