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Topics - Cuilidh

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Chit Chat / General Hints and Tips, non TMX but maybe useful or interesting
« on: February 16, 2011, 07:59:42 pm »
This isn't strictly to do with thermomix so may not be appropriate for this forum - please feel free to delete it if it is too far off the point.  It came to me as an email and I found some of the ideas helpful, others not so interesting.  I don't usually pass these things on, but this time I made an exception and hope others get some helpful ideas and / or benefit from it.

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store.   If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster..

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil.   It will stay fresh much longer and not mold! (Same thing for celery!)

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.  Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef, it will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
To really make scrambled eggs or omelettes rich, add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. 
Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm.  This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza.

Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up.   Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the bag, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done - easy clean up.
Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.
Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go. Cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic but they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.
No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away, also try spraying the surrounding area outdoors with Listerine, it will last a couple of days; don't spray directly on a wood door (like your front door), but spray around the frame. Spray around the window frames, and even inside the dog house (you could also try making a spray comprising 2 parts Listerine to 1 part citronella). 

Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.
Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge. Add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to the end of the hose on your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.
Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and ... TA DA! ... Static is gone.
Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!
Reopening envelopes
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them.  It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something; he took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material .. I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. Well .... the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that's what burns out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free ... that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box ... well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months it only takes about 30 seconds. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long!

Questions? Technical Issues? The Survival Guide / Dry Heating of Empty Bowl
« on: February 02, 2011, 07:47:23 pm »
In various posts on this forum I have noticed references to heating the bowl whilst the bowl was empty.  Is it OK to do this?  What effect does it have on the bowl - I would have thought that it would be a bad thing to do.  Apart from drying the bowl out, why would you do it?  If you do do it, what would be the maximum times and temperatures involved without causing any damage?

Chit Chat / Leaving bread to rise
« on: February 01, 2011, 07:47:45 pm »
I love making bread in the TMX but am curious to know why some breads require only one rising, whilst others ask for two risings.  Can anyone tell me why this is so?  If a recipe calls for just one rising, does it do any harm to leave it to rise for a second time, and vice versa?

Recipe Requests / Puff Pastry
« on: January 18, 2011, 03:01:23 am »
Many recipes on the forum call for the use of puff pastry – my impression is that most, or maybe all, commercially produced pastry contains dangerous trans fats (I think with the exception of filo pastry).  I am very leery of purchasing pastry because of this and thank goodness that there are so many great pastry recipes on this forum to make instead of having to rely on the supermarket varieties.

Does anyone have a recipe for puff pastry made on the TMX – or is it just a short pastry rolled and re-rolled lots of times with knobs of butter in between?  I’ve never made puff pastry, and only started making TMX pastry a couple of weeks ago, so I’m a complete novice at this.

Also, the recipes that have puff pastry in them ask for “1 sheet”.  If I feel brave enough to make my own puff pastry, can you give me an idea of just how big one sheet is?


CHRISTMAS / Storage time for Chocolate Salami
« on: November 24, 2010, 10:29:35 pm »
I did my "trial" (read "tasting" for "trial") of this a week or two ago - it's a great recipe and very easy.   See the thread at

The rolling out went well; I didn't have a sushi mat, but that didn't seem to make too much of a difference to the appearance of the end product.  I used Tia Maria as that was all I had.  The only change I would make would be to toss in a few extra cranberries as they make a lovely taste contrast.

Anyway, I am planning on making some for Xmas gifts this year but will be on a tight time schedule during December so I wonder if anyone knows the shelf life of the salami (assuming you can contain your "taste checks" for the duration) so that I can plan my making day/s.

Many thanks

Introduce Yourself / Joined at last
« on: November 18, 2010, 08:17:33 am »
I got my TMX earlier this year but had been avidly following this forum since before it was delivered and constantly since then and I just couldn't put off joining you any longer - it's quite a big day for me as I have NEVER joined a forum or anything else like that in the past, but you all seem such a great group that I am sure I will have a grand time joining in!

As a relatively new user I've got loads of questions which I will ask eventually, however, I've still been managing to have a great time with my TMX and experimenting with a lot of recipes and, as I am a vegetarian, converting a few to my liking (not always successfully, unfortunately!)

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