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Four Easy Kitchen How-Tos

Soften a stick of butter or two

Place butter on a microwave-safe plate in a microwave and cook on high for 20 seconds for 2 sticks, 15 seconds for one.

Defrost a ice cube of baby food

Place in microwave safe bowl and cook on high for 25 seconds. Immediately remove from microwave and stir rapidly, breaking up any ice left into smaller pieces. Transfer to cool dish or container and stir until completely melted. The whole process takes about 1 minute from start to finish.

Make great (and easy) garlic mashed potatoes

Boil 4 medium potatoes (cubed) and 2-3 cloves roughly chopped garlic until soft. Drain. Add 1 tbsp butter. Mash together with potato masher or hand mixer. Add milk slowly while stirring or beating until desired consistency (about ¼ cup works for us). Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

Make perfect rice in a rice cooker

Rinse dry rice until water runs clear. In cooker bowl, stir together rice and water at a 1:2 ratio. Add a dash of olive oil and cook.

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gayle

Thursday 9th of February 2006

I saw one of your posts on Sparkpeople, Cucina bella caught my eye... so i took a peek... glad i did... Rice in the rice cooker is an easy way to make rice that doesn't burn... i don't actually measure out the 1:2 ratio.. if you like sticky rice (asian style) i just rinse the rice a few times by adding water to the rice in the pot.. stirring it around with my hand and then draining it using my hand to catch any rice that is about to fall out... then add water, swirl it so the rice settles flat... lay your fingers gently on top of the rice, if the water level is just over your fingers then its about right... you'll have lovely sticky rice, perfect for making sushi...

Carole

Sunday 15th of January 2006

There was a seafood cuban dish I had in Florida that used Spanish rice that was very yummy. I think it was called Paella. I love spanish rice! You can also make it up with cut up sausage/brats in it. Mmmmmm!

Sarah

Saturday 14th of January 2006

I have yet to find a great recipe for Spanish rice but my rice cooker rice never burns (knock on wood). I would try it in a good rice cooker - I have a Panasonic that I got at Linens n Things and it's fantastic.

Carole

Saturday 14th of January 2006

What about Spanish rice? It always says to use a tight fitting lid but none of my pots have lids that fit tight enough. Do rice cookers have tight fitting lids? What would you suggest? When I use my pots the water all evaporates and then I have burnt rice. I've been adding more water and that seems to be ok but the rice doesn't turn out as well as I would like.

Sarah

Wednesday 11th of January 2006

That's totally the best way to make garlic mashed potatoes - I picked that up from Virginia :)