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Cooks'  Notebook

Home Economics

In the kitchen, small steps and clever shortcuts can add up to big savings in time and money.
Season's eating's

This the best time of year to say hail to kale, the health-boosting prodigy of the brassica family.

All kale varieties-curly, ornamental and dinosaur (yes really!) - look great on a plate, but it is more than just a pretty veg.  Kale is packed with cancer-fighting phytonutrients (particularly those that protect against breast and ovarian cancer).  It's also rich in beta-caratene (which helps prevent skin diseases).
Advance Planning

To minimize time spent thawing staples and leftovers, portion foods before they go in to a deep freeze.  Slice bagels in half and loaves of bread into thirds; downsize a package of bacon into packs of just a few strips; create single servings of soup; and wrap up individual pieces of chicken or fish.
Waste Not

What to do with scant amounts of extra stock, gravy, pesto, lemon juice, and wine?  Freeze them in ice-cube trays and rely on them to add oomph to weeknight meals.  Pack frozen cubes in a resealable plastic bag.
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Cake flour


Superfine sugar

Confectioners' sugar

Light or Dark-brown sugar


All purpose flour.  To every 1 cup all purpose flour, add 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

"Soured" milk.  To every 1 cup of whole milk, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar.

Granulated sugar.  Process granulated sugar in a blender or food processor until powdery, about one minute.

Superfine sugar.  To every 1 cup superfine sugar, add 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

Granulated sugar.  To every 1 cup granulated sugar, add 1 tablespoon light molasses or 2 tablespoons dark molasses.