Cupcake Hack Time!

Cupcake hack time! The next time you bake a batch of cupcakes, try adding a little uncooked rice into the wells of the cupcake pan before placing the cupcake liners. The rice grains will soak up moisture and result in less greasy cupcake liner bottoms. It also helps the cupcakes bake more evenly. Have you tried this trick?

Maximize Your Blueberries

Whether acquiring fresh blueberries from the grocery store, farmers market, or a you-pick blueberry farm, maximize freshness by waiting to wash them until right before eating. Unlike other berries that can benefit from a quick water and white vinegar soak right when you get home, blueberries actually have their own natural protective coating called a bloom (that's what that waxy white-ish layer on their surface is)! Washing them immediately removes this protective layer, so this is one berry where procrastinating on washing is to your benefit

Pre-Salting Cabbage

Keep cabbage in coleslaw crispy and avoid watery dressing at the bottom of the bowl by pre-salting the cabbage! Once a cabbage is shredded, sprinkle it with about a tablespoon of salt and toss to coat. Let the salted cabbage sit in a colander over a bowl for about an hour. At this point the salted cabbage can be rinsed and dried in a salad spinner or by squeezing out water with a towel. Proceed with your favorite coleslaw recipe and enjoy a perfectly prepared side dish! What's your favorite coleslaw combo? Let us know in the comments!

Homemade Jam Tip

When making homemade jam, check to see if the jam is ready to be canned by placing a plate in the freezer. Once the pectin has been activated and the jam boiled, test it by placing a dollop of jam on the frozen plate. Wait a minute for it to cool and solidify, and then swipe your finger through the dollop, creating two separate sides. If the jam stays separated and you continue to see the plate where your finger ran through it, it is ready to be canned. If the jam seeps back together, continue boiling for another 1-2 minutes and then try this method again. Note. Be sure not to overboil or the jam will be rock hard! We'd love to hear your canning tips in the comments below!

A Smoother Smoothie Experience

Did you know the order of ingredients makes a big difference when concocting a smoothie? It's true! Add liquids first and solids second. The spinning vortex created by the liquid ingredients will pull the solid ingredients down into the mix, making for a perfectly blended smoothie without any fuss or pushing and prodding solid foods toward the blender blades. What smoothies are you enjoying this summer?

Campfire Rice Krispie Treats

Bring a batch of Rice Krispie treats on your next camping trip and enjoy them in a whole new way. Pop a Rice Krispie treat onto the end of a stick the same way you would a marshmallow, hold it over the fire until it starts to char, and you'll end up with a delicious toasty take on this classic dessert bar. Are you going camping this summer? What are some of your favorite foods to prep over the fire?

How To Store Tomatoes

We love tomato season, and the way tomatoes are stored has a big impact on their flavor and longevity. Make beautiful heirloom tomatoes last as long as possible by keeping them on the counter, out of direct sunlight, and turned stem and shoulders down. This will keep tomatoes in top form until ready to consume!

Keep Sliced Fruit From Browing

Keep your apple and pear slices looking fresh on a cheese platter with a 10 minute dip in cold salty water (1 tsp salt to 1 cup water). After the slices have soaked, rinse them in cold water to eliminate any salty flavor, pat dry, and improve the look of just sliced fruit for hours. This method is ideal when prepping apples and pears for anything from cheese boards to school lunches.

Taking Car of Cast Iron

We love to cook with cast iron! To take proper care of your cast iron, here are 4 easy steps: 1. Wait for the cast iron to fully cool before cleaning. Then, scrape off any hard bits of food and wash with warm water, a small amount of dish soap and a sponge. 2. Dry thoroughly (this step is very important because water left on cast iron can lead to rust!) 3. Re-season (if it is looking dull) by using a paper towel to wipe the inside of the pan with a thin layer of oil, place in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 1 hour. 4. Store in a cool, dry place.

A Tasty Rice Tip

Before cooking rice - toast it for an extra nutty flavor! Heat it on the stovetop in a cast iron or non-stick pan with a little butter and salt until it browns slightly and begins to smell nutty. Then, cook as usual and enjoy the benefits of the extra flavor! Add even more savoriness by using chicken stock instead of water