The Lemon Juice Trick

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Writing my cookbook, I learned a nifty trick from Chef Jonathan Waxman for when you just need a squeeze of lemon. You cut around the lemon like you’re cutting around the core of an apple, leaving the center and creating these flat wedges that squeeze extra easily and produce lots of juice with a minimal amount of seeds. I use that trick all the time, but not when I want to use the juice of a whole lemon. When I want all the juice out of a lemon, like when I’m making a blender salad dressing, I use a technique that makes the job a lot easier, especially if the lemon is full of seeds.

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Bacon For A Crowd

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You have people coming over for breakfast. You want to serve those people bacon. You want the bacon to be hot. You don’t want to fry it because that would require several pans, it would make a mess and it would be hard to manage while entertaining guests. You may think to yourself, “Maybe bacon’s not worth it.” But you would be wrong: bacon’s always worth it! And there’s an easy solution that you should know about; lean in close, and I’ll tell you.

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How To Soften Brown Sugar Without a Microwave

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We’ve all been there. It’s 9 o’clock at night, dinner is over, and suddenly you and your loved ones are craving cookies. All eyes turn to you and you stand up–ready to do the dirty deed–and as you march into the kitchen, confident that you can churn out cookies lickety split, you grab a box of brown sugar only to discover…

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A Cookie Trick

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As much as I miss Diana for her winning personality, I mostly miss her for her cookie sheets. It was with her cookie sheets that we first made the greatest cookies of our lives–you can read the recipe here. Meg of Megnut rejected these cookies when she tried them and called them “too thin,” but I still think they’re the best.

Yesterday I was all set to make them when I made a painful discovery: Diana, despite my efforts to thwart her, remembered to take her cookie sheets. Her cookie sheets, unlike mine, are flat with no sides and the cookies made on them came out perfect every time. The ones made on mine often got burnt around the edges or black underneath–my cookie sheets have sides.

I was almost ready to give up, when I had a “eureka” moment.

“What’s wrong?” asked Craig.

“I’m having a eurkea moment,” I answered.

The eureka was this: I could bake cookies on the BACK of my cookie sheets. Flip them upside down. Lay parchment across them and bake them that way. Look:

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See what I mean?

So I made the batter as usual and, as I revealed in a previous post, I used an ice cream scoop to get the batter on to the sheets:

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I also flattened them with a wet hand, a trick I learned from one of my regular TV shows (Barefoot Contessa)? They went into the 350 degree oven and I was going to switch the sheets after 9 minutes to cook another 9 minutes more, but at that point they were already a perfect golden brown and the edges were dark. So I made the executive decision to take them out 9 minutes early and guess what?

They were fantastic. I mean you saw that picture above, look at this one:

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What more could you want from a cookie? And you can recreate these at home this weekend using my trick. Who needs Diana and her stinkin’ cookie sheets? From now on I will use her for her personality and nothing more.