#1 The other night I only had unsweetened chocolate in the cupboard and I wanted to make chocolate sauce, so I scalded 1/2 cup of milk with 4Tbs. sugar, make sure the sugar disolves, take the pan off the fire, then I whisked in 8 ounces of chopped chocolate to make a velvety chocolate sauce for my homemade ice cream. Add more milk if necessary to get desired consistency.
#2When opening a tricky bottle.... use a nutcracker to twist it open. Like my husband did with this maple syrup bottle. He thought of it!
#3 If you have trouble putting a cork back in a wine bottle use a beer cap. The bottle must be kept upright and it won't seal it like a cork but at least it will keep the contents covered. My husbands tip.
#4 When making polenta, if you make it with haste, and it seems a bit lumpy, like I did the other night, carefully place the contents in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Then place back into the pot and continue cooking.
Photos, text and drawing by Karen Pickus
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2010