How to Remove Your Muffins from the Tins

FREE! Make these Strawberry Cream Muffins for your family or friends! Add it to your cart and use code “ZMUFF” at checkout. Claim Your Muffins Back from the Tin! Melissa Tracey was a rockstar in our test kitchen. She graduated from two culinary programs, one in New York and one in Idaho. She knew how to bake. Alas, she’s teaching in Arizona now. “She said the most valuable tool we had in our test kitchen was this long, thin blue (it comes in red also) silicone spatula. It’s long enough, thin enough, and soft enough that you can run it …

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Thirteen Ways to Make Your Sugar Cookies Anything but Ordinary

(Updated From May 13, 2014) Get a FREE Snickerdoodle Mix! Add it to cart and use code “Z145” at checkout. Or Try our Sugarsnap Cookie mix for FREE instead! Add it to cart and use code “ZSNAPS” at checkout. *Only one coupon allowed per order. The sugar cookie is a classic and such a crowd-pleaser. They’re a go-to in my house when we need a sweet treat to share, but when you’ve made hundreds of sugar cookies, there needs to be some sort of variation to keep it interesting. Sugar cookies can be a work of art. I’m not an …

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Thai Mango Salad with Sweet Chili Dressing

Mango salad with fresh mango, peanuts, and sweet mango chili dressing

Thai Mango Salad with Thai Sweet Chili Dressing Recipe I love Thai food. I love the kick that Thai sweet chili brings. I love peanut sauce, even the chopped peanuts. And I love mangos. So, this is a perfect combination with its bright sweet chili and lime dressing and ripe mangos. When we made this in our test kitchen, we served this to customers and employees. (That’s what we do in the test kitchen.) Most loved it! The dressing has a little kick. You can control how much by how much of the pepper that you add. We’re in Idaho–meat and …

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Biscuit Recipes and Articles

Principles for Great Biscuits Ten Tips to Make Perfect Biscuits Five Common Mistakes When Making Biscuits Make-Ahead Biscuits and Scones Biscuits on the Run A Guide to Making Sweet Biscuits Cinnamon Burst Biscuits Cinnamon Breakfast Biscuits Cranberry Orange Biscuits Cranberry Nut Biscuits Apricot Orange Biscuits Cherry Nut White Chocolate Biscuits Cottage Cheese Biscuits Chunky Peanut Butter Biscuits Southern Pecan Biscuits Classic Buttermilk Biscuits Easiest Buttermilk Biscuits Potato and Ranch Biscuits Sour Cream and Chive Potato Biscuits Sweet Potato Biscuits Cheddar Potato Biscuits Fully Loaded Biscuits Cheese and Chive Biscuits How to Make Potato Biscuits Biscuits and Gravy

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Understanding Baking: Banana Nut Bread

There are two major methods for mixing quick breads, muffins, and other batters: The muffin method and the creaming method. With the muffin method, the liquid ingredients are mixed together, the dry ingredients are mixed separately, and then the dry and liquid ingredients are combined with a minimum of stirring. The other major make-up method for quick breads is the creaming method.  In the creaming method, the butter or shortening is creamed with the sugar to entrain air in the batter and make the bread light and tender.  The sugar crystals cut into the butter or shortening creating tiny air …

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Salted Peanut Brittle Recipe

“Best peanut brittle ever,” is what several customers in the store said.  Of course, “free” makes it go a long ways toward “best” but it is very good brittle.  The salt makes it a sweet, salty treat.  We made several batches of this to serve to customers in the store one Saturday.  We made it on parchment paper.  Since we were in a hurry to serve it and it had to be hard to crack, we slipped the parchment paper off the pan onto a shelf in the freezer.  It was hard enough to break and serve in a half …

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Chunky Peanut Butter Biscuits

This is a really good biscuit and was very popular in our store.  It’s not really made with peanut butter.  Instead they are made with peanut butter chips and chopped peanuts.  The background flavor is brown sugar which is perfect.  The turbinado sugar adds crunch. 3 cups just-add-water buttermilk biscuit mix 3/4 cup cool water 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped 2/3 cup peanut butter chips 1/4 cup granulated sugar 2 teaspoons brown sugar flavor melted butter for brushing on the biscuits turbinado sugar for sprinkling Add the peanuts, chips, and the sugar to the mix and stir.  Add the flavor to …

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Oriental Chicken Pasta Salad

This is our favorite pasta salad. With chicken and vermicelli, it is substantial enough for a main dish and has a very nice mixture of subtle flavors with a little kick from the ginger. We’re not sure of the origin of this recipe. It’s definitely oriental and reminds us of Thai cooking—though it really should be made with authentic Thai noodles. We think you will enjoy this recipe. Ingredients 8 to 10 ounces of uncooked vermicelli 1/3 cup mayonnaise 1/3 cup plain yogurt 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground ginger 2 chicken breasts, grilled or …

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A Guide to Making Sweet Biscuits

A sweet biscuit is a cousin to a scone but it’s not as sweet and rich as a scone.  It is often a little sweeter than other biscuits and can be loaded with fruit, nuts, or baking chips.  They are perfect for breakfast or anytime you would like something satisfying without being indulgent. Biscuits are often made with a lot of buttermilk, enough that the tang of buttermilk comes through.  Beyond taste, buttermilk has a functional purpose—to provide leavening.  Buttermilk, an acid, reacts with baking soda, a base to create carbon dioxide bubbles in the dough.  To the extent that …

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Kids’ Party Munch

This works as an after-school snack, as trail mix, or as an after-lunch dessert.  Collaborate with your child to use the ingredients that he or she likes best. 2 cups Chex-type cereal 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries 1/2 cup M&M’s 1/2 cup roasted peanuts Options: Any of the following may be added or substituted in the recipe—other nuts, coconut, miniature marshmallows, peanut M&M’s, dried fruit, or miniature pretzels. Mix the ingredients together in a large bowl.  Store in a tightly covered container. Printable Version

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Kids’ Party Munch

This works as an after-school snack, as trail mix, or as an after-lunch dessert.  Collaborate with your child to use the ingredients that he or she likes best. 2 cups Chex-type cereal 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries 1/2 cup M&M’s 1/2 cup roasted peanuts Options: Any of the following may be added or substituted in the recipe—other nuts, coconut, miniature marshmallows, peanut M&M’s, dried fruit, or miniature pretzels. Mix the ingredients together in a large bowl.  Store in a tightly covered container. Printable Version

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Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

We love stir fries.  They are quick, tasty, and healthy.  This one is flavored with a combination of roast garlic and fresh ginger. Ingredients 3 cloves roasted garlic 1-inch piece ginger 5 green onions 1/2 small head Napa cabbage 2 large, boneless chicken breasts 1/2 of an 8-ounce package of sliced mushrooms 1/8 teaspoon coarse black pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 to 3 tablespoons of soy sauce 1/4 cup roasted peanuts steamed rice or cooked spaghetti Directions To stage the ingredients:  Squeeze the garlic from cloves into a small bowl and mash into a paste with the flat of a …

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Asian Peanut Pizza Recipe

  Italian Pizza Crust Mix Gourmet Thai Peanut Sauce This is a spicy, Asian pizza. If you are adventuresome or like Thai food, try this recipe. This pizza is covered with toppings after the crust is baked, not before. If you don’t have leeks on hand, green onions may be substituted. Ingredients 1 pizza crust mix or recipe made per directions 1/2 cup Thai Peanut Sauce 1/3 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts 1/4 cup sliced leeks 1 pound cooked shrimp or chicken, diced 1 cup shredded mozzarella 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro Directions Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 1. Form …

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Asian Peanut Pizza Recipe

  Italian Pizza Crust Mix Gourmet Thai Peanut Sauce This is a spicy, Asian pizza. If you are adventuresome or like Thai food, try this recipe. This pizza is covered with toppings after the crust is baked, not before. If you don’t have leeks on hand, green onions may be substituted. Ingredients 1 pizza crust mix or recipe made per directions 1/2 cup Thai Peanut Sauce 1/3 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts 1/4 cup sliced leeks 1 pound cooked shrimp or chicken, diced 1 cup shredded mozzarella 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro Directions Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 1. Form …

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Easy Teriyaki Steak

Once marinated, this is a very easy main dish.   Simply grill the steak to the desired doneness using your grill, a grilling fry pan, or your broiler. You can use bottled marinade from the store but it is more fun to make your own.  We tried a number of teriyaki marinade recipes.  We cut the resulting steaks into cubes and paraded crew members (plus an appliance repairmen who was there to replace a microwave) by to try them out.  Everyone voted on the best steak.  The results were not unanimous so our top three are listed below. Ingredients 4 6-ounce …

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A Handful of Kitchen Tips

Too much salt in the soup:  Soup too salty?  Throw a cut-up potato in.  The potato will act like a sponge and soak up the salt.  Throw the potato away before serving.  Soup still too salty?  Sometimes a little lemon juice or vinegar will counter the salt. Substitute for rum:  Recipe call for rum?  Need a substitute?  Pineapple juice makes a great substitute for rum. Slow cooking turkey:  Can you safely slow cook a turkey in the oven overnight?  Probably not.  It’s not safe to cook meats below 325 degrees F. Under-ripe fruit:  Place hard fruit in a brown paper …

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How to Make Monte Cristo Sandwiches with Lingonberry Jam

Dennis Weaver I love Monte Cristo sandwiches.  They are my favorite grilled sandwiches.   But it’s not just the type; I love the combination of ham, cheese, and raspberry jam.  (Traditionally, mustard is added but I usually leave that out.)    But I like lingonberry jam even better.  Usually, I’m pairing lingonberry with turkey but it’s also superb with ham. You can use whatever filling you want.  We’ve even made them with peanut butter and jelly.  But today, we’re using lingonberry jam. Lingonberries are beautiful bright red berries, a cousin to a cranberry, with a unique, intense flavor.  In Scandinavia, they are …

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Summer Pita Pockets Sandwiches

This is a concept more than a recipe; you can add anything that you like to your pita pockets. We built these using fresh strawberries since they are in season. Ingredients 2 pita pocket bread halves 1/4 cup peanut butter 3 spoons coarsely chopped peanuts 3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries optional raisins Directions Open pita halves and spread peanut butter inside the pockets. Put half the chopped peanuts in and move the pita so that the peanuts will stick to the peanut butter. Stuff strawberries and optional raisins into the pockets. Sprinkle with more peanuts. Cream Cheese Pita Pockets Ingredients …

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Oriental Carrot Salad

This is an interesting salad.  The ginger and lemon gives it a just a bit of kick; the raisins add sweetness.  The carrots add crunch.  The peanuts are reminiscent of many Thai dishes. We went easy on the seasoning.  You may wish to add a little more lemon and ginger. Ingredients 1 tablespoons lemon juice 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1/2 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon finely ground fresh ginger 2 cups matchstick carrots 2/3 cup bean sprouts 1/2 cup golden raisins 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro salt and pepper 3/4 cup chopped peanuts Directions Make the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, mayonnaise, …

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Oriental Chicken Pasta Salad

This is our favorite pasta salad. With chicken and vermicelli, it is substantial enough for a main dish and has a very nice mixture of subtle flavors with a little kick from the ginger. We’re not sure of the origin of this recipe. It’s definitely oriental and reminds us of Thai cooking—though it really should be made with authentic Thai noodles. We think you will enjoy this recipe. Ingredients 8 to 10 ounces of uncooked vermicelli 1/3 cup mayonnaise 1/3 cup plain yogurt 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground ginger 2 chicken breasts, grilled or …

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