Oh, sorry, the story on The Today Show this morning was 5 ways to be a better cook, but, frankly, the tips from my title would have been more useful, except for one authentically great tip. I'll give the others first.
Earlier in the show, Giada showed us how to peel a pineapple. The camera work was poor and she dropped the peel on the ground, which I found endearing, actually.
Later, she showed us how to peel garlic, using a rubber tube (she called it plastic), which I've been using for years. She admitted she had never used it until this morning...then WHY WAS SHE SHOWING US THAT? Dumb! She also showed us the real way she does it, banging it with the flat edge of a knife.
The next cooking dilemma addressed was an acidic tomato sauce. Is that really a major predicament that folks have? The oldest trick in the book is to add a pinch of sugar. Giada peeled some big hunks of carrots and put those in. I've often seen her adding chopped carrots to a tomato sauce, which would be a lot more sensible than an oversized lump of carrot.
She showed us how not to cry from a onion. She cut the ends off and then peeled it under running water. I have NEVER seen her do that on her show and maybe we don't all want wet onions.
This next one was a doozy. To get moist brownies (WHO has a problem with that? Just use a decent recipe and don't overcook them), she adds SODA (albeit fancy Italian soda) to BROWNIE MIX! Giada, your first problem is the brownie mix!!! Do whatever you want in the privacy of your home, but don't go showing us brownie mixes mixed with orange soda in the magnificent demonstration kitchen on the Today Show!!!
Anyway, she likes the orange flavor with the chocolate and sometimes she uses cherry soda. Her husband likes Coke, which can only lead me to believe that she's making this brownie mix every other day because she has so many variations.
The other brownie tip is to prevent them from getting hard. She says not to cut them when they're hot, because you let all the moisture escape. I can't decide if that makes any sense. Does steam escaping from one corner of a brownie pan really effect a brownie 8 inches away? Where is Alton when we need him?
Put hard brown sugar in the microwave covered with plastic wrap (I NEVER cover anything with plastic in the microwave. I use a glass lid or wax paper) for 30 seconds to revive it.
If you're refrigerating a layer cake in its box, put a cut apple in with it to keep the cake moist. (Is this really a pressing problem for people?)
But the tip that WAS useful was this:
Spray the metal blade of your food processor with Pam before using it, so food won't stick to it. (She also reminded us to do that when measuring honey.) THAT is an excellent idea. The way I get gunge off my blade is to empty the food pro of as much of the processed ingredients as I can get to easily. Then I put it back together and pulse it one more time. THAT will clean the blade off beautifully.
Well, I guess if we can't LOOK like her, we can cook like her, except for the brownie mix part...