To make cold butter spreadable, put the amount you plan to use on a plate. Fill a glass with hot water until it is warm on the outside, then pour out the water, dry quickly, and place the glass over the butter. After about a minute, the butter will be soft and ready.
Defrost Hard Ice Cream
To defrost hard ice cream, heat a sharp knife under warm water, then use it to make one-inch-deep cuts in a grid formation, spacing the lines about an inch apart.
This increases the exposed surface area, speeding up the thawing process. Run a scooper under warm water, and easily serve up each section.
Use Baking Sheets For Freezing Berries
Prevent a mushy mess by freezing berries on a baking sheet in a single layer first. The exposure to the cold freezes them quickly. This prevents the formation of large ice crystals, which destroys cell walls and makes berries lose their structure and become soft when they thaw.
If you mistakenly bought a gallon of milk before going away for a while, freeze it at 0ºF for up to three months. Milk expands when frozen, so you might want to consider pouring out a bit first if the container is full. Thaw in the refrigerator for two to three days.
Puree Avocados Before Freezing
Freezing avocados changes their consistency as they become squishy. Puree them with a food processor and add one teaspoon of lime or lemon juice (these acidic agents prevent browning) per avocado. Store in an airtight container and watch the puree last for five months.
Freeze Tomatoes As Sauces
Preserve summer produce for quick sauces and soups all year. Freeze ripe whole tomatoes in a single layer on a tray with parchment paper. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag, where they can remain viable for up to eight months. To thaw, run under warm water, and the skin will slip right off.
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