I often substitute whole wheat pastry flour for anything that calls for all-purpose flour.  This may not work for recipes that call for cake or bread flour, but feel free to dabble with replacing it for all-purpose.  Once this flour has been opened, I suggest keeping it well contained (so as not to pick up the odorous emanations coming from things that spoil)  in the fridge.  It will go rancid quickly if you house it in your pantry.


Vanilla is one of those ingredients I add to almost anything I bake. Some tricks I know include putting a vanilla bean or two in a container of sugar to make vanilla sugar. I add a little extra vanilla to chocolate chip cookies because I like the flavor. Vanilla is also a great odor absorber. I often come home with less than fresh smelling Tupperware containers.  One can usually eliminate the odors by putting a cotton ball soaked in vanilla in the vessel if they still smell after being cleansed.  This cotton ball trick works at the bottom of your garbage can as well.  While I was waiting in the airport in Costa Rica (not very glamorous, but it is the truth), I found a small glass container of food grade vanilla, which I have used but don’t plan to cook with.  The stuff smells amazing pressed into the pulse points of my wrists.  I will likely never use it to eat because I love smelling devine.  What are your vanilla secrets?


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