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Archive for Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cold case: Organize your refrigerator

January 15, 2009

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A messy refrigerator can spoil your mood and your food. “You want to keep your fridge as clutter-free as possible so cold air can circulate properly,” says David Kamen, a professor at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Here are some quick and easy fridge organization tips from Family Circle.

Top shelf: Put the most perishable items — such as milk, eggs, sour cream and yogurt — in this cool spot, since it’s closest to the fan.

Upper shelf: For easy access, store last night’s leftovers and ready-to-eat foods here.

Middle shelf: Hot soups or sauces can raise the fridge’s temperature, so let leftovers cool on the counter — no long than two hours — or chill the containers in ice water before refrigerating.

Bottom shelf: Keep raw meats and poultry on the lowest level to prevent juices from dripping onto other foods, which could pose a safety risk. If the veggie crisper is located below the meat drawer in your fridge, put meals in the crisper and veggies in the meat compartment.

Door compartments: Ignore the cute compartments — butter and eggs will quickly lose quality in this too-warm area. Use this space to store nonfood items like batteries, medicines and your favorite cooling eye mask.

Door shelves: Every time you open the refrigerator, items on the door shelves warm up. Use this space for foods that are not so temperature-sensitive, like salad dressing, ketchup and jelly.

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