Kitchen

My Memories of Rice

I grew up eating rice only occasionally, and when my mother did make it, it was simple: one cup of rice with one cup of water, with half of a jalapeno thrown in. It was so unmemorable that I don’t even remember what we usually ate it with. I was exposed to your standard beans and rice, the rice that comes on the side of Mexican food, but it wasn’t until I moved to Washington, D.C., that I started to discover the magic of Persian and Afghani polows, Cuban Moros y Cristianos, and the delight of Teaism’s coconut rice pudding.

middle east rice cuisine

In the Middle East, rice often holds near mystical rank on the dinner table, where it can come as a simple staple, mounded around a whole roasted lamb, or jeweled with nuts, dried fruit, herbs and meat. Nearly every dish has a traditional rice side it is served with. A delicious Egyptian lunch of fried fish would not be complete without a side of rice prepared with onions and tomato paste.

In Iraq, rice can be an emotional subject. When you talk to Iraqi expatriates and refugees and about their home, the topic of Iraq’s aromatic, unique and sadly disappearing rice might come up. Ethnic strife, repeated wars, water politics and environmental degradation have combined to decimate Iraq’s agricultural production, forcing Iraqis to import rice from countries such as India, China and the United States. However, Iraqis never stop longing for the aromatic allure of Amber rice, grown in small quantities in the country’s south. Those from Mosul might speak of the large, dark grains of Naggaza rice, produced in the north.

My favorite Iraqi rice dish is Timman Bagila, or fava bean rice. Whenever I see fresh fava beans and dill at the farmers market I want to make this, though I rarely see them both at the same time. While living in Lebanon, I wrote a blog post featuring my own Timman Bagila recipe using lamb shanks. This dish is a bit of a process, but none of the steps are complicated or difficult. While not as traditional, using chicken thighs produces a bit lighter but just as tasty meal! Click here for the recipe.

Kitchen

A Guide To Quality Knives

Chefs are only as good as the tools they use, so having access to quality knives is critical whether you are preparing food for an elegant dinner party or the next family meal. Purchasing knives can be challenging because of the large number of options available. While there are many different specialized knives designed for performing specific tasks, our basic kitchen knife guide addresses the three basic tools that can do it all. Check here for the five knives you need for the kitchen.

knives

Paring Knife

Most paring knives have a blade length of two to four inches. This is the ideal tool for small jobs, including chopping green onions, radishes, cherry tomatoes and other small vegetables. The sharp point is useful for removing eyes from potatoes, hulling strawberries, and other delicate jobs. Most chefs prefer a spear-shaped paring knife, although they are available in a variety of other shapes.

Bread Knife

The bread knife is from 10 to 12 inches long and is scalloped or serrated along the length of the blade. The teeth allow you to slice cleanly through foods that require you to use a sawing motion. In addition to cutting through bread without squashing it, you can use a bread knife to cut into pineapples and other fruits with hard rinds.

Chef’s Knife

Almost any professional cook will tell you that the chef’s knife is the workhorse of the kitchen. This type of knife can handle every other cutting task in your kitchen. Most chefs prefer a blade from eight to 10 inches but they can be as short as six inches or as long as 12 inches. Different designs are available to suit different cutting techniques. A Japanese-style knife has a straight edge and curved spine while a French-style knife has a thin, triangular blade especially designed for slicing.

You can go ahead and purchase an expensive butcher block full of specialty knives that you are never going to use, but you do not have to. You will receive more value for your money if you spend a little more on three high quality knives. With a paring knife, a bread knife and a chef’s knife, you are ready to tackle any cooking project, big or small. Check out this quick guide for more.

Further reading:
Ceramic or metal knives – a comparison

Kitchen

The espresso machines for your $200 budget

$200 is an interesting price point when it comes to espresso machines because when you factor in a decent discount you are able to find one or two models that include some really solid features.
You can find plenty of Nespresso and other Pod style coffee machines for under $200 but they are fairly restricted as to what you can do with them, so we won’t include those styles of machine in our analysis today. However if you are interested in Nespresso machines specifically then please take a look here.

espresso-at-home
To save you time figuring out which might be the espresso machines for your $200 budget, we have narrowed our analysis down to two of the most popular and best selling models for this price. The DeLonghi EC702 and the Cuisinart EM-200.

Let’s take a quick look at them side by side before we delve deeper into their features.
So, on the face of it there are one or two slight differences between the two models. The standouts being that the Cuisinart has almost a 50% larger water tank, meaning you will be able to pump out more coffees without needing to refill as often. This may or may not be a problem for you.

The other main difference looking at the list above is the individual thermostats for the water tank and the steam wand that the DeLonghi has. This can offer more control over your espresso making process because you will be able to precisely control both separately.

making espresso

Thirdly, at the time of writing this, the DeLonghi is around $25 cheaper based on heavy Amazon discounts. The Cuisinart does have a much higher RRP however at $450 compared to $350 for the DeLonghi, so you are actually getting a bigger discount on the Cuisinart.

So whilst this is all well and good, what we’ve told you so far probably hasn’t helped you make up your mind, so lets take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of both of these models based on the heaps of customer feedback these espresso machines have received online. (Shared from Coffee Lovers 101)

What’s good about these espresso machines?
DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker, Stainless
Solid and stylish construction
Easy to clean
Good auto tamping feature
Heats up quickly
Great frother

Cuisinart EM-200 Programmable 15-Bar Espresso Maker, Stainless Steel
Excellent consistency in temperature
Steam wand is great (with a little practice)
Automatic shut-off
Automatic pressure relief valve
Programmable

We didn’t include “great tasting coffee” in the lists above because taste is subjective and the quality of your coffee depends on so much, including following the instructions of the espresso machine correctly. So we think that these two machines have the ability to create equally great coffee if all else is equal. The benefits really come down to convenience and not taste.

 

Kitchen

Shop for the espresso machine that’s right for you

making latte

Depending on what types of drinks you’re looking to make (e.g. straight espresso or cappuccino, or both?) and how many cups at a time, you can get an espresso machine that has all your desired faculties and specialties. You’ll have to know the answers to some questions, however, if you want to get the best one for the money. Here are a few guide questions that help you shop for the best espresso machine that’s right for you.

Steam-driven or Pump-driven?

The very first espresso machines worked on a steam-pressure basis, and many of them are still in use today. These types of machines allow steam pressure to force water through the ground coffee beans to produce delicious espresso. The downside is that they’re not capable of providing accurate temperature control that’s needed to create genuine espresso. They do cost less than pump-driven machines, so they are appealing to budget-conscious buyers.

Pump-driven espresso machines make use of an electric pump rather than the steam-generated pressure mentioned above. Pump-driven machines have two categories that they fall under:

Super-automatic espresso machine
Semi-automatic espresso machine
It’s common sense for most buyers to think that anything that’s called “super” is the better option, but this isn’t necessarily the case with espresso machines. The more important question is which one is better for you.

Semi-Automatic or Super-Automatic?

Let’s take a look at the difference between a semi-automatic espresso machine and a super-automatic one.

Semi-automatic machines are the perfect choice for espresso connoisseurs. These types of machines are ideal for people who want to get the best quality and taste our of their machine and don’t have a problem with waiting a little longer or putting in a little more effort. The advantage here is that you have more control over the subtle differences that goes into creating your own unique and favorite version of espresso.

For super-automatic espresso machines, they don’t offer the same highly-customized taste when preparing espresso, but they do offer some control over the final product. This is perfect for consumers who are always on the go and would prefer convenience over control.

What price am I willing to pay for an espresso machine?

Let’s talk money. Are you okay with an espresso machine that doesn’t offer much customizability? Would you prefer convenience over control? As we’ve already discussed above, you have to be prepared to pay for a few hundred dollars more if you’re a true espresso connoisseur to the bone. Most of the units you’ll find on Amazon are under $1,000, which means that they will mostly be single-boilers, dual-use setups, which make use of a single thermostat to control the water temperature. Expect to pay over $2,000 if you want to purchase a dual-boiler espresso machine, which aren’t commonly used in the US because the 110V North American power outlets can’t always handle the energy needs of these espresso machines. Be sure to check the best espresso maker reviews before you buy.

Espresso is an obsession for many, and a passion for many more. There are those who have a hobby of collecting espresso cups while others are more keen on experimenting on the machines. Whatever your unique relationship with espresso, you’ll be sure to experience pure joy with the aroma and taste of genuine espresso touching your lips with every sip.

(Learn more: Applianceauthority.org)

Kitchen

I’m very pleased to purchased this cookware set

cuisinart-77-10-chefs-classic-stainless-10-piece-cookware-set

I purchased this cookware set about 1 year ago. My husband and I are both big cookers, eating in at least 6 days per week. I tried one of the stainless skillets first and was very disappointed at how everything we cooked stuck and left stains. Ended up purchasing this set and have been very pleased. Nothing sticks, very easy and quick to wash up. Coulding be happier. The set is very sturdy and I anticipate this being the last set of cookware I will need to purchase.

I have now had the cookware set for almost 1 year. The cookware still looks almost new. Food does not stick, there are no scratches in the non-stick surface for food and bacteria to cling to. The anodized finish on the outside remains a dark matte finish. I highly recommend this set of cookware! This is my first set of really nice cookware and I am thoroughly pleased with the quality. It is a beautiful set of cookware and I look forward to cooking now because the pans cook so evenly and are so easy to clean. I was a little concerned that the handles would get hot, but that has not been an issue. I would recommend this cookware to anyone who wants a nice set of pots and pans at a reasonable price.

I was using Visions by Corning before this set. The only benefit to the Visions over this set is the pots and pans are stackable when you turn the lid upside down. I cannot stack this set since the lids are rounded and slide when upside down, so I have to reserve an entire 2-shelf cabinet to store these. No problem since I have the space for them, but may be a concern if you do not. However, the non-stick feature is AMAZING. I have purchased supposed non-stick pans in the past, but they would flake off or scratch within a few months. This set is extremely durable, and I expect this to last me a lifetime (fingers crossed). It feels heavy in your hand, and the handle does not get hot even if the pot is boiling water. I am a horrible cook, and I burn a lot of food, but this set stands up to my abuse. My pasta no longer sticks to the bottom of the pot, and the pan forgives me when I do not put enough oil in and start burning my fried chicken. Everything cleans up in just a few minutes, even when I do burn my food (I really need to learn how to cook). My only other con besides non-stackable is that you cannot tip the lid to let out steam. I cannot seem to get the lid to rest on the pot properly to vet it, and it seems to slip back in to place. Perhaps that shows how awesome the non-stick feature is!! Also, the lid vibrates a lot when I boil water, which is not a problem, just an observation. Once I learn to cook, I shouldn’t have any of these issues!
One small dark stain on the bottom of the skillet I use the most. Still looks great. Finish is still in great condition. Couldn’t be happier.

More articles:

 

Kitchen

Is a Sharp Knife a Dangerous Knife?

There are a fair few knife myths flying around the internet, so I thought I would tick them off one by one explaining the origins of the myth (if I can find it)

whether or not you should believe in it (the answer will most likely and most often be no!)

And just how to avoid the probable mishap that will befall you if you don’t hop over a hill 10 times at midnight holding a 30cm Cook’s Knife aloft while reciting ’Final Count Down’ dressed in a onesie*….

sharp knife
Hello, I am very sharp, which is just what you need!

So, you’re stood in your kitchen, chopping away and tears are streaming down your face. Are you chopping onions? No. You are chopping, shall we say, a carrot.

So why the tears? What could possibly be the matter? The answer dear readers, are the 6 plasters on assorted fingers from the cuts you have endured whilst attempting to cut said carrot. To your credit you have wiped the board clearing away any evidence of your mishap and carried on with steely determination in your quest for culinary nirvana.

But even though it is popular to give blood, sweat and tears for the cause – not my preference I’ll admit – you needn’t suffer!

The solution? A SHARP KNIFE!!!!

Contrary to some peoples fears, a sharp knife is the safest possible tool to use in the kitchen. A blunt knife will simply slip off of the food and lodge itself in your beleaguered digits!

A sharp knife however will glide through your food leaving your fingers free from harm and carrying you all the way to culinary bliss!

But, if you should happen to cut yourself, which unfortunately is always a possibility, you will find it hurts a lot less if you do so with a sharp knife and also the cut will heal a lot faster as their is less tearing!

So there you have it, be afraid no longer! Buy a sharp knife and sharpen you dull knife now with a knife sharpener. Read about knife sharpeners here.

Want to have grab a sharp knife to continue on your culinary odyssey? Then visit us here.

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A Compilation of Small Rice Cooker Reviews

I was looking for a small rice cooker earlier. A small rice cooker will be able to cook small amounts of rice without wasting too much energy. I’m deciding between two small rice cookers, the Black and Decker and the Oster.

Here is a compilation of reviews from users that I found helpful.

Black & Decker RC3406

“I am very impressed with this rice cooker. Many of the reviews for other brands were not very encouraging. I thought that Black and Decker has never let me down, so I gave it a shot. I measure exactly as directed on the instructions and the rice comes out perfect. I even substitute broth for the water and add my own blends of spices based on my cravings that particular evening. The cleanup is fantastic. I am going to buy one for my daughter and grandson this Christmas. We have used this cooker about 12 times now and the results are consistent. Please note the smaller size of this unit if you cook very large amounts of rice at one time.
** I have now owned this cooker for 7 months and am still amazed at how well it works. It remains so easy to clean up even after using it about 2-3 times per week. It has always produced perfect rice. And, that is even when I add lots of different items for a variety of rice dishes.” By Cindy M

“Okay first let me say I picked this cute little rice cooker up at a church sale. It looked brand new, and for the low, low price of $2.00 I said “might as well”.

It did not come with instructions, but I stumbled on a quick recipe for black beans and rice in a rice cooker and decided to give it a test run. I used 1 cup of rice (rinsed), 1 can rotel (drained), 1 can black beans (rinsed, drained), and 1 (14.5 ounce) can of chicken broth. I placed everything in the pot and it came up to the top line…then I happened to glance at the negative reviews.

Now a little afraid…I put a baking pan under the cooker and expected it to not turn on, boil over everywhere, or at worst burn a hole through the table.

What it did was make one full pot of terrific rice, perfectly cooked to my taste and without ANY mess.

So far, so good.” By amazon customer

Oster 4722

“I bought this thinking it would take up so much less space on my counter top than the other model I had in mind. I got home to use it and was so disappointed until I read a comment someone else made about a review. It did sputter and spit and shoot rice water on my counter and the rice seemed to stick-the trick is to add a little butter or oil of your choice and a little salt. Now it works like a charm! I usually add liquids and butter first, then the rice. I start it up an hour or two before I want to actually eat the rice, or even longer. I’ve let it run for 3-4 hours before. It keeps the rice nice and warm all that time. I use this about every day-we love rice and I just started a gluten free diet so I’m eating more rice instead of noodles. I’m glad I checked the reviews after the initial disappointment. This one is a keeper.” By C. Preston

What you do all think? Which small rice cooker should I get?

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What is the Best Chef Knife?

THE CHEF’S KNIFE is the indispensable multi-tool of the kitchen. It slices, it dices. It minces, juliennes and de-bones. But it also goes well beyond its intended uses. Need to open a bag of spinach? Break the seal on your sous vide salmon? Pop the cap off a beer? You’re covered.
chef knife

We tested eight knives over three weeks, selecting the most popular models and pinging chef friends for their personal best kitchen knife. We stuck mostly with 8-inch blades, the sweet spot for the classic chef’s knife. Testing involved the stuff you’d do in your own kitchen — peeling, filleting, dicing, chopping, cubing, slicing and all the other standard prep work for meats and vegetables.

Like all great designs, the chef’s knife is simple, and its wide-ranging utility might account for its basic shape remaining relatively unchanged over the years. There have been small innovations: new metals, better handle design, some blades roll a bit more, some are thicker, others thinner. But the standard prevails: a slim, 8-inch triangular blade with a curved cutting edge and a heel tall enough to pinch tightly.

There’s no best knife for everyone. The size of your hands, how you hold the knife, and what you tend to do most in the kitchen determine things like which handle type is preferable, and what weight you’ll need. The less-obvious traits, like upkeep requirements and how well the knife holds an edge over time, set the great knives apart from the mediocre, and should be considered by every buyer.

Let’s begin with the best: the Korin Gyutou ($100), a high-carbon steel Japanese-style chef’s knife.

This is the Bugatti Veyron of knives. It feels like an extension of the hand, something that sprang out of your skin à la Wolverine, slicing through a half-frozen, inch-thick round steak like it’s a kappa maki. The carbon steel blade makes precision cutting feel so natural, you want to make every slice an absolutely perfect slice. The Korin commands respect — it not only cries out for your best knife skills, but it shames you into stepping up your game. A few minutes with this knife, and you’ll feel like you need to go practice your fundamentals.

If you’ve got man hands, the Richmond Addict ($170) is the knife for you.

It’s the biggest knife of the bunch, but at 6 ounces, it’s also one of the lightest I tested. Couple that low weight with a very high 55-millimeter heel that ensures big knuckles are never mashed on the cutting board while gripping the handle, and you have the ideal knife for big hands.

The Richmond’s blade was satisfyingly sharp out of the box and held an edge well through three weeks of testing. It’s also on the thin side (2.25 mm), so it has a nice bite to it as you come down on vegetables and herbs. Of course, that thinner blade means it’s not quite as well suited to disjointing a chicken.

The Miyabi series of knives from Zwilling J.A. Henckels is an attempt to hybridize Japanese design and blade types with western-style utility. There are dozens of knives under the Miyabi brand; I tested the Artisan SG2 ($140), a stainless steel chef’s knife that’s hammered and honed to look like a katana sword.

The Miyabi knives are aimed at cooks who want the fine edge, thin profile and precision feel of the Korin, but without the fuss of a carbon steel blade. The resulting knife is quite nice in its own right, though it doesn’t outperform the Korin.

At least the Miyabi is a looker, with Damascus-style markings, a handsome rosewood handle, brass spacers, and other decorative elements. It has a light, delicate feel to it, and the frilly looks make it seem a little dainty. But my test knife arrived with a ridiculously sharp edge, and it had absolutely no problem splitting apart a chicken for Sunday grilling. Also, the textured surface closer to the spine kept any and all food from sticking. One quibble: The long, slightly bulbous rosewood pakkawood handle is comfortable, but, like some others, gets slick when wet or oily.

More choices – http://www.wired.com/

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Top 3 Knife sets you should have

kitchen knife

There is no cog more important than knife for a household cook. There is not much you can do without a knife in your kitchen. With years of experience in cooking, and using whole new knife sets every now and then, I think I have finally found the right combination. I am going to share with you the best knife sets that you should have in your kitchen.

I have an obsession with Zwilling J A Henckels and it’s because of the quality artwork that they provide. Being in the business for over 200 years, they know exactly how a knife should be. The Henckels Twin Pro S “8” Knife Set with welded handle and extremely sharp blade is recommended for cleaning and slicing vegetables, meat, bread and fruits etc. The limited time guarantee and very affordable price (around $350) makes it a complete heartthrob. This is a jack of all trade knife; you can virtually do anything with it. That’s why! It has been my top preference since years.

If you are looking for not just usefulness but also elegance then the Global 7 Piece Knife Block Set is your good to go knife set. This 5 piece Japanese set is good for both professionals and beginners alike. Extremely lightweight with hollow handles, sleek shape and with a ice-hardened stainless steel, this can be a very useful and stylish addition to your kitchen cutlery. This set is a collection of Cook, vegetable, paring, utility and Santoku knives. The price is also very affordable at around $400

Now if you are looking for something that is well within your budget then the Lakeland forged knife set is for you. Listed at a very meager price of £68, this five set riveted handle knife set could really make your day. This has been my pick for years whenever there were budget constraints. The carbon stainless forged steel is excellent for garnishing, cleaning vegetables and skinning fruits etc.

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Tips for Storing Vegetables

canning-realsimple-com

The Berkeley Farmers Market has put together a huge list of ways to store produce without plastic. The market went plastic-free last year and is doing everything it can to encourage customers to not only bring their own bags and containers but to skip the plastic when they get home as well. The information is listed below. Always remove any tight bands from your vegetables or at least loosen them to allow them to breath.

Artichokes- place in an airtight container sealed, with light moisture.
Asparagus- place them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature. (Will keep for a week outside the fridge)
Avocados- place in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening- place an apple in the bag with them.
Arugula- arugula, like lettuce, should not stay wet! Dunk in cold water and spin or lay flat to dry. Place dry arugula in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to absorb any extra moisture.
Basil- is difficult to store well. Basil does not like the cold, or to be wet for that matter. The best method here is an airtight container/jar loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside-left out on a cool counter.
Beans, shelling- open container in the fridge, eat ASAP. Some recommend freezing them if not going to eat right away
Beets- cut the tops off with a kitchen knife to keep beets firm, (be sure to keep the greens!)by leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making them loose flavor and firmness. Beets should be washed and kept in and open container with a wet towel on top.
Beet greens- place in an airtight container with a little moisture.
Broccoli- place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.
Broccoli Rabe- left in an open container in the crisper, but best used as soon as possible.
Brussels Sprouts- If bought on the stalk leave them on that stalk. Put the stalk in the fridge or leave it on a cold place. If they’re bought loose store them in an open container with a damp towel on top.
Cabbage- left out on a cool counter is fine up to a week, in the crisper otherwise. Peel off outer leaves if they start to wilt. Cabbage might begin to loose its moisture after a week , so, best used as soon as possible.
Carrots- cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they’re stored that long.
Cauliflower- will last a while in a closed container in the fridge, but they say cauliflower has the best flavor the day itís bought.
Celery- does best when simply places in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter.
Celery root/Celeriac- wrap the root in a damp towel and place in the crisper.
Corn- leave unhusked in an open container if you must, but corn really is best the day it’s picked.
Cucumber- wrapped in a moist towel in the fridge. If you’re planning on eating them within a day or two after buying them they should be fine left out in a cool room.
Eggplant- does fine left out in a cool room. Don’t wash it, eggplant doesn’t like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage- place loose, in the crisper.
Fava beans- place in an air tight container.
Fennel- if used within a couple days after it’s bought fennel can be left out on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water (like celery). If wanting to keep longer than a few days place in the fridge in a closed container with a little water.
Garlic- store in a cool, dark, place.
Green garlic-an airtight container in the fridge or left out for a day or two is fine, best before dried out.
Greens- remove any bands, twist ties, etc. most greens must be kept in an air-tight container with a damp cloth- to keep them from drying out. Kale, collards, and chard even do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.
Green beans- they like humidity, but not wetness. A damp cloth draped over an open or loosely closed container.
Green Tomatoes- store in a cool room away from the sun to keep them green and use quickly or they will begin to color.
Herbs – a closed container in the fridge to kept up to a week. Any longer might encourage mold.
Lettuce- keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.
Leeks-leave in an open container in the crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on the counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water).
Okra- doesn’t like humidity. So a dry towel in an airtight container. Doesn’t store that well, best eaten quickly after purchase
Onion- store in a cool, dark and dry, place- good air circulation is best, so don’t stack them.
Parsnips-an open container in the crisper, or, like a carrot, wrapped in a damp cloth in the fridge.
Potatoes- (like garlic and onions) store in cool, dark and dry place, such as, a box in a dark corner of the pantry; a paper bag also works well.
Radicchio- place in the fridge in an open container with a damp cloth on top.
Radishes- remove the greens (store separately) so they don’t draw out excess moisture from the roots and place them in a open container in the fridge with a wet towel placed on top.
Rhubarb-wrap in a damp towel and place in an open container in the refrigerator.
Rutabagas- in an ideal situation a cool, dark, humid root cellar or a closed container in the crisper to keep their moisture in.
Snap peas- refrigerate in an open container
Spinach- store loose in an open container in the crisper, cool as soon as possible. Spinach loves to stay cold.
Spring onions- Remove any band or tie and place in the crisper.
Summer Squash- does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut.
Sweet peppers- Only wash them right before you plan on eating them as wetness decreases storage time. Store in a cool room to use in a couple a days, place in the crisper if longer storage needed.
Sweet Potatoes- Store in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place. Never refrigerate–sweet potatoes don’t like the cold.
Tomatoes- Never refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness place in a paper bag with an apple.
Turnips- remove the greens (store separately) same as radishes and beets, store them in an open container with a moist cloth.
Winter squash-store in a cool, dark, well ventilated place. Many growers say winter squashes get sweeter if they’re stored for a week or so before eaten.
Zucchini- does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.

Tips for storing fruits here.