Ask Leah

Happy Friday, friends! What better way to kick off your weekend than with a new addition to the blog? For all those curious souls out there, here is your chance to ask Leah all the culinary questions that have been on your minds. Starting today, Leah will tackle a new question on Mondays and Fridays related to cooking, baking, and the simple joys of food. After all, cooking should be a delightful experience and an informed cook is a happy cook!

And who am I, you might be asking? My name is Bonnie and I’m the Olive Branch social media intern. I have a love for tasty treats and building positive relationships with others, so I am incredibly excited to be sharing Ask Leah, tweeting and Facebooking with y’all on a regular basis!

Now, let’s move on to the question of the day:

What does one do with leftovers? How long can I keep them before they go bad?

(Leah gets this question a shocking amount, so much so that she wrote a blog about it in October 2009!)

So you brought home a steak from a restaurant, or you have uncooked chicken that’s been sitting in your refrigerator for a few days and you’re wondering if it’s still safe to eat.

A good rule of thumb is if it’s been inhabiting your fridge for more than seven days, cooked or uncooked, throw it away.

If it starts to grow mold or change colors, throw it away.

If your fridge is warmer than 42 degrees (check with a refrigerator thermometer), throw it away. Bacteria thrives between 40 – 140 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s incredibly important to ensure that cold foods stay cold and hot foods stay appropriately warm.

If that uncooked chicken sitting in your fridge is nearing its expiration date, cook it and then freeze it to extend it’s shelf life.

If it’s been sitting on your counter for more than four hours, don’t risk it.

Most importantly, if you’re concerned about it, then throw it out! Odd odors, colors, mold simply aren’t healthy. Don’t risk being out of commission for days due to avoidable food poisoning. Shockingly, most food poisoning happens at home rather than in a restaurant.

Next Monday, Leah will address all your cookie baking woes. Chocolate chip cookies turning out crispy and flat rather than fluffy and gooey? Leah has the answer!

Stay safe, friends and happy cooking!

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