Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Some Kitchen Tips...

Strawberry Tip: Wash freshly picked strawberries & then take a wide plastic straw and insert it at the bottom of a strawberry–then push the stem out.

Measuring Tip: Rinse measuring cup in hot water before using syrup, oil, etc. Will pour out clean and not stick to cup.

Sugar In Fruit Pies: When making pie, sprinkle the sugar under the fruit instead of on top. This prevents pie from boiling over.

Baking Fruit Pies: Cut four small slits into top pie crust and stand one piece of tubed pasta into each slit (choose pasta at least 2 or 3 inches long–cannelloni and cut ziti work well). The juices will bubble up the pasta ‘pipe’ and back down into the pie–instead of running all over your oven. Once pie has finished baking, remove pasta.

Neatly Cut Fudge: Use a pizza cutter to easily slice through flats of fudge and candy squares. Make sure the baking has been chilled or thoroughly set before cutting. The process is fast and easy and the result is nice, neat squares.

12.Mashed Potato Warmer: Is there ever enough stove top space when preparing large meals (like at Christmas or Thanksgiving)? Here’s a way to get the mashed potatoes done early and out of the way: Prepare your mashed potatoes an hour or two before serving the meal and store them in the slow cooker (on low heat). Serve with the rest of the meal and they’re still hot and tasty.

Fluff Up Mashed Potatoes: Try adding a healthy pinch of baking powder to the potatoes when mashing them. For fluffier mashed potatoes, use an electric mixer to whip air into them.

Slicing Meat Thin: If you need really thin sliced meat when cooking stir-fry recipes or other dishes, try partially freezing the meat before making your cuts. This will make the meat easier to slice very thin since it will hold firm while slicing, no more uneven cuts from the raw meat mushing underneath the knife blade.

Stop Meat Edges From Curling: When grilling steaks or frying up pork chops, sometimes the edges can curl and the meat no longer sits flat in the pan or on the grill. To help prevent that, just cut a slit in the fat along the edge of the meat every inch or so before cooking.

Baking Soda Test: Do you have an old box of baking soda in the pantry and you’re not sure whether or not it’s still good? Fill a small cup half full with vinegar and drop a teaspoon of baking soda in it. If things start fizzing, the baking soda is active.

Prevent Bacon Spatters: Bacon can be quite a messy item to prepare, try lightly dusting the bacon with flour before frying. This helps prevent the spatters and meat shrinkage.

Veggie Roasting Racks: Try roasting a chicken or roast on top of long slices of celery or carrot sticks. The vegetables act like a roasting rack plus add flavor to the meat. Not only do the veggies work well as a roasting rack, there’s one less item to wash.

Potato Flakes Thickener: Add dried instant potato flakes to homemade soups and sauces to thicken the consistency. This won’t change the flavor at all and is a sure trick when a dish sauce turns out too watery or thin.

How to Keep Cookies Soft: Keep cookies moist and chewy by throwing a few slices of apple in your cookie jar to keep cookies soft. Don’t do this if you like crispy or crunchy cookies.

Use A Pastry Brush To Butter Baking Pans: Use soft butter and a pastry brush to grease decorative cake pans, bundt pans and muffin tins. The brush makes it much easier to get into all the grooves.

Muffin Tin Use: After stuffing peppers and tomatoes, arrange in a muffin tin before sticking them in the oven. They’ll stay upright and keep their shape perfectly! You could also do this with baked apples or other round or stuffed items.

Fill Empty Muffin Tins With Water: If your muffin or cupcake recipe doesn’t fill all the spots in your muffin pan, fill the empty places 3/4 full with water. This will help protect those slots from darkening or getting scorched.

Separate Eggs With A Funnel: If you don’t have an egg separator and need just an egg white or yolk for a recipe, you can use a small kitchen funnel. Crack the egg gently then break into the funnel. The white of the egg will flow through the funnel leaving the yolk behind. No funnel? You could also clip a corner off a ziploc bag and use that as a funnel. Make sure to place the funnel inside a glass so the egg white is contained.

Reuse Nylon Mesh Bags: If you buy veggies that are bagged in nylon mesh, you can use that mesh for various cleaning jobs around the house and yard. Just wad up the bag and use it as a scrubber.

Extra Oven Rack: Take out the extra oven rack when baking and you can use it for the cooling rack. Works for cakes, cookies, hors douvres, whatever you like. If you’re baking smaller items that might fall through, simply cover the rack with tinfoil first (fold foil tightly over the edges). Works like a charm!

If two glasses are stuck together, fill the top glass with cold water and set the bottom glass in hot water. Try to carefully twist the two glasses apart after a minute.

Gravy thickening, sauces, etc., can be made smooth by using a small jar with a tight lid. Put the mixture of milk or water and flour into the jar and shake well until all lumps disappear.

Milk, in being boiled, frequently sticks to the pan. To prevent this, rinse the pan in hot water before using.

2 comments:

  1. Great tips, Karen.

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  2. Karen,
    Head over to Mel's Backyard to collect your "One Lovely Blog" award.

    ReplyDelete