Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Helpful kitchen tips...

To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh~if it rises to the surface, throw it away.

Keep the linings from cereal boxes~they make great substitutes for waxed paper!

To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes!

Use a meat baster to "squeeze" your pancake batter onto the hot griddle~ perfect shaped pancakes every time!

Use lifesavers candy to hold candles in place on your next birthday cake! Kids love 'em!

Poke an egg with a small sewing needle before hard-boiling, and the egg will peel with ease! And hold that needle in place with a magnet refrigerator clip!

Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips!

Zap garlic cloves in the microwave for 15 seconds and the skins slip right off!

To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling!

Use a pastry blender to cut ground beef into small pieces after browning!

Sweeten whipped cream with confectioners' sugar instead of granulated sugar~it will stay fluffy and hold it's shape better!

For easy "meatloaf mixing", combine the ingredients with a potato masher!

If you don't have enough batter to fill all cupcake tins, pour 1 tablespoon of water into the unfilled spots...this helps preserve the life of your pans!

To easily remove honey from a measuring spoon, first coat the spoon with nonstick cooking spray!

Run your hands under cold water before pressing Rice Krispies treats in the pan~the marshmallow won't stick to your fingers!

Mash and freeze ripe bananas, in one-cup portions, for use in later baking~no wasted bananas (or you can freeze them whole, peeled, in plastic baggies)

To quickly use that frozen juice concentrate, simply mash it with a potato masher~no need to wait for it to thaw!

To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing!

Spray your tupperware with non-stick cooking spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces~no more stains!

Transfer your jelly to a small plastic squeeze bottle~no more messy, sticky jars or knives! This also works well for homemade salad dressing!

Save your store-bought-bread bags and ties~they make perfect storage bags for homemade bread!

When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead~no white mess on the outside of the cake!

Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator it will keep for weeks!

When making bread, substitute non-dairy creamer for the dry milk~it works just as well! Rinse cooked, ground meat with water when draining off the fat~this helps "wash away" even more fat!

Slicing meat when partially frozen makes it easier to get thin slices.

Instead of throwing away bread heels or leftover cornbread, use them to make bread crumbs. For use later, store them in the freezer.

Substitute half applesauce for the vegetable oil in your baking recipes~you'll greatly reduce the fat content! (Example: 1/2 cup vegetable oil = 1/4 cup applesauce + 1/4 cup oil)

To ripen avocados and bananas, enclose them in a brown paper bag with an apple for 2-3 days!

Brush beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful, glossy finish!

In recipes calling for margarine, substitute reduced-calorie margarine to help cut back on fat! (Same goes with sour cream, milk, cheese, cream cheese, and cream soups)

Place a slice of bread in hardened brown sugar to soften it back up!

When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corns natural sweetness!

Don't throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

If you have problem opening jars: Try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy!

Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.

To take the tears out of chopping onions: Plug in a portable fan and turn it to high. It'll help blow away the fumes from your eyes - no more tears!

Don't panic if your soup's too salty: Add cut raw potatoes and throw them away once they are cooked and have absorbed the salt. Your soup's saved!

Instead of throwing away a sponge that has a stale odor, simply toss it in the dishwasher and wash it with the next load of dishes. It will come out clean and fresh smelling and will kill any bacteria in the sponge, so it's a good idea to toss your sponges into the dishwasher often.

Save celery leaves. Spread them out on paper towels or a paper plate and let them dry. Crumble them into soups, salads and stuffing's. They will add an extra zippy flavor for free.

Make giant ice cubes in muffin tins or plastic margarine bowls. These are perfect for using in picnic coolers or punch bowls. They look pretty and keep your drinks or food cold longer.

Don't throw those single serving gelatin plastic cups away, make your own single servings. Place the cups in a muffin holder, fill the cups and place in the refrigerator. It only takes a few minutes and no mess.

Fruit Freshener - Use 2 vitamin C tablets in a big bowl of water...let them dissolve and stir...dunk any veggie or fruit and it will stay fresh for a couple of weeks and vitamin C won't hurt you either! Try it out on a potato... dunk the potato and leave it out on the sink..it won't discolor... It's the short version of "fruit fresh ".

Cottage cheese will remain fresher longer if you store it upside down in the refrigerator. This slows the effects of oxidation.

To keep milk past it's expiration date add salt. A pinch of salt in a gallon will do it. The salt slows the rate of bacteria growth.

Brown sugar will not harden if stored in the freezer.

If you freeze wild rice it will last 3-4 months compared to a week in the refrigerator. A good trick when you go away on vacation is to place a baggie with a few ice cubes in the freezer. If a power failure occurs while you are gone and the food thaws and then refreezes you will know about it when you get home.

Ice cream container sealed in a plastic bag will stop ice crystals from forming when it is in the freezer.

Potato chip bag open again and they're all stale and yucky?? Pop them in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds, let stand for two minutes and they'll be crispy again.

2 comments:

Fiona said...

"Leftover wine"....is there such a thing?? ;)

Don said...

I kept looking for the punchline - then my eyes glazed over... :)