THIS IS LIKE A LARGE SECTION OF “DID YOU KNOW….” BUT I FOUND THIS ARTICLE WHILE SEARCHING ABOUT AND I FOUND IT QUITE INTERESTING SO I WANTED TO SHARE (SPECIALLY ABOUT BAKING…WHICH I’M SUCH A BEGINNER!)

Here you will find ways to improve upon your cooking style or different cooking techniques to do some of the things you may already do. Cooking information, tips and tricks from the pro’s and secrets to improve a recipe and make it come out perfect every time. Techniques to help speed up a process or to keep something longer than usual. Some are unique and interesting and surely some you’ve heard or seen before.

TIPS FROM THE KITCHEN…..

If you love to cook, like I do….. then your kitchen is most likely ‘your domain’ in your own home and the place where you are most creative. Cooking can be very much an art form and like any great artist, your tools are there to enhance your art and help you be more productive. Keeping your kitchen full of the right tools is one thing, but knowing how to use them is another and we hope to present some valuable kitchen tips here to help you with your art and create fabulous meals. An oldie, but a goodie – use cooking spray on plastic containers to prevent stains from tomato sauce, marinara, chili, or any sauce that might stain your tupperware.

  • Measuring honey with a spoon is pretty easy but getting it off the spoon is another matter. Rub the spoon in margarine and the honey will come off.
  • 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.
  • Regarding tomato paste, it seems a whole can of tomato paste is many times too much for some recipes. Suggestion: take a piece of waxed paper, putting it on a cookie sheet and putting teaspoonfuls of the leftover paste on the paper – another sheet on top and freeze this. When frozen just peel them off and put them in a baggie and when you need a tsp. or tbs. of paste you have it without opening a whole can and there is no waste –OR– put small amounts in an ice tray and then just pop them out when you need them.
  • Always use tongs to turn meat on the grill to avoid piercing the meat. This keeps most of the wonderful juices inside the meat.
  • To easily remove burnt food off of a skillet, add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Then set it on the stove and bring to a boil to remove the offending foods.
  • Prevent heavy cleaning when using a BBQ grill, spray the grill with non-stick cooking spray before putting it over the hot coals and the food won’t stick nearly as much.

TIPS FROM THE BAKER…

When it comes to baking and making cakes, a lot of us use different techniques and tools to get the job done and in many cases, when you’re stuck with a problem, a quick fix to get you out of a jam.

  • When rolling out crust, roll from the center out, very lightly, then cover with a large piece of plastic wrap – continue to roll carefully and turn crust over so that the crust is now on top of the plastic wrap. Place another piece of plastic wrap on top and finish rolling to desired thickness, refrigerate if necessary. With butter based crusts, the plastic helps hold the shape of the crust, eases annoying splitting of the crust, and helps keep you from adding too much flour.
  • When emergencies strike, such as a forgotten bake sale or unexpected guests, it’s nice to be able to whip up a pie for dessert quickly. First, put pride aside, and keep some piecrust mix like Krust-ez or Pillsbury for a quick crust. Replace a bit of the water with a few tablespoons of sour cream. No one will ever know you used a packaged mix and the sour cream will add flavor as well as help to make the crust flakier.
  • Brush some beaten egg white over your pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.
  • Leftover pie dough? Cover it with some Parmesan or Gruyere cheese and bake it for a delicious appetizer.
  • When a recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won’t be any white ‘mess’ on the side of the cake.
  • Sticking cake layers? Try putting them back in a warm oven for a short time. The layers will come out without a problem, or try lining the bottom of your pans with wax paper.
  • Run your hands under cold water before pressing Rice Krispies treats in the pan and the marshmallow won’t stick to your fingers.
  • Dropping Cookie Dough – To get cookie dough to drop without sticking, dip the spoon in milk first.
  • Be sure there are no drafts where dough is rising. Drafts cause the dough to rise slowly and unevenly.
  • Placing a damp towel under the board on which you are kneading the dough to help keep the board in place.
  • If you use an electric mixer with a dough hook, spray it with vegetable cooking spray to prevent the dough from sticking.
  • Pastry Tip: the perfect temperature for optimal volume using the creaming method for cakes is right around 68 ° F.
  • Pastry Tip: Add a pinch of salt, some fresh mint and a squirt of lime juice to sugared berries for shortcake. The flavor will pop!
  • Is your baking powder fresh? Put one tsp in 1/3 cup of water. If it does not fizz toss the baking powder-it’s too old.