page by Donna McDonald
Helpful Cooking tips
There's nothing like homegrown, fresh herbs.
The basic conversion formula is 3 times the amount of fresh herbs
equals 1 time dried. Or, for example, one tablespoon dried thyme equals
3 tablespoons fresh, chopped.
The birds and the breads
Instead of trussing a turkey or chicken to keep in the stuffing, cover
the stuffing with a heel from a loaf of bread. This seals in the
stuffing and keeps the juices from dripping out.
Ay Carumba! No more chile pepper burns!
When handling hot chile peppers (jalapenos, habaneros, Scotch bonnets,
etc.) put your hands inside plastic produce bags from the supermarket,
or plastic sandwich bags, to prevent the oils from burning your skin.
Parsley vous freshe'?
First, loosen the rubber band or tie around the bunch of parsley.
Next, remove any crushed, soggy or otherwise icky pieces out of the
bunch. Place the bunch in a tall mug or vase filled with water and
cover loosely with a plastic bag. This will keep in the refrigerator
for a few weeks.
Support a cause! Save the lemon peels!
After extracting juice from a lemon, place the remaining peel into the
freezer. The zest grates easily when frozen. Also, the whole peel is
good to add to your court bouillon when boiling shrimp or other
De-Seed De-Bell Pepper
To quickly remove the stem and bulb of seeds from a bell pepper, slice
the pepper from the tip toward the stem, stopping just short of the
stem. Pull the two pices of pepper apart. They'll break off from the
stem, leaving most of the seeds and stem behind.
Olives are the pits
To quickly pit olives, strike them firmly with the flat side of a meat
tenderizer or broad knife. The olive will split, and the pit can then
be easily removed.
There's something fishy about this ice
Instead of keeping fish and shellfish on ice in the refrigerator --
which usually melts into a watery mess, use packets of "blue ice" (the
kind used in coolers). Keep some in the freezer so you're always
The Incredibly Versatile Lemon revisited
To make lemon wedges that won't squirt in your eye when you squeeze
them, make three or four small, vertical slits across the lemon
wedge's edge. These cuts prevent the juice from squirting out
What color is YOUR fruit?
To keep cut fruits such as apples, bananas, pears from turning brown
(from oxidation), dip them in lemon-lime soda. This will slow down
the oxidation process and will not affect the flavor.
Let a Wooden Spoon be your Guide
To take the guesswork out of a recipe direction that states "reduce
the liquid by one-half", stick the handle of wooden spoon into the pan
and mark the starting depth of the liquid on the handle. As the
liquid boils down, check the progress by putting the handle into the
pan. Continue boiling until the level registers at halfway the
Reduction and the Wooden Spoon Revisited
If your recipe indicates that you should reduce your liquid to a
specific amount, say two cups, measure two cups of water in the pan
you'll be using and mark that depth on the handle of a wooden spoon.
Then, use that same pan to reduce your liquid. Reduce until it
reaches the mark on your wooden spoon.
There, there...Don't Cry!
To prevent the river of tears that accompanies cutting onions, peel
the onion under cold, running water. Or, rinse the already peeled
onion in cold water. If it's too late, and the tears are streaming
down your face, run cold water over the inside of your wrists. This
will deaden the pain receptors in your eyes. If you want to know why,
ask an acupuncturist.
When covering a container of food to store in the fridge, press
plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the food itself, pushing out
as much air as possible. Then, put on any additional cover. This
will keep the food fresher longer.
What color is YOUR chocolate cake?
Instead of using flour, when greasing a flouring a pan for chocolate
cake, use cocoa. This will prevent specks of white on your dark cake.
You say tomato, I say stuff it!
When baking stuffed tomatoes, place the tomatoes in a muffin tin to
hold them upright during baking.
Can't Cut a Cantaloupe? Can!
The easiest way to de-skin a melon such as cantaloupe, honeydew, or
muskmelon, first cut off the ends of the melon. Then, place one cut
end on the cutting board and hold the top with one hand. With a sharp
knife, slice the skin, in sections, from top to bottom. Turn the
melon as you go. Once the melon is skinned, cut it in half and remove
the seeds with an ice cream scoop.
Cutting Boards and Bowls on the Move
Does your cutting board slide all over the place? Do you need a third
hand to hold the bowl when whisking oil into a vinaigrette? Damp
towel to the rescue! Simply place a damp towel under cutting board.
Wrap a damp towel around the bottom of the bowl to hold it in place.
Coming Through Loud, Clear and Straight!
Before piping a message onto an iced cake, gently lay a length of
thread over the icing to make a guideline. Write the message above
the line, then pull away the thread.
Streaking Went out with Disco
To make an egg wash that is smooth, evenly textured and brushes on
easily, add a pinch of salt to one whole egg beaten with one
tablespoon of water. The salt breaks down the protein in the egg
white so the wash is fluid, eliminating streaks.
Undressing a Bombe-shell
To prevent the mess that can occur by dipping a bombe, or other
chilled food, in hot water before unmolding, first, run a knife around
the edge of the cold mold. Then, invert the mold and center it on a
serving platter. With a hair dryer set on high, blow hot air at all
the surfaces of the mold, making several passes about 6-8 inches above
mold. Lift the mold off.
To keep a partially cut cake from drying out, cover the cut sides with
heels from a loaf of bread.
Prevent onion tears
When you're chopping
onions if you'll burn a candle somewhat nearby it will prevent tears.
Parents with young children
Go out for a meal every month or two so you can practice eating without
cutting food for someone else. If you feel the need to comment on your
partner's table manners you know it has been too long.
Write the name of the spice on the lid of the jar - then it is easy to find the right spice
when they are all standing up in the drawer.
Drive to the nearest MacDonalds, Wendys,
Taco Bell, Jack in the Box and order the cheapest sandwich.
Reality Bytes (CSICOP fan)
bibit note : I would be skeptical of this hint *G*
What is beyond rationality is how i have managed 2 survive all this time without cooking anything.
Hotdogs, and ketchup?
Go to restaurant
Order whatever you want
Pay the bill
go home happy!
Go to CHINESE restaurant. order spring roll. eat and
enjoy. pay the bill,repeat every 15 minutes, as
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