Did You Know? Handy Hints For All Cooks


Did You Know?

  1. Bananas: peel from bottom up and usually you won’t have the stringy things appear.
  2. Bananas: take your bananas apart when you get home so they won’t ripen as fast.
  3. Bananas: Overripe? freeze until it’s time to bake. Store them unpeeled in a plastic bag.
  4. Cheese: Store when opened in aluminum foil to keep fresh longer and not mold.
  5. Peppers: 3 bumps on bottom are sweeter; 4 bumps on bottom and firmer and better for cooking.
  6. Ground Beef Frying: Add a Tsp. of water when frying and it will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
  7. Eggs: to make scrambled or omelets extra rich, add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, heavy cream or even half & half in and then beat them.
  8. Garlic: Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste and add it at the end if you want a stronger taste.
  9. Pizza, Left Over: Reheat in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove; set heat to med-low and heat till warm.  This keeps the crust crispy and not soggy like micro pizza.
  10. Deviled Eggs,The Easy Way: Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag; seal and mash till they are all broken up; add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing till mixed thoroughly; cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg.  Throw away the bag.
  11. Frosting, Store Bought: Whip it with your mixer for a few minutes.  It’ll probably double in size.
  12. Bread, Reheating if Refrigerated: To warm left-over biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microware with a cup of water.  The increased moisture will keep the food moise and help it reheat fast.
  13. Measuring Cup, Clean Trick: Before you pour sticky substance into your cup, like peanut butter, fill cup with hot water; dump out the hot water and don’t dry cup; next, add your ingredient and watch how it comes out so easily.
  14. Ants, One Possible Way to Get Rid of Them: Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants.  They eat it, take it home, can’t digest it so it kills them.  It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don’t have to worry about pets or children.
  15. Add flavor to teas by dissolving old-fashioned lemon drops or hard mint candies in it.
  16. Wine does freeze: Yes indeed, you can make ice cubes from wine and also store left over wine in baggies to use for your next stew, etc.
  17. I store my ground coffee in the freezer to keep it fresh.  I always get compliments on my coffee.
  18. Appetizers for a party: Allow 4-6 per guest if a meal quickly follows; 6-8 if a late meal is planned; if no meal, 8-10 pieces per guest.
  19. To keep appetizers cold, set bowls on top of ice or rotate bowls of dips from fridge every hour or so.
  20. Left Over Veggies: Add tomato juice and seasoning to create a soup.
  21. Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts Odors: To help diminish them, try adding a little vinegar or lemon juice to the water.  Don’t overcook.
  22. Beans: Try adding 3 large celery stalks to make them easier to digest.
  23. Soggy Lettuce?: Try perking it up with a mixture of lemon juice and cold water.
  24. Hard Boiled Egg Shells: If you quickly rinse the eggs in cold water after boiling, the shells should be easier to remove.
  25. Fruit Salad Slicing: Try using an egg slicer to make perfect slicing and a pretty appearance.
  26. Vinaigrette ratio: Is usually 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar
  27. Pasta Salads: Cook your pasta al dente so that it can absorb some of the dressing without getting mushy.
  28. Fruit Juice Salad Dressing: Just add a little olive oil, nutmeg and honey and yum!
  29. Soup and Stew Thickner: Aside from the usual, you can try a little instant potato flakes if you have them.
  30. Hot Oil Splattering: Sprinkle a little salt or flour in the pan before frying to prevent that.
  31. Pasta Boil Overs: Place a wooden spoon or fork across the top of the pot while the pasta is boiling; or add just a bit of butter or olive oil.
  32. Rice, unwanted stickiness: try adding a few drops of lemon juice.
  33. Mashed Potatoes, Very White: Add a little vinegar or lemon juice before draining.
  34. Greens Retaining Their Fresh Color: Add a tsp. sugar to the water.
  35. Tough Green Beans?: Salt midway through cooking.
  36. Cheese Sticking to Grater?: Spray grater with non-stick spray.
  37. Marinating: Use that ‘ole plastic bag; easy to turn and clean.
  38. Roast Tenderizer: Add a tomato or two because it contains an acid that works to break down meats.
  39. Roast Carving: Cut across the grain so it’s easier to eat and also looks better.
  40. Poultry: Refrigerate as soon as possible–and if over two days, freeze. Never leave out for longer than 2 hours. I know the turkey can be an exception.
  41. Poultry: One lb.= 3 C. cubed
  42. Cooking Temps:Red meats = 160 degrees;poultry 180 degrees.
  43. Fish: lemon juice rubbed on fish tends to maintain color and enhances flavor.
  44. Flour: When in doubt, sift.
  45. Nuts:Best to store in frig; enhance flavor by toasting before using in recipes(place nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 300 for 5-8 minutes or until slightly browned.
  46. Eggs:Worried about how fresh they are? Place them in a large bowl of cold water and if they float, don’t use them.
  47. Eggs: When using in a recipe and particularly when whipping egg whites, make sure they are at room temp.
  48. Cakes: Want to get the professional frosted look? Blow-dry the frosting with a hair dryer until the frosting melts a little to get that silky, molten look.
  49. Cookie Dough: Unbaked can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.  Better yet, freeze for up to 9 months.
  50. Bars: Line pans with aluminum foil for easy removal and clean up. Score right after removing pan from oven so when cool, cutting is easier.
  51. Chocolate: To melt, use a double boiler.
  52. Onions: Teary eyes? Try briefly placing them in the freezer before cutting.
  53. Onion and Lemon: Want to wash the smell out of your hands? Try rubbing lemon juice on your hands. Also works for that garlic smell.  Or try rinsing hands under cold water while rubbing them with a large stainless steel spoon.
  54. Lemons: For juicing, bring to room temp and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before cutting and squeezing.
  55. Salt and Rice: For those of you who live in humidity, put a couple of raw rice grains in the salt shaker to keep the salt free flowing.
  56. Salad Dressing Storage: For self-made dressings, try the small plastic squeeze bottles instead of a jar.
  57. Garbage Disposal Blades: I barely use mine, however if you use yours, ice cubes will help sharpen those blades.
  58. Glasses Stuck Together?: Oh dear! Separate by filling the inside glass with cold water and setting both in hot water.
  59. Spice Grinder: Purchase another coffee grinder just for this job.  Be sure to mark it “spices”.


About TempInnKeeper

Margot loves people and is very energetic and organized. She is also a quick study. Her background includes having renovated, owned and operated an 1887 Victorian bed and breakfast in Paso Robles, CA for 5 years. Her guests loved her and she loved her guests. What a perfect combination. Margot’s marketing skills and love of people also was used in her career as a Realtor and in participating in many charitable non-profit organizations. Margot loves to cook and to offer concierge services to people. She was born in Geneva, Switzerland.; has lived all over CA. including Beverly Hills, in the Silicon Valley area, Paso Robles, the San Joaquin Valley as well as in Sun Valley, ID. She has traveled extensively throughout the world; is a CAL alumni (go Bears!); and also speaks French fluently and Spanish semi-fluently. Her interests are people, cooking, arts, books (look at the blog book club and join if you wish), travel, sports, gardening, painting, music, playing classical piano and animals. Margot Van Horn 208-721-3551 PO Box 3788, Ketchum, ID. margot6@mindspring.com TempInnKeeper@mindspring.com

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