1 Measuring Tip:
Rinse measuring cup in hot water before using syrup, oil, etc. Will pour out clean and not stick to cup.
2 Sugar In Fruit Pies:
When making pie, sprinkle the sugar under the fruit instead of on top. This prevents pie from boiling over.
3 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.
4 Pie Dough Rolling:
Try rolling pie dough between two sheets of waxed paper, the dough is easier to manage and doesn’t stick to the table or your rolling pin. Once the dough is in the desired shape and thickness, peel off the waxed paper and place directly in the pie plate. Cut off the excess.
5 Bigger Cakes From Mixes:
To make a bigger cake from a mix, add 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp. baking powder.
6 Icing Cakes:
For one layer cakes, turn the cake upside down before icing so that the top is perfectly flat and even. When icing two cake rounds or squares, place a layer of frosting on the top of one round, then place the other round upside down on top for a perfectly flat top. If the cake rose high and uneven in the middle when baking, you may need to slice a bit off across the top to lay it flat.
7 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.
8 Freeze Cookie Dough:
Try preparing a few batches of cookie dough at once and freezing the extra that you won’t be baking that day. You can roll the dough in logs first before freezing (wrap the dough really well) and then just slice off and bake what you need whenever you crave freshly baked cookies
9 Soften Butter:
A few different methods for speeding up the process of getting soft butter right from the fridge (without melting it) Grate the butter into a bowl–comes down to room temperature faster; Microwave for a few seconds at a time–watch closely because you don’t want to zap it too long; Cut butter into squares and put them into a bowl, insert bowl in a pan of warm–not hot–water.
10 Remove Dough Quickly From Hands:
Keep a small bowl of cornmeal nearby while kneading and working with dough. If you need to quickly answer the phone, the door, or rescue a runaway toddler while your hands are full of sticky dough, rub dry cornmeal on your hands. This removes dough faster than washing your hands in soap and water.
11 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 .
12 Mixing Raw Hamburger:
If you can’t stand mixing raw hamburger by hand and the wooden spoon just won’t do, try covering each of your hands in a clean plastic bag (or baggy) and dig in. The plastic bags will still give your hands and fingers free movement, yet keep them free from raw meat contamination.
13 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:
Try slathering mayonnaise on the outer sides of the bread instead of butter when making grilled cheese sandwiches. Makes a nice and crispy sandwich as well as tastes delicious. Another favorite addition of mine is chopped green onions melted in the sandwich with the cheese. Sweet, at least the green onions are healthy!
14 Greaseless Griddle Cake:
When making griddle cake grease the pan for the first cake. After that rub a piece of raw potato over hot griddle instead of greasing. The cakes brown nicely and there will be no smoke.
15 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.
16 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.
17 Baking Soda Meat Tenderizer:
You can use baking soda as a meat tenderizer. Two different ways to do this: Sprinkle baking soda all over the meat, rub it in a bit and then let sit (refrigerated) for several hours. You could also make a baking soda/water paste and slather it over the meat. Let it marinate for several hours. Rinse meat before cooking to remove all the baking soda.
18 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.
19 Fresh Fruit & Veggies Washing Tip:
Sprinkle wet fruit and veggies with baking soda then gently scrub and rinse. This cleaning method safely removes dirt and residue off produce.
20 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.
21 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. You can eat the vegetables too, yum! Not only do the veggies work well as a roasting rack, there’s one less item to wash .
22 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.
23 Natural Peanut Butter Storage:
Store the unopened jars in the cabinet upside down. The oil will want to rise to the top again and will pass through the solid part to do so, basically stirring itself!
24 Flour Bugs:
Keep a couple bay leaves in the flour canister to help deter the bugs (flour Weevils) congregating in their favorite hangout. You can toss the leaves loose in the flour or make a rough pouch out of one layer of cheesecloth to keep the leaves separated from the flour. Another tip is to tape the bay leaves to the inside of the lid. Always try to keep flour and other grains in air tight containers, this will help keep pantry pests out.
25 Squeezing Lemons For Juice:
For those who suffer from arthritis or hand pain, use a nutcracker to mangle and squeeze wedges of lemons to juice them. Otherwise jab a fork into the fruit flesh, squeeze both ends of the wedge together (towards the fork) and then twist the fork every which way. Lots of juice!
26 Herb & Spice Storage:
To help preserve flavor, herbs and spices are best stored in airtight containers, out of sunlight and away from heat sources. Store the jars and containers in the pantry or a cupboard. Keeping spices and dried herbs in cute glass jars over top of the stove is a popular practice, but it does negatively affect the flavor of your spice collection.
27 Make Your Own Celery Flakes:
Instead of cutting off the leafy tops of celery and tossing away, try making your own celery flakes. Simply wash and dry the leaves well, place in oven at 180° F. until crispy dried (a few hours), crumble and store in an air tight container. Use the celery flakes in cooking dishes such as soups, stews, stuffing and anything else you’d like to add a little flavor.
28 Crystallized Honey Fix:
If your honey has crystallized, place the bottle or container in a pot full of hot water and let it sit for about 1/2 hour or until the honey is melted. Stir the honey well and the crystals will be gone.
29 Soften Marshmallows:
Slice open the top of a marshmallow bag then place in a large ziploc freezer bag. Freeze. Remove the amount of frozen marshmallows you need as you need them. Thaw and they’re soft and ready to use. If you have hard marshmallows in the pantry, try tossing a piece or two of sliced bread in the bag. Seal, then check after a few days. The marshmallows should be soft again.
First published here: 29 Kitchen & Cooking Tips and Tricks