Helpful Cooking Tips For Everyone
I can still remember my first days of cooking as a married woman. I didn't know anything because, well, I was only 16 (that's a whole other story). I can remember frying taters and wondering why the heck they were sticking and burning. I asked my husband and I can still see the smirk on his face while he said: "Did you add grease?" Yep, I clearly had not added grease. I didn't know I was supposed to. Well, needless to say, I am all about soaking in any cooking tips I can! Hopefully you guys find these tips helpful!
Bacon - Minimize bacon shrinkage by running bacon under water before frying.
Beans – Adding a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda to a large pot of beans while soaking them will keep the ‘flatulence’ caused by the beans to a minimum.
Boiling eggs - Add a little salt or vinegar to your boiling water when cooking eggs; a cracked egg will stay in its shell this way.
Boiling Over - Rub butter or margarine on the rim of a pot in which you cook rice or macaroni and it won’t boil over.
Cakes - A cake will keep longer if you place half an apple in the cake tin when storing.
Chocolate cake – Make a better chocolate cake by adding a teaspoon of vinegar to your cake mix.
Corn - Don’t boil corn for more than 3 minutes. Place the corn directly into boiling water and do not add salt. You will find the flavor is much better than cooking for 10 minutes or more. Corn will never get soft, no matter how long you cook it - it will only lose its taste.
Descaling fish – Soak fish in salt water before descaling and the scales will come off easier.
Frozen Vegetables - A quick way to separate frozen vegetables is to pour boiling water over them through a colander and then add them to your casserole or pot to finish cooking.
Grating Cheese - To easily shred cheese, let it sit in the freezer for 30 minutes first.
Icing Tips - Add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda to your icing and the icing will stay moist and prevent cracking.
Jelly Mold - To easily remove a jelly from the mold, lightly brush the mold with oil before pouring in the mixture.
Meatballs - When making a lot of meatballs, a fast and simple method is to shape the meat mixture into a log and cut off slices. The slices roll easily into balls.
Pancakes – Adding a little sugar to the batter of pancakes and waffles will make them brown more quickly.
Pie pastry - For flakier pastry, substitute 1 teaspoon vinegar for 1 teaspoon of the cold water called for in the recipe.
Ripening Fruits and Vegetables – A lot of fruits and vegetables found in supermarkets today look ripe, but are hard as a rock. Put them in a brown paper bag and hide the bag away in a dark cupboard for a day or two. Use This is great tip for items such as avocados, bananas, kiwi fruit, peaches, nectarines, and many more.
Salads – Serve iceberg lettuce wedges instead of torn salad greens to save time making a salad.
Spaghetti Sauce – Put a pinch of bicarbonate of soda in spaghetti sauce to remove the acid taste from the tomatoes.
Speedy Sauce – Instant sauces can be easily created by heating a can of undiluted condensed cream soup (i.e. cream of tomato, cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, cream of celery, etc.).
Soups – To remove some of the fat in soups, add a lettuce leaf to the pot. Remove the leaf after fat removal. If your soup is too salty, place a raw potato in the pot - it will absorb the extra salt.
Vanilla – Make your own vanilla concentrate by placing 2 split and chopped vanilla pods in 1 liter of vodka or bourbon. Shake the bottle once a day, and let it sit for 2-3 months, or until desired color is reached.
Vinegar used as a meat tenderizer - Add a tablespoon to water when boiling ribs or meat for stews, and even the toughest meat will be so tender you can cut with a fork, or it will fall off the bone.
Vegetable color – Add vinegar to the water when boiling vegetables to retain color.
Wilted vegetables - Perk up wilted vegetables by soaking them in 2 cups water with 1 tablespoon vinegar.
Wooden Skewers – When using wooden skewers for kebabs, soak in cold water for 10-30 minutes to prevent them from burning.
I would love to hear YOUR cooking tips. Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!