38 tips, hints, and tricks ready for use in the kitchen.
Too Much SaltIf you've added too much salt to a recipe, there are several solutions, 1) add a little sugar. 2) in soups or stews, a raw potato slice added to the mixture will absorb the salt, and 3) a second batch can be made, omitting the salt, and added to the first batch. Combine the two mixtures and freeze half for later.
Too SweetAdd some salt, or, if the recipe is a vegetable or main dish, a teaspoon of vinegar.
Gravy Too PaleFirst to be sure to brown the flour well before adding any liquid, which will also prevent lumps. If the gravy is still too pale, add a few drops of gravy base or soy sauce.
Gravy Too ThickIf your gravy is too thick then add a little more liquid.
Gravy Too ThinPotato flakes may be added instead of flour to gravy, sauces and stews
Wilting VegetablesRemove brown edges of vegetables and sprinkle with water. Wrap in a towel and pop into the refrigerator for about an hour. Or, dip quickly in hot water, then ice water with a small amount of cider vinegar added.
Overdone VegetablesPut the pot in an pan of cold water. Let it stand from 15 minutes to 1/2 hour without scraping pan.
Whipping Cream ProblemsIf whipping cream won't whip, check to see that the cream, bowl and beaters are chilled. Put the bowl of cream over a pan of ice while whipping. Or, add an egg white, chill, then whip. If that fails, try slowly adding 3 or 4 drops of lemon juice while whipping.
Soggy SpudsSoggy mashed potatoes are caused when the milk is added. Use dry powered milk for fluffy mashed potatoes.
Rock Hard Brown SugarAdd a slice of soft bread to the package of brown sugar, close the bag tightly, and in a few hours the sugar will be soft again.
Thawing Frozen MeatSeal the frozen meat in a plastic bag and place in a bowl of very warm water.
Caked SaltTightly wrap a piece of aluminum foil around the salt shaker. This will keep the dampness out of the salt.
Hurry-Up Baked PotatoesBoil potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes, then place in a very hot oven.
Chopped OnionsPeel and quarter. Place one layer deep in a small pan and freeze. Quickly pack in bags or containers while frozen Use as needed, chopping onions while frozen, with a sharp knife.
Pancake SyrupTo make an inexpensive syrup for pancakes, save small amounts of leftover jams and jellies in a jar. Or fruit flavored syrup can be made by adding 2 cups of sugar to one cup of any kind of fruit juice and cooking until it boils.
Easy ToppingA good topping for gingerbread, coffee cake, etc. can easily be made by freezing the syrup from canned fruit and adding 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 2 cups of syrup. Heat until bubbly, and thicken with 2 tablespoons of flour
All Purpose RelishMix together mayonnaise, mustard, leftover relish, catsup, and chopped pickles and onions to make an easy relish for the whole family.
Tasty Cheese SandwichesToast cheese sandwiches in a frying pan lightly greased with bacon fat for a delightful new flavor.
Jelly JarsBefore discarding jam and jelly jars, fill with hot water and shake. Use the water when making gelatin desserts.
No SpatteringAnother way to keep frying food from spattering is to invert a metal colander over the pan, allowing steam to escape.
Coffee TipBefore adding ground coffee to the percolator, drop a thimble over the center tube in the top-this prevents the coffee from spilling into the water.
Hurry Up HamburgersPoke a hole in the middle of the hamburger patties while shaping them. The burgers will cook faster and the holes will disappear when done.
Shrink-less LinksBoil sausage for about 8 minutes before frying and they will shrink less and not break at all.
Eliminating Corn SilkBrush downward on the cob of corn with a moist paper towel to remove every strand of corn silk.
Frozen BreadPut frozen bread loves in a clean brown paper bag and place for 5 minutes in a 325-degree oven to thaw completely.
Removing Ham RindBefore placing ham in the roasting pan, slit rind lengthwise on the underside. The rind will peel away as the ham cooks, and can be easily removed.
Cracking NutsTo quickly crack open a large amount of nuts, put in a bag and gently hammer until they all are cracked open. Then remove nutmeats with a pick.
Allergic to NutsIf you or a member of your family are allergic to nuts, use Chinese noodles as a substitute in recipes
Creamier Tasting FoodsAdd 2 or 3 tablespoons of powdered creamer to such items as pumpkin pie, pancake batter, etc. for a creamier taste.
Spattering and Sticking FoodsAlways heat the frying pan before adding oil or butter. This will keep things from sticking to the pan. Boil vinegar in a brand new frying pan to keep things from sticking to it. Spattering can be prevented by sprinkling a little salt into the pan.
Stopping Boil-overSpaghetti will not boil over or stick together if you add a small piece of butter or a few teaspoons of oil to the water. The same holds true for rice.
Scalded MilkAdd a bit of sugar (without stirring) to milk to prevent it from scorching. Rinse the pan in cold water before scalding milk, and it will be much easier to clean.
Soft ButterSoften butter by grating it. Or, heat a small pan and place it upside down over the butter dish for several minutes.
Sticky LiquidsTo measure honey or other sticky syrups, oil the measuring cup with cooking oil and rinse under hot water first.
Sluggish CatsupPush a drinking straw to the bottom of the bottle and remove. This admits enough air to start the catsup flowing.
Un-molding GelatinRinse the mold pan in cold water and coat with salad oil. The oil will give the gelatin a nice luster and it will easily fall out of the mold.
Dried OnionsFor sandwiches to go in lunchboxes, sprinkle with dried onion.. They will have turned into crisp pieces of onion by lunchtime
Quick Cooking Veggies
Onions, broccoli and Brussels sprouts will cook faster if you make an X-shaped cut at the base of the vegetable.
With summer approaching, please be reminded of food safety & preventing foodborne illness.
* Wash ALL fresh produce thoroughly. When preparing lettuce, break into pieces - then wash.
* Cook foods to the required minimum cooking temperatures:
- 165ºF > Poultry, poultry stuffing & stuffed meat.
- 158ºF > Ground Beef, fish & seafood.
- 150ºF > Pork & food containing pork.
- 145ºF > shell eggs & foods containing shell eggs.
* Separate raw animal foods from other raw or ready-to-eat foods during storage & preparation.
* Cool leftovers as quickly as possible. Reheat to 165ºF before serving again.
* BY ALL MEANS, REMEMBER THIS: Bacteria on food will rapidly multiply when left at a temperature between 45ºF & 140ºF. Avoid this danger
zone as much as possible.