Hints & Tips :
Tips make life a little easier, healthier and happier, so take my advice and save these to put to good use in your happy Kitchen, the place where love begins in the home.
Allspice-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg=1 teaspoon allspice
Avocado-How to choose Ripe Avocados: They should be soft to the touch but not mushy, Firm and hard will be unripe, you can however take these home and leave them sit on top of your fridge a couple days and they will ripen nice. The small brown stem on the end should come off easily, you will see green underneath, If it rattles it's over ripe.
Bacon- Minimize bacon shrinkage by running bacon under water before frying.
Beans A tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda in a large pot of beans while soaking them, the 'flatulence' caused by the beans is kept 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.
Biscuits-For taller, lighter and flakier biscuits, cut straight down with the cutter. Twisting makes biscuits uneven. For Crusty edges arrange 1 inch apart, for softer edges place close together. Knead as little as possible and get as many as possible first cutting. Place upside down on sheet from the way you cut them to get more uniform biscuits. Dough should have some wetness. Cook immediately after cutting to keep dough from settling.
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 sit in freezer for 30 minutes.
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 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.
Pumpkin Pie Spice-Make your own simply combine: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger,1/8 teaspoon allspice,1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon cloves =1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice Make enough to store in airtight container to keep on hand as you need.
Ripening Fruits and Vegetables A lots of fruit and veg 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.).