Any help in my kitchen is accepted with open arms. I like to cook, but I don't think I will be featured on the Food Network anytime soon. Or, ever in my life really. But I like to experiment with recipes, and you can see from recipes I have posted on my blog, they are not, by any means, professional looking. Hence, the reason why I did not start a food blog.
I found a bunch of Old wives tales that I put together. Through my research it seems as though a lot of these tips actually do work. I think a lot of them are great, and I can't wait to try some of them. But keep in mind, they are tales, so some of them might not work out. Like the one about using left over wine ice cubes for soups? Who has left over wine? I guess that could just be my kitchen and part of my recipe for cooking. Step 1: Open wine bottle. Step 2: Pour into glass. Step 3: Drink. Step 4: Start cooking.
1. Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
2. If you are making gravy and accidentally burn it, just pour it into a clean pan and continue cooking it. Add sugar a little at a time, tasting as you go to avoid over-sugaring it. The sugar will cancel out the burned taste.
3. Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!
4. When boiling eggs, add a pinch of salt to keep the shells from cracking.
5. Burned a pot of rice? Just place a piece of white bread on top of the rice for 5-10 minutes to draw out the burned flavor. Be careful not to scrape the burned pieces off of the bottom of the pan when serving the rice.
6. Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
7. Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
8. To make scrambled eggs or omelets taste really rich, add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream; then beat together.
9. Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste, or at the end of the recipe if you want a stronger taste.
10. Never put citrus fruits or tomatoes in the fridge. The low temperatures degrade the aroma and flavor of these persnickety fruits.
11. Re-heat leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove; set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the Food Network and it really works.
12. If you happen to over-salt a pot of soup, just drop in a peeled potato. The potato will absorb the excess salt.
13. To make really easy deviled eggs with easy clean-up. Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly. Cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg white. Just throw bag away when done.
14. To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place a cup of water with them in a microwave. The moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
15. Place a slice of bread into a bag of hard brown sugar. Within a couple of days it will be soft again. A piece of an orange peel will also work wonders.
16. For cleaning smelly hands after chopping onions or garlic, just rub them on a stainless steel spoon. The steel is supposed to absorb the odor. Rubbing your hands with coffee beans or lemon works well too.
17. Before making popcorn on the stove or in an air popper, soak the kernels in water for 10 minutes. Drain the water, then pop as normal. The additional moisture helps the popcorn pop up quicker and fluffier with fewer duds.
18. To keep potatoes from budding in the bag, put an apple in with them.
19. If you have over spiced your food, add in some lime juice while tasting it until it is the flavor you like.
20. After boiling pasta or potatoes, cool the water and use it to water your house plants. The water contains nutrients that your plants will love.
21. If you happen to have some leftover wine at the end of the evening, (and don't plan to drink it the next night,) freeze it in ice cube trays for easy addition to soups and sauces in the future.
22. Don’t store your bananas in a bunch or in a fruit bowl with other fruits. Separate your bananas and place each in a different location. Bananas release gases which cause fruits (including other bananas) to ripen quickly. Separating them will keep them fresh longer.
23. If you are not sure how fresh your eggs are, place them in about four inches of water. Eggs that stay on the bottom are fresh. If only one end tips up, the egg is less fresh and should be used soon. If it floats, it’s past the fresh stage.
24. The substance in onions that causes your eyes to water is located in the root cluster of the onion. Cut this part out in a cone shape, with the largest part of the cone around the exterior root section. Or, another good tip, chew gum while cutting.
25. If your salt is clumping up, put a few grains of rice in with it to absorb excess moisture.
26. To clean fruit stains off of your fingers, rub them with a fresh, peeled potato. White vinegar can also do the trick.
27. Keep iceberg lettuce fresh and crisp in the fridge by wrapping it in a clean, dry paper towel and storing lettuce and paper towel in a sealed baggie in the fridge.
28. If your loaf of bread is starting to go stale, just put a piece of fresh celery in the bag and close it back up. For some reason, this restores a fresh taste and texture to the bread.
29. When making a soup, sauce, or casserole that ends up too fatty or greasy, drop in an ice cube. The ice will attract the fat, which you can then scoop out. A piece of bread works great too.
30. Boil water before freezing it into ice cubes to make crystal clear cubes.