December 10, 2009

Better Baking Creative Cooking

With the holidays approaching everyone is always looking for ways to save time and money ( saved equals better gifts right!). I’m sure many people will be cooking and baking in the next few weeks making preparations for celebrations. Here are a few good tips for the kitchen that might help during this busy and costly season.

*To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh, if it rises to the surface, throw it away.
*To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
*Zap garlic cloves in the microwave for 15 seconds and the skins
slip right off.
*Brown sugar will not harden if stored in the freezer.
*Sweeten whipped cream with confectioners’ sugar instead of granulated sugar, it will stay fluffy and hold it’s shape better.
*If you don’t have enough batter to fill all cupcake tins, pour 1 tablespoon of water into the unfilled spots... this helps preserve the life of your pans!
*To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing
*Spray your tupperware with non-stick cooking spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces, no more stains!
*Substitute half applesauce for the vegetable oil in your baking recipes. (You’ll greatly reduce the fat content!) (Example: 1/2 cup vegetable oil = 1/4 cup applesauce + 1/4 cup oil)
*Don’t throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces
*Don’t panic if your soup’s too salty: Add cut raw potatoes and throw them away once they are cooked and have absorbed the salt. Your soup’s saved!
*Instead of throwing away a sponge that has a stale odor, simply toss it in the dishwasher and wash it with the next load of dishes. It will come out clean and fresh smelling and will kill any bacteria in the sponge, so it’s a good idea to toss your sponges into the dishwasher often.

As Julia Child once said, ""Life itself is the proper binge." :)