Tips & Tricks
A few good tricks can end up saving you a ton of time in the kitchen.
So, take a look at these and put them to use next time you have the opportunity.
I'll continue to add to this list, so if you have a great tip you'd like to contribute, please do.
Just shoot me an email.
Weights and Measures
I'm constantly trying to adjust recipes either up or down. Because it seems we always have either more or less at the dinner table than the standard recipe for four.
And each time this happens, I rely on my good old Better Homes and Gardens red checked cookbook. It is literally falling apart I've used it so much.
So, it seemed logical to share these handy conversions with you. I've even added a few.
- 1/16 teaspoona dash
- 1/8 teaspoona pinch
- 3 teaspoons1 Tablespoons
- 1/8 cup2 Tablespoons
- 1/4 cup4 Tablespoons
- 1/3 cup5 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon
- 1/2 cup8 Tablespoons
- 3/4 cup12 Tablespoons
- 1 cup16 Tablespoons
- 1 pound16 ounces
- 8 ounces1 cup
- 1 pint2 cups (16 ounces)
- 1 quart2 pints (4 cups)
- 1 gallon4 quarts (16 cups)
U.S. to Metric
- 1/5 teaspoon1 milliliter (ml)
- 1 teaspoon5 ml
- 1 tablespoon15 ml
- 1 oz.30 ml
- 1/5 cup50 ml
- 1 cup240 ml
- 2 cups (1 pint)470 ml
- 4 cups (1 quart)95 liter
- 4 quarts (1 gal.)3.8 liters
- 1 oz.28 grams
- 1 pound454 grams
Foods that freeze well
Cooked Pasta and Rice: Both these items freeze really well. Just make sure they are cool before you store them. Reheating in the microwave makes for a quick fix meal.
Butter: While butter freezes really well, other dairy products such as cream, milk, sour cream and many cheeses do not freeze well.
Pasta Sauces: Next time you have a recipe for pasta sauce, double it. Tomato-based sauces freeze very well.
Meat - Poultry - Fish
- To get a nice clean thin slice of meat for Asian dishes, partially freeze your meat.
- Never cut into a piece of meat straight off the grill. Always let it rest for about 5 minutes to let the juices set back into the meat. If you cut too soon, you’ll loose a lot of the meat's juices.
- Avoid the mess when cooking bacon. Line a baking sheet with foil and cook at 400 for about 15 or 20 minutes. Then let the grease cool, roll up your foil and toss.
- Remove the 'fishy' smell from your fresh fish by letting it soak in a bowl of milk for 10 minutes before cooking.
Fruits & Veggies
- Get twice the juice out of lemons and limes by microwaving them for about 10-15 seconds before cutting and squeezing.
- To get really crisp oven baked french-fried potatoes, cut your potatoes and let them sit in cold water for about 30 minutes before baking.
- Lettuce and other leafy vegetables will stay fresh in your fridge longer if you wash the leaves are you use them.
- Store your green onions in the fridge in a tall glass partially filled with water.
- Don’t let your fresh herbs go bad. When you start to notice they're looking a little sad, use the microwave to quick dry them. Simply microwave for about 20 seconds (smaller leaves a little less) or until the crumble to the touch.
- Removing silk from fresh corn is easy with a kitchen towel. Dampen the towel and run it downward.
- Cutting herbs can be cumbersome at times, try using your kitchen scissors instead. This works especially well for parley and cilantro.
- When cutting tomatoes, use a serrated knife. If you don't have a small one, pull out your bread knife. No more mushed up tomatoes.
- Next time you buy onions, consider buying a couple more than you need. Chop them up and store them in the freezer. Then, next time your recipe calls for sauteing onions just pull what you need out of the freezer. Huge time saver!
- Make lasagna prep a breeze by spreading the cheese layer directly onto your no-boil lasagna noodle.
- Next time you boil some noodles for a dish, consider boiling more than you need. Then freeze it for future use. I usually divide mine in 1 cup baggies, so I can pull a little at a time for the kids.
Eggs & Dairy
- The perfect sliced boiled egg can be accomplished by using a wet knife or a knife sprayed with cooking spray.
- When you need softened butter immediately, don't micro wave it on full power, instead use the defrost function and slowly soften it in 20-30 second intervals.