Favorite Cooking Tips

In my classes I am always sharing some of the things I have learned that may make life in the kitchen a little easier. Here are a few of them. Please feel free to share this information with your foodie friends.

When is the oil ready? You’re wanting to fry something and you aren’t sure the oil is hot enough. Low-tech solution- just put a single kernel of un-popped popcorn in the pan with the oil. It will pop when the oil reaches 350 degrees.

How do I get all the food out of my food processor? It’s very frustrating to make something in the food processor and then try to navigate around the blade to get it all out. I am sure I am not the only person who has cut a rubber scraper on that sharp blade. The easy solution- scrape out what you can easily- leaving anything on the blade behind. Then turn the processor back on. Since it is nearly empty the remaining food will go to the outside of the work bowl- leaving the blade clean. Just remove the blade and finish scraping out the bowl.

How do I clean the flour off the work surface after making bread?  I love baking bread. My father was a baker and he taught me a little trick. Using hot water will cook the flour- causing it to get thicker and stickier. first scrape off any loose flour. Then clean counter tops with cold water. It will dissolve the flour without making it sticky. Use cold water to clean out bowls, too. Once the flour is gone you can wash with warm, soapy water.

How can I peel garlic faster? This is really fun. Just break apart a head of garlic into individual cloves. Place them in a bowl. Get another bowl that is the same size and turn it over on top of the bowl with the garlic, like a dome.  I like to use bowls with a nice edge on them- makes it easier to hold. Grab the bowls and shake them really hard for 10 seconds., When you take off the top bowl you will have a bowl full of peeled garlic cloves!

How do I get fat out off a pot of hot soup, stew or chili? This is an old trick of my Grandmother’s. If there is a lot of fat you can skim some off with a spoon. Then just drop in a tray of ice cubes. Bob them gently with a slotted spoon. The fat will freeze around the ice cubes. Work fast so they don’t melt. After the cubes are coated with fat just lift them out with the slotted spoon. You won’t dilute the soup- you’ll only add a couple of ounces of liquid.

How do I get honey and other sticky foods out of a measuring cup?  The easiest way I know is to spray the measuring cup with non-stick spray before adding the honey, molasses or other thick liquid. It will pour out quite easily. You can also add a little oil instead or coat the measuring cup with butter or margarine.

Fruit flies are around my kitchen- how do I get rid of them? Fruit flies are more common in warm weather but can show up any time of the year. Just take a jar or glass and pour in a little apple cider vinegar. Add a drop of dish washing liquid then cover the glass with plastic wrap. Poke a few holes in the wrap with a pencil and set on a kitchen counter- closest to where you are seeing the fruit flies. They will fly into the jar- but can’t find their way out. The detergent removes the surface tension of the vinegar so if they land on it, they will sink.


If you have other kitchen problems please let me know- maybe I can help you out. If you have tips you’d like to share please send them to me so I can post them.

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