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Old 06-20-2002, 01:23 PM
CulinaryJen's Avatar
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Cooking Tips To Share

Cooking Tips:

Cook vegetables without defrosting. Cooking time is less than for the fresh product. Defrost meats before cooking, or cook frozen, if desired. Fish and poultry should be defrosted before cooking, This may be done in the refrigerator, allowing 4 1/2-5 hrs. per lb., at room temperature for 2-3 hrs., or in front of an electric fan for 3/4-1 hr. Fruits are best defrosted in the refrigerator, and should be served when they are barely thawed.

Instead of cooking spaghetti or noodles in a pot the regular way, cook them in a fryer basket. No sticking to the bottom because they are all in the basket. All one has to do is lift out the basket and quick as a wink, they're drained.

When making spaghetti sauce, rub cold butter or oil all around the inside of the pot, from the top right down to the sauce. Do this and you will never have sauce splatter on your stove. It will simmer just to the butter line and no further.

Keep empty pots and pans away from high heat or sudden temperature changes. If you move a pan from the cooktop to cold water, it may warp.

If undissolved salt is allowed to sit on aluminum or stainless steel, it may cause the inside of the utensils to pit or become marred.

Drop cookies will spread less while baking if the cookie sheet is not too heavily greased.

For best results, make candy on a fair, still day. On a damp or cloudy day, cook candy 2-4 degrees higher than specified in the recipe.

More Cooking Tips:

When rolling out cookie dough, use powdered sugar instead of flour on the board. The cookie tastes better and the dough does not stick.

The shine or gloss of chocolate is one key to the quality. It isn't a question of whether the chocolate is light or dark, it is the brightness of the color that indicates good quality.

Instead of using onions, use a pkg. of onion soup mix when making spaghetti sauce.

Cook spaghetti, macaroni, and other pasta ahead of time to use in salads the next day. Keep it refrigerated, under water, in stainless steel or glass jars for as long as 2 or 3 days.

In creaming butter and sugar for a cake, a little hot milk added will aid in the creaming process.

After using the oven, leave the door open until the oven is cool, so that moisture will not condense and rust any metal.

Even More Cooking Tips:

To decorate a cake without a decorator, cut an envelope from one of the top corners to the middle of the bottom of the envelope. Cut a little piece off the corner.

An apple cut in half and placed in the cake box will keep the cake fresh several days longer.

When making a cake always add 2 Tbsp boiling water to the butter and sugar mixture. This makes a fine textured cake.

Do not grease the sides of cake pans. How would you like to climb a greased pole?

To cut a fresh cake, use a wet knife.

Do not discard rinds of grapefruit, oranges or lemons. Grate the rinds first, put in tightly covered glass jar and store in the refrigerator. Makes excellent flavoring for cakes, frostings and such.

When you do not want to heat your oven for a short cake, make a short biscuit dough with a little sugar added, to a thin batter and bake in a waffle iron.

A good quick frosting is made by boiling a small potato, mashing it, and adding powdered sugar and vanilla.

Cookie And Cake Tips

To keep crisp cookies crisp, and soft cookies soft, place only one kind in a cookie jar.

Any cake will be greatly improved if a tsp of lemon juice is added to the butter and sugar. This makes the cake very light and shorter. Fresh milk makes cakes close grained and more solid.

For a nice decoration on white frosting, shave colored gum drops very thin and stick them on. They will curl like little roses.

Baking pans: For best results use correct size pan. The time and oven temperature should be adjusted to the type of pan being used. For shortening type cakes, bake cup cakes at 375 degrees for 18-20 mins. Layer cakes at 350 degrees for 30-35 mins., and loaf cakes at 350 degrees for 40-45 mins.

A cake is done when it shrinks from sides of the pan; it springs back when pressed lightly with finger; a cake tester or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Always test your cake for doneness. Warm cake is fragile, so let it stand in pan 5 mins. before removing it. Loosen the edge with knife and turn cake out on wire rack.

Sift flour before measuring when used in batters and doughs. (Nowadays, some/most flour has already been sifted for you. We suggest you follow miller's directions.)

Did you know that yeast is a tiny plant that produces carbon dioxide from sugar when temperature and moisture are favorable for it's growth? It comes in two forms--active dry and compressed. Soften active dry yeast in warm water (110 degrees) before using. Soften compressed yeast in lukewarm water or milk for the same length of time.

Lots Of Food & Cooking Tips

Soften cream cheese by removing foil wrapper from package and microwave, uncovered, on med. (50%) until softened. (Cheese will hold it's shape while it softens.) Softening will take approximately 35 seconds for 3 oz. and 70 seconds for 8 oz. of cream cheese.

When making ginger bread, substitute coffee for water. It will improve the taste and the color.

When rice is burned, place a piece of fresh bread on top of the rice and cover the pot. Within a few minutes the scorched taste will disappear. Later, just remove the bread.

When cooking rice, add a spoonful of vinegar or the same amount of lemon juice. The rice will be light, separated and fluffy.

To make mashed potatoes taste richer and creamer without adding calories, add some non-dairy coffee creamer to them. The more you add the creamer they taste.

Toss in a handful of instant mashed potato to quickly thicken thin stew.

An oiled knife or scissors will make chopping dates a snap.

For just a drop or two of lemon juice, pierce lemon end with toothpick and gently squeeze. Use the toothpick as a plug and keep in fridge.

Substitute light brown sugar for granulated in your apple pie to really perk up flavor.

To keep costly "red" spices like cayenne pepper and paprika fresher longer, store them in the refrigerator.

Favorite muffin calls for buttermilk? Use 1 c. plain yogurt, or add 1 T. lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 c. mild and let stand for a minute or two.

Chilled salads will unmold neatly and easily if you mist vegetable shortening spray (PAM or something similar) on salad mold before pouring in gelatin mixture.

Sprinkle mini-chocolate chips on brownies before the last 5 mins. of baking. Spread topping evenly after removing from oven.

Whatever glaze you choose, add a little honey to give baked hams a lustrous golden color.
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Old 06-20-2002, 01:24 PM
CulinaryJen's Avatar
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More Cooking Tips

More Food & Cooking Tips

Using melted butter instead of oil when making pancake batter will let them brown more quickly and evenly.

Keep salad dressings in the coldest part of the fridge to prevent separating.

Iced tea cloudy after refrigerating? Add a little hot water and stir.

Rub outside of chicken with mayonnaise before roasting to make beautiful brown color.

Try salsa on your baked potato for a tasty low-fat topping.

If you are wanting a way of freezing cookies, bake your cookies as usual and make sure they cool completely. Use Ziplock freezer bags, and laying it flat, put the cookies in. You can stack them if you want and just close it up and put it in the freezer. You can:

1) Make the cookie dough, then freeze to be made up later.

2) Make the cookie dough, cut out and freeze on the cookie sheet before baking, then when the cookies are frozen, store in a freezer-safe zip-lock bag

3) Make the cookies, cut out and bake, and then freeze. Bring to room temperature before frosting and decorating.

For freezing cake-like or soft cookies, it is sometimes best to freeze them on a cookie sheet first to harden then put them in the bags. This goes for iced cookies too.

Any cookie should freeze well except anything with a meringue topping and things like filled thumbprints (with fruit) often tends to get gummy.) It also works best to frost the cookies AFTER thawing rather than BEFORE freezing. Cookies can last up to 8 or 9 months frozen.

Unfrosted cakes, quick breads, and apple pies freeze well too. This way you can bake like crazy and relax when the holidays get closer.

Have an undecorated frosted birthday cake ready, as well as a big dish of sugar cookies. Let the birthday child decorate the cake from jars of instant frosting while the rest of the kids decorate cookies with frosting, jelly beans, candy heasts gumdrops, chocolate pieces ect.

Cut circles of bread with a cookie cutter, and set out spreads and make-a-face decorations: Raisins, colored candies, pretzels, carrot and green pepper sticks, ect. Let the children design their own open face sandwiches.

Fresh corn on the cob will be more tender and will hold more of its color if you boil it in salted water, adding 1 tsp. of sugar and a squirt of lemon juice to the water. The taste won't be affected.

Give baked potatoes a new twist. After baking them, slice in half lengthwise. Prick them with a fork, dot with butter and add crushed corn flakes ans a dash of paprika, then put them under the broiler for a minute or so. Delicious!!

Meringue sticking to your knife? No one should put up with that! Cut your meringue-topped pie with a knife that has been dipped first into milk. Neat and perfect every time.


Have you ever been right in the middle of a recipe and needed something you thought you had plenty of, such as celery, or onion, or tomatoes, or bell pepper? Don't let that happen again.

Freeze it. Buy 2-3 extra bell peppers when they are on sale, or an extra onion or

If you have these items in the frig, and they appear to be going soft because you didn't use it when you planned on it, chop them up and store in freezer in sealed bags or covered containers and use them when making your stews or whatever. Freezing will not hurt the flavor, only the crispness. Same can be done with bananas that are browning too fast on the counter. They will still make excellent banana bread, or sliced (just thawed enough to cut up) on your cereal.

To toast coconut for cakes, put in pie pan and place in moderate oven. Stir often from edges, to brown evenly.

Do not grease the sides of cake pans, grease only the bottoms.

Flour should be sifted once before measuring. Fill the cup without packing.

When baking fruit pies, cut holes in the upper crust with a thimble, place crust on pie. The holes will become larger, then place the little round circles back in place. Makes pies very decorative and serves for the steam and juice openings.

To keep cookies fresh and crisp in the jar, place a crumpled tissue paper in the bottom.

To keep a loaf or layer cake fresh after it has been cut, wrap a large slice of fresh bread in with it before putting it away. The bread will dry out but the cake will remain moist.

Bake gingerbread in cup cake pans. When cold, cut out center, fill with cream cheese and quince jelly.

Cooked too much rice? Freeze it, when ready to use put it in a sieve and run hot water through it. You have your own instant rice, better flavor and cheaper too.

If you like rice thats snowy white, add some lemon juice to the cooking water.

If the rice has burned slightly, you can remove the burned flavor by adding a heel from a loaf of fresh white bread and covering the pot for a few minutes.

When cooking potatoes or rice, add a pinch rosemary to the water instead of salt. It adds a special flavor.

When cooking dry beans, a little baking soda will keep them from getting mushy. (Takes the toots out too)

Pasta Hints And Tips

When buying pasta, make sure it's made from semolina rather than ordinary flour. Pasta made from semolina holds it's shape better and doesn't become mushy.

For superior pasta, let salted water come to a boil, stir the pasta into the water, cover the pot, and turn off the heat. After pasta sits for 10 mins. it will be ready to eat.

To prevent cooked spaghetti strands from becoming sticky run fresh hot water into spaghetti pot before draining.

Hang homemade pasta over a clothes hanger to dry.
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Old 07-10-2002, 01:09 PM
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Cooking Tips to Share

All your hints are wonderful. I especially like the ones about rice. I honestly did not know you could freeze it.

Here's one of my hints:
I make Vegetable Soup whenever it's cold enough to eat it. So, I have a very large freezer carton labeled "Soup Mix". Whenever I have left over veggies, I put them in the carton. When that one is full I start another. Sometimes, all I have to add to make soup is meat. Sometimes, I even add boiled, baked, or broiled meat to the mix. Since my family doesn't like leftovers, but enjoys soup and I cannot stand to throw things out, I came up with this solution.
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Old 07-10-2002, 01:34 PM
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This thread has been moved to our Household Hints and Tips forum under the Kitchen category. Thank you for sharing!
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:21 PM
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Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag.
Seal, mash till they are all broken up.
Add remainder of ingredients, reseal,
Keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly,

Cut the tip of the baggy,
Squeeze mixture into egg.
Just throw bag away when done
Easy clean up.

Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting
From the store, whip it with your mixer
For a few minutes. You can double it in size.
You get to frost more cake/cupcakes
With the same amount.
You also eat less sugar/calories
Per serving

Reheating Refrigerated Bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins
That were refrigerated, place them in a microwave
With a cup of water. The increased moisture

Will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup,
Fill it with hot water. Dump out the hot water,
But don't dry the cup. Next, add your ingredient,
Such as peanut butter, and watch how easily
It comes right out.

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Old 01-21-2008, 12:59 AM
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WOW some really good tip there!

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Old 02-08-2008, 06:31 PM
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Next time u r cooking cabbage, put a heel of bread on top of cabbage before putting the lid on the pot. There will be NO odor! The bread has no effect on the cabbage and should be removed after cooking. Works for broccoli and brussel sprouts too!
In order to find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God... Stephen Braveheart
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:35 PM
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For a crunchier cole slaw, cut cabbage in half and soak in salted water for an hour. Drain and then proceed as normal.
In order to find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God... Stephen Braveheart
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:38 PM
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If u rub the skin of a chicken with mayo before baking, the skin will get crisp and brown!
In order to find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God... Stephen Braveheart
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:39 PM
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To shape meatballs, use an ice cream scoop to make uniform balls.
In order to find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God... Stephen Braveheart
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