Tips of the Trade
run out of buttermilk.....it makes nearly everything better! If
you've never tried dipping cornbread into buttermilk, try it
today....our grandparents were on to something!
of the best recipes can be found on food boxes, cans or packages. Bags of
flour, for example, invariably, have recipes on them for the best biscuits
tossing a salad, always use wooden or glass bowls rather than metal.
take your burgers from good to great, add garlic powder along with the
salt and pepper.......or replace the salt with garlic salt.
take the burgers then from great to incredible, toast the buns lightly.
preparing your pans for baking a chocolate cake, after greasing with
shortening, dust the pans lightly with cocoa powder instead of flour.
remember to go lightly with seasonings in the early process of a
meal.....you can always add more, but you can never add less.
save the "best" dishes for special occasions....every
meal with loved ones qualifies as special!
to frying chicken, soak the pieces in buttermilk for at least an
hour. This buttermilk bath does miraculous things for the flavor!
- Buttermilk is a cook's best friend, of course, but Onion Soup Mix makes a pretty
good pal as well! Get creative and experiment with it. Try it in beans,
stews, soups, burgers, roasts, meatloaf.........etc!
boiling corn on the cob, don't add salt to the water, it makes the corn
you know that a roast with its bone in cooks faster than a boneless roast?
muffin tins when making meat loaf for "lunch box'-sized delicasies.
the ingredients first for a better pie crust.
baking bread, placing a small dish of water in the oven will keep the
crust from getting too hard.
small amounts of leftover corn to your cornbread batter.
baking cookies, the shinier the pan, the better. If your pans are so old
that you can't see your reflection in them, use aluminum foil when baking
cookies....they'll cook more evenly.
you've never made homemade bread, do yourself a favor (not to mention all
those you'll share with!).....pick a recipe and go for it! It's a lot of
fun and very rewarding. Let me know how you do!
baking, unless your recipe specifies otherwise, it's always best to
pre-heat your oven for 15-20 minutes. Many culinary catastrophes can be
traced back to an improperly heated oven. This holds true especially
for breads, cakes and cookies.
use double-acting baking powder.
pennies is not only desirable, but necessary for most of us....but when it
comes to spices and seasonings (especially vanilla!), don't skimp. There
are usually only a few dollars separating the good stuff from the bargain
wannabes. It's really worth it to pay the extra $$$. Justify it, if you'd
like, by using coupons for other things....just vow never to buy imitation
vanilla extract again!
you're making candy....pay close attention to the weather. On a hot, humid
day, it is advisable to cook candy 2 degrees higher than on a cold, dry
lemon juice? If you heat a lemon in hot water for 3-5 minutes, he'll give
up more juice than an unheated lemon.
boiling eggs, add 1 teaspoon salt to the water....it prevents a cracked
egg from draining into the water.
butter and milk together before beating into mashed potatoes. Doing so
makes them lighter.
sour cream along with the butter and milk when making mashed potatoes.
you rub a chicken inside with a cut lemon before baking, the meat will be
juicier and more tender. I'm also convinced that doing so makes the white
meat even looks whiter!
pinch of sugar added to the water when boiling vegetables makes them
brighter and more flavorful.
potatoes stand 15 minutes in hot water before baking them and it will cut
the baking time in half.
poaching eggs, add a few drops of vinegar to the water (before adding the
eggs). This keeps the whites from separating in the water.
making hushpuppies, don't make them too small. They should be closer to
golf balls in size than they are to marbles! Also, don't overcook
them....they should be golden brown rather than dark brown. Bad hushpuppies
are a travesty!
to go all Martha Stewart this fall? The next time you're planning
to serve soup, carve out the inside of a large pumpkin to use as your
serving pot. Use smaller, carved out, pumpkins for serving bowls!
making biscuits, be verrrrrry careful not to overhandle the dough. It
causes the biscuits to be dry, which we all know, is the last thing you
want. If the recipe doesn't call for kneading, don't knead....if it
doesn't need it, don't knead it!
save punch for special occasions, keep some made up. Kids love it and it's
better for them than pop.
egg slicer is perfect for slicing mushrooms.
strawberry-flavored (or your favorite flavor) gelatin powder on vanilla
pudding. It not only looks pretty, it adds a great flavor.
you're having to transport cupcakes to an event, make things easier on
yourself. Instead of icing the tops, which you know will look terrible and
messy by the time they arrive, slice the cupcakes, width-wise, and put
your frosting inside the cupcake. Replace the "lids" and
dust the tops with cocoa or powdered sugar.