Monday, November 23, 2009

Kitchen Tips

Until I return to the land of the cooking {will the morning sickness ever end?!}, here are some useful hints:


KITCHEN HINTS

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.

Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.

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.

Mash and freeze ripe bananas, in one-cup portions, for use in later baking~no wasted bananas (or you can freeze them whole, peeled, in plastic baggies)

To quickly use that frozen juice concentrate, simply mash it with a potato masher~no need to wait for it to thaw!

Spray your tupperware with non-stick cooking spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces~no more stains!

Transfer your jelly to a small plastic squeeze bottle~no more messy, sticky jars or knives! This also works well for homemade salad dressing!

When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead~no white mess on the outside of the cake!

Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator it will keep for weeks!

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)

Place a slice of bread in hardened brown sugar to soften it back up.

Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.

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.

Save celery leaves. Spread them out on paper towels or a paper plate and let them dry. Crumble them into soups, salads and stuffing's. They will add an extra zippy flavor for free.

Make giant ice cubes in muffin tins or plastic margarine bowls. These are perfect for using in picnic coolers or punch bowls. They look pretty and keep your drinks or food cold longer.

Don't throw those single serving gelatin plastic cups away, make your own single servings. Place the cups in a muffin holder, fill the cups and place in the refrigerator. It only takes a few minutes and no mess.

Fruit Freshener - Use 2 vitamin C tablets in a big bowl of water...let them dissolve and stir...dunk any veggie or fruit and it will stay fresh for a couple of weeks and vitamin C won't hurt you either! Try it out on a potato... dunk the potato and leave it out on the sink..it won't discolor... It's the short version of "fruit fresh ".

Brown sugar will not harden if stored in the freezer.

A good trick when you go away on vacation is to place a baggie with a few ice cubes in the freezer. If a power failure occurs while you are gone and the food thaws and then refreezes you will know about it when you get home.

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