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Some other great tips and fun things from our Daily Blog.
Basting brush alternative
If you find yourself without a basting brush, don’t worry. Just use the leafy stalks from a bunch of celery in place of a basting brush. The best part is, you get to throw out the basting brush instead of washing it! Thanks to Bonnie from Ahwatukee.
Blending gravies and sauces
To quickly and easily blend gravies or sauces without dragging out the blender or mixer, pour the ingredients into an old Tupperware container, seal the lid tightly, and shake until ingredients are well-blended. Thanks to Michelle from Tempe.
To keep your batter from slipping off your battered-shrimp when cooking, chill shrimp after dredging. Thanks to Cindy from Scottsdale.
Cashew Cream instead of Cream
Chicken broth spice-up
To add more flavor to chicken broth, add ginger, garlic or habanero pepper sauce. Thanks to Ann from Mesa.
When you chop garlic, let it sit for 10-15 minutes to release the oils. Thanks to Diane from Phoenix.
To lighten coffee and add a soft sweetness, use Shamrock chocolate milk. Thanks to Amy from Mesa.
Cook fish over low heat for 20 minutes for perfectly done, moist fish. This works especially well on white sea bass. Thanks to Kelli from Phoenix.
Cooking pork tenderloin
When cooking pork tenderloin, he lines bottom of 9-inch pan with olive oil and cut onions, then slow cooks the tenderloin over it. Thanks to Ron from Chandler.
Corned beef spice-up
To perk up plain corned beef, add a little hot or spicy salsa. Thanks to John from Tempe.
Cutting cheese crisps
Use kitchen shears to cut cheese crisps. They don’t break apart like when you use a knife. Thanks to Janet from Mesa
When deep-frying turkeys, inject the dark meat with honey and the breast meat with melted butter. Thanks to Steve from Casa Grande.
When making French toast, add a dash of vanilla extract to the egg mixture. Thanks to Donna from Phoenix.
A quick, delicious, and nutritious treat can be had by simply freezing grapes. Be sure to put them into an airtight freezer baggie to prevent freezer burn. Thanks to Evelyn from Scottsdale.
To get fresh garlic juice into your recipes, simply use a garlic press. Thanks to Rochelle from Spring Valley.
Grating fresh ginger
To make it easier to grate fresh ginger for your recipes, keep the ginger in the freezer, then just grate what you need when you need it. Thanks to Charlotte from Mesa.
To make using chopped green onions easier, chop a huge amount at one time, use what you need, freeze the rest. The frozen onions thaw quickly and, if you’re using them in a cooked recipe, can be used while frozen. Thanks to Melissa.
Hard boiled eggs
Add vinegar to the water when boiling eggs to keep the shells from cracking. Thanks to Linda from Phoenix.
Start with cold water and room temperate eggs, then time to boil for 15 minutes for perfectly done eggs every time. Chef Jon Woodgate from St. Mary’s Community Kitchen.
Healthier packaged rice dishes
When making packaged rice dishes–like Rice a Roni– substitute olive oil for the butter or margerine. Thanks to Marlene from Fountain Hills.
Making a roux
When making a roux, melt the butter then stir in the flour slowly. Thanks to Chef Anthony Redendo from Redendo’s Pizzeria and Pasta.
Measuring butter or shortening
When measuring shortening or butter, use a measuring cup larger than you need and fill it with water before adding the shortening or butter, then scoop out the measured shortening or butter – ex: 1/2 shortening needed. Fill a 1 cup measure with 1/2 cup water and add shortening to reach the full cup (yield – 1/2 cup shortening). Scoop the shortening out and add to recipe. Thanks to Corrine from Mesa.
Measuring honey or molasses
When a recipe calls for honey or molasses, measure out the oil or water for the recipe first, then use the same cup to measure out the honey or molasses. The stickier ingredient won’t stick to the measuring cup. Thanks to Charlotte from Mesa.
Instead of frying meatballs, fix them on a cookie sheet and bake them. Thanks to Evelyn from Scottsdale.
Milk for coffee or other small jobs
If you only use a little milk for your coffee or tea, freeze the milk in ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to an airtight freezer bag. When you need one, just grab it and drop it into your coffee or tea. This method keeps your milk from going bad all the time. Thanks to Beverly from Sun City.
When making muffins, separate the yolks, beat the whites, then add the whites to the batter with the yolks to make the muffins lighter. Thanks to Barbara from Tempe.
To cook an omelet without any mess, cook it in a Food Saver baggie. Just put the sealed baggie containing your ingredients into boiling water for 13 minutes. The chef said the bags are safe to boil, but be sure the one’s you use are boil-safe. Thanks to Janet from Mesa.
Non-smoking cooking oil
When heating oil, to prevent smoking, spray the pan with cooking spray, heat it up, then add your olive oil or other cooking oil. Thanks to Don from Mesa.
Peeling an orange is easier if you roll it around on a flat surface while pressing down lightly. Thanks to Dan from Scottsdale.
Precooking hamburger for recipes
Cook hamburger ahead of time to make into tacos and spaghetti sauce later and freeze it in plastic storage bags. Thanks to Marion from Phoenix.
Pretreating eggs for bacteria
Egg shells are covered with salmonella bacteria. Before cracking eggs (which you should do on a flat surface), put the egg into boiling water for 5 seconds. This brief dunk doesn’t cook the egg at all, but it does kill the bacteria! Thanks to Alyssa from Mesa.
Raising bread dough
You can use your dishwasher’s hot dry cycle to raise bread dough. Thanks to Steve from Mesa.
According to the Italians, you should never rinse pasta, you should just add oil to the water. Thanks to Linda from Gilbert.
Roasting Roma tomatoes
When Roma tomatoes are in season, buy a bunch. Cut them in half. Cover them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast them. Freeze them to use later. Thanks to Donna from Scottsdale.
To cook perfect scrambled eggs, cook them over low heat. Thanks to Cindy from Scottsdale.
Before putting hot pasta into the serving bowl, rub the bowl with oil (try some of the infused oils for extra flavor!). Thanks to Don from Mesa.
To keep vegetables from spinning on skewers when you grill them, use two skewers spaced about a finger apart, instead of just a single skewer. Thanks to Dan from Scottsdale.
Softening brown sugar
When brown sugar becomes hardened, add a slice of bread to the bag, close the bag, and let is rest for a few hours. The sugar will soften without getting sticky. Thanks to Patricia from Scottsdale.
Spaghetti sauce acid fix
When spaghetti sauce (or any tomato-based sauce) is too acidic, just add some sugar or milk. (Kim suggested adding honey.) Thanks to Maryann from Queen Creek.
When you only need a small amount of a spice to make a special dish, or when trying a new recipe, visit Sprouts or a similar marketplace and select the right amount of spices from their bulk spice bins. Thanks to Janet from Mesa.
Storing sour cream and cottage cheese
To prolong the life of dairy sour cream and cottage cheese, store their containers upside-down. Thanks to Leah from Tempe.
Don’t refrigerate tomatoes. Store them in a cool, dry place. Thanks to Don from Mesa.
Take fruit out of bags when you get home; leave squash, zucchini, and romaine lettuce open; store potatoes in a cool dark space. Thanks to Larry from Boxed Greens.
Storing vegetables longer
To extend the life of refrigerated fresh produce, wash it when you get it home. Wrap it in paper toweling and store it in a plastic bag. Thanks to Don from Mesa.
To enjoy strawberries out of season: buy berries in season, wash them well, dry them, arrange them on a cookie sheet, and freeze. Once frozen, they should be stored in an airtight container or freezer bag. Thanks to Dave from Gilbert.
Sweetening without sugar or Splenda
When sweetening beverages or foods, use stevia instead of sugar or Splenda (sucralose). Stevia is available in most large grocery stores in liquid and powdered form. Thanks to Lisa from Phoenix.
Using non-stick cooking spray without making a mess.
When spraying a pan with non-stick cooking spray, do it over the sink to catch the overspray. Thanks to Kathy from Mesa.
If you want to save even more clean-up time when using non-stick spray, do it over the open dishwasher. Thanks to Kim and Don.
When reheating a bowl of soup in the microwave, place the soup bowl atop a plate or saucer to prevent burning your fingers on the bowl. Thanks to Hope from Fountain Hills.