Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Helpful Kitchen Hints

Being a "good cook" or "good baker" doesn't just come naturally. There are many trial-and-error recipes, mishaps, wrong measurements, wrong ingredients (i.e. baking powder vs. baking soda), and many a burnt crust or cookie that come with this title. That is what makes us good - we learn from our mistakes.

Over the years, I have discovered some hints that may help you in the kitchen - they certainly helped me! Feel free to comment, I would love to hear your kitchen hints!

These first two are known as the Golden Rules in the kitchen:

*Always wear an apron -- especially if you are a "working girl" who comes home and goes straight to the oven - you definitely don't want spaghetti sauce on your new white sweater.

*Tie your hair back -- if you have long hair. The last thing you want is for your dinner guest to bite into one of your "secret ingredient" cookies and discover ...well, you get the picture.

And here is a modge podge of other hints...

*Clean up as you go -- trust me, you will thank yourself for this later.
*A drinking glass can easily be used to cut homemade biscuits or roll out dough.
*Ground beef is easy to break up if you use a potato masher.
*Lemons and limes will give you more juice if you microwave them for a few seconds first.
*Garbage disposal smelling bad? Grind up some orange or citrus peels, or other fruit. Your disposal will smell fruity-fresh (not to mention the blades will be sharper!).
*An iron skillet is not only good for frying foods and baking cornbread, it also serves as a great meat tenderizer!
*Boring Brownies? Add some peanut butter chips or chocolate chips to the batter for some extra pizzazz.
*An ice cream scoop makes the perfect-size cookie (or even hamburger) every time.
*Substitute diet soda (cola or other dark soda) for the oil in boxed brownie mixes. The brownies are lighter in texture and less fattening!
*Use a muffin tin to bake individual meat loaves. It is the perfect portion size and the loaves cook much faster.
*Add a pat of butter to the water before adding pasta. The pasta will not stick together and will have a slight buttery taste to it.
*For an elegant effect when serving punch, make a frozen fruit ring. Arrange fruit slices (or grapes/strawberries) in a bundt pan, then fill with liquid of choice. Freeze until firm. Immerse in warm water to loosen ring. Beautiful!!

Stay tuned for more hints in the near future!! :)


Melissa said...

Can you elaborate on how to make meatloaf in the muffin tins? How full do you fill them and how long do you cook?

love you bran!

Sarah said...

For real! You can substitute dark soda for oil in brownies!?!??? I'm going to have to try that. I've been craving brownies. :)

In Definition said...

brandi. these are great tips!!!