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Tuesday Tips & Tricks

December 11, 2012





There are tons of ways to make the kitchen more simple over the holidays. Here are some great tips I have found browsing around online that will hopefully help makes things easier! 


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For a flaky pie crust, always use cold ingredients.  To keep the dough from becoming dense, gently handle it and only use a dusting of flour on the rolling pin or counter. Rest the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to make it easier to roll. 



To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
Rinse a measuring cup in hot water or coat lightly with cooking spray before measuring syrups and oils. This way, they will pour out clean and not stick to the cup. You can see me do this in my Pecan Pie Video.

Butter

To quickly soften butter, try one of these three methods: Cut the butter into small pieces. Spread out on a plate, the pieces will thaw more quickly than a whole stick. Pound the butter. Place a whole, unwrapped stick of butter in a re-sealable plastic bag and use a rolling pin to flatten the butter. This softens while still keeping it cool. Set the butter in a water bath. Place a whole, wrapped stick of butter in a re-sealable plastic bag. Float in a bowl of hot water until soft.

When you’re out of buttermilk, make your own by combining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with 1 cup milk. Stir and let stand for 10 minutes. 



To test the doneness of quick and yeast breads, use a digital thermometer. When it registers 200 degrees F, it’s done.


Bang a head of lettuce hard against the countertop with the core side facing down. When you turn it over you can pop out the core very easil
If you only have salted butter for a baking recipe that calls for unsalted butter, remove half of the salt called for in the recipe.




Store spices in a cool, dark place away from your stove. Light, heat and humidity will cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor.

If your baked good recipe calls for nuts or berries, toss them with flour before adding to the batter to keep them from settling to the bottom of the pan.



If you have spare egg yolks or whites and need a whole egg for a recipe, either mix 2 egg yolks with 1 tablespoon water, or mix 2 egg whites with 4 tablespoons vegetable oil.

If you need heavy cream for a recipe, make your own by combining mix 2/3 cup whole milk with 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter. This will give you 1 cup of heavy cream.

. Use a meat baster to "squeeze" your pancake batter onto the hot griddle - perfect shaped pancakes every time.


Here’s one for your kitchen equivalents chart, 1 large marshmallow equals 10 small ones.


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.


Using hot tea instead of water when cooking roasts or stewing meat is a good way to add flavor and tenderize the meats.


Bacon should be soaked in cold water three or four minutes before frying. This prevents grease from running and gives the bacon a much finer flavor.


Lemons will stay fresh longer if you store them in a bowl of cold water in the fridge. They’ll keep up to 3 months this way.

Happy Tuesday! 

K Jaggers



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