FROM MY KITCHEN TO YOURS (PART 3)

I thought it might be time for some more kitchen and household tips.  See the previous tips at PART 1 and PART 2.

REHEAT PIZZA:  Use a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, heat on med-low until warm.  This keeps the crust crispy and not soggy like a microwave.

CHEESE:  Store open chunks of cheese in aluminum foil to keep it staying fresh longer and not mold.

GREASE:  Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef.  It will help pull the grease away from the meat when cooking.

GARLIC:  Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic, and at the end of the recipe if you want a stronger taste of garlic.

BANANAS:  Take your bananas apart at home to store them.  Leaving them connected at the stem makes them ripen faster.  Also keep them away from other items as they will ripen other food as well.

MEASURING CUP:  Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill it with hot water.  Remove the hot water but don’t dry the measuring cup.  Add ingredient (such as peanut butter) and it will come out easily.

PEPPERS:  Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.  Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

STATIC CLING:  A small safety-pin to the seam of your slip, skirt, or slacks will eliminate static cling.

ANTS WITHOUT POISON:  Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants.  They eat it, take it home, and can’t digest it.  It takes a week or so, but you won’t have to worry about your children or pets.

LEG SHAVING:  Use hair conditioner to shave your legs.  It is cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth.

FOGGY WINDSHIELD:  Use a chalkboard eraser and rub it on a foggy window.  Works better than a cloth.

MOSQUITOES:  Try putting a dryer sheet in your pocket to help keep the mosquitoes away.

FROM MY KITCHEN TO YOURS (DID YOU KNOW?)

1.  Brown Sugar:  A slice of soft bread placed in the package of hardened brown sugar will soften it again in a couple of hours.

2.  Cheese:  Cheese won’t harden if you butter the exposed edges before storing.

3.  Cooking Oil:  To reuse cooking oil without tasting whatever was cooked previously…cook a 1/4″ piece of ginger in the oil and it will remove any remaining flavors and odors

4.  Corn Silk:  A dampened paper towel or terry cloth brushed downward on a cob of corn will remove each strand of corn silk

5.  Garlic:  Microwave garlic cloves for 15 seconds and the skins slip right off.

6.  Lemons: Lemons stored in a sealed jar of water will produce twice the juice.  Microwave a lemon for 15 seconds and you will double the juice you get.

7.  Stale Bread:  Add a piece of fresh celery in a bag of stale bread and close it.  The celery restores a fresh taste and texture to the bread.

8.  Tomatoes:  Sunlight doesn’t ripen tomatoes, warmth does.  Store tomatoes with the stems pointed down in a cool place and they will stay fresher longer.  Place a tomato in warm water for 5-10 minutes and the skin can be easily peeled off

9.  Water:  After boiling pasta or potatoes, cool the water and use it to water your house plants.  The water contains nutrients that your plants will love

10.  Wine:  If you have leftover wine at the end of an evening, freeze it in ice cube trays for easy additions to soups and sauces in the future

If you missed the previous kitchen tips go to From my kitchen to yours (part 1) to see more tips.

FROM MY KITCHEN TO YOURS (PART 1)

This post has been written from my personal kitchen frustrations….I hate having my hands smell like onions, I don’t understand why my bananas ripen so quickly, or how to avoid having a pot of water boil over.  I was surprised with a few of these tips and hope they might help you in your kitchen.

BANANAS

  • Don’t store bananas in a bunch, a bag, or in a fruit bowl with other fruits.  Use a wooden banana stand to hang the fruit or separate your bananas and place each in a different location.  bananas release gases which cause fruits and other bananas to ripen quickly
  • Don’t store bananas next to other fruits
  • Do not put them in direct sunlight, the will ripen quicker
  • Putting bananas in the fridge as they will go black and lose their nutritional value
  • You can freeze a banana if it becomes overripe and use it for cooking later on
  • ripen most fruits and avocado’s by putting them in a brown paper bag with a ripe banana

ONIONS, GARLIC & PEPPERS:

  • If you need only half an onion, save the root half, it will last longer
  • Wrap the onion individually in a newspaper and store in a cool and dark place to keep them fresh longer
  • Garlic skin comes off easily if the garlic cloves are slightly warmed before peeling

To avoid crying:

  • Freeze your onion for twenty minutes before cutting
  • Cut the onions into two parts and place them in water for 15 minutes before chopping them
  • Peel and cut your onion under running tap water
  • have someone else cut it for you 🙂

Smelly Hands: 

  • Rub them on something stainless steel, such as a spoon.  the steel is supposed to absorb the odor
  • Put a tablespoon of salt in the palm of your hands and mix with cold water and rub on hands to absorb the odor
  • Before you chop peppers, rub a little vegetable oil into your hands and you won’t absorb the spicy chili oil

EGGS:

  • Choosing eggs…Fresh egg shells are rough and chalky, old eggs are smooth and shiny
  • Are they still fresh…To determine if 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
  • Boiled or not….To determine if an egg is hard-boiled, spin it.  If it spins it is hard-boiled, if it wobbles it is raw
  • Cracked shells…To avoid the shells from cracking during boiling, add a pinch of salt to the water
  • Removing egg shells…If you boil your eggs in salty water and quickly rinse them in cold water, the shells will come off easier
  • Slicing eggs…Wet the knife just before cutting a hard-boiled egg .
  • Boiling time:  For the perfect boiled egg, cover eggs with cold water and a pinch of salt.  Bring the water to a full boil, remove the pan from the heat and cover.  Let the eggs sit for 8-9 minutes, drain the eggs and run under cold water.

MEAT:

  • When defrosting meat from the freezer, pur some vinegar over it.  This will not only tenderize the meat, it will also bring down the freezing temperature of the meat and cause it to thaw quicker
  • If the meat is in a sealed package…place it in a bowl and run it under warm tap water until thawed
  • To easily slice meat, partially freeze it before slicing
  • To avoid ground beef sticking to your hands, dip your hands in cold water before handling the meat and avoid over-handling
  • Poke a hole in the middle of the hamburger patties while shaping them. The burgers will cook faster and the holes will disappear when done.

POTATOES

  • Put an apple in with a bag of potatoes to keep them from budding
  • Let raw potatoes stand in cold water for at least half an hour before frying to improve the crispness of french-fried potatoes
  • To clean fruit stains off your fingers, rub them with a fresh peeled potato.  White vinegar can also do the trick
  • A peeled and sliced potato can be applied to a burn.  The juice of the potato should cover the burn to help relieve pain  

BURNT FOOD:

  • Gravy:  When making gravy if it starts to burn….Pour it into a clean pan and continue cooking it.  Add sugar a little at a time to remove the burned taste.  Taste gravy as you go to avoid over-sugaring it
  • Rice:  Place a piece of white bread on top of the rice for 5-10 minutes to draw out the burned flavor.  Scrape the burned pieces off the bottom of the pan and serve. 

More tips to come…..