Helpful Cooking Tips

Here are some helpful kitchen tips I use to make things easier, quicker and more convenient.
  • Marinade:
    Do you ever buy jarred artichokes, but don’t know what to do with the marinade after the artichokes are gone? I like to buy dried sundried tomatoes and add them to this marinade, then store in the fridge until ready to use. It softens them, making them available to use immediately, and adds great flavor. You can also use the leftover marinade as a salad dressing too.
  • many uses for this little fruit!
    • Drizzle lemon juice on apple slices or fresh avocado to prevent it from browning. It also adds a extra flavor.
    • Add a little zest to muffins or cake batter to add a citrus note.
    • Before squeezing, roll the lemon on a hard surface to break up the cells within.
    • Squeeze the lemon juice into an ice tray for future use. Throw one into a frying pan when sautéing fish or pork chops, or add to a glass of juice or water.
    • So, you've zested and juiced, but wait, don't throw that lemon away yet! Slice your used lemon into little pieces and throw it down the garbage disposal for a fresh smell.
  • Cheese:
    • Put cheese in the freezer prior to grating so it's easier to grate. Do not freeze completely, but just until it hardens a little. This is really useful with fresh mozzarella cheese.
    • Save rinds to add to soups when cooking; discard before blending or eating.
  • Stale Bread: To use through stale bread:
    • Add stale bread, and even crackers, to a food processor to make your own breadcrumbs.
    • To make croutons, cut bread into cubes, drizzle with EVOO, minced parsley and garlic, bake on 350 for 10-15 minutes. Use to top a salad or steamy tomato soup.
    • Cut bread into bite sized pieces and store in zip lock bag until ready to use for bread pudding or stuffing.
    • Grab the kids and feed the ducks at your local park!
  • Meatballs: Get your hands wet before shaping meatballs or meatloaf so the meat doesn’t stick to your hands.
  • Cookies: Get your spoon wet before scooping out the cookie batter to prevent batter from sticking to spoon.
  • Opening Jars: If you have trouble opening a jar, pierce the top with a sharp knife, give it a twist and it will pop right off.
  • Measuring Spaghetti for 2: Use an old spice jar to measure spaghetti. The amount of spaghetti that fits into the opening of a spice jar is the right amount for 2 people. Half the amount for one serving.
  • Uses for Fruit:To use through fruit that is going to go bad:
    • For bananas and/or apples, bake a loaf.
    • Throw it all in a blender with some yogurt and ice to make a smoothie, or in a juicer for a fresh beverage.
    • For berries, sauté them with a little sugar and top pancakes.