Your personal shoppers, leaving home not required. Shop gift guides »
🔕 🔔
Loading…

My Basket ()

All questions

What kitchen tricks save you in the kitchen?

I love little, simple heirloom tricks, like using a citrus zester upside down (https://food52.com/blog...). Do you have any to share?

Books Editor and Stylist at Food52.

asked almost 2 years ago
92 answers 1712 views
Dcca139f 78d5 41a3 b57b 6d6c96424a1c  img 7818
added almost 2 years ago

Quick tips for bringing eggs and butter to room temperature -- for those times when you want to bake but haven't planned ahead. For eggs, submerge them in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes. For butter, cut into small cubes; the increased surface area will help the butter warm more quickly.

E75016e9 47b6 4c16 9726 60e0e83283ba  22073 1321490391675 6875987 n
Ali Slagle

Books Editor and Stylist at Food52.

added almost 2 years ago

Your butter trick is better than what I did today, which was to put my sticks of butter on the sunlit floor.

Dcca139f 78d5 41a3 b57b 6d6c96424a1c  img 7818
added almost 2 years ago

I think you're on to something there! Cubed butter in a bowl on the sunlit floor = genius technique! : )

3639eee1 5e0d 4861 b1ed 149bd0559f64  gator cake
hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Grating the butter on the large holes of a cheese grater also warms it up quickly.

84e04bee 8fc8 4bdc 8199 701c1af83294  image
added almost 2 years ago

Getting butter to room temp: Courtesy of MStee. Put the butter between two sheets of wax paper and use a rolling pin to flatten it. Great for bigger quantities, for a TBSP or two just dice it as mentioned above.

Cooking with wine: Reduce your wine separately while other ingredients are cooking before adding to a sauce or using to deglaze a pan.

Browning or caramel ozone onions: Start them dry with some salt, and don't add butter/oil/other fat until they cook down a little.

Scraps bowl: Keep a bowl or other empty container on your counter for holding scraps and/or trash so you're not running back and forth to the trash can.

84e04bee 8fc8 4bdc 8199 701c1af83294  image
added almost 2 years ago

* First tip is courtesy of Martha Stewart (aka MStew when my keyboard cooperates).

E75016e9 47b6 4c16 9726 60e0e83283ba  22073 1321490391675 6875987 n
Ali Slagle

Books Editor and Stylist at Food52.

added almost 2 years ago

What's the result of starting the onions dry with some salt? Better caramelization?

4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

not necessarily a trick, BUT you will save much time and energy in the kitchen if you have great knife skills. Anyone who started out holding their knife the wrong way and then learned the "trick," will agree. Just about any avocational cooking school has a course in knife skills, or a beginning cooking series that teaches the basics. I really recommend one for all amateur cooks who haven't done that yet.

E4b7660b f3f6 4873 bd6d 2130a16403fb  img 1088
drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

I freeze ginger before grating it. Frozen ginger microplanes like a dream.

4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

Do you peel it with a teaspoon? I've found that works well. Thanks for the freezing tip!

E4b7660b f3f6 4873 bd6d 2130a16403fb  img 1088
drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

Sometimes! Or I use a serrated peeler--it works well when the ginger is frozen.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Frozen, it also lasts longer than at fridge/room temp storage

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

I really don't get the peeling with a teaspoon idea. A good small paring knife has a handle that I find so much easier to control, thus making it better suited to the task. But then, I live in a place where we have great ginger grown nearby year round, and it's reasonable and readily available, so I don't mind cutting off entirely the little bumps . . . . . ;o)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 2 years ago

When I freeze and microplane ginger, I don't even bother peeling it until I get to the very end. Once you are in the middle of the knob, the peel usually stays on top of the microplane or it is grated so finely that it doesn't even matter.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 2 years ago

since I see a lot of butter tips, I thought I would add the quickest. Grate the butter. It's the most surface area you can get and comes to room temp right away. Also good for cheeses and any other grate-able food, that includes things that are frozen.

3a07161a c04e 4fa1 b28d 18a97a109314  img 7662
added almost 2 years ago

I grate the butter for my pie crusts instead of cutting into small peices

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added almost 2 years ago

I find it much easier to crack coconuts along the 'equator' with the claw part of a hammer than to pierce the eye, pop it into an oven and then crack the nut open. THe trick to ensure that the shell does not splinter is to drench the coconut thoroughly in water before you pick up the hammer.

F8bcab55 ddd5 4fea b957 f93cfd2a9ccd  dsc02631
Leith Devine

Leith is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Clean as go you along. Roll citrus fruits on the counter before juicing to get even more juice. Using a potato masher to break up ground beef/turkey when browning. Save 1 cup of the water from cooking pasta to thicken your sauce. I'm sure there's more!

8bbfe648 dc7e 43f9 816b 4de4ae50eec7  photo
SMSF

SMSF is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

So that I don't forget to save some of the water when the pasta is done, I set a measuring cup or coffee cup right in the colander while the pasta's cooking. Then when it's time to drain, the cup is right there to remind me to scoop out some of the water first.

21cce3cd 8e22 4227 97f9 2962d7d83240  photo squirrel
added almost 2 years ago

you SMAHT girl, you!

1097a5b5 1775 4eec a8ea 7421137b65dc  image 2 apples claire sullivan 2
amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Ditto on measuring oil before anything sticky - honey, molasses, etc. Also, I almost never sift - I just whisk dry baking ingredients together. Combines and aerates too. And use a bigger bowl than seems necessary for vigorous whisking, tossing or mixing, to reduce overflow mess.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Any dried pasta - not just special & sometime more expensive "no bake lasagna" - can be added directly to a pasta baked dish. Add a bit more liquid than usual (tomatoes, wine, broth) to account for the extra absorbency of the pasta. Saves time & pot washing, tastes fine.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
ktr
added almost 2 years ago

I learned this trick about a year ago and I now make lasagna much more often because I'm often time strapped and this saves me time making it and also cleaning up - and I just find working with dry pasta easier than the cooked pasta which always seems to stick together for me so I end up ripping sheets of lasagna.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Um, that should be "no boil lasagna"

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

My freezer is my best friend. When cooking rice, beans, potatoes, pasta, I always make more than I need at the time, often twice as much. I bag the leftovers in individual serving in labeled and dated ziplock bags, and stack them up in the freezer like cordwood. I can't tell you how often any and all of them have saved me when getting home late and needing to pull a, so to speak, rabbit out of my hat for dinner. Beans and rice along with some frozen corn make a most welcome burrito. Leftover soup can always benefit from some added rice or cooked pasta. And there's always the divinely simple and simply divine Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 2 years ago

When I went away to college I realized if I dropped food I actually had to pick it up, no automatic cleaning system on 4 feet was around.

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

I was in the same boat in college until I got a cat. She wasn't nearly as handy as a dog, given her typically picky palate, but she was better than picking up everything myself. Life got so much simpler once I added dogs to the family. By the way, @caninechef, I'm trying out a recipe for dog biscuits this weekend, and I'll send you a link if they work out. No reward is too small for the 4-leggeds.

16ad11c5 f432 4398 9282 79524b7caf98  bristol mel arches
added almost 2 years ago

Rubbing your fingers on the side of a stainless steel sink will remove strong food odors like onions and garlic from your hands. I have no idea how or why this works, but it does!

Also, if I'm making a yeast dough but the house isn't very warm, I'll turn the oven on for 1-2 minutes, turn it off, and place the bowl of dough inside. Perfect proofing--as long as it's not too hot.

Dcca139f 78d5 41a3 b57b 6d6c96424a1c  img 7818
added almost 2 years ago

Using a potato ricer to squeeze out moisture from frozen spinach. Works like a charm. Got the tip from Sam1148 an old hotline thread.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 2 years ago

Genius. Of course! Love cooking with frozen spinach, hate wringing out towels that are quickly stained green with stray bits clinging to them. Thank you.

8bbfe648 dc7e 43f9 816b 4de4ae50eec7  photo
SMSF

SMSF is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Thank you for the reminder about this one! I'll need to try this out.

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

I use my hands! Just defrost for about 1-2 minutes, half power in the microwave; get a big handful; hold over sink, squeeze hard. Repeat until done. Hands are easier to wash than a ricer, and they're conveniently found on the end of one's arms, not in a drawer or cabinet. ;o)

41127bd3 72ff 4d4a 9406 bb83fa8bfbed  img 0275
added almost 2 years ago

Whenever I open a can of chipoltle peppers in adobo or a can of red Thai curry paste, I freeze the remaining amount in tablespoon portions in a ziplock bag. Most recipes only call for a small amount of those ingredients, and I hate to waste. You can also put it in an ice cube tray and then pop out and store in a Baggie once frozen.
Freeze leftover coffee in ice cube trays to have for iced coffee!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Julie - for a whole slew of no-waste ideas to use ice cube trays, see the hotline thread on that trick from middle of 2014.

Ff4cd9f0 157d 4005 91d8 86ed521de349  img00020 20100410 1015
added almost 2 years ago

Any cookie tray or roasting pan that has burnt on food....line with paper towels, add a few squeezes of dishwashing detergent, add enough water to cover, leave overnight. The next day it all wipes off.

41127bd3 72ff 4d4a 9406 bb83fa8bfbed  img 0275
added almost 2 years ago

I'm going to have to remember that! Thanks.

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

Did you know that the "heirloom" trick for using the zester "upside down" is actually the way that the manual instructs that it should be used? Kitchen trick lesson here? Always read your manuals, even ones for simple tools. Keep manuals for your appliances in or near your kitchen in a well-labeled file, so they'll be handy when you need them for troubleshooting, using accessories, etc. Read them again after you've had the tool or appliance for awhile. Who knows what you might learn? ;o)

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

When putting a pot of water on to boil for pasta, or blanching vegetables, etc. where you need a large amount boiled, fill up your tea kettle and put that on a second burner (reducing what's you'd otherwise put the large pot by what's in the kettle). Water ready in half the time! And of course, put the lid on the pot. It makes a difference in how quickly the water heats. ;o)

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

Also, I keep an inventory of all my spices and dried herbs, as well as an inventory of what's in my freezer, in files in my phone. Not necessarily time saved in the kitchen, per se, but it saves time in planning, list-making and shopping, giving me time for the fun activities I enjoy in the kitchen! ;o)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

I do this too. Also great for seeing which foods are nearing their "use by" dates, so best to plan menus and dishes around them.

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added almost 2 years ago

I do that with my spices, but doing it for the freezer is sound advice, I'm constantly digging thru stuff that looks like it belongs in the Siberian Permafrost!

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

Not using what's in the freezer because it's forgotten and then has to be tossed because it's too old sort of defeats the purpose of putting it in there in the first place. I rely on my freezer for key components of dinners at least 2 or 3 times per week, often more. The minimal amount of time needed to keep track of what goes in and what comes out is more than paid back by the convenience of having those freezer helpers to put dinner on the table more easily! ;o)

3a07161a c04e 4fa1 b28d 18a97a109314  img 7662
added almost 2 years ago

Save your onion skins for stock, makes it golden, and as noted before grate frozen butter/lard for pie instead of cutting into cubes and put cheese in the freezer before grated especially soft cheeses like Monterey Jack.

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

On a related note: Putting meat in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes, no more, makes it much easier to slice razor thin for stir fries and similar dishes. ;o)

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added almost 2 years ago

In a Pinch, I substitute Pomegranate molasses when Balsamic vinegar is required.

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added almost 2 years ago

In a Pinch, I substitute Pomegranate molasses when Balsamic vinegar is required.

Cef49d72 d554 46db a888 e97e0311e08e  cimg0737
added almost 2 years ago

Label all leftovers with a Sharpie and masking tape that are destined for the refrigerator or freezer. This is not just for my purposes, but for other members of the family who may be pulling something out of the fridge or freezer and may not be able to determine which container contains the bolognese sauce.

I also take this a step further and keep one shelf in the fridge exclusively for leftovers, so that items for lunches and quick weekday dinners are easy for everyone to find.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
ktr
added almost 2 years ago

I love this tip! My husband never used to label the packages when he butchered a deer, wild bird or fish and I was never sure what I was pulling out. He swore he could tell what they were but after he got a few wrong and got sick of me asking him to find a certain cut of meat for me he has made sure to label everything he puts in the freezer.

81cfb92a 5563 4dc4 be19 7ebc49b772ac  horne melissa higgins cavanagh cooney3
added almost 2 years ago

Tying the cap of the Sharpie to the roll of masking tape with a length of kitchen twine makes it easier to find both items.

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

Here's a real slacker-mom tip: when prepping vegetables, etc. for a meal for dinner involving soup or stew or pasta dishes to serve in pasta plates, I put the prepped ingredients in the bowls from which we'll be eating, whenever possible. Each one is one less dish to wash. Also, whenever I grate hard cheese for a dish or to garnish, I grate it directly into a deli container, grating much more than I need for the dish that night, to have more on hand, already grated, for another meal. ;o)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 2 years ago

I wouldn't classify that as "slacker-mom"...more like "smart-mom". Course, I do the same thing and I don't have kids. ;-)
And I'm stealing that deli container tip. Brilliant.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Love you, aj!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 2 years ago

Keep a freezer bag for (usable) veggie scraps and bones for broth...the ol' "Waste not, want not" school of thought.

Use a pastry bag/icing tip as a cherry pitter. I have tried using straws but don't like how flimsy they are. And I certainly don't need a cherry pitter sitting in a drawer just to be pulled out during one (short) season!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 2 years ago

I use the same method for saving trimmings from vegetables as well as chicken bones, necks and wings. I keep it in the top tray of my freezer and when it gets so full that I can't close the freezer door, it's time to make stock! It's also a blue bag, clearly marked so the other cook in the house doesn't mistake it for something ready-to-eat.

81cfb92a 5563 4dc4 be19 7ebc49b772ac  horne melissa higgins cavanagh cooney3
added almost 2 years ago

When I unwrap sticks of butter, I fold them in half and stick them in a zipper bag in the freezer -- and then pull out one or two when I need to grease a pan. A perfect solution for "plus more for the pan" recipes.

E7b6597b db6e 4cae b9f3 699b508f4ed3  036
aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

Get a dog = no dropped food stays on the floor for long! :-)
I wash all of the fruits and veggies that go into bowls on the island as soon as they come home, that way you can grab-n-go when you need to use or just eat one.
Once a dish towel is a bit too dirty to use on hands / counters, throw it on the floor and let it work down there for a while before throwing it in the washer.

Those aren't really heirloom though are they. Hmm.

3a07161a c04e 4fa1 b28d 18a97a109314  img 7662
added almost 2 years ago

I knew we were cooking sisters from other misters! I'm always telling my husband that if we had a dog the kitchen floor would be cleaner!!!

E7b6597b db6e 4cae b9f3 699b508f4ed3  036
aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

PLUS if you got a rescue you would be building up the deposits in your karma bank! Do it!!!

Cef49d72 d554 46db a888 e97e0311e08e  cimg0737
added almost 2 years ago

I often do the towel trick too, but put them on the kitchen counter under the dish drainer to mop up excess water.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Abbie your towel trick reminds me of a caution. Dish towels, Hand towels & sponges carry more bacteria than we want to know. We should be changing them frequently, washing the towels in hot water separately from other laundry, disinfecting the sponges after washing (1-3 minute in mw, in dishwasher cycle, or in dilute bleach solution). Also keep different towels for hand/counter wiping & dish drying.

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

Abbie, you make me laugh! When my sister and I both had toddlers and babies, and she learned that we don't have a dog (we live on opposite coasts), she gave me this really puzzled look and said, "Who cleans your kids' faces? Who cleans your floor?" ;o)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
ktr
added almost 2 years ago

We have 2 dogs and just this morning my 3 year old finished eating breakfast, climbed down from the chair and went from one dog to the other to let them lick his hands.

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

When I have a lot of collards or mustard greens that need cleaning. I clean up the washing machine with some vinegar to remove any soap...Then fill it up with fresh water and use that as a big salad spinner.
People think this is weird.

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added almost 2 years ago

Not weird at all! small roadside joints in North Indian have been known to buy washing machines for the sole purpose of making Lassi!

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Yeah. My Grandmother did it too.
But people were Eeeewwh. That's unsanitary you wash underwear in a clothes washer. Well, you wash raw chicken in a sink...you wash turkey in a sink..you wash babies in a sink. You just clean it out each time.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
ktr
added almost 2 years ago

We have 2 refrigerators and I use the one in the kitchen for foods that can be eaten and the other for foods that are going to be used to make supper in the next week or so. This way no one has to ask me if they are about to eat a key ingredient in our supper that I have planned.

48dd002c 4c45 4b84 8006 ac8614d467cd  dsc00859 2
creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Before baking, I measure out the dry ingredients the day or night before and put them in a ziploc bag: the flour, baking soda, powder and salt in one ziplock or covered bowl, the sugar in another. If chopping chocolate is involved, I do that too. Sometimes I even grease and flour cake pans in advance then line them with parchment. Everything is ready to go the next day (I usually re-sift the dry ingredients to aerate them). I can whip up a cake in short order. This started when the kids were very small and I wanted to avoid interruptions, and as they got older, to bake their surprise birthday cakes while they were in school.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 2 years ago

I used to do something similar when I made a lot of the same recipe. I use the bag to whip up some muffins, then while they are baking I measure out a new batch of dry ingredients. Now I do it with some rolls I make that have a lot of ingredients (flour, yeast, potato flakes, powdered milk.) So I can always whip them up just that bit faster.

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

For years, I did that for all my bread baking.

I love using wheat germ, potato flakes, different types of flours, etc., as you can easily see from the bread recipes I've posted. I'd measure all the dry ingredients - for all the loaves I'd be making throughout the week! -- into quart yogurt containers. I labeled the lid with the name of the bread and the wet ingredients, quantities included, necessary to complete that loaf. I had a set of quart yogurt containers I'd re-use, with the name + dry ingredient amounts taped onto the base of the container. I'd fill the containers based on the ingredient list on the container, find the corresponding lid and then I'd be ready to go - no recipes needed. (If the loaf was baked at a temperature other than 350 degrees, I'd note that.)
I usually did this very early on a weekend morning, when the house was quiet.

I use the same technique for the spice blends I regularly make - ingredients typically stated in ratios. ;o)

16ad11c5 f432 4398 9282 79524b7caf98  bristol mel arches
added almost 2 years ago

When tasting something from the pot, I almost always use a ceramic spoon (Chinese soup spoon, because that's what I have on hand). The ceramic doesn't interact with the food/give a funny metallic taste, and it doesn't conduct heat as well so the spoon doesn't burn my tongue.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Make twice as much of anything that can be frozen (or the components for it). Clearly label the freezer bags. Usually means 1 set of dishes instead of 2, 1 grocery shop, 1 wash up, etc.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

If making mashed potatoes, use red or small white (Yukon Gold), cut about all the same size, but not peeled. Boil the potatoes, drain them, then spread out on a dishtowel to let steam clear off. When they're cool, peel skins off with a paring knife. Works easily and quickly.

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

Pegeen, I thoroughly wash and cut medium sized russets crosswise and simmer them in salted water. A bit of starch releases into the water, which I like because I then use it in making bread, but the skins hold tight quite well. They come off in no time, just by pulling gently with your hands or with the help of a paring knife, if your hands can't take the heat. ;o)

Bb911bcd 2446 4d8f 848f cdc2090e999a  leaf cake
added almost 2 years ago

Whether I cook for 2 or for 4 or 6, I always deliberately make extra of the entree so I can take a breather the next day, or stash in the freezer for a easily defrosted dinner down the road. Also, I save parsley stalks, ends of celery stalks, carrot ends, and other vegetable paraphernalia in a plastic bag that I stash in the freezer. It comes in handy when putting together a quick stock.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

KTR: Oh dear. There is nothing more loving than licks from a dog or a cat but remember their intentions are self-serving. They have a gazillion more tastebuds, nasal receptors, pherome receptors, etc., than humans do. They can never get enough. The tongue that licked your three year old's hands could have been licking the sidewalk or toilet seat when you didn't happen to be around. Older humans have better-developed immune systems but not children. Some googling will reveal some hair-raising numbers about what kind of germs dogs and cats carry around with them (esp. if they're allowed out of the house). Don't mean to sound stuffy but never let animals lick children, esp their hands, which children will then put in their mouths. Sure, kids will come in contact with all kinds of stuff at the playground. But cats and dogs like to eat dead animals and poop.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

correction: pheromone

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
ktr
added almost 2 years ago

Don't worry, I do lots of wound care and treatment of infections as part of my job and am well aware of the germs in a dog's mouth. My son's hands were washed after the dogs licked them. I believe letting them interact is very important for both my son and my dogs. I'm also very conscious that dogs, even the most well trained ones, are still animals so my son is always watched closely when interacting with our dogs - something I think all pet owners need to remember.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

ktr, you've got the bases covered! :-) Plus what's that saying, "You haven't lived until you've eaten a peck of dirt" ?

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 2 years ago

we are two adults at home. i buy a huge amount lettuce per week and half at costco. i remove the outer leaves on all when i get home, wash them and then stack neatly on wet paper towels and then into several plastic bags and into fridge...instant cleaned lettuce. the inner remainders also get a splash of water then wrapped in wet paper towels and put in plastic bags in fridge. it is amazing how long they last, they are clean and a salad is a snap. i buy the baby romaine 8 pack and 2 packs of bib lettuce with 3 per pack. i think they are hydroponically grown. also buy the large container of mushrooms, strip off the plastic wrap and keep damp paper towels over it in the fridge. keeps for more than a week...rotate them and use from bottom first.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 2 years ago

This fairly new one to me really saved me tonight when I was in a rush. I've made Kelly's Asian Chicken a million times and wish I knew of it earlier because peeling an entire head of garlic is a pain otherwise.

To peel an entire head of garlic, break up the head into cloves, put the cloves into a medium-large metal bowl. Cover with another metal bowl and shake up and down like crazy for about a minute. All or most of the peels will crack and fall off. Worked like a charm. If you search you can find a video of it.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Kim
added almost 2 years ago

You can also put multiple cloves in a pint mason jar and cover it. Shake like crazy for a bit, and *boom* the cloves are separated from their papers.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
ktr
added almost 2 years ago

I'm going to have to try this with a mason jar. I can never seem to find 2 metal bowls that fit together well so I make a huge mess.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Do you mean you should cover the bowl of garlic with the "bottom" side of a bowl that fits into the bigger one? Or to match the top rim of the garlic bowl with the top rim of a same-sized bowl?

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

Pegeen, here is a very short video that was actually linked through here on Food52 some time ago, showing the technique: https://www.youtube.com... ;o)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 2 years ago

Pegeen, I actually have nesting bowls and I put the garlic in the bigger bowl and use the slightly smaller one on top. But this one minute video shows using lipped bowls of the same size and grasping the lips when they are places on each other to shake.
https://www.youtube.com...

27deb974 3b33 4f19 b966 dc79321a31b1  photo for web
added almost 2 years ago

Spray Pam.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Cav
added almost 2 years ago

Leave Pam alone!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Cav - I needed those laughs

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

p.s. And I won't wheel my cart down the Oil, Dressings, Pickles aisle anytime soon without cackling like an idiot

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Not that the incomparable Food52 staff isn't already considering it, but this topic seems to have legs as its own web site section... so many good tips... surely could attract a large category of advertisers