More Tips from my Kitchen to Yours
2) When juicing citrus fruit, roll on the counter for 15 seconds to get the most juice out of them. Remember to zest the fruit first before juicing.
3) Allow steak to come to room temperature before cooking for the best results.
4) Fresh parsley and cilantro will last a lot longer if you treat them like a bouquet of flowers - stems in a glass of water, cover loosely with a plastic bag and keep in the fridge. Change the water every couple of days.
5) Taste everything. That is the only way to know if everything is seasoned perfectly. If you are making something that is unsafe to taste raw such as meatballs, make a miniature patty and cook in a skillet or microwave for 20 seconds. Taste and adjust seasoning.
6) Invest in a good set of knives, it will be the best investment you will ever make. There is absolutely nothing worse than a cheap, flimsy, dull knife. Dull knives are actually far more dangerous than sharp knives.
7) Blot meat dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel before browning. If the meat has any moisture it will just end up steaming instead of browning. The same rule applies to sauteing fresh mushrooms.
8) The easiest way to remove fat from a soup, stew or stock is to refrigerate overnight. All the fat will rise to the top, just scoop it of with a slotted spoon. If I don't have the time for that, I add a bit of chopped parsley to the soup. The fat and the parsley will float to the surface so it is easy to see it.
9) When cutting up round fruit and vegetables, such as potatoes, cut a piece off to make a flat surface so that it doesn't roll around. It will be much safer and easier to work with.
10) Don't sweat the small stuff. Cooking should be fun. Almost every cooking mishap can be rectified. If not, there is always take - out.
12) Burned a pot of rice? Just place a piece of white bread on top of the rice for 5-10 minutes to draw out the burned flavor. Be careful not to scrape the burned pieces off of the bottom of the pan when serving the rice.
13) 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.
14) If your loaf of bread is starting to go stale, just put a piece of fresh celery in the bag and close it back up. For some reason, this restores a fresh taste and texture to the bread.
15) As you buy new spices, try getting into the habit of labeling the bottles and packaging with the purchase date–this will help you determine whether or not they are still good to use or if they've gone stale.