Here are some great tips and ideas for making your time in the kitchen more economical. Some of these are just plain clever!
Great Grating – Leave cheese for 15 minutes in the freezer for easy grating.
Soup in Shape – To freeze soup or stews, spoon into plastic zip-lock bags and place bags in a rectangular container. Place in freezer until frozen and remove the outer container. Even cardboard boxes can be used for this purpose. Once frozen the plastic bags fit into any small corner.
Messy Meringue – To cut lemon meringue so that it doesn't crumble, spread a little butter or oil on both sides of the blade of the knife.
Decorate a Cake – Make a pattern on a sponge cake by placing a paper doily on the cake and sprinkling icing sugar over. The icing sugar will fall into the doily's holes and form a dainty pattern on the cake.
Tissue Tip – Tomatoes and any green vegetables will stay firm is you place tissue paper between them to absorb the moisture which makes them limp.
Go with the Flow – If tomato sauce won't flow out of the bottle, insert a drinking straw right to the bottom of the bottle. The little bit of air released into the bottle will help the flow.
Parsley Power – If you have been too generous with the garlic in a dish, add chopped parsley to tone down the garlic flavour.
Asparagus at Attention – Boil asparagus in a glass coffee pot. They will remain erect and the delicate ends will not be damaged.
Boil saves Toil – When baking jacket potatoes in the oven, first boil in water for 10 minutes before popping them into the oven.
A Butter Idea – When a recipe containing butter requires grated lemon rind, first spread butter on the grater. The pieces of lemon rind will slip through the holes in the grater.
Crispy Crust – If you are baking bread and want a crisp crust, brush the bread with saltwater halfway through the baking time.
Pasta Plan – Cook spaghetti and other pasta inside a wire sieve or colander in the saucepan. No need to drain when it is ready.
Perfect Pancake – Add a little vinegar or white wine to your pancake batter – the pancakes will not become tough.
Cool It – Fresh cream will be easier to whip if you first chill it in the refrigerator with the bowl.
Chip Tip – Potato crisps are a wonderful substitute for breadcrumbs on a dish such as fish. Keep the crisps in the packet and crush with a rolling pin.
Cool that Curry – A spoonful of natural yoghurt will make a curry that is too hot a little milder and improve the taste.
Cling-free Cling Wrap – To stop cling wrap from clinging to the icing on a cake, spray one side with spray ‘n cook.
Raw or Cooked – If you have accidentally mixed up raw and boiled eggs, spin each egg around. A boiled egg will spin fast, while raw eggs tend to wobble.
In a Jam – Marmalade is a good substitute in any recipe that requires citrus peel. It is also a perfect glaze for pork chops, or chicken roasted in the oven.
Gravy too Grey – To ensure a good brown gravy, add one teaspoon of instant coffee. It does not alter the taste, only the colour.
I am a preschool and primary school teacher and mum to 3 children. I have been involved in education since 1997 and have trained in a variety of educational specialist areas. It is with this expertise that I write articles to help parents and educators provide quality learning experiences for the children in their care.