Do you know your a la carte from your au gratin and your consommé from your confit? Most people learn their basic cooking knowledge from watching their mom and dad cook dinner when they are growing up. But is your way the best way? Even the most seasoned home cooks can often pick up a few tricks to help them with food prep.
Here are six clever hacks that will help you shine in the kitchen:
Protect Your Biggest Assets
If you invest in a quality cookware set and take good care of your pots and pans, then they can last for many years. A great tip is to avoid stacking your cookware so the surface won’t be scratched or damaged. If this is space prohibitive in your kitchen, you can save your cookware from scratches by using a piece of cloth in between each pan when you stack them.
Keep Your Baked Goods Fresh and Moist
There is nothing worse than dry, stale baked goodies. You can avoid this altogether by popping a peeled apple in an airtight container with your delicious homemade muffins. The moisture in the apple will keep them fresh for longer. You should get an additional 2-3 days of tasty, moist baked goods. Make sure you keep an eye on the apple to make sure it isn’t going bad.
Check Your Eggs
Eggs are a tricky ingredient because whether they are good or bad, they look just the same from the outside. There is an easy way to check whether they are still fresh though. Fill a glass with some cold water and pop your egg in. An egg that has gone bad will float to the top. An egg that is fresh will sink to the bottom of the glass. The science behind this is that as the egg decomposes, it creates gas which makes the egg lighter.
Prep Your Potatoes
Being able to do as much of your prep as possible in advance makes dinner time a breeze. But the challenge with potatoes is that they can turn an unappealing browny-grey color if peeled too early. This is the starch oxidizing as it is released from the potato. To avoid this unsightly occurrence, cover your potatoes in cold water before cooking, and they will stay lovely and white.
Butter Up Your Dinner Guests
Have you ever noticed how good restaurants meals taste? They often have one thing in common – butter. Butter brings a richness of flavor to a dish, so that grilled broccolini takes on a whole new meaning. Try using a 1:1 ratio of oil to butter, so the butter won’t burn. If you want to still fit into your pants next Christmas, maybe save this one for special occasions.
Keep Your Meat Juicy
Most people will cook their steak in a pan or on a BBQ and their chicken in the oven. But in fact, you probably should consider using the same method for both. The best way to seal in the moisture and flavors when prepping meat, chicken or fish is to sear it in a pan first. This seals the outside edges. You can then finish it off in your oven. You will have extra space on the stove, and your meat will be cooked to perfection.
It is easy to get into a groove of doing things the way we always have. But these handy tricks will make cooking quicker, more enjoyable and more delicious. Give them a try!
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement. We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiringyou to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re not talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
That not all will enjoy my writing.
2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
I appreciate my ability to be creative.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
Proud to have a career in writing
4. Of course, we all have imperfections, or so we think. In truth, we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? Likewise, what imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
I guess many…my sense of humor….
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to appreciate and express all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! In fact, sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!) Therefore, Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my writing and family.
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