Who doesn’t want to know some kitchen short cuts? Anything from how to complete a task more quickly to getting the most from ingredients is a good thing. Read on for 15 tips, tricks and time savers that I have been using for years in my kitchen. Most tips utilize things that are already in your kitchen, so no special equipment necessary.
1. Quickly separate eggs – If you have many eggs to separate for a recipe, use a slotted spoon. Just crack the egg into a bowl and pour into a slotted spoon that is over a bowl to catch the white. The whites will fall through the holes leaving you with a perfect yolk.
2. Get the most juice from your citrus. Microwave your citrus for about 20 minutes before juice to produce the most juice.
3. Rub a wooden cutting board with a baking soda paste to remove odors.
4. Quickly grease a pan with shortening by using a sandwich bag as a handy mitt. Your fingers can get into the corners more easily.
5. Don’t wash fresh berries, like raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and the like before storing. The moisture will make them mushy.
6. Before putting a pie into the oven cut a circle out of the center of a square of aluminum foil big enough to cover your pie. When the crust begins to brown, put the square over the pie and tuck the edges under the rim of the pie to prevent burning.
7. To cut cold butter into dry ingredients more quickly, grate the cold butter on the large holes of a cheese grater first. This makes blending the ingredients easier, especially for crumbled toppings.
8. Go green and recycle empty spice bottle shakers. You need the ones with holes in them. Wash and dry them thoroughly (the dishwasher is great for this). Refill them with flour for dusting cake pans, a cinnamon sugar mixture for cinnamon toast, or powdered sugar for decorating desserts.
9. When measuring dry ingredients like flour, sugar or cocoa, for a recipe place the measuring cup on top of a flexible paper plate or cutting board. That way any excess that spills can easily be dumped back into the container.
10. If your cake didn’t come out just right or stuck to the pan, don’t fret. Layer chunks of cake with pudding, berries, and whipped topping for a quick fix dessert.
11. Before adding chocolate chips, raisins or nuts to a cake or cookie batter, toss them with a small amount of flour. This will keep them from falling to the bottom while the dessert is baking.
12. It’s difficult to keep a large amount of pancakes warm while trying to get them done so the family can eat together. Instead of turning on the oven, place the cooked pancakes on a place and cover with a colander. This helps them retain heat while providing ventilation so the pancakes don’t become soggy.
13. Most Bundt ® pans are 12 cups, but if you’re unsure how yours measures up try this trick. Simply fill the pan with water from a measuring cup in 1 cup increments. This will help you determine the size.
14. Instead of using lemon juice to keep cut apples or apple slices from browning which can alter their taste, use apple juice. Apple juice also has citric acid to keep the slices from browning and won’t alter their taste.
15. To make copper pots shine like new, rub away grease spots with lemon halves dipped in salt.
Hopefully you’ll be able to put to use some or all of these ideas.