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purplehorseshoe
04-28-2011, 11:37 AM
Been a while since one of these got started, so here we go!

I have a set of metal piping tips (for frosting, devilled egg filling, etc.) but don't bake much. The metal tips get a LOT of use in our house, though... because we eat tacos.

Why, you may ask? Because store-bought taco shells (I know, I know - and we do have a fryer. But Taco Night is code for Tired/Lazy Night) always are stale right out of the box. A few minutes in the toaster oven restores them to their glorious crunchiness ... but they often start to fold closed while being heated, making them difficult to fill.

Metal piping tips are the perfect support column! :D


Your turn!

Athena
04-28-2011, 11:52 AM
- If you like cream/half & half in your coffee, keep a couple mini cans of evaporated milk in your cupboard for those inevitable days when you run out of the real stuff and it's early in the morning and hell if you're going to run to the store just to get cream. It's not exactly the same flavor, but it's good and those cans last forever.

- if you burn something onto a pan, get it hot on the stove, then throw a little water in the pan. Let it boil for a few minutes, then scrape with a spatula. Most stuff comes right up.

- When you order a pizza, turn the oven on as low as it'll go. When the pizza shows up, put it in the oven, close the door, and turn the oven off. After 5 or 10 minutes, even a cold pizza tastes like it's just out of the oven.

- That trick also works for frozen bread. If you buy one of those nice rustic loaves or baguettes and can't eat the whole thing, throw it in the freezer. When you want to eat it, pop it in the oven at 375 or so for about 10 minutes. Tastes just like it's fresh baked. Heck, I do this even with day-old bread, it tastes that much better. (This works because contrary to what you might think, bread goes stale because it absorbs humidity. Heating in the oven dries it out, which makes it taste fresh again.)

OldnCrinkly
04-28-2011, 12:31 PM
I use a pizza cutter on the kids pancakes. Quick, neat, and they stay stacked up how they like. It also works really well for cutting up a whole bunch of parsley or other herbs easily. It also works for celery, peppers, onions, whatever and I don't have to deal with the food processor. That thing is one big pain in my . Not so good for tomatoes though.

Dung Beetle
04-28-2011, 12:33 PM
- if you burn something onto a pan, get it hot on the stove, then throw a little water in the pan. Let it boil for a few minutes, then scrape with a spatula. Most stuff comes right up.

I pretty much just do this as a final step whenever I cook rice. :)

DCnDC
04-28-2011, 12:41 PM
The simplest and best kitchen habit I have is to wash as I cook. Any down time in the cooking is spent cleaning utensils/dishes/appliances I am done using, so by the time the food is ready the kitchen is already mostly clean. I HATE having a sink full of piled up dirty kitchen stuff.

teela brown
04-28-2011, 12:53 PM
Another pizza re-warming tip:

Get a skillet red-hot and put the pizza slices directly in it. The bottom re-crisps right up right about the time the heat reaches the cheese and gets it melty again. I learned this from America's Test Kitchen, and those guys are always right.

norinew
04-28-2011, 05:37 PM
Pizza: use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut pre-sliced pizza (I know it's pre-sliced, but it never pulls into neat slices, no matter what the commercials show!) If you use a knife, it'll drag the melty cheese all over the place; a pair of scissors won't.

Spoon-rest: use a damp, clean kitchen sponge as a spoon rest while you're cooking; makes it easy to wipe up spills as you go, absorbs anything ucky on the spoons, and can be popped right into the dishwasher on the top rack!

singular1
04-28-2011, 08:38 PM
Speaking of scissors, I use them to cut up cooked spaghetti. I hate having noodles dangling down my chin like Cthulu, tradition be damned. This is only in the privacy of our own home, mind you.
In case you don't have a pizza cutter, the most versatile blade in our knife drawer is an ulu. Using that rocking blade is perfect for chopping vegetables and herbs. A few friends from work and I took a cooking class together, and I brought an ulu to the class. Each one of them bought an ulu of their own after seeing mine at work. I'd provide a link to one, but I'm posting from an iPod and I don't know how to do that. It's worth investigating!

WhyNot
04-28-2011, 09:36 PM
Freezing a big ziptop bag of peels and ends from vegetables and herbs you use in cooking, and those "just a day off" soft ones from your fridge, in order to make homemade broth or stock is one most people probably know. I do that, and I do other bags filled with chicken carcasses, trimmings, and even the bones left from dinners (I figure the long simmer of stock making will kill any cooties.)

The clever part is that if you make stock and then keep boiling off the water, you can make condensed stock. Like, really condensed. And then you can freeze it, and it doesn't take up nearly so much space. I recently made 40 cups of good chicken stock (out of, essentially, frozen garbage) into 40 ice cubes of condensed chicken stock. When I want a cup of stock, instead of using bullion, I grab a cube out of the freezer, plunk it in a measuring cup and fill it to the 1 cup line with hot water. The other night, my SO made a wonderful chicken/pasta dish, and used a cube of stock with only about 1/2 a cup of water, so it made a very rich "sauce" that just coated the noodles.

The trickiest part is getting the condensed stock cubes out of the ice cube trays. Just briefly dip them in hot water and then use a blunt knife to pop them out. For some reason, they won't crack out of the trays like ice will.

norinew
04-28-2011, 09:52 PM
Freezing a big ziptop bag of peels and ends from vegetables and herbs you use in cooking, and those "just a day off" soft ones from your fridge, in order to make homemade broth or stock is one most people probably know. I do that, and I do other bags filled with chicken carcasses, trimmings, and even the bones left from dinners (I figure the long simmer of stock making will kill any cooties.)

The clever part is that if you make stock and then keep boiling off the water, you can make condensed stock. Like, really condensed. And then you can freeze it, and it doesn't take up nearly so much space. I recently made 40 cups of good chicken stock (out of, essentially, frozen garbage) into 40 ice cubes of condensed chicken stock. When I want a cup of stock, instead of using bullion, I grab a cube out of the freezer, plunk it in a measuring cup and fill it to the 1 cup line with hot water. The other night, my SO made a wonderful chicken/pasta dish, and used a cube of stock with only about 1/2 a cup of water, so it made a very rich "sauce" that just coated the noodles.

The trickiest part is getting the condensed stock cubes out of the ice cube trays. Just briefly dip them in hot water and then use a blunt knife to pop them out. For some reason, they won't crack out of the trays like ice will.

If you have ice cube trays 'dedicated' for the purpose of freezing foodstuff (concentrated stock, tomato paste, etc) you can spray them lightly with non-stick spray to help the stuff pop out easily.

medstar
04-28-2011, 09:54 PM
Freezing a big ziptop bag of peels and ends from vegetables and herbs you use in cooking, and those "just a day off" soft ones from your fridge, in order to make homemade broth or stock is one most people probably know. I do that, and I do other bags filled with chicken carcasses, trimmings, and even the bones left from dinners (I figure the long simmer of stock making will kill any cooties.)

The clever part is that if you make stock and then keep boiling off the water, you can make condensed stock. Like, really condensed. And then you can freeze it, and it doesn't take up nearly so much space. I recently made 40 cups of good chicken stock (out of, essentially, frozen garbage) into 40 ice cubes of condensed chicken stock. When I want a cup of stock, instead of using bullion, I grab a cube out of the freezer, plunk it in a measuring cup and fill it to the 1 cup line with hot water. The other night, my SO made a wonderful chicken/pasta dish, and used a cube of stock with only about 1/2 a cup of water, so it made a very rich "sauce" that just coated the noodles.

The trickiest part is getting the condensed stock cubes out of the ice cube trays. Just briefly dip them in hot water and then use a blunt knife to pop them out. For some reason, they won't crack out of the trays like ice will.

I've read in cooking magazines that once the stock cubes are frozen solid, you should pop them out of the ice cube tray and put them in a gallon sized freezer bag and press out as much air as possible so that the bag doesn't take up too much freezer space. Then, remove cubes as you need them.

WhyNot
04-28-2011, 10:22 PM
If you have ice cube trays 'dedicated' for the purpose of freezing foodstuff (concentrated stock, tomato paste, etc) you can spray them lightly with non-stick spray to help the stuff pop out easily.
Ooh, good idea!
I've read in cooking magazines that once the stock cubes are frozen solid, you should pop them out of the ice cube tray and put them in a gallon sized freezer bag and press out as much air as possible so that the bag doesn't take up too much freezer space. Then, remove cubes as you need them.
Well, yes, except they won't "pop". At least, mine wouldn't. They seem to be a bit gelatinous, even frozen. So I do the dunk in hot water, pop out with a knife thing, then put the cubes in a bag for later use.

Soliloquy
04-28-2011, 10:55 PM
I like my bananas kind of green. When they start getting too ripe, I peel them, cut them up, and freeze them in freezer bags to blend into protein shakes instead of a bunch of ice. Adds flavor, makes the shake less watery, and you don't waste the bananas.

notfrommensa
04-28-2011, 11:15 PM
as a bachelor, I keep a spray bottle of very diluted dishwashing soap in a spray bottle at the sink. To wash the 1 or 2 breakfast or lunch dishes. some hot water, and spritz from the spray bottle, a brush, and voila, clean dishes w/o filling up the sink with a lot of hot water.

don't ask
04-29-2011, 12:28 AM
Caramelize a whole bunch of sliced onions at once and freeze them. They keep well, improve so many things - hamburgers, sandwiches, pizzas, pasta sauces and take so long to do. And when you get stupid recipes that allow a few minutes to sweat down onions, you have a head start. You can do them in a slow cooker, just chuck them in for 8 to 10 hours with a little butter.

I serve salad dressing on the side in a sauce bottle and let people dress their own mainly because I don't like a lot of dressing but lots of people seem to like heaps.

MrDibble
04-29-2011, 07:02 AM
Freeze egg whites when you've had to use just the yolks in something.

Deseed peppers by using the see-saw knife technique.

purplehorseshoe
04-29-2011, 12:33 PM
...

Spoon-rest: use a damp, clean kitchen sponge as a spoon rest while you're cooking; makes it easy to wipe up spills as you go, absorbs anything ucky on the spoons, and can be popped right into the dishwasher on the top rack!

Ha! That reminds me of one I've seen somewhere - maybe Heloise. Use an old piece of stale bread as a spoon rest. Then, when the meal is ready, give the sauce-coated bread to the dog.

When I have a dog, I plan to do this. :D

Missy2U
04-29-2011, 02:28 PM
Ha! That reminds me of one I've seen somewhere - maybe Heloise. Use an old piece of stale bread as a spoon rest. Then, when the meal is ready, give the sauce-coated bread to the dog.

When I have a dog, I plan to do this. :D

You're going to make a certain dog very happy tonight when I take that little trick home. :D

TriPolar
04-29-2011, 02:54 PM
Here's a great funny kitchen trick! Put a rubber band over the sink sprayer to hold the handle down, then point it at the front of the sink. When someone turns on the water they get sprayed!

norinew
04-29-2011, 03:27 PM
Here's a great funny kitchen trick! Put a rubber band over the sink sprayer to hold the handle down, then point it at the front of the sink. When someone turns on the water they get sprayed!
Well, this is funny unless you're the one who has to clean up the water all over the kitchen!

TriPolar
04-29-2011, 03:35 PM
Aww geez Mom, you never let me have any fun :)

Lynn Bodoni
04-29-2011, 03:54 PM
Ha! That reminds me of one I've seen somewhere - maybe Heloise. Use an old piece of stale bread as a spoon rest. Then, when the meal is ready, give the sauce-coated bread to the dog.

When I have a dog, I plan to do this. :D My grandparents used to pour the hamburger grease over dog kibble, and give that to the dogs. The dogs loved it.

WhyNot
04-29-2011, 03:55 PM
Aww geez Mom, you never let me have any fun :)

Oh, you wanted to have fun? Of course it's fun! You know what else is fun? Mopping the floor. Have at it, boyo! :dubious: :D

norinew
04-29-2011, 04:22 PM
Aww geez Mom, you never let me have any fun :)
Yep, I'll tell you the same thing I tell the kids I gave birth to: "I know; I suck". ;)

Icarus
04-29-2011, 05:35 PM
as a bachelor, I keep a spray bottle of very diluted dishwashing soap in a spray bottle at the sink. To wash the 1 or 2 breakfast or lunch dishes. some hot water, and spritz from the spray bottle, a brush, and voila, clean dishes w/o filling up the sink with a lot of hot water.

I find that the dishwashing soap bottle quickly develops a crust of gummy soap on the top. When I need to just wash a few single items, I pop the dish washing brush down on top of the dishwashing soap bottle. It picks up a few crumbs of gummy soap, just enough to wash the few items under running hot water. No need to fill a sink!

You're welcome.

John Mace
04-29-2011, 05:51 PM
Speaking of scissors, I use them to cut up cooked spaghetti. I hate having noodles dangling down my chin like Cthulu, tradition be damned. This is only in the privacy of our own home, mind you.

I just break the bundle in half before it goes into the pot. But do it sloooooowly, over a bowl or dish you're going to eat off of, so little bits don't go flying all over the place.

purplehorseshoe
04-29-2011, 05:55 PM
My grandparents used to pour the hamburger grease over dog kibble, and give that to the dogs. The dogs loved it.

My parents used to do the same with bacon grease. Pour over while still hot, allow to cool, give to dog. Dog considered it The Best Day Ever.

Keeps their coats shiny, donchaknow. ;)

Lynn Bodoni
04-29-2011, 06:00 PM
Hell, we don't give the bacon grease to the animals. The grandparents (all four of them) considered this to be the best cooking grease available for certain foods.

Jaledin
04-29-2011, 11:40 PM
You all are making me sound gross, but I don't generally bother cleaning my cast irons or tongs that have been soaked a bit in boiling water.

Just ask ol' Jack Burton is my motto. Check's in the mail.

Joey P
04-30-2011, 12:04 AM
I like my bananas kind of green. When they start getting too ripe, I peel them, cut them up, and freeze them in freezer bags to blend into protein shakes instead of a bunch of ice. Adds flavor, makes the shake less watery, and you don't waste the bananas.

Bananas are disgusting, so I don't have them, but being in the produce industry, I've picked up some tricks along the way. When it comes to bananas, toss them in the fridge when the get to your preferred ripeness. After a while they'll get a slightly gray tinge to them (this may or may not take a 'trained eye' to notice, I know I can spot it). At that point you can leave them in or take them out and put them back on your counter. Either way, they'll never ripen any further. I'd imagine after a while they might rot, but they won't ripen any more.

You know how once in a while you buy some green bananas from the store and two weeks later they're still bright green, typically that means somewhere along the line they were improperly handled, either not gassed correctly or chilled. Sometimes it meant they were shipped on a reefer truck and not properly protected, could mean they spent too long outside in winter or even that a moron with a pallet jack stuck them in the cooler for a few hours before someone noticed.

John Mace
04-30-2011, 11:25 AM
Bananas are disgusting, so I don't have them, but being in the produce industry, I've picked up some tricks along the way. When it comes to bananas, toss them in the fridge when the get to your preferred ripeness. After a while they'll get a slightly gray tinge to them (this may or may not take a 'trained eye' to notice, I know I can spot it). At that point you can leave them in or take them out and put them back on your counter. Either way, they'll never ripen any further. I'd imagine after a while they might rot, but they won't ripen any more.

Roughly how long in the fridge are we talking?

Joey P
04-30-2011, 12:03 PM
Roughly how long in the fridge are we talking?

Honestly, I never timed it. I think most people just leave them in there. The skin will turn ugly, but they inside should stay fine.

Try it with one next time and see if it works.

John Mace
04-30-2011, 12:20 PM
Honestly, I never timed it. I think most people just leave them in there. The skin will turn ugly, but they inside should stay fine.

Try it with one next time and see if it works.

OK.

My mother used to keep bananas in the fridge when I was a kid, but I really prefer to eat them at room temp, so I would want to take them out as soon as possible.

Joey P
04-30-2011, 12:26 PM
OK.

My mother used to keep bananas in the fridge when I was a kid, but I really prefer to eat them at room temp, so I would want to take them out as soon as possible.

You could certainly take them out an hour or two before you wanted them.

I'm fairly certain you could stick them in there for a few hours and then take them back out, but as a non-banana eater, it's not something I've experimented with. As a producer seller, it's just something I've run across in a "Shit, these bananas aren't ripening, they must have been chilled somewhere along the line" Usually it happens to an entire pallet of them and we end up having to throw them all out and attempt to get credit on them from our wholesaler if it wasn't our fault.

bouv
04-30-2011, 01:16 PM
If you use a sponge for cleaning dishes or the counter, stick it in the microwave after you're done with it for ~30 seconds. (make sure it's wet and all the soap is rinsed off.) This kills the germs that are in there and it will last a lot longer before it gets that stinky, old-sponge, smell.

Joey P
04-30-2011, 01:20 PM
If you use a sponge for cleaning dishes or the counter, stick it in the microwave after you're done with it for ~30 seconds. (make sure it's wet and all the soap is rinsed off.) This kills the germs that are in there and it will last a lot longer before it gets that stinky, old-sponge, smell.

I wonder if that works with old people?

needscoffee
04-30-2011, 01:23 PM
I wonder if that works with old people?You'd have to at least double the cooking time.

Joey P
04-30-2011, 01:25 PM
You'd have to at least double the cooking time.
Really? They're pretty small.

Silver Tyger
04-30-2011, 02:17 PM
In case you don't have a pizza cutter, the most versatile blade in our knife drawer is an ulu. Using that rocking blade is perfect for chopping vegetables and herbs. A few friends from work and I took a cooking class together, and I brought an ulu to the class. Each one of them bought an ulu of their own after seeing mine at work. I'd provide a link to one, but I'm posting from an iPod and I don't know how to do that. It's worth investigating!

How do you keep the the food from skipping all around the cutting board? We've got a rocking knife (it's got two handles so you can't use it one-handed :mad: ) and I stopped using it (and we basically only used it for nuts and chocolate chips)

Joey P
04-30-2011, 02:49 PM
How do you keep the the food from skipping all around the cutting board? We've got a rocking knife (it's got two handles so you can't use it one-handed :mad: ) and I stopped using it (and we basically only used it for nuts and chocolate chips)

I understand what you have, but having never heard of an ulu, I looked it up. It appears to used with one hand. (http://www.savesucash.com/wholesale_ulu_chopping_tool.gif). From the looks of it, I'd think your wrist would get tired very quickly and it seems like it be difficult to chop anything that offered any kind of resistance.

WhyNot
04-30-2011, 02:56 PM
I've only ever figured out how to use the ulu for mincing fresh herbs. I know it's an all purpose knife for some people, but I can't figure out how to slice, dice or chop evenly with it.

Joey P
04-30-2011, 02:57 PM
Okay, just watched a video on how they work. On the one hand it was a Ginsu knife style infomercial so I'm taking it with a grain of salt (he said you could cut a cow in half), but now I see how you're supposed to hold it. Makes sense. But I still like my big ass chef's knife.

irishgirl
04-30-2011, 03:17 PM
Silver Tyger Girl- you need a Mezzaluna or Hachoir board- it has a concave surface to keep all the bits neat.


Almost anything stained or dirty in a kitchen can be cleaned using elbow grease and lemon juice, vinegar or bicarbonate of soda. Cheap, non toxic and easy to get hold of.

SciFiSam
04-30-2011, 03:47 PM
Um ... kinda a kitchen tip.

Microwave your socks.

I mean socks that are too damp to put on. Experiment a little, because microwaves vary - mine I 'cook' for a minute then wait, then cook for another minute, and so on, until they're dry enough. Warm too, in the winter. Your microwave might need shorter bursts of heat.

Works for any item of clothing that's small enough to fit in the microwave and doesn't have any metallic parts in. Ie. underwired bras? Not such a good idea.

This doesn't come up these days, because I have a dryer, but back when I had no dryer and no garden and very little space to hang clothes to dry, it was a lifesaver.

TexasDriver
04-30-2011, 06:23 PM
Almost anything stained or dirty in a kitchen can be cleaned using elbow grease and lemon juice, vinegar or bicarbonate of soda. Cheap, non toxic and easy to get hold of. My toaster oven pan is black and never comes clean with any amount of scrubbing and soaking. I have considered putting it in a plastic bag and spraying it with an oven cleaner. Any thoughts?

irishgirl
04-30-2011, 07:28 PM
Depends what your pan is made of- if it has a fancy finish I wouldn't mess with the oven cleaner.

You could try:

Making a paste of coarse salt or bicarb and a little water, slather it on, and scrub off with a scourer.

Soaking overnight in a sink with some biological laundry detergent or dishwasher powder.

Some people swear by ammonia or Borax for getting rid of black crusty bits- I've never had to use them.

Silver Tyger
04-30-2011, 07:50 PM
Silver Tyger Girl- you need a Mezzaluna or Hachoir board- it has a concave surface to keep all the bits neat.


We do. I must be doing something wrong. *shrug*

singular1
04-30-2011, 08:52 PM
I don't use anything other than a cutting board. I just hold a bunch of celery or slabs of cucumber or zucchini or half a pepper and chop away, rocking up on the tip, sliding the veg forward androcking down to the other tip, until everything is nicely chopped. I've never had a problem with runaway veg. I honestly can't think of anything that ever gave me a problem with it.

Hazle Weatherfield
04-30-2011, 09:08 PM
When steaming, boiling or stir-frying anything, I always add a couple of splashes of Chardonnay. Adds a great flavor and no one can identify it.

bouv
05-01-2011, 01:06 PM
We do. I must be doing something wrong. *shrug*

You might have too smooth of a cutting board. Is is plastic, bamboo, or composite (like fancy plywood)? Those are smoother surfaces than a hard-wood board. Although they're more expensive, an "end grain" cutting board is basically the best all-around type of board.

Antigen
05-01-2011, 03:15 PM
Freeze egg whites when you've had to use just the yolks in something.

Just stick them in a container and freeze them? And they're still usable when you thaw them out? Can you freeze yolks that are left over from recipes that only need whites? I have some recipes like that and I hate throwing the yolks out!

Deseed peppers by using the see-saw knife technique.

Can you explain this?

WhyNot - I've been doing the stock thing with freezer bags full of trimmings and bones for a while but never thought to concentrate the hell out of it and freeze it! :smack: How awesome, to have a supply of chicken stock in my freezer and never need to open a box or can of it for a recipe!

WhyNot
05-01-2011, 05:01 PM
WhyNot - I've been doing the stock thing with freezer bags full of trimmings and bones for a while but never thought to concentrate the hell out of it and freeze it! :smack: How awesome, to have a supply of chicken stock in my freezer and never need to open a box or can of it for a recipe!
I know, right? It just occurred to me this last time, when I planned to make stock and freeze it, and then realized that I didn't really have room for 40 cups of stock in my freezer! I just happened to glance at my jar of Better Than Boullion and thought, "hmmm...if they can concentrate stock, so can I!"

Apparently you can go a lot more concentrated than I did, even, and make something called glace de viande, but I found that going to the point I did made the math easiest. When the stock got to the strength I call "regular", I then boiled it down to roughly 1/8 the volume. So 1/8 of a cup (or 2 tablespoons, which is conveniently the volume of my ice cube trays' compartments) of this stuff reconstitutes to 1 cup of regular strength stock by my taste.

Related tip: when you've decided your stock is "regular strength", strain it and return it to the pot, then stick the end of a wooden spoon in it. See the mark of moisture on the wood? Divide that distance into eight, and put a rubber band or twist tie at the 1/8 mark. That way, you can check the volume just by sticking your spoon handle in, instead of pouring it into measuring cups to check how far you've gotten. When you can just see the top of the rubber band when the handle is in the stock, you've gone far enough!

norinew
05-01-2011, 05:17 PM
I know, right? It just occurred to me this last time, when I planned to make stock and freeze it, and then realized that I didn't really have room for 40 cups of stock in my freezer! I just happened to glance at my jar of Better Than Boullion and thought, "hmmm...if they can concentrate stock, so can I!"

Apparently you can go a lot more concentrated than I did, even, and make something called glace de viande, but I found that going to the point I did made the math easiest. When the stock got to the strength I call "regular", I then boiled it down to roughly 1/8 the volume. So 1/8 of a cup (or 2 tablespoons, which is conveniently the volume of my ice cube trays' compartments) of this stuff reconstitutes to 1 cup of regular strength stock by my taste.

Related tip: when you've decided your stock is "regular strength", strain it and return it to the pot, then stick the end of a wooden spoon in it. See the mark of moisture on the wood? Divide that distance into eight, and put a rubber band or twist tie at the 1/8 mark. That way, you can check the volume just by sticking your spoon handle in, instead of pouring it into measuring cups to check how far you've gotten. When you can just see the top of the rubber band when the handle is in the stock, you've gone far enough!

Hey, I use the rubber-band (or kitchen twine) on the wooden spoon handle technique, too, when reducing things! Very convenient! :)

purplehorseshoe
05-02-2011, 01:46 PM
Just stick them in a container and freeze them? And they're still usable when you thaw them out? Can you freeze yolks that are left over from recipes that only need whites? I have some recipes like that and I hate throwing the yolks out!



Can you explain this?

WhyNot - I've been doing the stock thing with freezer bags full of trimmings and bones for a while but never thought to concentrate the hell out of it and freeze it! :smack: How awesome, to have a supply of chicken stock in my freezer and never need to open a box or can of it for a recipe!

I, too, need an explanation of this de-seeding. :confused:

Egg whites freeze pretty well in ice-cube trays. The thawed results are OK for baking, or for making an egg wash. Some Googling indicates that you can't just thaw yolks - seems to be that you have to add a pinch of sugar or salt to keep the texture from changing, but I can't speak to that from personal experience.

DMark
05-03-2011, 12:49 PM
We have really hard water here in Las Vegas, so when using the dishwasher, we put in vinegar at the bottom of the machine and regular dishwasher soap in the dispenser - it has made all the difference - glasses come out shiny and there is no calk gumming up the works inside. And no, it does not smell like vinegar when the cycles are completed.
We do this with every load in the dishwasher, and also put in vinegar in about every fourth load of laundry in the washer.

We freeze lots of things in zip-lock bags but the best trick there is to seal it almost completely closed, then use a straw to suck the air out, quickly remove and then snap it closed. Removing the air avoids freezer burns on food.

Somewhere along the line, we bought a cheese slicer - a gizmo made of wires that you can use to slice a chunk of cheese into multiple slices. We don't buy cheese in blocks like that much, but it works great when slicing tomatoes. One swipe through a tomato and you have perfect slices for BLT's or other sandwiches, etc.

KneadToKnow
05-03-2011, 01:52 PM
If you stack your non-stick pans (as I do), and worry about wearing the non-stick finish off by having the bottom of one pan rubbing against the top of the next one, lay a napkin or small dish towel between them. Problem solved.

Hazle Weatherfield
05-04-2011, 10:46 AM
I like to keep my Bloody Mary ice cold, but I can't stand ice cubes in it, watering it down as they melt. If I think of it, I'll keep an ice tray filled with tomato juice or V-8 and add a bit more vodka to the drink. No dilution!

Bacon Salt!

KneadToKnow
05-04-2011, 01:08 PM
I like to keep my Bloody Mary ice cold, but I can't stand ice cubes in it, watering it down as they melt. If I think of it, I'll keep an ice tray filled with tomato juice or V-8 and add a bit more vodka to the drink. No dilution!

Alton suggested this in his "Raising the Bar 2" episode. I'm planning to start doing it with OJ for my screwdrivers.

purplehorseshoe
05-04-2011, 01:30 PM
If you stack your non-stick pans (as I do), and worry about wearing the non-stick finish off by having the bottom of one pan rubbing against the top of the next one, lay a napkin or small dish towel between them. Problem solved.

Paper plates work, too. Also, if you're behind on your dishwashing, you can eat off the plates. ;)

Sally Mander
05-04-2011, 09:59 PM
I like to keep my Bloody Mary ice cold, but I can't stand ice cubes in it, watering it down as they melt. If I think of it, I'll keep an ice tray filled with tomato juice or V-8 and add a bit more vodka to the drink. No dilution!

I do this with coffee, for iced coffee. No more watered down iced coffee!

EvilTOJ
05-05-2011, 03:44 AM
It never even occurred to me to use the pizza cutter to cut other things. Inconceivable!

How bout a tip? To clean that dried up spatter in the microwave, microwave a mug of water for at least a minute on high. Let it sit for a few minutes, then carefully remove the mug and pour it out(you don't want to heat it too much, lest the water become superheated and explode into steam when you move the mug). Then wipe down the inside of the microwave, all done!

norinew
05-05-2011, 06:07 AM
It never even occurred to me to use the pizza cutter to cut other things. Inconceivable!

How bout a tip? To clean that dried up spatter in the microwave, microwave a mug of water for at least a minute on high. Let it sit for a few minutes, then carefully remove the mug and pour it out(you don't want to heat it too much, lest the water become superheated and explode into steam when you move the mug). Then wipe down the inside of the microwave, all done!
That's a great microwave-cleaning tip, and I use it frequently, but I'll kick it up a notch for you: if you happen to have a lemon or an orange hanging around, put a slice of citrus fruit in the water. Not only will the steam from the water loosen the dirt, but the citrus oils will leave your microwave smelling nice! :)

Max Torque
05-05-2011, 09:38 AM
That's a great microwave-cleaning tip, and I use it frequently, but I'll kick it up a notch for you: if you happen to have a lemon or an orange hanging around, put a slice of citrus fruit in the water. Not only will the steam from the water loosen the dirt, but the citrus oils will leave your microwave smelling nice! :)

And when you're done with that, toss that lemon or orange wedge into the garbage disposal and grind it up. Your sink will smell citrus-fresh.

rjk
05-05-2011, 10:55 AM
If you have a drawer full of plastic containers (Tupperware, Glad, etc.), all the lids are the same size but none of them fit the tub you want to use. Spend a little time sorting them, and use a permanent marker to tag the matching tubs and lids (on the outside, of course). The tags will fade after a few washings, but are easy to refresh. We use tags like S1, S2, S3, ... for square or rectangular ones in various sizes, and R1, R2, R3, ... for round ones. (I'm sure we can all tell the difference between suare and round, but Zyada just did it that way when she came up with the idea.)

Arglefraster
05-05-2011, 02:35 PM
Here's a tip for removing dried-on food gunk from a kitchen counter. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda on it, then sprinkle a bit of vinegar on it. Wait for it to stop fizzing, and it should wipe right off.

DoctorJ
05-05-2011, 03:21 PM
(you don't want to heat it too much, lest the water become superheated and explode into steam when you move the mug)
To prevent that, put a wooden chopstick in the mug. (It should be a fairly rough one--there has to be a rough surface for bubbles to form. Too smooth and it won't work.)

ZipperJJ
05-05-2011, 03:45 PM
My dad burned a stainless steel pot the other day and nothing could get the burn out. Then my mom put it in a Ziploc bag with some ammonia and left it in the garage over night, and the burn came right out. This might work for your pan, TexasDriver, but you can try the other less-toxic solutions first.

I think I always share this one but...at my house we have a dishes sponge and a countertop/surfaces sponge. I don't like to use the same sponge for dishes as I do for cleaning. In order to keep tell these sponges apart, I always snip the corner off of the cleaning sponge. That way there's never any confusion regardless of where the sponges sit or what color they are.

WRT using a pizza cutter, Alton Brown uses his all the time. But he uses one without a handle (http://www.amazon.com/Zyliss-Palm-Held-Pizza-Slicer-Red/dp/B000AERPP4/ref=sr_1_6?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1304628290&sr=1-6). It looks so much easier to use than one with a handle!

KneadToKnow
05-05-2011, 03:55 PM
WRT using a pizza cutter, Alton Brown uses his all the time. But he uses one without a handle (http://www.amazon.com/Zyliss-Palm-Held-Pizza-Slicer-Red/dp/B000AERPP4/ref=sr_1_6?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1304628290&sr=1-6). It looks so much easier to use than one with a handle!

Concur. I just wish mine were sturdier. I've had it not 2 years yet, and it's well on its way to needing to be replaced.

Jaledin
05-05-2011, 05:24 PM
If a utensil has been used to handle raw meat -- say, a fork or a knife -- and you want to use the same thingie to eat the meat after it's been cooked, drag the food-using end of it a few times across the rim of a blazing-hot cast iron pan.

It's now sterilized, and you didn't have to get your hands wet or soapy.

An oldie but a goodie -- just used it a few hours ago after cutting up some way, way, past "best by" date flank steak. Not that it'd be especially risky to eat it raw, and it was basically raw on the inside, but it made me feel better knowing I had a clean knife.

Chef Troy
05-06-2011, 08:57 AM
Want a warm, wet cloth to wipe a counter clean? Don't waste water waiting for the tap to get hot -- wet your rag, wring it out, and microwave it for ten or fifteen seconds. Repeat as necessary.

Athena
05-06-2011, 09:26 AM
Want a warm, wet cloth to wipe a counter clean? Don't waste water waiting for the tap to get hot -- wet your rag, wring it out, and microwave it for ten or fifteen seconds. Repeat as necessary.

Brilliant! I'll be using this - for some reason, it takes many minutes for hot water to get to my kitchen sink. As in, turn on the water, go away and do something for 2-3 minutes, then maybe it'll be hot. Never thought of the microwave!

Zyada
05-09-2011, 03:58 PM
Here's another trick I like - when I buy hamburger, I dole the meat out evenly into ziploc bags. Then I mush each bag until the meat is as flat and thin as possible. It freezes nicely this way & when I'm ready to use it, it thaws faster. If I'm making something where the hamburger is crumbled, I just throw the frozen meat in the pan and scrape off the meat as it thaws.

Jennmonkye
05-09-2011, 05:14 PM
We never use paper towels in our kitchen, but I have a very deep, large drawer of linen and cloth towels that we use and wash over and over again. My trick is that once I have used a cloth on the counter, or to dry my hands, but before I toss it into the basement for laundering, I dampen it, wipe down the lower cabinets and drawers, and then toss it on the floor, stand on it and shimmy around the floor doing a little wet mopping to get up any spills in front of the stove and sink. I probably go through about five or six cloths a day, but my floors and cabinet fronts are always clean.

salinqmind
05-09-2011, 05:17 PM
Yes, I've been freezing hamburger flat in ziplock bags for ages, it makes life much easier. I also freeze meat and gravy, soup, cooked veggies like peppers and onions (for soup), anything actually you might freeze - in big ziplock bags, lay them flat on a plate, and freeze. When they're a solid block, store them like books on a shelf. (smaller baggies full of stuff can be 'filed' in a rectangular plastic or wire basket). This eliminates a million little freezer containers clogging the space up, and you can tell just by looking what it is.

jabiru
05-09-2011, 07:52 PM
We never use paper towels in our kitchen, but I have a very deep, large drawer of linen and cloth towels that we use and wash over and over again. My trick is that once I have used a cloth on the counter, or to dry my hands, but before I toss it into the basement for laundering, I dampen it, wipe down the lower cabinets and drawers, and then toss it on the floor, stand on it and shimmy around the floor doing a little wet mopping to get up any spills in front of the stove and sink. I probably go through about five or six cloths a day, but my floors and cabinet fronts are always clean.

Are these the same towels you use to dry your dishes? It sounds like a good way to keep a clean kitchen (a lot cleaner than mine) but I'm not sure my washine machine, even using the hotest water, would be able to get them clean enough for my liking.

Lynn Bodoni
05-09-2011, 09:54 PM
Here's another trick I like - when I buy hamburger, I dole the meat out evenly into ziploc bags. Then I mush each bag until the meat is as flat and thin as possible. It freezes nicely this way & when I'm ready to use it, it thaws faster. If I'm making something where the hamburger is crumbled, I just throw the frozen meat in the pan and scrape off the meat as it thaws. I freeze hamburger meat like this, but I won't cook it while it's frozen. It seems to be tasteless for some reason. I always let it thaw before I cook it.

Snickers
05-10-2011, 08:32 AM
We have really hard water here in Las Vegas, so when using the dishwasher, we put in vinegar at the bottom of the machine and regular dishwasher soap in the dispenser - it has made all the difference - glasses come out shiny and there is no calk gumming up the works inside. And no, it does not smell like vinegar when the cycles are completed.
We do this with every load in the dishwasher, and also put in vinegar in about every fourth load of laundry in the washer.

I need to start doing this - we've got really hard water too - but I need some specific details about how it works. Do you just pour it in the bottom of the dishwasher, about a cup or so? Or do you put it in a cup in the bottom rack? I've heard of people putting it in a cup in the top rack - does it get emptied by the time the cycle is done? I should just try it, I know, but figured I could draw on all of your collective wisdom first.

Athena
05-10-2011, 08:48 AM
Are these the same towels you use to dry your dishes? It sounds like a good way to keep a clean kitchen (a lot cleaner than mine) but I'm not sure my washine machine, even using the hotest water, would be able to get them clean enough for my liking.

If you're really that concerned, throw a bit of color-fast bleach in with the clothes. Nothing's going to live through that.

Lynn Bodoni
05-10-2011, 08:49 AM
I've put it in a cup in the top rack, but it didn't get emptied. I just pour about half a cup or so in the bottom of the dishwasher. And I don't always use it. Ever since I've started doing this on a semi regular basis, I've noticed a lot less haze on my dishes. When the haze is getting particularly bad, I put in a tablespoon of TSP substitute with the dishwasher soap, and leave out the vinegar.

DMark
05-10-2011, 01:11 PM
I need to start doing this - we've got really hard water too - but I need some specific details about how it works. Do you just pour it in the bottom of the dishwasher, about a cup or so? Or do you put it in a cup in the bottom rack? I've heard of people putting it in a cup in the top rack - does it get emptied by the time the cycle is done? I should just try it, I know, but figured I could draw on all of your collective wisdom first.

Just pour in about a half cup or so in the bottom of the dishwasher, then put in the regular dishwasher soap in the dispenser as usual. For the pre-wash cycle, that is just the vinegar and water mixing.
We were having problems with the top drawer sticking (thought a wheel was broken or rusted or something) and after just a couple of washes, it was miraculously fixed! Must have been calk on those wheels.
Also, using the vinegar, now all the glasses and glass bowls come out clean and shiny.

We buy the huge bottles of generic vinegar for about $2.50 and it lasts a long time.

And as mentioned, no it does not smell like vinegar when it is all finished - the regular dishwasher soap removes it all during the actual washing.

And don't forget to throw in a cup in your washing machine every once in awhile - also cleans clothes, but my guess is that it also gets rid of any calk in the washing machine.

StarvingButStrong
05-10-2011, 04:23 PM
Huh. The first thing our dishwasher does when it starts is turn on the pump to remove the 'old' standing water in the bottom, so putting the vinegar down there at the start would be a total waste.

Biggirl
05-10-2011, 04:33 PM
I use those antiseptic wipes to clean off my hand mixer. So much better than a soapy sponge.

Lynn Bodoni
05-10-2011, 04:35 PM
OK, if your dishwasher pumps water out, either open it up after the pumping is complete, or save up some old laundry detergent cups. Put the vinegar in the cups, and the cups in the top rack of the dishwasher. Usually, but not always, they'll turn over during the cycle.

Ruby
05-10-2011, 08:06 PM
<snip>Metal piping tips are the perfect support column! :D


Your turn!We warm ours open side down. They tend to rock a bit when handling the cookie sheet but the sides never collapse.

digs
05-10-2011, 11:01 PM
Ha! That reminds me of one I've seen somewhere - maybe Heloise. Use an old piece of stale bread as a spoon rest. Then, when the meal is ready, give the sauce-coated bread to the dog.

When I have a dog, I plan to do this. :D

So one of the "kitchen tips & tricks" you're going to try involves buying a dog. My "golly, I should pick up a pizza cutter" pales, man.

Girl From Mars
05-11-2011, 05:52 AM
Deseeding a pomegranate (http://www.metacafe.com/watch/448091/chefs_trick_deseeding_a_pomegranate_in_seconds/) made super easy and mess free. (I've tried it, it really works).

Moonlitherial
05-11-2011, 08:15 AM
Oh, something I saw the sandwich place do yesterday which struck me as brilliant.

They lay bacon on the heel of the bread to warm in the microwave. It soaks up the grease and uses nothing that you wouldn't already throw out anyway. (Ignore this if you're one of those crust eating weirdos ;))

justrob
05-11-2011, 09:39 AM
I find that the dishwashing soap bottle quickly develops a crust of gummy soap on the top. When I need to just wash a few single items, I pop the dish washing brush down on top of the dishwashing soap bottle. It picks up a few crumbs of gummy soap, just enough to wash the few items under running hot water. No need to fill a sink!

I put dish soap in one of those pump dispensers hand soap comes in. When I want to do just a couple dishes I wet the sponge and put a small squirt from the dispenser on it. Voila, soapy sponge. Plus the top of the bottle doesn't get crusty. When I need to do a whole sink full of dishes I just use the pump to add a couple squirts of soap to the water.

DMark
05-11-2011, 12:23 PM
Huh. The first thing our dishwasher does when it starts is turn on the pump to remove the 'old' standing water in the bottom, so putting the vinegar down there at the start would be a total waste.

Yes, but the point is, even then the vinegar works on the plumbing inside by talking out the calcium build up below. As others have mentioned, you could also pour some in a small lid that would flip over.
Ours also pumps out first, but this vinegar trick has worked very well for us even so.

Jennmonkye
05-11-2011, 06:44 PM
If you're really that concerned, throw a bit of color-fast bleach in with the clothes. Nothing's going to live through that.

Yep...I love bleach. It kills everything so I don't mind wiping down the floor with the kitchen towels at the end of their round of service that day.

Chef Troy
05-29-2011, 01:57 PM
Ooh, I just thought of another one!

I like to buy those little grape tomatoes for salads or to roast in the oven with garlic and kosher salt as a side dish with steak, but it took forever to slice them all in half until I read this trick in Cook's Illustrated (which is my favorite kitchen magazine).

Take two tupperware lids. lay one upright and pile grape tomatoes (or grapes if you're making tuna salad, etc.) on it in a single layer. Top with another tupperware lid, this one upside down, so the tomatoes are held inside the lip that runs around the lids. Take a long serrated knife and saw horizontally between the lids, and you've just halved twenty or more tomatoes in one fell swoop!

salinqmind
05-29-2011, 03:57 PM
If you're really that concerned, throw a bit of color-fast bleach in with the clothes. Nothing's going to live through that.

And put aside a few "good" dishtowels to bring out when you have company over.

WhyNot
05-29-2011, 04:07 PM
Ooh, I just thought of another one!

I like to buy those little grape tomatoes for salads or to roast in the oven with garlic and kosher salt as a side dish with steak, but it took forever to slice them all in half until I read this trick in Cook's Illustrated (which is my favorite kitchen magazine).

Take two tupperware lids. lay one upright and pile grape tomatoes (or grapes if you're making tuna salad, etc.) on it in a single layer. Top with another tupperware lid, this one upside down, so the tomatoes are held inside the lip that runs around the lids. Take a long serrated knife and saw horizontally between the lids, and you've just halved twenty or more tomatoes in one fell swoop!
That....that's BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!eleventyone :eek:

Chefguy
05-29-2011, 04:12 PM
My contribution: a potato peeler works in both directions; this makes peeling carrots very quick, indeed. Downstroke, rotate slightly, upstroke, rotate, repeat.

Nzinga, Seated
05-29-2011, 06:44 PM
And when you're done with that, toss that lemon or orange wedge into the garbage disposal and grind it up. Your sink will smell citrus-fresh.

Then, open up the pipes beneath the sink, capture the citrus mush, dump in a cup of hot tea with a sprig of mint, and yum!

StarvingButStrong
05-29-2011, 08:19 PM
Chef Troy, that is a wonderful tip! And I say that as someone who just sliced a zillion grapes for a chicken salad.

nashiitashii
05-29-2011, 08:41 PM
My parents used to do the same with bacon grease. Pour over while still hot, allow to cool, give to dog. Dog considered it The Best Day Ever.

Keeps their coats shiny, donchaknow. ;)

We have been known to have a day or two on occasion where we've forgotten to pick up dog food for the dogs. On these days, we make a pot of rice, add veggies and either small freeze-dried fish or some meat scraps to the rice with no sauce. Let it cool down for a few minutes, and the dogs have a "special dinner" that is still relatively healthy for them. Occasionally we'll even put some leftover pan scrapings from a roast chicken or an egg-- either way, they're both delighted with the change in menu.

missred
05-29-2011, 09:11 PM
Here's another banana tip: when your bananas get a bit past the stage that you like to eat them, put them in a zip bag and freeze them, skin and all. Then, when you want to make banana bread, banana muffins or a smoothie, just peel and squeeze. For baking, they are already liquified, so no having to mush them up.

FallingLeaves
05-29-2011, 11:11 PM
Pizza cutters are great for cutting brownies too.

Also, an easy way to line a pan with foil for that brownie batter, turn the pan over first and get a sort of mold of the pan with foil, then turn over and place inside. Leave the edges folding over a bit so you can lift the brownies (or cake or whatever) out. No digging in the pan to get that first piece out.

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