Five Helpful Cooking Tips

No matter how long you’ve been cooking, a few tips can always be helpful. After all, everyone does things a little differently! Here are five cooking tips that I use in the kitchen that have helped me immensely.

1. What to do with all that grease…
I’ve tried many ways of draining grease out of the skillet over the years. Draining the grease into a cup, into the trash can, into an empty aluminum can… I hated cleaning the cups out afterward, I was afraid of the hot grease melting through the trash bags, and I wasn’t always cooking something that required canned goods. This made me think…what could I do with that grease that wasn’t so messy?! The solution: a cup or glass with an empty sandwich bag inside as a liner! The grease hasn’t once melted through, and I only use the fold-over baggies, so they’re not even that thick (or expensive!). This makes it super easy because all you have to do is wait for the grease to harden then take the baggie out and throw it away!

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2. Clean up, clean up…
Let’s face it. Cleaning up after cooking is not fun. At all. I mean, who actually likes to clean? My solution: I clean up as I go. This could be as easy as setting a trash can right next to your cooking space or placing an open plastic bag on the counter so you can quickly dispose of those egg shells or vegetable peels.

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3. Oops! I thought I had enough…
The prices of many foods are on the rise, so you want to make sure you cut back on waste. One super simple solution: before you start a recipe, get all of the ingredients out and make sure you have everything so you don’t make it through half of the recipe before realizing you don’t have enough of an ingredient!

4. I never have that on hand…
Some recipes call for things that you may not have on hand. Ever. Easy solution: Do a quick Google (or Yahoo! or Bing…) search on substitutions for that ingredient! I’ve found that instead of shortening, you can use stick butter, and instead of buttermilk, just use the same amount of regular milk with a little lemon juice mixed in!

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5. I don’t like that…
Not every recipe needs to be followed exactly, to the “T”. For instance, if you are making a recipe that calls for garlic cloves, and all you have on hand is garlic powder or garlic salt, use it! Just season it enough to your taste preferences. You can also omit certain items that you don’t like, or substitute something that you do. In my Chicken Stuffing Casserole recipe, for example, the recipe that I derived my version from called for cream of mushroom soup, but my husband doesn’t like mushrooms. Instead, I use cream of chicken soup. Another example: I once found a cookie recipe that called for cream of tartar…I didn’t use it and they turned out just fine! They actually became my favorite cookies. :) The only things I try to stay true to are baking ingredients such as flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Specific measurements of these ingredients mixed together are what give baked goods their texture.

Hopefully these tips help you in the kitchen in one way or another!

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One Response to “Five Helpful Cooking Tips”

  1. Peggy Hance says:

    I tried pouring the grease into the baggie, it worked! This made my clean up even easier. Once the grease cooled off all I had to do was seal the baggie & give it a toss in the trash, so much easier & cleaner!!!
    Thank you!

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