Tuesday Tips ~ 12 March (on Wednesday!)

Yes, I know…I’m late…again!

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

And here is today’s yesterday’s tips………….

🙂  To rescue overcooked meats, slice thinly and cover slices with a salsa made from olive oil, lime juice, chopped tomatoes, onions and chilli.  The acid and oil replace the moisture in the meat.

TT:  Sounds good to me even if you don’t overcook the meat!

🙂  Don’t add soy sauce to the wok until right at the end of the cooking time.  if added earlier it will cause the food to stick to the pan and may give a bitter taste.

TT:  I’ll have to try this next time I make a stir-fry.

🙂  Clingfilm/plastic wrap can sometimes be very difficult to handle.  Try keeping it in the fridge ~ it also helps with finding the end.

TT:  Sorry, but I’m not keeping it in the fridge….too inconvenient.  My rolls of foil and clingfilm, plastic bags, etc. are in a drawer right at my work area.

entertaining guests🙂  Whether planning a dinner party or a meal for someone special, never try a new recipe and/or a new ingredient at the same time.

TT:  Instead, test it out on your family first!

🙂  If a recipe calls for self-raising flour and all you have is plain flour, use 1 level teaspoon of baking powder to every 110g/scant 4oz of flour.

TT:  Tried and tested and yes, it works.

🙂  Coffee grounds, filter paper, teabags, egg cartons and scrunched-up paper wrappers can all be added to the garden compost.

TT:  Raw egg shells can also be added.  Just crush them up first and with the egg cartons, tear it up into pieces.

tomato🙂  Put fresh tomatoes into boiling water for one minute to loosen skins before peeling and adding to sauces.

TT:  I usually score an ‘X’ on the bottom first as it helps to start the peel coming off.

browngrocerybag🙂  Drain foods cooked in oil on an empty brown grocery bag rather than paper towels, as this will retain the crispness.

TT:  Well this is fine IF YOU LIVE IN THE U.S. WHERE THEY ACTUALLY HAVE THESE!!  This country does not have brown grocery bags…everything is PLASTIC!  I wish we had brown grocery bags as at least they could be recycled.  I have a real problem with this tip considering it’s from a UK calendar!  (as a side note:  We bring our own reusable canvas bags when we go shopping so that we do not add to the already-full-of-plastic landfills areas)

OK kids, there you go.  I will try not to be late next week with my tips, but you know, sometimes life just….happens!

♥  Terri  ♥

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Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ Mar 5

What a gorgeous day we have here today in southern England!  The sun has been shining brightly most of the day, albeit it’s a tad on the cool side.  Come on, Spring!

Here are today’s tips.  Has anyone tried any of the past tips yet?  Would love to hear your comments or experiences.

 

ξ  Cheat with a ready meal (once in a while), but add a sprinkle of fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of olive oil to pep up the flavors.

TT:  Sorry, but no.  I don’t touch ready meals and haven’t eaten one in nearly 8 years.  I can add fresh herbs and lemon juice just as easily to freshly prepared food and prefer to do just that!

sponge

 

ξ  Heat dish cloths or sponges in a microwave for 30-40 seconds to kill all bacteria.

TT:  I prefer using a sponge over a dish cloth.  All my dish towels, rags, counter wipe cloths, etc. are put into the hamper at the end of each day and are washed in temps of 60°c(140°f) or above with bleach added every second or third wash.  The sponge is replaced every other week.

 

 

ξ  Before squeezing citrus fruits for recipes, microwave 15-30 seconds to double the amount of juice you get.

TT:  This absolutely does work!  Cut the fruit in half first before microwaving.  I zap a lemon for 30 seconds and it’s just enough.

ξ  Wrap celery in foil before storing in the fridge.  It will keep for weeks.

TT:  Can’t say that I’ve ever tried this as we go through a good bit of celery so usually end up buying it every other week.  It doesn’t get a chance to go bad!

AHrefrigeratorξ  Sprinkle empty waste baskets and kitchen bins with a little baking soda/bicarbonate of soda from time to time to absorb any lingering smells and odors.  Pour the old baking soda down the kitchen drain to keep it sweet smelling.

TT:  I do this all the time and it does appear to help.

ξ  Certain varieties of potato can go gluey when mashed.  This can happen as a result of using cold milk.  Instead, try warming the milk before adding and grate some nutmeg over top for a touch of added flavor.

TT:  I usually get the milk out ahead of time so it’s not actually cold, but it’s room temp.  Nutmeg on taters is yummy!

Your kitchen tips for the week!

♥♥  Terri  ♥♥

 

Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ 26 Feb

sorry-im-lateYes, yes, I know….it’s Wednesday and I’m a day late.  Better late than never, they always say!

Without further adieu….

Φ  To stop a pan boiling over, insert a wooden toothpick between the pan and the lid.

TT:  Personally, I think this is a waste of a toothpick and also, there’s the possibility of the toothpick falling into the pan if you happen to forget that it’s there.  Or worse, if you have a gas stove as we do, it falls out and under the pan and starts a fire!  I usually just cock the lid up a bit when putting it on to allow some of the steam to escape.

Φ  It’s simple to stop cabbage smells while cooking ~ don’t overcook it and don’t cover the pot with a lid.

TT:  We cook a good bit of cabbage but never seem to have a problem with smells.  Perhaps because we usually add other flavorings to the pan so we smell the flavorings instead.  I always have the lid on too.

greenpotatoΦ  Cut any green parts of a potato away before cooking ~ the green part contains an unpleasant-tasting poison called solanine.  It won’t kill you, but you’re better off without it.

TT:  I ALWAYS do this!  Who wants to eat green potato anyway?  Unless you’re Dr. Seuss!  Oh wait, that was green eggs…. 🙂

Φ  When heating cream, use a heavy-based saucepan and a low gentle heat, allowing the cream to come to a simmer slowly.  Avoid boiling rapidly.

TT:  I don’t cook with cream very much except if I’m making a dessert.  However, I do follow this mantra and heat it up gently.

Φ  Clean a stainless steel sink by wiping with a bit of pasty toothpaste (gel won’t work).  Rub in then rinse well (for a sparkling sink with fresh breath!)

TT:  You can also use baking soda and get the same results.

FrostedFreezerΦ  Defrost your freezer when the layer of ice inside has reached a thickness of 1cm (1/3 inch).  Switch off the freezer, remove the food and thaw the freezer.  Run the freezer for 1/2 an hour before refilling.

TT:  I think it’s time for me to defrost the freezer….

Φ  When cooking pasta, use as big a pan as possible to prevent sticking as it needs room to move around freely.  Don’t add the pasta until the water is boiling rapidly.

TT:  I do this all the time.  Make sure you stir the pasta occasionally while cooking and add salt to the water before you add the pasta.

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So there you go, your kitchen tips for the week!

♥  Terri  ♥

Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ Feb 19

Good Morning Campers!

Welcome to another sunny day here on Planet Earth!

Here’s your tips for this week…

Whole Wheat Pancakesπ  If you make pancakes in advance of needing them, reheat them in a pile in the microwave wrapped in clingfilm/plastic wrap, with pieces of greaseproof paper between each pancake.

TT: I don’t make pancakes very often, but when I do, I want them right then and there.  If I’m going to make them, I’m not going to eat them later!  If I do have leftovers, then I would wrap them and reheat them as noted.

π  Got garlic breath?  Then try these tips and see which one works for you:  eat some fresh parsley, chew a coffee bean or eat a bowl of lemon sorbet.

TT:  As we both eat a good bit of garlic in this house, I see no need to worry about offending each other.  However, if you’re the only one eating it, then this is a good idea!

meatπ  Fresh meat such as beef, lamb or pork can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days before cooking, but should be eaten within 2-3 days when cooked.

TT:  When we buy fresh meat, it gets re-wrapped in portioned sizes and frozen for later use, whether that be 5 days or 5 weeks.  It saves having to waste it by throwing it out because it was forgotten in the fridge.  Leftovers are usually taken for lunch the next day by Chef P and if there’s still more, I’ll eat it for lunch here at home.  Any remaining cooked meat, such as from a roast, is put into the freezer to use later in stews.

π  Romantic meals should be simple, to avoid spending too long in the kitchen.  Asparagus is an aphrodisiac so makes a good starter.  A pie can be made in advance.  Chocolate desserts are the ultimate end to a romantic meal.

TT:  Don’t want to spend too long in the kitchen?  Here’s a better tip…Pick a nice restaurant and go out to eat! 😉

π  Put clingfilm/plastic wrap over the top of the food processor before using.  It keeps the lid clean, saving washing it and also saves space in the dishwasher if you use one of those.

TT:  Haven’t tried this yet, but really like this tip.  Will definitely try it next time I use my food processor.

π  Massage copper-bottomed pans with ketchup to dissolve the tarnish.  For stubborn stains, add a pinch of salt while you rub.

TT: I don’t have any copper-bottomed pans, but my mom does and I remember cleaning them with lemon juice and salt.  I would cut the lemon in half, sprinkle with the salt and scrub the pan using the lemon half.

Have a lovely day!

♥  Terri  ♥

Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ Feb 12

Good Afternoon All!

Well, it’s afternoon here.  Sorry I’m late, but I’ve been busy doing other things and have just gotten on the computer (it’s after 3:30pm).

So without further adieu, here’s today’s tips….

Ψ  Use leftover roast chicken to make a pasta bake, a savory crumble, chicken curry or a chicken and leek pie.  The carcass can be boiled and used as stock for soup.

TT:  I just made chicken soup last night using a carcass from the freezer that Chef P made last week.  There was still plenty of meat left on it, so I used that.

Ψ  Using dried pulses/beans is far cheaper than prepared canned beans and there is a lot of choice.  Soak the beans overnight then boil for 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the type of bean, before preparing the recipe as normal.

dried beansTT:  We use dried beans all the time.  I usually soak overnight and boil the next morning and stick them into a plastic bag, label and store in the freezer.  I did a post on cooking the beans a while back that you can a look at.

Ψ  The quickest way to skin a kiwi fruit is to cut off the top and bottom, then slide a spoon between the skin and flesh.  work the spoon around the kiwi, pressing against the peel, until the fruit falls out whole.

TT:  I guess this is OK if you want the fruit whole for slicing.  Most times I just want to eat the kiwi by itself, so I just cut it in half and scoop out spoonfuls of the flesh and eat it like that.

Ψ  if your fridge is over 10 years old, it’s time to think about replacing it.  An old fridge uses 2000 watts of power a year, whereas a new one uses just 500 watts.

snowman fridgeTT:  Maybe it’s just me, but I feel that this only applies to UK appliances as they don’t seem to last very long.  We’ve already replaced a fridge that Chef P got new when he came back here in 2004.  We are also on our third coffee maker and second toaster, all within the past 8 years.  (we only use the coffee maker on the weekends).

Ψ  For clearer marmalade, add a teaspoonful of glycerine for every 4kg(almost 9lbs) of marmalade half way through boiling.

TT:  This is one I definitely want to try, considering all the marmalade I make!

Ψ  Washing chicory makes it bitter.  At the most, wipe individual leaves with a damp cloth before serving.

TT:  I have to admit, I don’t really eat chicory, but I will keep this in mind when the occasion arises.

So there you are, your Tuesday Tips.  Have a good evening!

♥♥  Terri  ♥♥

Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ Jan 22

Good Morning Campers!

Hope you’re all keeping toasty and warm on this bitterly cold January morn.  I’m sitting here with a nice hot cup of vanilla black tea….mmmm.    Here’s this week’s tips:

AT THE GROCERY STORETry to do the weekly shopping trip on a Wednesday.  Research shows only 11% of people shop midweek so the stores will be quieter.

TT:  For those who work all day, this could be a bit difficult.  If you can’t get out during the week, my suggestion is to get out as early as possible on the weekend.  We have found the stores are fairly empty before 10:00am on a Saturday.

When buying a whole chicken, bear in mind that the bigger the bird the more meat you will get per lb.  It is more economical to buy a whole chicken than various cuts of chicken and the carcass can be boiled for stock.

TT:  I’m a firm believer in this and do use the carcass for stock.  i usually stick the carcass in the freezer for later when I want to make chicken soup and use the meat that is still on it.  However, when we have chicken it isn’t always a roasted chicken.  We do buy big bags of frozen drumsticks, thighs and breasts.

Never use water that has boiled twice to make a cup of tea.  Fresh water has a higher oxygen content so should extract more tea from the leaves, making a tastier cuppa!

TT:  I do agree with this and it does make a difference.

When making a crumble mixture, make a double portion and put one in the freezer.  It can be sprinkled straight from frozen over semi-cooked fruit, then baked.

TT:  I guess this is fine if you make a lot of crumbles.  For now though, I won’t be seeing any fruit crumbles anytime in the near future!

Before leaving for work, put chicken breasts, chopped carrots, potatoes and onions, a can of chopped tomatoes and some seasoning into a slow cooker.  A complete meal will be ready when you get home.

TT:  When I was back home living in the US and working outside the home, I would put all the ingredients into the bowl of the slow cooker the night before and leave it in the fridge.  I would take it out when I got up to allow it to come to room temp and then put it right into the slow cooker before I left the house.  Who has time to deal with prepping veg when you’re trying to get ready for work?

liver-kidneyTo counteract the sometimes overpowering flavor of liver, kidney and other offal, soak overnight in a little milk to draw out the bitter taste.

TT:  I don’t really eat much of these kinds of meats.  I don’t mind calves liver and I don’t like kidney (yes, I’ve tried it) and we won’t even talk about the other offal…

If custard curdles, put the bowl in cold water and keep whisking until the sauce goes smooth.

TT: Great idea if you make your own.  Another item of foodstuff I won’t be seeing or eating anytime soon.

When cooking with a wok, if food starts to stick, don’t be tempted to add more oil.  Instead, add a splash of water.

TT: We cook with a wok on occasion and have done this.  It also helps give a little bit of sauce to the mix.

So there you have your Tuesday Tips!

♥  Terri  ♥

Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ Jan 15

Happy Tuesday All!

Here’s the next package of Terri’s Tips….

 

♣ To make a soothing drink for a sore throat or persistent cough, try adding a teaspoon of honey, a pinch of fresh grated ginger and the juice of half a lemon to a cup of water and sipping slowly.

I have tried this before and it really is nice and is also good for when you have a cold.  Personally, I’d probably add a splash of brandy or whiskey to it for an impromptu hot toddy!

♣ To stop vegetable or pasta water boiling over, rub veggie oil around the rim of the saucepan before bringing the water to the boil.

Can’t say I’ve ever heard this one before or tried it.  Wonder if it matters if you use olive oil…

♣ Add a scrunched up piece of tissue paper to a biscuit tin or cookie jar to help keep them fresh and crunchy.

Guess this is the opposite effect from putting in a piece of sliced apple to keep them soft.

♣ Fruit such as apples and pears are full of vitamin C, but this is mainly found in the peel.  Try to keep the peel on in any dessert recipe.

Hmmm…as we are catergorised as being ‘apples’ or ‘pears’, depending on our shape, I guess this means that we need to keep our clothes on when we eat desserts?

♣ For a low-fat alternative to sautéing, use a small amount of stock or wine rather butter or oil.

I do this, but I start off with a small bit of oil, just to get the nice browning effect on the veggies, especially onions, and add a little stock as they cook.

So there you have it, your kitchen tips for the week.

Next week:  Find out what’s the best day to go food shopping and a tip on tea.

♥  Terri  ♥