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Cooking Tips and Hints     Back to Good Eats Home Page

Add 1/4 tsp. Soda to Cranberries while cooking them and they will not require as much sugar.

Add 1/4 tsp. of baking powder per quart of potatoes while mashing them and they will be fluffy, smooth, and more tasty.

Add about 7 drops of lemon juice to 2 cups of whipping cream. It will make the cream beat up firm in about half the time.

Adding a pinch of sugar to the water when boiling corn on the cob helps bring out the corn's natural sweetness.

Adding lemon juice to gravy that is too greasy, will make the grease disappear and add flavor to your gravy. A small amount of baking soda will also work.

Bring Lemons to room temperature and roll them under your palm on top of the kitchen counter before squeezing to get the most juice from them.

Brushing beaten egg whites over a pie crust before baking gives it a beautiful glossy finish.

Cream that is whipped ahead of time, will not separate if you add a touch of dissolved unflavored gelatin (1/4 tsp. per cup of cream).

Do Not use Iodized Salt in making pickles, it causes them to become soft.

During winter months when the kitchen is cold, it can be a slow process or nearly impossible to get yeast breads to rise. Try placing the dough in an oven-safe container and setting it in the oven on warm (200 degrees F) for 2-3 minutes. Don't let it bake, just enough to warm the bowl. It can really speed the rising process.

For a new taste in potato salad dressing, use onion soup mix instead of fresh onions or chives. Two Tablespoons are enough to season a family-sized salad. It's easy and saves the tears and fuss of chopping onions.

For burnt-on food in a skillet, just add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover the bottom of the skillet, bring to a boil on top of the stove for easier cleaning.

Green peppers may be frozen without blanching in an airtight container for later use in hot dishes or casseroles.

Have just a small amount of leftover wine? Don't throw it away, try freezing it into cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

If the refrigerator is stale or full of bad odors, crumble up newspapers and fill the fridge. Let it run for a day or two. Remove the newspapers and discard them. You may need to repeat this procedure, but it does work very well. It also works on a stale cooler.

If you accidently over-salt a recipe while its still cooking, put in a peeled potato to help absorb some of the excess salt.

Placing a slice of apple in hardened brown sugar helps to soften it again.

Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice it and rub the raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.

Put a little butter in a kettle of potatoes to keep them from boiling over.

Remove the burnt taste from scorched milk by putting the pan in cold water and adding a pinch of salt to the milk.

Salted cold water will cool a hot dish more rapidly than plain cold water.

Spraying tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before putting in a tomato-based sauce will help prevent stains to the tupperware.

For a great way to proof dough take a large bowl of water and put it in the microwave for a few minutes until the oven gets warm and moist. Take the bowl out and put in the dough. Its a nice warm, moist environment. You can leave the dough in there for however long you need to while it rises!

Stuffing a miniature marshmellow into the bottom of a sugar cone will help prevent ice cream drips.

To allow salt to pour easily, put a few uncooked grains of rice in your shakers to absorb moisture.

To clean a thermos bottle, fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka-Seltzer tablets and let soak for an hour or more, if needed.

To cook hamburgers in a hurry, poke a hole in the center when shaping. The centers will cook more quickly and when the hamburgers are done, the holes are gone.

To cut very fresh bread and cake without crumbling, use a thin-bladed knife heated in hot water and then dried.

To determine whether an egg is fresh or not, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh. If it rises to the surface, throw it away.

To freshen a microwave, combine 1 cup water, the juice of 1/2 lemon and the rind, and 5-6 cloves. Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

To help prevent hard-boiled eggs from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling them.

To keep Confectioner's sugar frostings moist, add a dash of baking powder.

To keep your potatoes from budding out, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

To maintain the flavor of freshly ground coffee, store it in the freezer.

To prevent Rice Krispie bars from sticking to your fingers, run your hands under cold water before pressing them into the pan.

To remove a stain from inside a glass vase, fill it with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets.

To remove gum from hair, rub it with peanut butter or cooking oil. This will release it.

To toast blanched almonds, arrange the nuts in one layer on a shallow pan and bake in a moderate oven until golden, stirring often.

Try using milk instead of water when making pie crusts to make a more tender crust and to have it brown nicely.

Use a meat baster to squeeze your pancake batter onto the hot griddle for perfect-shaped pancakes every time.

Wash hands in cold water and rub with salt to get rid of onion odor.

When instructed in a cake recipe to flour the baking pan, try using a little of the dry cake mix instead of flour for a no-white-mess on the outside of the cake.

Wrapping celery in aluminum foil when storing it in the refrigerator will help to keep it fresher for weeks.