On the Cook the Story Facebook Page, I share tips from my mom’s kitchen and from my own. If you would like to get these tips in your FB News Feed, go to the Cook the Story Facebook Page and click LIKE.
You can also get the tips if you follow @CookTheStory on Twitter.
If you haven’t been following Cook the Story on FB or on Twitter, have no fear. You can read all the tips and tricks that you’ve missed right here.
Greens: How do you keep spinach and other salad leaves fresh for longer? When you buy a plastic box of greens, take all the leaves out of the box. Put a few sheets of paper towel in the bottom of the box. Re-fill with leaves. Add sheets of towel on top. Put lid back on. Refrigerate.
(What if you buy the bags instead of boxes? Buy one big box of greens once. Do the above paper towel preservation method. When the greens are all used up, wash the box and lid. Now you have a nice clear box to put your salad leaves in. Just remember to line the bottom with paper towel before adding your leaves.
Keeping bags sealed: The seals on frozen veggie bags never work properly for me. I use clothespins instead. Fold top of bag over a few times and clip. Also works for other kinds of bags (chip bags, bags inside cereal boxes, bags for salad leaves, rice, pasta, etc.).
Do you have parsley, cilantro or dill in your crisper drawer that won’t make it till Tuesday? Chop the leaves/fronds and tender stems. Freeze in ziplock bags. These herbs aren’t great as garnishes but can be stirred into hot foods like soups, stews, pasta sauces, mashed potatoes, cous cous and rice or can be used in marinades and salad dressings.
Use frozen blueberries to cool down hot porridge for little mouths.
If you have kids (or if you are often interrupted from your tasks and are very tired and subject to distraction for some other reason) ALWAYS use a kitchen timer that continues to beep until you turn it off. This will save many cakes from burning and many pastas from mushing.
Pancakes: Individually wrap cooled leftover pancakes and put them in a ziplock in the freezer. Warm in the microwave or toaster for a quick mid-week breakfast treat.
Potatoes: Got mashed potatoes? Freeze in 1/2 cup portions. Take directly from freezer. Add to hot soup/stew/sauce. It melts in & thickens the liquid.
You may agree with me that kosher salt leads to better tasting food. At the same time, we need iodine in our diets and iodized (table) salt is a good source. I mix together equal amounts of kosher salt and iodized salt in my salt piggy, kept by the stove. I get the flavor of the kosher and the benefit of the iodine with every pinch.
Add an onion WITH skin. It’ll be removed when you strain the liquid but will have left a robust flavor and a golden tint.
Buttermilk: No buttermilk in the house? You can mix 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar with 1 cup milk. Let stand for 10 minutes before using. Yogurt can be substituted (1 cup yogurt for 1 cup buttermilk) in most recipes.
Milk: Your child has drunk the last bit of milk leaving none for your morning coffee? Have a can of evaporated milk in your cupboard just for these occasions. Note though that coconut milk is NOT a good substitute for regular milk in coffee (guess what I am unlucky enough to be trying this morning).
Sweet Potatoes in Baking:
Use cooked sweet potato like banana in baking: Poke with fork. Microwave 2-5 mins until fork-tender. Peel, mash & mix with wet ingredients.
Cheese: If shredding cheese for a recipe, shred the whole block. The extras go in a sealed container ready for omelets, a salad, wrap or sandwich.