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Posts Tagged ‘kitchen tips’

A few kitchen tips


In a recent post I mentioned using a Silpat to line a pan for easy clean-up. Rhonda wrote and asked about the Silpat, so I thought I'd post a picture to show what it looks like.

picture of Silpat

The Silpat is a silicone/fiberglass mat that can withstand high temperature. You have probably seen all kinds of bakeware made from this type of material in recent years. I have had my Silpat for a number of years as you can tell from it's stained condition. It is very handy for baking items such as cheesy sandwiches, etc. when you are trying to avoid a lot of clean-up

Another item I have been using a great deal lately to avoid clean-up are these foil sheets. I saw them a few months ago at Dollar Tree and decided to try a box. I have really enjoyed using them and have found all kinds of uses for them in my kitchen. I even gave each of the kids a box of them for Christmas! DH bought me a large box of them at Costco for even less than I paid for them at Dollar Tree.

picture of Foil Sheets

The next tip is for lining a casserole dish or baking pan with foil. I think I read this tip in a magazine. Turn your pan or dish upside down and shape the foil on the outside of the pan. Remove the foil and then flip the pan over and place the shaped foil inside the pan. I have found this makes it fit much better than if you try to stuff the foil down inside the pan or dish and then try to smooth it out.

picture of Foil Pan

Do you ever need to cut a pie into an odd number of pieces? Here is a helpful tip: If you need to cut the pie into seven pieces (or five or nine) first cut a "Y" shaped cut into the pie. Then cut the large sections into three pieces each (or two or four). I have found this to work much better than just trying to eyeball the cuts.

picture of Odd Pie

Do you have a favorite kitchen tip you would like to share?

Becka


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From trash to something useful


Don't you love it when you can find a use for something that you would normally throw away?

If you eat cereal, then this tip's for you. Save the plastic liners from inside your cereal box.

picture of Life Cereal

Cut the bottom off and then slit them up the seam. Wash them off with your dishcloth and then set them aside. (I keep a few clipped together with a chip clip.)

picture of Recycled Trash

These work great for breading and/or pounding meat and fish. The plastic is thicker than regular waxed paper or plastic wrap and when you are finished you can just toss it out.

picture of Pounding Meat

So, remember this tip the next time you are preparing chicken, fish, or round steak.

Becka


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Wrinkled tomatoes


Do you ever have cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes that are starting to shrivel and look like this?

picture of wrinkled tomatoes

Well, there is something you can do with them - make roasted tomatoes. Here's how:

Cut the tomatoes in half discarding any that are truly spoiled - we just want to use those that are a bit wilted in this project. Place the tomatoes in a baking pan that is lined with foil or parchment paper. (Don't omit this - the tomatoes really caramelize on the pan.)

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 mins. and then at 375 degrees for an additional 20 mins. After they cool store them in the refrigerator. (One reader wrote that hers were burned when she cooked them for the full 40 mins. so be sure to check to see how they look after 20 mins.)

Here is what they will look like:

picture of baked tomatoes

These little roasted tomatoes will have a very intense flavor and can be used in salads, on a sandwich, or added to a pasta sauce or vegetable casserole. Or, if you are like me you might just gobble them up as a snack.

You can find more tips each Tuesday over at Tammy's Recipes.

Becka


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Sunday dinner insurance


Have you ever rushed out of the house on a Sunday morning without putting your casserole in the oven or turning on your crockpot? Or, have you sat there during the church service wondering if you had turned the oven or crockpot on? Unfortunately, I have done both.

I am going to show you my foolproof method for reminding yourself to turn on the oven or crockpot before you leave the house. My family teases me for doing this, but it really does work. Are you ready for this foolproof tip? Here it is:

picture of chair

Just put a chair in front of the door that you normally walk out of when you leave the house. When you have to move the chair it will remind you to check the oven or crockpot. It works for me!

Check out other kitchen tips at Tammy's Recipes each Tuesday.

Becka


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Have you heard of Spry?


I'm not asking if you are spry.

picture of Spry cookbooks

Spry was a brand of shortening that is no longer sold, but I do remember my mom using it when I was a child. I'm pretty sure that one of these little booklets was hers and I purchased the other one at an estate sale. I love to find these old recipe booklets.

I got an idea from one of these booklets to make this pan spread years and years ago. It is something that I keep on hand and that we use all the time. Pan spread is the fore-runner of pan spray that most of us use in some form or another today. Pan spread is used to grease and flour baking pans all in one step.

picture of pan spread

To make pan spread all you have to do is mix together equal amounts of vegetable oil, solid shortening (such as Crisco), and flour. I generally use 1/2 cup of each. I mix it up in my mixer to get it nice and smooth, but you could use a wire whisk if you desire. I usually mix up a batch right before I bake a cake or something and then just scrape out the bowl and reuse it to mix the cake. I store the pan spread in this little Tupperware container in the refrigerator where it waits all ready for the next time I need it. It works great for any baked product that you would normally grease and flour the pan before adding the batter. I use the commercial sprays for other things when the pan just needs greasing.

Don't you just love the little label that DH made me with his label maker?

By the way, did you know that shortening got its name because it "shortens" gluten strands in baking and helps tenderize cakes and quick breads?

This is one of my favorite kitchen tips. You can find more tips like this on Tuesdays over at Tammy's Recipes.

Becka


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