10-07-2017 Be A Kitchen Magician

10 July 2017

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Practical Living

1) Pay attention to prices

Watch the price of items as they are scanned. If a price is different than the price marked, alert the cashier. Stores have various policies about scanner errors. You may get the item free. At the very least, the store should correct the price.

2) Get the most fruit for your buck

All pre-packed bags of fruits and vegetables are not created equal. Even though they may be labelled 1kg for a fixed price as an example, some will weigh more than others. Test a few on the scale and purchase the one that weighs the most.

3) Bake cookies that stay fresh

Do your homemade cookies turn into rocks before they can all be eaten? Substitute honey for the recipe’s sugar and your cookies will stay moist longer. For every cup of honey, you use, decrease other liquid in the recipe by one-fourth cup.

4) A kinder, gentler nutcracker

For an easy way to crack nuts that leave the nut meat intact, soak walnuts or pecans in salty water overnight and then gently crack them the next day.

5) Decorate a cake with ease

Need a pastry bag with a decorating tip? Make one from a zip-lock plastic bag. Spoon frosting into the bag, press out the air, then snip off a bottom corner. Give a squeeze and decorate your cake with no fuss or muss.

6) Cutting the cake without the crumbs

Try cutting a hot cake with thread or even dental floss instead of a knife. Hold the thread taut on both ends and run through the hot cake quickly. It is much easier and won’t cause a crumbly mess. Thread works well to cut angel food and chiffon cakes when they are cold, as well.

7) When it just won’t cooperate

Has your opened box of brown sugar become so hard that you can’t even scoop it out? Put a soft piece of bread in a plastic bag with the hardened brown sugar to soften it. Wait a few hours and you will be able to measure it again.

8) Frosting that is easy as… cake

Out of frosting for your cupcakes? Don’t worry. Plop a marshmallow on top of each one a minute or so before they are due to come out of the oven. Instant gooey frosting.

9) A great way to store crunchy veggies

It is easier to choose healthy snacks if they are readily available. Keep carrot and celery sticks fresh and crunchy in your fridge by using this handy tip. Take a clean, two-liter bottle and cut off the top to the desired height. Partially fill the bottom with cold water and a few ice cubes. Stand your veggies up in the water, and you will always have healthy munchies on hand.

10) Lengthen the life of cooking oil

Store your cooking oil in coloured, plastic bottles made for condiments. They are easier to pour and the oil will last longer than in clear plastic or glass because light can’t penetrate the container. Just be sure to label the bottles with a permanent marker so no one accidentally squirts oil on a hot dog.