Food and Drink
On this page you can find hints
and advice to make your kitchen experience more enjoyable - the food
tastier and easier to prepare.
Wine, baking, coffee,
Eggs Tip. For perfect poached eggs without the hassle of
a poaching device, add ~5 shakes of malt vinegar into the boiling
water. The egg whites will curl up on themselves due to the altered pH
of the water! -- James Root. Scientist,
Oranges. Briskly rolling an orange around on a flat surface
will loosen the skin and make for easier peeling -- Adam
Waldron Wapping London England
Fish - To barbecue a whole fish—prepare and slip into
foil garlic-bread bag.
Fish will cook and skin stays in bag—especially salmon -- Neil
Tip to Bake a
Cake. Hi! If you've run out of eggs when baking a cake,
add 1 teaspoon of vinegar per egg as a substitute. Sounds crazy but it
works!.-- Lee Magnusson
Slippy Wax Paper.
If your greaseproof paper (Wax paper) paper slips when you are trying
to work on it, add a few drops of water on the counter underneath and
the paper will stay put. -- Carol
The conventional way to do asparagus tips is to boil or steam them. My
mother does them in butter and so do all the best restaurants. If you
like a little garlic (I don't) you can add some and black pepper too.
Hints and tips is one of my favourite websites, I just like to read at
random I am fourteen and also have more serious interests. I find the
site relaxing and it is funny sometimes. Thanks Hayley
Thanks for the comments
-- Tips on 'tips' are always welcome! Most people think our comments
and humor are corny, we take this as a compliment. Thanks again Hayley.
Asparagus - It is nececessary to remove the tough part
of the stalk. Hold tthe asparagus stalk by the tough end and press down
on a flat surface and the bit you don't want will break away. -
Remember to recycle or compost your waste vegetale matter - Davina
Stains. Sorry no way of removing the dark
staining, just remember to use rubber gloves.. Same with Pecans and Egg
Plants (Aubergines) -- Essie, Milton Keynes
To prevent the aluminium touching the fish I cook I first wrap it in
greaseproof paper, I find that it cooks just as well and no worries
about the loss of taste or health problems from the aluminum. -- Mary
Spillage. Before pouring a carton of milk/orange juice,
after you have made the initial cut to open the carton, in the opposite
side at the top puncture a small-ish hole into the cardboard. this
stops the drink from splashing and coming out in bursts. instead the
drink flows smoothly because it is getting another air source... try
it! -- "Ben Higham"
Saving chicken broth without the grease: Pour all into container and
place covered into the refrig. The oil will float to the top and "set".
You can then just skim it off and have fat free broth! (Well, almost
fat free?) -- "Betty Angel"
Dressing too dry???
buy a few cans of yellow squash, you can not taste it and it keeps your
dressing as moist as you want!! ~~ Dragonrider &
Substitute the water with beer to make a very nice batter. –
Rinse uncooked several times to remove excess starch, as this causes
the rice grains to stick together. Also try not to stir the rice as it
cooks as this damages the grains and produces more starch in the water.
A bit of oil or butter in the water also helps reduce sticking. –
To prevent butter burning when frying with butter, add a little cooking
oil to the melting butter. – Anon.
Saving chicken broth
without the grease: Pour all into container and place
covered into the refrig. The oil will float to the top and "set". You
can then just skim it off and have fat free broth! (Well, almost fat
free?) -- "Betty Angel"
you don’t have single cream, a mixture of milk and melted butter is a
useful substitute. To 4 units of milk, add one unit of melted butter. -
Jonny Koh, Washington.
, add a lapsang souchong tea bag to water when boiling pasta, gives it
a really nice smokey taste.. "steve clarke"
If you run out of self raising flour, the general rule is 2.5 teaspoons
of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate - avoid baking powders they add a
bitterness to the cake) to 250g (1 lb.) of plain flour -- Scott
Bugs in Grain or Flour Add one or two
fresh bay leaves to each bag. No bugs and no flavor
transfer. -- jeanna hawley
To keep Bugs
out of Canisters. Put a bay leaf in your containers ...
sugar, flour, meal ... it will keep bugs out. -- Rosemary
How to use cake mixes and add other ingredients to make it taste like
homemade: '... Use a white cake mix. One can of
Cherry pie filling or 2 depending on the quantity you are making.
Spread the cake mix over the pie filling. Cut up one cube of marj. or
butter and place though out the top of the cake mix. Bake at 350
degrees for about 40 minutes. It's fabulous. "Dump Cake" Top with
whipping cream. They will think you slaved and it was simple...
-- Jan Tani
Tell when a cake
is ready - A cocktail stick or toothpick can be used to
test whether a cake is ready, If it comes out clean then the
cake is ready. You can also tell from the elasticity of the
crust -- Helen Budkiewicz Toronto Canada
is so lovely to make your own bread, and I find that brushing the bread
with salty water before baking gives it a lovely crunchy topping.
-- Maggie Renton, Athens, Georgia, USA
I find that tossing the fruit in flour stops the pastry at the bottom
of the pie from getting soggy. Also when making cakes with glace
cherries toss the washed cherries in flour to stop them sinking. --Jannine
Van Dyke, Seatle.
Store sugar with vanilla pods,
lemon zest, rose petals, or lavender to give it a nice flavor.
-- Axel Klystron.
Soften Brown Sugar by covering
the container with a damp cloth. -- Axel Klystron.
When making crumble – add a
little grated peel (orange) to add a tangy taste -- Ian
Keeping ground coffee in the
fridge or freezer preserves the taste -- Wendel Quinn Kuala
Storage. For storing the "bowl" type coffee filters, cut
the ends out of a 12 - 15 oz. coffee can. Divide filters and place them
into the can in two "layers". Replace the plastic cap on the
top end of the coffee can. When you need a filter simply open
the plastic lid and push the bottom layer of filters out of
the bottom of the can by pressing down on the top layer, once
you've removed a filter from the bottom layer, insert that layer
of filters into the top of the coffee can so that they are
now the top layer. Replace the plastic lid and your filters
will remain clean and organized until you need them again. -- J.
To prepare Italian Espresso
coffee I saw this recipe in an English Newspaper. Use 50
coffee beans per person, this will produce 7 grammes each,
Place the coffee in a filter and pour water at 88 degrees over it, the
coffee should be served at 57 degrees in a small cup. I sometimes take
it with a small amount of cream on top but it should be really be
served in a small white undecorated cup A Scottish friend of mine pours
it over his ice cream (Italian of Course) and I must confess that I
have tried it and found it to be an unusual and excellent sweet to
finish off a good meal. -- Germano, London -- For
an explanation of the coffees served up these days try www.thetipsbank.com/coffee.htm
How to Decaffeinate
Tea - Although tea contains about one-third the
caffeine there is in coffee, and some teas are already decaffeinated,
you can remove most of the caffeine from any tea by steeping it for
about a minute, discarding the liquid and adding water to steep it
again. You won't notice a difference in the taste, but the caffeine
will be mostly gone. -- Sylvia PF
An interesting fact is that
raw blackcurrants, and kiwi fruit contain more vitamin C than oranges.
Green bananas go yellow quicker if there are ripe bananas with them
-- Robin Gill Heston England
you are dieting, natural dates contain only half of the sugar of the
sun-dried variety you get in boxes. -- A Husaini, London W6
when squeezing lemon, if you put them in the microwave for half a
minute it makes them release more juice. -- Comi Edmunds
wines: If your champagne or other sparkling wine froths when
you open it, dip your finger down the neck of the bottle (clean, I
hope! -- Ed) to make the bubbles subside. -- Rupert J Graves,
Wine is best poured from a
height as it airs the wine and adds aroma -- Scott Edmunds.
Open red wines an hour before
drinking to allow them to breathe, serving at room temperature, chill
white wines and Rosé, opening just before serving -- Scott
Vegetarian Holding Power. Having difficulty getting your
textured vegetable protein to mold when making balls or patties? Eggs
and bread crumbs won't help if you are strict Vegan. Try mashed potato
flakes to hold your mold! Sprinkle just enough as is necessary. It is
also a great thickener for vegetarian stews, sauces and soups, dips no
Carrots are easier to peel if
they are briefly blanched in boiling water. – Essy Edmunds.
A drop of lemon/lime juice
will stop the browning (caused by oxidation) of vegetables or fruit -- Anon.
Lettuce should never be cut,
but torn instead – Veronica Echols
Cook vegetables quickly and in
a closed pot with only 5cm or so of water. Taste
and color are better this way -- Bruce Snyder Radlett
England Dec 98
When using fresh broccoli, cut
off stems, and slice into thin "rounds". Freeze slices and add to
homemade vegetable soup. -- walter &
Tough meat can be tenderised
by marinating with vinegar or pineapple juice for several hours. The
marinade must be washed off to get the taste away though. The
other day I read in the paper that marinating meat prior to barbecuing
it reduces the danger of cancer greatly -- Graham
Peck London England
Save all the ends of beef, pork roasts and put into freezer until there
is enough saved to make cooking it worthwhile. Put all the meats into a
heavy duty pan, add water (enough to cover meats) and cook until it is
all shredded. Keep adding water if necessary. (Can also put into a
roaster and do in oven). Once the meat is shredding, add some catsup,
and chopped green pepper and chopped onion and a few whisks of pepper
(salting not necessary). When the green pepper and onion are well
cooked in the meat mixture, put on buns. Makes a wonderful "barbecue"
sandwich. -- walter & persis martin
If you don’t have minced beef to hand, minced pork, lamb, or veal are
useful substitutes. - Sarah Hughes, Kingston
I found that my turkey or game casserole is even nicer when I add just
a little bitter chocolate. I never tell the people eating it though.
name means that they will never find out
!! -- Ed
- To check to see if a chicken or similar bird is completely cooked try
flexing the legs from side to side. If they "give"
easily then it is ready -- Sally Edwards Toronto Canada
Timely Turkey Tip.
I have a tip for a quick, easy, put it in the oven and forget about it
turkey. Personally, I do not stuff turkeys, but you can if you want.
After preparing, as it's ready to go in the oven, take a piece of
cheesecloth and soak it with olive oil. Spread the cheesecloth over all
exposed areas of the turkey, put it in the oven and check it in the
time required. No need to baste, or cover, or uncover to brown. You
will end up with the most juicy turkey with the most beautifully
browned skin. Just pull the cheesecloth off the turkey when it comes
out of the oven. Enjoy your day. -- Valerie
Tips: We all have trouble getting the
stuffing of the turkey. Next time put a piece of cheesecloth inside the
cavity, then put in the stuffing. Then all you have to do is pull the
cheesecloth and the stuffing comes right out. -- Kris
Super Moist Turkey. Just wanted to share a great Holiday
Turkey tip. Cook your turkey UPSIDE DOWN! Put it in the pan, butter
turkey and add spices, your usual amount of water and cover with
aluminum foil. Cook your turkey at 325 degrees for 6 to 8 hours. It
will be the most AWESOME turkey you've ever had.
the bird UPSIDE DOWN, the juice that usually runs down into the pan,
ends up in the turkey breast. Say goodbye to dry turkey...you're guests
will love it!!!
drawback....Your turkey will FALL OFF THE BONE, so you will not be able
to present and carve it...a small price to pay for a yummy bird. --
remove an Avocado Seed! Cut the alvacado long ways
all the way around where you have two seperate sides. One side will
have the seed in it. With your cutting knife, hit the seed in the
center and twist the seed right or left. It will come out very easy.
You will be a big hit at the next alvacado party! -- Digital
Unripe avocados ripen twice
as fast as usual if stored in a brown paper bag and stored in a warm
place. – Anthony Elliot.
Put lemon juice on your
avocado after slicing to stop it browning - - Vanessa Echols.
When preparing guacamole,
leave the avocado seed in the mix until it is ready to serve.
That way it will not go brown so quickly -- Wendy Quin Kuala
~ Tears from Onions, there are lots of ways of preventing
the tears:- Forget about all the old wives tales or trying to peel them
underwater, simply set up a small fan to waft away the fumes and your
onion peeling experience will be completely tear free. - Davina
Martin 18th April 2008
Peeling the skin
of Tomato and Garlic ~ Drop it in the hot water for some
time. It will be easy to peel. Saimun (Sumaia Farzana) 03 Jun 2007
Odour Free Garlic. Peel and freeze, they can be chopped
just as easily, and without leaving stinky hands. Davina
Martin 13 Aug 2008
cutting onions caused your eyes to watered, try using your hand to
sprinkle some fresh water onto your toes (left hand sprinkled to right
toes, or vice versa). strange ... but it works. I learnt from the older
generation. Jaslyn .... Singapore
Wah Fong & Jaslyn"
To avoid onions discoloring,
use a very sharp knife – Vanessa Echols
Bread in the mouth helps stops
tears when peeling/slicing onions – Wendel
Quin Kuala Lumpur
These are peeled much easier when you pour boiling water on them. --
Before you peel your onion
heat it up in the microwave for one minute. No tears, I
guarantee -- Bruce Snyder Radlett England
Peel/slice onions underwater
to stop eyes watering -- Anon
Onions. An easy way of
preparing onions for cutting is to trim the ends off, but don’t peel
them yet. Microwave the onion on high for one minute. It is then easy
to peel off the skin, and also you won’t cry so much when you chop them
up. - Alex Adams
When frying onions if the oil
starts to dry up, add a drop of water instead of more oil. The same
goes when stir-frying anything -- Comi Edmunds, UK. July 98.
To brown onions more quickly
add a little sugar to caramelize them. --David Keller.
To peel tomatoes blanch them
in boiling water briefly and -- Voila! - the skin now comes
off easily. – Comi Edmunds.
Unripe tomatoes can be made to
ripen quicker by having a ripe tomato stored with them to activate the
ripening process of the others. Store them at room temperature as well.
– Janet Wyatt.
Slice tomatoes from end to end
to stop the seeds falling out – Ian Richards
An easy way to get the
"paper" off of garlic without
peeling is to smash the clove with the palm of your hand, the garlic
will slide right of the "paper". So much easier than spending all that
time peeling. -- "kelly"
Peeling Garlic - Make it easy
by microwaving for 10 to 20 seconds -- "kelly"
Keep fresh herbs,
and fresh spices such a root ginger in the freezer to stop them going
off. The ginger or garlic can be grated into the food while still
frozen -- Axel Klystron
Chew some parsley after eating
garlic to sweeten your breath– Wendy Quin
Wear gloves when chopping hot peppers, always wash your hands after
touching them, and never rub your eyes or touch other parts of the body
when handling them as they will burn and sting. -- Sara
Sutherland age 10
If you’ve overdone the spices
in a dish, a bit of sugar will balance it out. Lemon juice helps, as
does putting in half a lemon, cooking for a few minutes then removing
-- Rathna Ali London England.
Spices should be roasted and
cooked for a few minutes before cooking the rest of the dish to get the
most of the flavours, and remove the really choking burning sensation
if they are hot. -- Rathna Ali England.
The general rule of thumb is one tablespoon of fresh herbs is
equivalent to one teaspoon of dried ones. - Anthony Daniels,
cracking an egg into a recipe, if you drop part of the shell in, the
easiest way to get it out is with another part of the shell. It will
keep slipping from your fingertips. -- Jody
-- Boiling water hardens the protein in egg whites. To avoid
this, cover eggs with 3" of salted water, heat to boiling, turn off
stove and let sit for 20 minutes in the hot water. Run under cold water
for easier peeling. ~~ Bill Shockley San Francisco, CA.
Filling Devilled Eggs:
After boiling your eggs, and cutting in half - scoop out the yolks and
make your filling for the eggs. Put the mixture in a ziplock baggie.
Then - making sure the bag is sealed - cut one corner of the bottom of
the bag. Squeeze the filling into the halved egg whites - simple
& easy -! When all egg halves are filled - simply throw the
baggie away. No more trying to fit a spoon into those small holes of an
egg! :) Martha
Boiling Eggs using
boiling water: Soft boiling takes 6 minutes, hard boiled eggs
take 10 minutes.-- Wendy Quinn
To test eggs for freshness put in cold salty water, and bad ones will
float to the top. – Wendy Quin Kuala
If you accidentally break an egg onto the floor put some salt onto it,
leave for 10 minutes, and then the egg is much easier to pick up as it
had clotted. – Bonnie Pacifico
To stiffen egg whites I find that adding a pinch of salt or cream of
tartar does the trick. -- Michael Goldstock, USA
To discourage cracking It is best to perforate your eggs before boiling
them. Sausages too, like to be perforated. -- Dave
Need Boiled Eggs for
recipes. Whenever I need boiled eggs for a recipe
or a salad instead of the nuisance of boiling eggs and the frustration
of peeling them, I use one of those poached egg cookers (found at any
large discount store) and cook the eggs in the microwave. Within a
minute or less, I have a perfectly cooked egg for chopping without the
shell mess. Great for when you need only one or two boiled eggs. -- Nancy
When shallow frying fish always coat in seasoned flour or egg as it
holds the fish together and keeps it moist. -- Keith Chan.
with live mussels clean first by scrubbing, remove the beards and
barnacles with a knife, rinse several times in cold water and soak them
a couple of hours so they clean themselves. Any mussels that float
should be discarded along with any with cracked shells. Any mussels
with open shells should be tapped, if they don’t close these should be
discarded. Make sure they open when cooking, and keep stirring because
they may have trouble opening if they are too packed together. To
remove grit from the cooking liquor sieve through muslin or use a
(clean) sock. - - Anon
Do not wrap your live mussels, they could suffocate - never freeze and
do observe the sell by date, discard mussels that do not close when
given a sharp tap and discard the ones that do not fully open after
cooking. -- Regards Dianne Dimke
Sauce A quick way of making a nice substitute sauce is by
adding 7 tablespoons of mayonnaise to 2 tablespoons of chopped mixed
pickles. - Shelia MacDonald
Gravy After oven baking, remove two cups of broth (
stock?) and place in a medium sized pan with one can of Light Cream of
Chicken soup. Heat to boiling and use corn starch to thicken , if
needed. Add Parsley and season to taste. -- Sue Stone
Easy Shrimp Sauce
Never run out of shrimp sauce again. Add one tablespoon of minced
onions and one teaspoon of horseradish to one cup of ketchup. Voila
enjoy! Chuck -- Charles Stone
Low Fat Pumpkin Pie. Recipe
substitutions. This past Thanksgiving I was going to make a pumpkin
pie. I realized that I didn't have any evaporated milk in the house. I
did have powdered nonfat dry milk. You need to add 10 oz. of warm (not
hot) water into 2/3 cup of the dry milk (or enough to make 12 oz.
total) for each 12 oz. can required. Mix slowly (as to keep the bubbles
down) with a teaspoon, to remove any large lumps. Add into the recipe
as you should the canned milk. The pie came out perfect and I also
saved 240 calories (per can of evaporated milk) by using the nonfat
milk mixture. Joseph Fortunato
Recipe Forum Hi!
What a great page! :) Thank you! I thought I'd let you know the
doityourself.com website now has a new but GREAT recipe
forum! Some of those recipes are FABULOUS....thought you might want to
add that for recipes. :) Thx! "Anelle
Many top chefs
never wash their frying pans. They scour them with salt and
some-times salt and oil. One chef I know used to "condition"
his pan by raising to a high temperature with just salt and then, when
it had cooled some, he got rid of the excess salt, and only then he
added the oil -- Davie
Veggie wannabes Want
to try being a vegetarian but miss meat a lot? Check out a dry soy
product called textured vegetable protein, which can be made up quickly
and inexpensively into entrees that taste like your favorite meat
products. Health food stores, on-line soy companies, and some
supermarkets carry this product, which takes only 15 minute of
marinating in hot veggie juice, fruit juice, or bouillon to create the
meaty-tasting component of your favorite flesh-based recipe. For a
hundred such recipes--including calzones, shepherd's pies, creole
sauce, stuffed cabbage rolls, fajitas, szechuan stew, etc.--check out
the book Meatless Meat: A Book of Recipes for Meat Substitutes by
Dorothy Jane Mills, from Xlibris, toll-free 1-888-795-4274, or from
your favorite online or bricks-and-mortar bookstore -- Dorothy
mixed-up cups at BBQ/parties. Sad to see so many wasted
disposable cups, especially with kids' parties? Try this, use a marker
to number all the disposable cups. Everyone will ask about them, and
they'll remember their own number throughout the event. Works extremely
well with kids - - Skyth Smith
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either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in
nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding
danger is no safer in the long run than exposure -- Helen Keller