20 Helpful Cooking Tips



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  • Don’t throw away your orange peel. Using a sharp mini cookie cutter, make stars, trees, or stockings and use them to garnish your fruit platter. You can also make Candied Orange Peels.
  • You don’t always have to serve gingerbread with a sauce or whipped cream.Try a scoop of ice cream for a nice change.
  • To take a white or yellow cake from okay to great,try adding chopped dried fruit to the frosting like apricots, cherries, cranberries, pineapple etc.
  • If your white sugar is lumpy, place it in a plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin or a sturdy glass.
  • Leftover cornbread or cornbread muffins freeze well.Also the leftovers are great to crumble on top of chili or stew so save even the crumbs.


  • To serve leftover stew in a different way, spread it in a greased 9×13 pan or casserole dish and top with canned biscuits. Bake according to the directions for the biscuits on the can.
  • For leftover chili: Mix 1-2 small boxes of cornbread mix. Spread chili in a greased 9×13 pan or casserole dish and then pour cornbread batter on top. Once again, bake according to the directions on the cornbread box. You could also add a can of corn to the cornbread batter.
  • Stretch that leftover chili or Sloppy Joe mix by making nachos.
  • Next time you bake chicken,add ranch dressing or other spices to a box of cornmeal mix and coat the chicken in it by dipping the chicken in milk and then shaking it in the cornmeal mix. Bake as usual.
  • Don’t keep buttermilk on hand, but need it every once in a while? Buy powdered buttermilk. It works great and doesn’t go bad on you. You can usually find it in the baking section at your grocery store.
  • When you cook, determining when to add the salt to your food is important.
  • When making soups or stews, blend it in early.
  • Add it to meats just before taking them from the pan.
  • Add it to the water in which you are going to cook vegetables
  • Sprinkle in the pan when frying fish.
  • If your bread gets dried out, don’t toss it out. Spread it with some butter, sprinkle with garlic powder and Parmesan cheese and broil until brown. You could also spread it with butter, cinnamon and sugar and broil.
  • Never cover anything that is cooked in milk unless you want to spend hours cleaning your stove after it boils over.
  • Keep a measuring cup in each of your flour and sugar canisters. I almost never have to dirty a measuring cup anymore. I also use an ice cream scoop (It measures 1/4 of a cup) to measure liquids. The lever on it that you use to scrape out the ice cream works great for scraping out things like honey or syrup.
  • If your oatmeal cookies always turn out a little dry, add a ripe banana to it for extra flavor and moisture.
  • Leftover pineapple juice? Add some oil, soy sauce and garlic. Mix well. Marinate chicken for several hours. Bake chicken in marinade until juices run clear.

 

For more money saving tips to save on your grocery check out Dining On A Dime Cookbook.

 

photo by: dinesarasota

Comments

  1. says

    Leftover pineapple juice? Add some oil, soy sauce and garlic. Mix well. Marinate chicken for several hours. Bake chicken in marinade until juices run clear.
    Add some fresh or jarred ginger and the flavour is great for chicken or fish.

    To serve leftover stew in a different way, spread it in a greased 9×13 pan or casserole dish and top with canned biscuits. Bake according to the directions for the biscuits on the can.
    If the stew is cold add a few minutes to the cooking time. To be sure the biscuits are cooked through.

  2. rose says

    i like the idea of keeping a measuring cup in the flour and sugar .. the same goes for coffee ..
    if i buy coffee for my hubby (i drink tea) i never know how much to put in the coffee pot .. so i asked him how much he likes (he showed me the measuring cup (some of the big containers do not come with scoops) he uses and now i just keep the scoop in the old coffee container .. i normally just buy the bagged coffee and dump it in the coffee container ..

  3. says

    I always have pre-soaked beans in my freezer for those days that I decide to make a recipe using dry beans. I just soak some over night, drain and rinse then bag them in both 2 cup portions and 4 cup portions.

    I also cook my hard squashes in the crockpot instead of the oven. Just cut them in half or in pieces and add a tiny bit of water. Turn the crockpot up to high and they cook in about 2-3 hours and are really moist.

    I too save all pineapple juice from cans of pineapple and use it in jello to substitute for some of the cold water…

  4. tuxgirl says

    I’ve tried keeping a measuring cup in my flour and sugar, and what inevitably happens is that the next time I need that size of measuring cup, I have to go search for it… It ended up annoying me more than anything else.

    On the issue of adding salt to things, note that if you are cooking with dry beans, you should *not* add any salt until the beans are fully cooked.

    Also, if you live someplace where bread gets moldy (ours *never* dries out… it just goes moldy), keep the bread in the fridge!

    • says

      You need to have separate measuring cups. You have the ones you use in your canisters and then have another set you keep for your regular baking that way you don’t have to search. Also you might try freezing 1/2 of the bread and use the other half because some breads dry out faster when put in the fridge. For some reason freezing it doesn’t dry it quite as fast. Hope this helps.

      • Phyllis says

        I pickup 1/4 cup measuring cups at Goodwills, flea markets etc and keep these in my canisters. You can use these when a recipe calles for 1/2, 3/4 or 1 cup and it takes up less space.

  5. says

    We have quite humid summers here and my bread was going mouldy really fast. One year my husband made me a cupboard of pine wood. He kept asking me what colour I wanted it stained and I said no colour. I like plain wood. Well winter set in and we didn’t put anything on the wood but made a discovery.
    When I keep bread in the cupboard it didn’t go mouldy. Also the onion salt and salt and sugar didn’t go hard and lumpy.
    I am sure it is the wood absorbs the moisture and the food stays fresher.
    I know a whole cupboard is out of line in most homes but if you can find a wooden bread box it would help with the mold problem.

  6. Heather says

    Luv the idea of the biscuits on top of leftover stew. I am making drop biscuits with my baking mix to go on top of ramekins (hubby Christmas present!)that are filled with leftover chicken stew. Hope it’s good. Due to finances being tight these days, gotta be creative to avoid waste. Thankfully my Grammy taught me to be resourceful in my household. Truly a blessing to have that knowledge (and her recipe box!).

  7. says

    Heather call it left over stew and kids and family curl up their noses.
    Call it chicken or beef pot pie and it is something new and different.
    you could give it funny names if your little ones are at the age of naming things.
    chicken pot pie was cluck cluck and biscuits. the boys still like to call it that but only here never in their own homes.
    I always found that if you ask a child what to call something you are having for a meal they enjoy eating it a lot more.
    my one son saw me making chicken soup one day and it was a really scrawny chicken so he said are we having scrawny chicken tonight. I said yes and the name game stuck around for a few years.
    burnt cow was for a crispier than normal steak.

  8. Lynne says

    When my kids were little I made chicken cutlets, pounded, cut into strips, dipped in egg, flavored bread crumbs and then pan-fried. My kids said it was so good that it was terrible! And that’s what we always called it: terrible chicken.

  9. Misty says

    I have to agree with grandma about letting the kids name the dishes. Lol. My oldest daughter (4) will insist that she is eating a sausage because she doesn’t “like” hot dogs. Lol. But her little sister right beside her has a hot dog. Lol.

  10. Bea says

    Jill, I have to tell you that I made that Chicken and Dumblings recipe with the chicken soup a couple of times lately, and it is one of my favorite recipes. I got some “Petticoat Junction” DVDs from the library because I like old wholesome shows, and they mentioned chicken and dumblings, so I felt like I was visting the Shady Rest Hotel. Ha Ha! And I also made the chili with the tomato soup a few times this winter, and that is another favorite of mine. So good to come home to on these cold winter days. YUM!

    • says

      Those were a couple of my favors too Bea. Glad to have you back. Was worried you might be sick or something.
      Speaking of good shows. I just recently have been watching a show called Wind at My Back. It is sooooo good. It is about a widow who is trying to survive during the depression in Canada in the early 1930′s. I was just telling Michael it has everything I like in a show – drama, comedy, suspense and is a good family show.

  11. says

    Jill that is a good show. lots of good actors in it. It takes place in Ontario so it seems familiar to me in a lot of ways.
    You might also like “nothing to good for a cowboy”
    it is a true story about starting up a ranch in British Columbia.
    It is based on the book by the same name.
    In books you might enjoy ones by “Miss Read” she talks about village life in England just after the war.
    Nice down to earth style and she makes the characters come to life.
    Her books are on my never get rid of till they fall apart since they are such good easy reads they get reread lots.

    • says

      I don’t think I can get the cowboy show but it does sound good. I will try to find the Miss Read books at the library because they do sound like something I would like.

  12. rose says

    i used to love avonlea and i am (my daughter too) are big anne shirley fans .. (anne of green gables) ..
    this show (i just looked it up on the internet) sounds wonderful .. a good wholesome family show (you were definitely right about that jill) .. i dont think our library has these shows on dvd but maybe i can find them online ..
    thanks again for sharing :D

  13. Bea says

    Jill, That “Wind At My Back Show” sounds good. It’s such a shame that generally I have to look for shows that were made before I was born, or were on TV when I was too young to remember, because of all the garbage they make today. What a waste of air time.

    • says

      If you can find it this really is a good show Bea. They are very good too at portraying what things were really like back then from clothes, the things they eat and even the dishes they use.

  14. rose says

    i agree bea .. too bad alot of these types of shows arent on tv anymore .. good wholesome family shows (from long ago) ..
    there are several shows that i love to see but cant get to bc i do not have cable .. i go on surf the channel ..
    and lately, with all i do (work wise and take care of my hubby), if there is any relaxation time i am normally resting in bed (napping) or going to be super early ..
    i wil definitely have to look for this show jill .. thanks for sharing htis with all of us ..

  15. says

    try finding them on youtube. they have the waltons and a few shows like that so maybe it will be there.
    A few years ago you could find them on PBS I think.
    Don’t have TV now so can’t say where they would be.

  16. Bea says

    Rose, Try looking in your library for old shows. My library carries a lot of them on DVD. They can also get them through interlibrary loan from other libraries. I currently am watching “My Three Sons” on DVD. The first season from 1950. It is so much fun to watch and NO SEX OR VIOLENCE. HURRAH. God bless old shows.

  17. rose says

    yep GOD bless old shows .. no sex or violence ..
    yes i have checked out the shows at the library .. and htey dont have this one particular show (wind at my back) .. so i will look on you tube .. i love you tube .. i got to see all my favorite episodes of little house on the prairie .. i love that show! .. yes i know it can be sappy at times but its a good show . i also like the brady bunch ..
    and pbs was always my favorite channel .. :D
    thanks for sharing :D

  18. Carole says

    I like the “Miss Read” books, too. Th British authors seem to have a touch that other authors don’t Another good author is M.C. Beacon, she is British and writes the Agatha Raisin mystery series as well as another series.

    • says

      I have to agree with you on that Carole. I don’t know what it is but I will take a book written by a British author any day. I have read so many of them that I am starting to run out of things to read so will have to give both of these a try.

  19. Bea says

    I agree with the statement that British authors and shows have something American shows don’t. I thought I was the only one that felt that way. Usually when I mentioned that to people I would get a blank stare. American authors and shows can be so predictably dumb. At least the modern stuff.

  20. Amanda K. says

    You can make buttermilk by adding 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to slightly less than 1 cup of milk. Let sit for 5 minutes and voila, buttermilk!
    Also, “Wind at My Back” actually isn’t that old; it ran from 1996-2001. I looked it up because I was curious after I saw my Mom watching it, because the picture quality didn’t look as old as she seemed to think the show was.

  21. Linda says

    In reg to t he measuring cups left in flour, meal etc….I use the scoups out of washing powder. I run them through the top drawer of the dishwasher and then put them in the flour, meal, sugar or what ever and leave them there. One scoup hjold 1/2 cup most of the time.

  22. Fay says

    Bea–Cannot stress how much I agree with you. I am American and can’t stand the brainless shows on Amer TV. It is because we Americans have forgotten (or perhaps most of us can’t comprehend)dialogue. British shows and other foreign (to me) shows rely on dialogue and that is what makes them stand above. Amer TV is filled with “punch lines” or visuals stunts. Its like they have to clobber you with storyline because it is so weak you won’t be able to say what the show was about. Now that the boys are on their own they too steer away from Amer TV. We talk about the shows are so well written and portrayed.
    ALSO
    Like the ideas of adding biscuits or dry ranch dressing mix. A little disappointed that you didn’t plug your DIY bisquick or other DIY dressing/sauce mixes. Sometimes we need a reminder that hey-I can make that or hey- I have some I made.

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