I learned a few little-known secrets and food tips from Martha Stewart today.
…To keep POTATOES from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
…Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ICE CREAM drips.
…Wrap CELERY in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.
…Cure for headaches: Take a LIME, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.
…Don’t throw out all that leftover WINE. Instead, freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and other dishes.
So, where in the world did I find these great tips from Martha Stewart, you ask?… Why on Car Talk of course!
Yep, those two crazy Car Talk guys on the radio (Click & Clack) have a boredom-buster section of funny tips & tricks & jokes and such under the heading “Time Kill Central” on their website.
The page where I found these: Real Women vs. Martha Stewart. (It’s actually quite FUNNY.)
Some Food Tips Of My Own
One of the (many) nerdy things I do is to save each and every helpful food tip I come across — at least the ones that pertain to foods we actually eat.
So, here we go… a few of my favorites:
- Keep BANANAS fresh by wrapping them in a dark plastic trash bag and storing it in the refrigerator. This is the banana equivalent of suspended animation.
- Need more BEEF?… Oatmeal or bread crumbs will stretch a pound of ground beef into a pound and a half or more!
- When making MUFFINS with blueberries, fruit, chocolate chips, etc., place those items in a bowl with a dash of flour. Shaking the bowl to coat them evenly with the flour will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins when you bake them.
- Rubbing the inside of a cooking pan with oil will prevent noodles, rice, and spaghetti from BOILING OVER.
- Add a teaspoon of sugar to the water you’re using to steam BROCCOLI — it will enhance the flavor and help the broccoli keep its bright green color.
- To make fudge from a BROWNIE MIX, take the dry mixture and add just enough water to get a consistency of fudge. Pour it in a 6×6 inch dish. (But don’t bake it!) Cover, refrigerate and eat.
- Keep a CAKE fresh and moist by placing an apple cut in half inside your cake box/container. BONUS: Cut a fresh cake using a “wet” knife.
- When cooking CAULIFLOWER, add a little milk to the water — it keeps it sparkling white.
- To revive wilted CELERY, cut off the root end and place it in a large glass of water & refrigerate.
- To prevent moldy CHEESE, store it in a glass jar or wrap it in a cloth dampened with a salt solution before refrigerating.
- CHEESE won’t harden if you butter the exposed edges before storing.
- Cartons of COTTAGE CHEESE and SOUR CREAM will keep twice as long if store upside down in the refrigerator.
- To get the most EGGS for your money, keep in mind that the standard egg/weight categories are: small, medium, large, extra large and jumbo. The weight increase at each step is 10% to 15%. So, if the price increase from one size to the next is less than 10%, buy the bigger eggs.
- FRESH EGGS are rough and chalky — they sink & remain horizontal on the bottom of water-filled pan. OLD EGGS are smooth and shiny — they float in a water.
- When using FLOUR to thicken food, sprinkle the flour with salt first, and it won’t turn lumpy.
- To keep FRUITS from turning brown, you can use pineapple juice or lemon juice. Or, use a lemon-lime flavored soda (like 7-Up) to keep fruits from turning brown.
- Ripen GREEN FRUIT by placing in a brown paper bag, or a plastic bag with small holes. The holes allow air movement while retaining the odorless gas which fruits produce to promote ripening.
- LETTUCE will keep longer in the refrigerator if stored in a brown paper bag — and don’t remove the leaves until ready to use. BONUS: To perk up soggy lettuce, soak in cold water with some lemon juice, then place in Ziplock bag with a paper towel to absorb the moisture.
- Use powdered dry MILK in baking. If a recipe calls for cream or condensed milk, use only half the usual amount of water you would use with the dry milk.
- Transfer cooking OIL into a squeeze-type dish soap bottle or plastic ketchup bottle and you’ll have alot more control over the amount of oil you use.
- If you place an ONION in the freezer for 4-5 minutes before slicing, you won’t have tears when cutting. You could also run cold water over an onion while you’re slicing it.
- For a crunchier PIZZA crust, lightly sprinkle the pizza pan with corn meal before placing crust in the pan. BONUS: For a cheesier crust, sprinkle grated Parmesan or Romano cheese on the pizza dough before adding sauce and toppings.
- POPCORN will stay fresh if you store it in the freezer. It also eliminates some kernels not popping.
- The ideal temperature for storing POTATOES is 38 degrees, and potatoes should be hung in the garage in its burlap bag — never store with onions or apples.
- POTATOES will bake in a hurry if they are boiled in salted water for 10 minutes before placing them in a very hot oven. BONUS: Cut a thin slice from each end of the potato to speed up the baking process.
- To prevent RAISINS from sinking to the bottom of the batter during baking, toss them in a paper bag with some flour first and shake to coat.
- Refrigerate WHITE RICE once opened and BROWN RICE as soon as you buy it — use an airtight container.
- Whenever a recipe calls for SAUTEING onions, peppers, garlic, etc. try cooking in a little broth or bullion instead of butter or oil.
- To make your TOMATOES last longer, buy tomatoes in varying degrees of ripeness, and use the ripest ones (stored at room temperature) first. BONUS: To ripen tomatoes, store them stem end up a few days at room temperature (or in a brown paper bag), placed out of direct sunlight.
- Add a teaspoon of sugar to the water when you cook VEGETABLES — it brings out their natural flavors. BONUS: Place crumbled newspapers into the VEGETABLE COMPARTMENT of your refrigerator to keep veggies crisp.
- To FREEZE VEGETABLES, they must be blanched first, otherwise it will become coarse and flavorless. To blanch: drop fresh vegetables into boiling water, then transfer immediately into ice water. Work with small batches.
More Fun Food Tips
I love my kitchen… and I like to cook. But my #1 requirement is that recipes have fewer than 7 ingredients (or arrive on my doorstep via a food delivery service). My absolute favorite thing about being in the kitchen is trying out new gadgets, cookware, and storage containers! I'm SUPER organized in the kitchen (and everywhere else) and I have every gadget I could possibly need neatly and compactly tucked away until I need it. I share only the simplest recipes (which is great for people who don't like to cook), along with time-saving food tips and cooking tricks (that will save you time and money). When I'm not cooking, cleaning, or organizing my kitchen… you can find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).