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 - and more.
Poached 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,
Peeling Oranges. Briskly rolling an orange around on a flat surface will loosen the skin and make for easier peeling -- Adam Waldron Wapping London England
BBQ 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 McPherson
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
Asparagus Tips. 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 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. -- Ed
Preparing 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
Aluminum Foil: 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 Gol-Shekan
Minimise Drink 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"
Easy ... 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"
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 &
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. – Essie Edmunds.
To prevent butter burning when frying with butter,
add a little cooking oil to the melting butter. –
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
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.
Pasta , 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 Edmonds
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
it 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.
sugar with vanilla pods, lemon zest, rose petals, or lavender to give
it a nice flavor. -- Axel Klystron.
Brown Sugar by covering the container with a damp cloth. --
making crumble – add a little grated peel (orange) to add a
tangy taste -- Ian Richards, UK,
ground coffee in the fridge or freezer preserves the taste -- Wendel
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Filter 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. Carrasco
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 creme 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
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
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
if you are
dieting, natural dates contain only half of the sugar of the sun-dried
variety you get in boxes. -- A Husaini, London W6
squeezing lemon, if you put them in the microwave for half a minute
it makes them release more juice. -- Comi Edmunds
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, Paris
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 Edmunds.
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. –
drop of lemon/lime juice will stop the browning (caused by oxidation)
of vegetables or fruit -- Anon.
should never be cut, but torn instead – Veronica
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 & persis martin
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
Meat-filler. 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
and cook until it is all shredded. Keep adding water if necessary. (Can
put into a roaster and do in oven).
Once the meat is shredding, add some catsup, and chopped green pepper
chopped onion and a few whisks of pepper (salting not necessary).
When the green pepper and onion are well cooked in the meat mixture,
Makes a wonderful "barbecue" sandwich.
-- walter & persis martin
Beef. If you don’t have minced beef to hand,
minced pork, lamb, or veal are useful substitutes. - Sarah
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. -- Anon.
your name means that they will never find
out !! -- Ed
Cooked -Cooked? - 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 (Valerie Ensley)
Turkey 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.
cooking 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. -- Shawn C
How to 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 Wireless Satellite,
Unripe avocados ripen
twice as fast as usual if stored in
a brown paper bag and stored in a warm place. –
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 Lumpur
~ 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
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
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
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.
peel tomatoes blanch them in boiling water briefly and --
Voila! - the skin now comes off easily. – Comi
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
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.
rule of thumb is one tablespoon of fresh herbs is equivalent to one
teaspoon of dried ones. - Anthony Daniels, Los Angeles
Eggs. When 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
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
Soft boiling takes 6 minutes, hard boiled eggs take 10 minutes.-- Wendy Quinn
Egg Freshness. To test eggs for freshness
put in cold salty water, and bad ones will float to the top. –
Dropped Egg, 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. –
egg whites I find that adding a pinch of salt or cream of tartar does
the trick. -- Michael Goldstock, USA
Egg Cracking: To discourage cracking It is
best to perforate your eggs before boiling them. Sausages
too, like to be perforated. -- Dave Richards
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
-- Nancy Collins,
When shallow frying fish always
coat in seasoned flour or egg as it holds the fish together and keeps
it moist. -- Keith Chan.
Mussels - 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
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
Healthy Chicken Gravy After oven baking, remove two cups of
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.
Chuck -- Charles Stone
Low Fat Pumpkin
substitutions. This past Thanksgiving I was going to make a
pie. I realized that I didn't have any evaporated milk in the house. I
have powdered nonfat dry milk. You need to add 10 oz. of warm (not hot)
into 2/3 cup of the dry milk (or enough to make 12 oz. total) for each
can required. Mix slowly (as to keep the bubbles down) with a teaspoon,
remove any large lumps. Add into the recipe as you should the canned
The pie came out perfect and I also saved 240 calories (per can of
milk) by using the nonfat milk mixture. Joseph Fortunato
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 substitute Try soy
based textured vegetable protein, you can bring it alive - so to speak - with some vegetable stock and even the most addicted meat eater will hardly notice the difference - Davina
No more 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
Life is 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 --