Kandy's Kitchen Know-hows

I wanted to share some of the Tips and Tricks that I've learned over the years that have made cooking a little bit easier!
Check back often!  I will be adding new Tips and Tricks periodically to help you in the Kitchen! 
  • One of my favorite tricks is adding a few dashes of cinnamon on top of coffee in my coffee filter.  It helps to remove any bitterness in the coffee and adds just a hint of cinnamon to my morning Cup o' Joe!
  • I love to use a micro-planer to grate fresh ginger, chocolate, garlic cloves and Parmesan cheese.  I also use it to zest lemons, limes and oranges.
  • When decorating cakes, I set my pastry bag into a tall glass when filling it with Frosting.  It allows me to be able to have both hands free in order to fill the bag. 
  • I use a small strainer to sprinkle powdered sugar on top of desserts like lemon bars or pizzelles.
  • I love to cook Bacon in the oven on a cooling rack that has been placed on a cookie sheet.  That way the grease drips off and the Bacon crisps up perfectly every time!  
  • Crisped to PERFECTION!
 When baking cupcakes, I love to use Reynolds Brand StayBrite Baking Cups.  The foil lining helps to keep the liners from fading when baking.  I love the cute designs too!  Here are a couple designs that I have used:   
  • When baking I love to  use a Silpat, which is a non-stick baking mat, on my cookie sheets.  It allows me to bake without having items sticking to my pans and it makes the clean up so easy.
  • To hard boil eggs, carefully lay desired number of eggs in a pan and cover with cold water.  Bring water to a boil; cover with a lid and remove from the heat.  Allow eggs to sit covered for 15 minutes.  Pour off water and run cold water over eggs to cool.  Use immediately or store in refrigerator.  
  • To toast pecans, place desired amount of pecans in a dry saute pan over medium-high heat.  Heat pecans until slightly browned, stirring occasionally.  You can also place on a dry cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven until toasted.  (TIP:  Make sure and keep an eye on the pecans, because they will toast quickly and can easily burn.)  
  • I love to make chicken noodle soup with leftover roasted chicken.  I always save the leftover gravy that we have from our chicken dinner to add to the soup also.  It always adds more chicken flavor to our soup and is a great way to use up all of our leftovers.  That way we get 2 dinners out of one!
  • Another great use for leftover chicken is to make chicken salad or chicken wraps for lunch the next day.

  • A great way to keep mashed potatoes warm for a potluck or family dinner, is to prepare them and then place them in a slow-cooker that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  They will be warm and ready whenever you are! 
  • I love to use an ice cream scoop to form evenly sized meatballs and cookies.  You can also use a medium-sized ice cream scoop to fill cupcake liners or muffin tins.  They will come out perfect every time! 
  • To clean fruit and to keep berries from molding, fill sink with water and add 1 cup of vinegar.  Allow fruit to soak for 10 minutes.  Remove fruit and allow to dry completely.  Refrigerate. 
  • Use dental floss to cut cinnamon roll dough into perfectly sized cinnamon rolls.
  • To stabilize whipped cream so it holds it's consistency, heat 1 large marshmallow in the microwave for 10 seconds and stir into whipped cream.
  • To increase the juice from a lemon or lime, heat fruit in the microwave for about 10 seconds or soak fruit in a bowl of warm water and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • To easily remove the skin from tomatoes or peaches, add peaches to boiling water and soak for a few minutes.  
  • When you need cracker crumbs for a recipe, place crackers in a re-sealable bag (making sure bag is sealed completely) and use a rolling pin to crush crackers.
  • To easily dice an avocado:  slice the avocado in half lengthwise; remove pit or seed, using a paring knife slice the avocado in one direction and then in the opposite direction (making sure to not slice all the way through the skin); use a spoon to scoop out avocado.

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