Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kitchen Help

Over the years I have learned a few tricks of the cooking trade that I thought I would pass on.

-Next time you are at your grocery store check the bakery day-old rack or cart for good deals. I try to get the croissants as they make the most divine bread pudding.

-When making bread pudding instead of tossing in the usual suspects of raisins and cinnamon, why not try substituting crushed pineapple, toasted coconut, walnuts or macadamia nuts and mix in some coconut milk in too. Before serving top with warm caramel sauce and you are in for a Tropical Bread Pudding treat!

-Did you make your mashed potatoes too runny? Add a little dry coffee creamer or instant potato flakes to solve that problem.

-Making mashed potatoes and realize you don't have any milk? Mix some liquid coffee creamer in and no one will ever know. I have even used my French Vanilla creamer and the potatoes were yummy. If you don't have creamer on hand, add in some sour cream or cream cheese and mash away.

-Do you need buttermilk to soak your onion rings or chicken in and realize you have run out? Add a splash of vinegar to milk and voila: instant buttermilk.

-Did you know you can freeze butter? I didn't know this until recently and now when I find butter on sale I can stock up.

-When I make my french onion soup I always add apple juice to the broth instead of wine. It seems to add just the right touch without being overpoweringly sweet.

-Did you know they have dried jalapeno flakes in the spice section of your grocery store. They are perfect for adding a quick kick to your cornbread and chili recipes without leaving you sitting in ice water in the bathtub crying because you forgot to wear your gloves handling the real McCoy. Not that anything like that ever happened to me.

-Speaking of jalapenos: always wear gloves when seeding and cutting. I would even recommend wearing glasses as the peppers tend to spit their volatile juice right in your eyeball. Or at least they do that to me.

-Not that bananas ever survive in our house long enough to get all black and yummy. But if they do in your house and no one wants to eat them but you, you can toss them in the freezer for use in baking at a later date.



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