Cooking Tips
Onion's making you cry?
Try peeling them under cold water or refrigerate (or freeze) before chopping.

Brown Sugar too hard?
To soften rock-hard brown sugar, simply add a slice of soft bread to the package and close the bag tightly. In a few hours the sugar will be soft again.

Soggy Lettuce?
Add lemon juice to a bowl of cold water and soak lettuce for an hour in the refrigerator.

Flavorful Veggies
When cooking carrots, peas, beets or corn, add a small amount of sugar to the water to keep the flavor.

Keep sweet corn yellow
Add one teaspoon of lemon juice to the cooking water just about a minute before taking off the stove. Never salt the water you cook corn in. It will only toughen the corn.

Storing celery and lettuce
Store them in paper bags, not plastic. And leave the outside leaves and stalks alone until ready to use.

Tomatoes
Sunlight doesn't ripen tomatoes, warmth does. Store tomatoes with stems pointed down and they will stay fresher, longer.

Eggs
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A fresh egg will sink in water, a stale one will float.
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An egg white is easiest to beat at room temperature. Take the egg out of the refrigerator about 1/2 hour before using.
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For light, fluffy scrambled eggs, add a little water while beating the eggs.
- Add vinegar to the water when boiling eggs. The vinegar helps seal the egg.

Egg Fresh or Raw?
Can't remember if an egg is fresh or hard boiled? Just spin the egg. If it wobbles, it's raw. If it spins easily, it's hard boiled.

Removing Fats from Soups
Remove fat from soups and stews by dropping ice cubes into the pot. The fat will cling to the cubes as you stir. Take out the cubes before they melt. Or you can also wrap the ice cubes in cheesecloth or paper towel and skim over the top of the pot. Fat also clings to lettuce leaves.

Hamburger Patties
Poke a hole in the middle of the hamburger patties while shaping them. The burgers will cook faster and the holes will disappear when done.

Fluffy White Rice
For fluffier, whiter rice, add one teaspoon of lemon juice per litre (quart) of water. To add extra flavour and nutrition to rice, cook it in liquid reserved from cooking vegetables.

Marshmallows
Marshmallows won't dry out when frozen.

Slightly Burnt Stew?
Adding milk will take the burnt taste out.

Thawing Fish
The best way to thaw fish is in milk. The milk draws out the frozen taste and gives the fish a fresh flavor.

Soup too Salty?
If a soup or stew is too salty, add raw cut potatoes. Discard them after they have cooked - they will have absorbed the salt.

Soup too Sweet?
If a soup or stew is too sweet, add salt. If a main dish or vegetable is too sweet, add a teaspoon of cider vinegar.

Soft Butter in a Hurry
To soften a stick of cold, hard butter or margarine in a hurry, use a grater. All you have to do is grate the butter into little shreds and add it to your ingredients.

Boiling Liquid Tip
Never leave a spoon or metal object in a pot that you wish to come to a
quick boil. The metals deflect heat, lengthwise the time for the contents
to reach the boiling point.

Cauliflower
To keep cauliflower white while cooking - add a little milk to the water.

Baked Potato - Oven Speed Method
Try this method for speeding up the potato baking process
(for a better texture than those that you microwave).
Pre-heat the oven to 400. Place the potato in boiling water
for 10 minutes. Bake for 30 minutes. This will cut the
cooking time in half.

Popcorn - More Pop for your Buck
Store it in the freezer and pop while still frozen. You'll
have fewer unpopped kernels.

Meat loaf sticking to pan?

It will not stick if you place a slice of bacon on the bottom of the pan.

Meatloaf ideas
Try these ideas with your basic recipe for a more ethnic flare:
CARIBBEAN: Add diced salt pork and green onions. Also, try ginger, green pepper and curry powder.

CHINESE: Add rice, water chestnuts and sweet-and-sour sauce. Or soy sauce, green onions and ginger.

FRENCH: Mix in mushrooms, red wine and pepper. Also, try white wine, Dijon mustard and parsley.

GREEK: Add ground lamb and feta cheese.

INDIAN: Add curry powder and crushed garbanzo beans. Or mix in cubed potatoes, yogurt and mustard seeds.

ITALIAN: Add oregano, marjoram and Parmesan cheese. Or mix in cooked spinach, nutmeg and garlic. Also try, fennel seeds and chopped Italian sausage.

MEXICAN: Add fresh cilantro and green chilies. Or add white cheese, chili powder and cumin.

POLISH: Add bacon drippings, dill pickles and hard-boiled eggs. Or add horseradish and sour cream.

PURETO RICAN: Add sliced green olives, ham and raisins. Or mix in onions, garlic and chopped green bell pepper. Also try , chorizo sausage and tomato sauce.

THAI: Mix in peanuts and hot red peppers. Also, try coconut milk and grated lime zest.