The Cooking Mom's Secrets and Tips
Salt & Pepper
1 cup of kosher salt and 1 tablespoon of coarsely ground black pepper mixed together makes a perfect seasoning blend. Keep the mixture in a container by the stove and you never have to go looking for the salt and pepper shaker!
Cook pasta 1 minute less than the package instructions and cook it the rest of the way in the pan with sauce.
Easy Soup Stock
Make extra chicken stock and freeze it in plastic bags. That way when you want to make soup you can simply pull the bag out of the freezer and thaw it.
Store spices in a cool, dark place – not above your stove. Humidity, light and heat will cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor.
Healthy Salad Dressing
Make creamy salad dressings more healthy by substituting half the mayo with Greek-style yogurt.
Fresh Garbage Disposal
Put orange or lemon Peel in your garbage disposal for a clean fresh scent!
When using spaghetti, keep in mind that 8 ounces of uncooked pasta makes 4 cups cooked.
When going on a picnic, keep sandwiches from becoming soggy by packing lettuce and condiments in separate containers. Add them to sandwiches just before serving.
When making a vinaigrette, always make it at least 1/2 hour ahead of time and let the mixture sit to allow the flavors to marry.
Checking Melon Ripeness
When picking a melon, smell it for ripeness. Check to see that the fruit is heavy in weight and that the spot on the end is soft.
Cream Cheese Substitute
If a recipe calls for 1 cup sour cream, you can substitute 1 cup cottage cheese blended until smooth with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
When separating eggs, break them into a funnel. The whites will go through leaving the yolk intact in the funnel.