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SMART STUFF | TIPS AND TRICKS | KITCHEN AND COOKING | 1 - 2



Removing the smell of garlic.
To remove the smell of garlic from your fingers, rub them against something made of stainless steel, like a sink basin or the side of a knife.

To peel a clove of garlic.
The easiest way to peel garlic is to rest the flat side of a large knife on the clove then quickly smack the blade with the heel of your palm. If executed properly, the skin will pop and easily fall away from the uncrushed clove. If you push too slowly, the clove will end up smashed (and possibly embedded with bits of skin).

Baking muffins.
When making blueberry muffins (or any muffin with fruit, chocolate chips, etc), place the blueberries in a bowl with a dash of flour, then shake the bowl to coat them evenly with the flour. This will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins when you bake them.




Whipping egg whites quickly.
When whipping egg whites, first wash the mixing bowl with white vinegar. You will turn a 5-minute task into a 30-second one, and your egg whites will stay fluffier longer.

Removing the smell of tobacco smoke.
An old restaurant trick is placing saucers with white vinegar in different places in the house and letting them stay over night. This would take care of most cases of tobacco smoke infestation, but more severe cases may require several nights of treatment.

Keep the guacamole from going dark.
There's two ways to accomplish this. Either you put the avocado stone into the finished guacamole (take it out just before serving), or you sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice on top.

Keeping mushrooms from going dark.
Sprinkle a little lemon juice over them. Lemon juice is a powerful preservant.




Kitchen scales trick.
Before weighing sticky stuff like butter, put some plastic foil on top of the scales. The foil does not affect the scales and you don't have to clean the tray afterwards( or calculate the tara of a bowl or saucer).

Cooking hamburgers.
When cooking hamburgers, indoors or on the BBQ, poke a hole in the center. This will stop the hamburger from rising in the center and your burger will be more evenly cooked; not burnt on the edge and only medium in the middle. The hole will close while cooking.

Stop potatoes from budding.
To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

Measure molasses or honey.
Coat your measuring cup or spoon with a bit of oil and your molasses or honey will slide out easily, no need to scrape.




Caring for your knives.
Never wash your chef's knives in the dishwasher. This will ruin a fine knife faster than you can chop up a couple of onions. Always wash them by hand, and always dry them with a towel immediately after washing. Never put knives in the sink with dirty dishes. Always keep knives separate; in a knife-block, on a magnetic strip or in a separate drawer. Protect the tips with old wine corks if you keep them in a drawer.

Always keep knives sharp.
Sharp knives cut finer slices and don't rip food. Sharpen knives often. If you don't trust yourself to sharpen them (it's really very easy to ruin a good knife) take them to a professional. If you cut yourself, a sharp knife will make a wound that is quicker to heal, since you typically use a lot less force when working with a sharp knife. You are also a lot less likely to cut yourself with a really sharp knife, since is not likely to slip.

Sanitizing your cutting block.
If you use a wooden cutting board or block, every now and then cover the surface with salt and let sit over night. The salt will purge any bacteria in the cuts or cracks in the board.




Storing potatoes.
Storing potatoes near onions can cause the potatoes to rot more quickly due to the interaction of the gasses that both products produce.

Boiling potatoes.
A teaspoon of lemon juice in the cooking water will keep of the potato white.

Grapes.
Grapes do not continue to ripen after being picked. Choose Grapes that are plump, full colored and still attached to the stem.

Keeping avocados.
As soon as you cut an avocado, pour bottled lemon juice on any portion you don't plan to use, leave the seed in the unused portion, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. It will keep without darkening for at least a few days.



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