Some of my Favorite Tips

I keep a ruler in the kitchen drawer with my other cooking utensils. It comes in handy when I want to measure the size of a baking dish or the diameter of rolled out pie dough.

When freezing cookies in plastic containers or large freezer bags, use disposable coffee filters to separate the layers.

When making homemade pizza, I know it’s important to sprinkle cornmeal on my pizza peel to prevent the dough from sticking. Once, when I was out of cornmeal, I used Cream of Wheat instead and it worked just as well.

Here’s a fun, easy way to make poached eggs if you don’t have an egg poacher. first, fill a sauté pan with 1-2" of water, submerge 3 or 4 metal cookie cutters, (simple shapes work best) in the water, and bring it to a light simmer. Break an egg into each of the cutters and poach 5-7 minutes. Lift the eggs and cutters out of the water with a slotted spatula, then run a knife around the eggs to release them.

I’ve found a great way to preserve lemons and limes before they go bad. First slice them into rounds, then arrange on a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet in a single layer and freeze them overnight. The next day, transfer them to resealable plastic bags and store in the freezer. Use the frozen slices with ice cubes in cocktails, soda or lemonade.

To prevent sour cream from developing puddles of watery liquid during storage, just smooth the surface with the back of a spoon after using.

It is easy to make a blonde roux in the microwave. to start, melt a stick of butter in a Pyrex cup until frothy, them whisk in 1/2 cup flour. Microwave uncovered 3 minutes, whisk again then cook for 2 minutes, stirring after each minute. continue cooking and stirring until roux is a caramel color. Let stand 1 minute before using.

When a recipe calls for packed brown sugar, it’s only natural to use your bare hands. but I hate getting my hands sticky. So now I place the measuring cup inside the bag and use the side of the bag to pack the sugar inside the cup. This simple trick always keep my hands clean.

Keeping an open bag of chips crisp can be a challenge. My solution? Store the bag in the freezer-the chips will stay crunchy for weeks.

Try as I might, whenever I pour a little extract or food coloring into 1/8 or 1/4 tsp. measuring spoon, it always runs down the bottle onto my hands or the countertop. so I brought a large eye dropper at a drug store and now use it to fill those tiny spoons. (After measuring food coloring, rinse the inside of the dropper with water, then swab it with a Q-tip).

I’ve found another use for my reusable gold mesh coffee filter. I drain yogurt in ti to make yogurt cheese. for the best results place the filter in a tall cup that’s narrower than the widest part of the filter. Spoon yogurt into the filter, cover with plastic and drain overnight in the refrigerator. to clean the filter, just pop it in the dishwasher.

For a Super emulsifier, quickly and thoroughly blend small batches of oil and vinegar dressings, use a milk frother.