My Tips

Cooking

How and When to Use a Brine

Soaking meat in a salt-saturated solution causes the muscle tissues of the meat (especially poultry and pork) to absorb water through osmosis.  Once the water is absorbed, denaturation causes a sticky matrix which forms a moisture barrier that captures and prevents the water from leaking out as the meat cooks. These two processes yield tenderness and a unique flavor. Our basic brine recipe is ½ cup Kosher salt and ¼ cup sugar for each quart of cold water. See more at: http://www.welike2cook.com/2011/11/tow-brining.html

Beverage and Drink

Chilling Wine

Add a few frozen grapes to your white wine. Keeps it cool without watering it down.

Kitchen

Tong Hack

Corral those pesky tongs by storing them in an empty paper towel roll!

Shopping

Always Make A Shopping List

Never go shopping without a shopping list. With a list, you will not get distracted and forget what you need. It helps to glance through your recipes before heading to the store to identify specific spices or other ingredients that you don't usually keep in your pantry. You can still buy fresh ingredients when you see them and adjust your shopping list accordingly. 

Kitchen

Essential Kitchen Tools

There is an endless array of doodads and hoohaws designed to help with every imaginable kitchen task: strawberry hullers, lemon squeezers, and avocado slicers are among the plethora. Here is a definitive list of the essentials:A good knife is the most important tool in your cooking collection. You will need a cutting board to protect your counter tops.Measuring is very important in baking where the chemical reactions are needed to ensure texture and consistency in your batter or dough, so a set of measuring cups is a necessity.Spatulas are the work horses of your kitchen arsenal. Wooden spoons are super cheap and super useful! Use them to stir sauces, eggs, prop the oven door open; a definite must-have. A grater is wonderfully useful for cheeses, carrots, zucchini, potatoes or even stale bread for bread crumbs. Another inexpensive and indispensable tool is a vegetable peeler. Perfect for potatoes, apples, lemon zest, shaved cheese and chocolate curls. An inexpensive pair of scissors dedicated to cooking can be incredibly useful. We use ours to snip herbs, cut chicken, trim the fat from meat, clip parchment to fit a pan – you get the idea. Don’t forget a can opener! It's one of those small things that you don’t think about until you need it. You can never have enough dish towels. They are far more durable and less expensive than paper towels. Read more at http://www.welike2cook.com/2013/03/college-cooking-chapter-4-kitchenware.html.

Cooking

Deglazing a Pan

Deglazing is the technique of dissolving the caramelized tidbits of seared foods is dissolved with a liquid in order to make a “pan sauce,” which will maximize the flavor of the finished dish. Most often the seared item is meat, but it could also be vegetables, either as a main dish or as a building block of another dish. Sautéed vegetables can be deglazed by adding vegetable or chicken stock. For tomato sauce, deglaze the garlic and/or other sautéed aromatics with wine, reduce, and then add the tomatoes.  For rice pilaf and risotto, deglaze the aromatics and rice with wine before adding the stock. Deglazing the fond will also boost the flavor of soups and stews.  Virtually anything that can be seared or sautéed can be deglazed. - See more at: http://www.welike2cook.com/2013/01/tow-deglazing.html

Cooking

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Steam potatoes after draining and before mashing.