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Kitchen Tips & Tricks For The Beginner Home Cook
The most important kitchen MUST KNOW- basic knife skills. Never underestimate a good set of kitchen knives. I have nicked myself and never even knew it until I saw the drops of blood on the cutting board. Then, not only does all that prepared food have to hit the trash, but now you need a band aid, a glove and it can interfere with your food preparation. Be cautious and follow these basic tips:
- Always keep your finger tips curled in, it feels funny at first but it works.
- Keep your knives sharp. Seems odd right? A dull knife is more apt to slip, jam, and cause you to cut yourself more so than a sharp knife.
- Watch a video tutorial on basic knife cuts. Learn to dice, mince, chop and julienne. These are the most common knife cuts. Joyful Healthy Eats has some more great information on Basic Knife Cuts
Courtesy of Country Cleaver
Never worry about a cake sticking again – I have had my share of mishaps when it comes to a cake or brownie sticking to the pan. Sometimes simply buttering the pan does not work. A pan for a cake will almost always need to buttered AND floured. Check out Country Cleaver’s Ways To Prepare A Cake Pan
A popular (and easy!) substitute- Buttermilk is absolutely something I do not keep on hand. I don’t think I have ever used it once. However, it is something that will come up in recipes often. Here is a great way to make your own buttermilk for a recipe! Homemade Buttermilk, Thanks Yummy Healthy Easy
Kitchen Tricks- Some of these kitchen hacks have saved my life! A few of my favorite include how to stabilize your cutting board and speeding up ripening of certain fruits and vegetables. Read more information on these hacks and other amazing tricks on With Salt & Wit Kitchen Hacks
Courtesy of Country Cleaver
How To Keep Fresh Cut Herbs- I live in Maine, which means my season for fresh herbs in the garden is about 5 months. For a month or so before and after the season I can grow them indoors, after that they just don’t do well. This leaves me buying herbs from the store. Most the time I get them home and they already look like they won’t last the day. I started trimming the ends and wrapping the hard herbs like rosemary in damp paper towel. NEVER leave your herbs in the plastic bags in your refrigerator. For a great way to preserve Cilantro, take a peak at this trick the Country Cleaver uses To Make Cilantro Last For Weeks.
Be Organized- One of the biggest things I learned FAST when I started cooking is that nothing is as important as staying organized and keeping a clean work space! Here are more great benefits of staying organized. 5 Benefits of an Oraganized Kitchen by The Lemon Bowl.
Cooking eggs- Believe it or not, cooking eggs is actually part of most beginner cooking classes or courses. It is a basic skill that you should know, even if you do not cook eggs. There are quite a few ways to cook eggs and there are also a ton of recipes that include them, so it is a great benefit to learn the different ways.
- Perfect scrambled eggs- the perfect scrambled egg will be light, fluffy and have no egg white at all. The easiest way to achieve this is to use a good whisk or even a single serve blender. I mix out scrambled egg mixture in it all the time! Use a dab of clarified butter or Olive oil in the pan, even eggs can stick to a non stick pan.
- Poaching an egg- Food Network has the best tutorial ! Perfectly poached egg
- Hard Boiled Eggs- Depending on the size of your egg, the time to cook will vary. Usually for a large egg, I bring the water to a boil. Drop my eggs, boil for 5 minutes, remove from the heat and let them sit in the water for 3 -4 more minutes. The Lean Green Bean has an excellent way to Hard Boil Eggs In The Oven.
Do not ignore recipe instructions- The biggest mistake you can make with a recipe is ignoring the instructions. Ok, not for all recipes. But for some, it can ruin your entire dish. For example: if you are working with dough the recipe most likely says to let it rest. LET IT REST. There is a lot of things that go on during that resting period. The dough needs it. Your end result will thank you for it !
Whether you are a young adult just moving into their first apartment or someone who wants to learn to cook for the first time, be sure to practice these helpful tips and tricks. They will make everything so much easier!
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