Archive for the ‘Tuesday’s Tip’ Category

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – TKW Family Tips and Tricks

This week on Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer I’m letting the TKW Family share their best kitchen wisdom to help us all become better cooks and bakers.

Kitchen wisdom. Those family secrets, tips, and tricks that have been passed down through generations is what we’re talking about today. Maybe grandma said “keep the bacon grease in a jar in your fridge for amazing fried potatoes” or maybe you found a killer trick on how to slice cherry tomatoes on Pinterest. Somehow, some way folks came to know of these great tips and today they are sharing their kitchen wisdom with the world.

I posted on Facebook about a week ago asking for folks to share their best kitchen wisdom. I love doing posts like these as it honestly helps me become a better chef. I’m humble enough to admit that I don’t know everything and take the approach that there is always, ALWAYS something to learn albeit in the kitchen or in life.

The response was overwhelming and I absolutely LOVED reading your responses. Some stuff I knew but there were somethings where I was like “Really? Oh cool!”. But what I loved more than anything was the interaction between the TKW Family members. It’s so awesome to see friendships bloom off of a single post. It warms my heart that the TKW Family is so loving and truly treats each other as a family member.
Have a tip to share? Comment in the post!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – When you can’t find ClearJel for canning

It’s fresh fruit season which means lots of canning for pies and treats. Today’s tip I’m sharing with you what you can use when you can’t find ClearJel.

So if you’re like me you’ve found it near impossible finding the product ClearJel in the grocery store when you’ve decided you want to can fresh pie filling. Sure the stores carry SureJel but no ClearJel. You re-check your recipe and sure enough it calls out specifically ClearJel. Do you reach for the SureJel in its place?

The answer is no. SureJel and ClearJel are two different things that produce different end results. SureJel is a pectin that, when cooked with sugar will thicken the mixture for say preserves or jelly. ClearJel is a starch that, when cooked, becomes a thickener. The beauty of ClearJel is that it’s, well, clear – meaning the ‘sauce’ of the pie filling is clear or rather the color of the fruits it contains. Got it?

So then what are you to do?  Reach for flour? Corn starch?  Oh god no. Oh sure they will work…but it will be SUPER cloudy and the fruit filling will look murky. Yeah no, don’t do it.

This tip is a great in a pinch!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Hulling Strawberries with a Straw

Put down the knife and quit using your fingers to hull out a strawberry. Reach for a drinking straw to hull out your strawberries!

Growing up Mama grew strawberries for the sole purpose of making strawberry preserves. God how I miss hers. It was thick and packed with chunks of strawberries. It made the BEST peanut butter and jelly sandwich ever. Sure I can make it today but it’s just not the same; it’s not hers, ya know?

I can remember us out in the garden for what seemed hours picking strawberries (and sneaking a bajillion in my mouth). We’d get back to the kitchen, she’d fill the sink up with cold water and we’d literally dump bushels of them in. My job was to give them a bath which entailed sticking my arm in the ice cold water and moving the berries around to clean them. She’d scoop them out into a strainer and onto the newspaper lined kitchen table the strainers went. Mom would, one by one, use a small parry knife to hull out the strawberry. I’d use my fingers as best as I could. This was such a long and arduous process yet Mom made it fun and she never once complained.

Tuesday's Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer

God how I miss those days.Throughout the years I’d make her preserves for myself and my sister as that was Dianna’s favorite thing. I swear if she could have gotten away with it, she would have just eaten the preserves with a spoon.

Hull your berries with this simple trick

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – The Secret to Super Creamy Hummus

Hummus is to be creamy, decadent and just smooth like velvet. Find out the secret on how to make super creamy hummus at home on today’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer!

Hummus is one of those foods where I’m not really sure how to classify it. It’s a condiment, a dip, a spread, a main dish all rolled up in a beautiful bowl of creamy goodness. It’s savory, spicy, sweet and delicate. However, one thing it always is is super creamy. Now I’ve had store-bought and homemade that is not-so creamy. For the longest time I thought that was normal.

But it wasn’t until I visited this one Lebanese restaurant and ordered my first dish of Beef Shawarma. This dish was amazing (well minus the pickled veggies – not my thing) and it came with a dish of the most amazing hummus I’ve ever had in my life. This hummus was so incredibly creamy and light. It literally was smooth as butter.

We’d go there every week for months and every week I’d beg them to share their secret on how to make it. Finally the one day I took in a batch that I made and asked for their help. I shared how I made it and I guess they could see the determination in my eyes to want to learn. It was then they took me back to their kitchen and shared their secrets.

Once you learn this trick you’ll be making hummus weekly!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Cookie Scoop Guide

Using cookie scoops are one of the best tips I have to making uniform and even cookies. Whether you want bite size, regular or huge, cookie scoops are the way to go!

Looking at my Mom’s old cookie books and even her hand written cookie recipes, they all had the same thing ‘use 2 spoons to drop an even amount of cookie dough onto the pan‘. Okay let’s be real here for a minute…the cookies were never uniform in size, you often fought with the spoons getting the dough off and you ended up eating half of the cookie dough because you got frustrated with those stupid spoons.

When I was in college we would hang out in this one local diner with friends having some late night food to soak up the copious amounts of frat party booze we drank earlier that evening. Around 2am we’d see the bakers come in all bright-eyed, while we sat there glassy-eyed and we’d watch them get to work. You could smell the dough being made, hear the mixers running and smell chocolate in the air.

Eventually we went there so often we got to know the workers and, even back then, I’d ask a million questions about what they were making. I would always get a warm peanut butter cookie would just marvel at the trays of cookies, all uniformly shaped. For the longest time I thought they were pre-made by some store and they just thawed and baked them.

However that wasn’t the case, they made everything from scratch. Now while they wouldn’t give up any of their recipes they did let me back in the kitchen to sit and observe.
Cookie scoops are the way to go if you want to sell your cookies or have them present well

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