Posts Tagged ‘kitchen tips’

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 – Cooking without heat!

Even when the sun is blaring and it’s a bajillion degrees out you still have to feed the family. Today I’m sharing with you some of my favorite no cook/no bake recipes!

Now living in Pittsburgh the weather isn’t perfect. We get lots of rain, lots of gray days and lots of cold days. Gorgeous 75-80F degree days where there’s not a cloud in the sky are rare. When the sun is out it’s hot and HUMID. We’re talking high humidity. Like this girl doesn’t even bother trying to style her naturally curly hair when the humidity is about 40%. Why bother? You take one step out the door and you look like a poodle that just licked an electrical socket.

And since you’d rather be caught dead than to go out looking like that you stay inside where the AC is running, you can look like Medusa and no babies get scared by your hair. BUT… you have to eat. Sure you can resort to eating chips/cereal/ice cream (which all are perfectly OK in my book) but it gets old.

Turning on the oven is the last thing you want to do and grilling is out of the question with high humidity/high heat. So today I’m showing you how you can have delicious meals without turning on the stove or even the toaster oven!

Stay cool with a full belly!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Perfectly Crumbled Ground Beef

No longer do you have to fight the wooden spoon or spatula to get perfectly crumbled pieces of ground meat when you use this handy trick. Put down the spoon and reach for the potato masher!

Taco Tuesday’s are a real thing whether you stuff ’em with ground beef, sautéed veggies, seafood or dessert (fyi… ice cream tacos rock!) but for me I always kind of secretly hated making the meat filled ones as I never could get those perfect little pieces. I was the one that had inconsisent chunks of meat. A few perfect uniform pieces with about 486 mamouth chunks thrown in. Mine certainly didn’t look picture worthy even though the flavor was spot on.

So I figured while I was in Mexico last month I’d ask the authorities.  While I was with a few chefs I said “So I have an embarrassing question to ask as I can’t figure something out in Mexican cooking. How do you get your cooked meats for tacos so perfectly uniform? I make it and it’s tough and I’ll go from boulders to pebbles in meat size!”

The chef giggled and said “Oh seniorita I cannot share that. That’s an old Mexican secret.”  Before I could respond he said “Nah it’s so simple, all you need is a potato masher.”  Wait, what?  Potato masher?  Like as in the thing I use to um…mash my potatoes?

Grab your potato masher for Taco Tuesday!

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