Tips for  Cooking

• Instead of using sugar in your tea, dissolve old-fashioned lemon drops or hard mint candy in the brew. They melt quickly and give the tea a clean tangy flavour.
Potatoes as well as eggs tend to split or crack while boiling, making them messy and unpalatable. Well, here’s a simple way to prevent that from happening. Just add a pinch of salt to the water you will be boiling the potatoes or eggs in. They will remain in perfect shape after boiling.
• When boiling eggs, add one tsp. vinegar to water, to prevent cracking.
• Immediately after boiling noodles put them in normal cold water to separate them each.
• Wrap the fruits and vegetables in newspaper before refrigerating to keep them fresh for long.
•  Chopping dry fruits - Freeze them first for one hour & then dip the knife into hot water before cutting them.
• While boiling milk, always add a little water at the base of the vessel to avoid the milk from sticking at the bottom.
• When you Boil water, place a lid on the pot and the water will come to a boil in a shorter period of time - saving at least 10 minutes.
• Before heating the fat, add one tablespoon white vinegar to minimize the amount of fat absorbed by the frying food. The food will also taste less greasy.
• Add a few drops of lemon juice to rice when cooking. It makes rice white and keeps the grains whole.
• Garlic will peel more easily if you put it in hot water for a few minutes to loosen the skin.
• To keep garlic longer, put the cloves in the freezer. When ready to use, peel and chop before the cloves thaw.

Tips for Puddings, desserts and ice creams

• Add a spoonful of honey to your custard along with sugar for a better taste.

• Use aluminum containers instead of steel to set the ice-cream faster.
• Ice-cream won't form ice crystals in the freezer if you cover the container tightly with a plastic wrap, before putting on the lid.
• Grease the threads on syrup bottles to keep syrup from running down the bottle.

• Metal jelly molds chill faster than glass molds.
• Turn a thoroughly heated bowl over hard butter and in no time you will get soft butter.

• White chocolate is not really chocolate at all but a combination of cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids and other flavorings.

• Chopping dry fruits - Freeze them first for one hour & then dip the knife into hot water before cutting them.

• To pour out Honey easily from the measuring cup just dust your measuring cup with flour or cooking spray.

• Muffins - Always use an ice cream scoop to fill muffin cups with batter.

• Add a spoonful of honey to your custard along with sugar for a better taste.

• Use aluminum containers instead of steel to set the ice-cream faster.

Tips for dals

Hurry to cook 'dal' - Add a little oil and turmeric powder to the dal before placing it in the cooker. It will be done in just 10 minutes.
To cook your dhal faster, add a drop of Castor oil or Ghee.
Soak lentils in water an hour before cooking. Which reduces their cooking time & as well as helps in taking out damaged seeds which float on the top.

Dals & Gravies especially light colored can be garnished with chopped coriander leaves.

Tips on non-vegetarian foods

To tenderize meat, place in vinegar water for a few minutes.
To reduce fat in the chicken by about 10 grams per serving, remove the skin before marinating it.
Add lemon juice to shortening when frying fish. This eliminates smoke and odour.While buying lamb, look for meat with a fresh pink-red colour and a layer of fat which is creamy white in colour.
A tablespoon of honey added to meat before
cooking improves its taste and flavour.
• Save one-third the baking time, by placing chicken or turkey in a well-oiled brown paper bag. Seal end of bag with staples and bake in 400 F oven.
• Baste chicken with a mixture of two cups water and 1/4 cup honey.
• Don't throw away bones of mutton or chicken. Use them for making stock for soup, gravy or curry.

Tips on Protecting of fruits and vegetables

Lettuce keeps longer stored in a brown paper bag or on a paper towel in the produce drawer of your refrigerator.

• Lettuce will not discolour so quickly if you line the bottom of your crisper with paper towels. The paper absorbs the excess moisture, keeping fruits and vegetables fresh for a longer period of time.

• Dry parsley in the microwave and store for future use.

• Cover fresh mushrooms with a dampened paper towel and refrigerate. They will keep fresh for several days.

• Once the Cucumber has been cutted ; wrap it in a paper towel & it will not get soggy for up to 2 weeks.

• Store curry leaves in silver foil, it will last as much as one month.

• Don't freeze cabbage, lettuce, or other raw leafy greens, cucumbers, or radishes - they'll be mushy when thawed. • Lettuce will keep longer if you store them in paper bags instead of cellophane. • For clean storage of radish remove there tops before putting in the refrigerator.

• Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator it will remain for weeks.
• Vegetable Storage - Purchase storage bags with air vents.

• Preserve ripe Bananas - You can freeze them whole, peeled, in plastic bags.

• Fruits & vegetables -Wrap them in newspaper before storing them in the fridge. It will keep them fresh for a longer period.

• Storing Mushrooms;- Cover mushrooms with a damp cloth or keep them in a paper bag with holes poked in the bag for ventilation.This will keep them dry.

• Preserve coriander leaves - Keep them in a muslin cloth bag in the refrigerator. They will remain fresh for a longer time.

• Green chilies -While storing green chilies, remove the stems. This will help them to stay fresh for long.

• Preserve ginger-garlic paste:-Fry them in oil before grinding and store in the same oil.

• Preserve apple slices from browning by placing in pineapple juice. Store it in the refrigerator, it will remain for long and yield a delightful flavor.

• Preserve Lemon by rubbing a little coconut oil on them and place them in an open tray in the refrigerator. They will keep them fresh for atleast 10 days.

• Preserve the tomatoes by placing them in the chiller tray just beneath the deep freeze of the refrigerator.

• Preserve freshness of leafy vegetables by keeping them in cotton bags instead of polythene bags.

• Preserve Tamarind by sprinkling salt in it so as to keep the worms away.

• Too many peeled potatoes - Cover them with cold water to which a few drops of vinegar has been added. Keep them refrigerated and they will last for 3 or 4 days.

• Green peas - Preserve them by keeping them packed in polythene bags in the freezer. Store green peas for 2 years; all you have to do is to tie the shelled green peas in a cloth and dip in boiling water for three minutes. Then dip in chilled water for three minutes. Dry under the fan till the extra moisture is removed and then pack into airtight jars or sealed packets. Freeze & use them when peas are too costly.

• Apples stored with green tomatoes will hasten the ripening process.

• Tomatoes and cucumbers taste best when stored at room temperature.

• Place unripened fruit in a plastic bag along with ripe fruit. Ripe fruit exudes a natural gas which speeds up ripening of other fruit.

• To ripen peaches, pears or tomatoes quickly, place in a brown paper bag with a ripe apple. Poke a hole in the bag and put in a cool, dark place. The apple will give off ethylene gas and cause the other fruit to ripen.

• To ripen green bananas, wrap them in a wet towel and place them in a brown paper bag.

Tips for cakes, cookies, muffins and Pies

• If you add one teaspoon of glycerine to every half kilogram of flour, it will help make the cakes light and spongy.
• Add a teaspoon of condensed milk while preparing the icing for a cake in order to prevent it from cracking.
• When making cupcakes or muffins, use an ice cream scoop to get the right amount of batter in each muffin cup.
• Grate the rinds of lemon, grapefruit and orange and store in the freezer. They make excellent flavouring for muffins, cakes and frostings.
• You can easily determine whether you need a fresh supply of baking powder by pouring 1/4 cup of hot tap water over 1/2 tsp. of baking powder. If the mixture doesn't bubble actively, it's too old.
• To make cakes, cookies, pancakes and waffles especially moist, add two tbsp. honey to the batter.

• Preferably make the cake previous night, soak with syrup or as per recipe, and ice it the next day, for a smoother, cleaner icing. Never ice a cake which has not cooled thoroughly, through and through.

• Always keep a glass of very hot water and a large flat knife ready, if required for finishing touches. When the knife is dipped in hot water, then the icing spreads very evenly and quickly.

• When sprinkling coloured sugars, granules, etc., in a partial area of icing, first pipe a rough outline to work as a guide. Highlight outline after the sprinkling is over, by piping again exactly over it. This way your end result will be much more clean and accurate.
One tsp. of cornstarch will improve texture and flavour of fudge.

• A little flour added to icing sugar makes it go a lot further.

• Marshmallows will not dry out if stored in the freezer. Cut up with scissors when you want to use them.
• When cutting marshmallows or gumdrops, dip scissors in hot water.

• Crushed cornflakes can be used as a substitute for pecans.

• When you double a recipe, just use the original amount of salt.
• Keep a mixture of equal parts flour and shortening at room temperature. Use to grease cake pans.

• Line cake pans with margarine wrappers instead of wax paper.

• Use the parchment from margarine and butter wrappers to grease cake and cookie pans.

• Quick-cool angel food cake by inverting pan over a tray of ice cubes.

• Sprinkle cake plate with granulated sugar to prevent cake from sticking when serving.

• To keep icing from running off a cake, dust the cake with powdered sugar before icing

• Always brush the top and sides of cakes before starting to ice them, with a food brush. This way the crumbs won't get embedded in the icing.

Tips on Lemon,Onion and Tomato

To get more juice out of a lemon, heat it in a microwave before squeezing.
To get just a little juice out of a citrus fruit, puncture one end with a skewer and squeeze out as much as needed. Seal fruit in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Lemons and oranges submerged in hot water for 15 minutes, then rolled on a hard surface with your hand before squeezing, will yield almost twice the amount of juice.
After using a lemon, store the remaining portion in the freezer.
Put Lemon peels in your disposal bag as it smell nice and keeps them fresh.
Choose smooth-skinned lemons that are heavy for their size. Store in the refrigerator.
Always use grated tomatoes as they'll cook faster.
Overripe tomatoes - Make them firm by dipping them in cold water, add some salt and leave overnight.
To ripen tomatoes-put them in a brown paper bag in a dark pantry and they will ripen over night.
Once an onion has been cut in half, rub the left over side with butter and it will keep fresh
Toothpaste takes onion smell off your hands.

Tips for removing Smells

If your Microwave Oven is Smelly-- Chop half a lemon into 4 pieces. Put them in a small bowl with 1 cup of water and a few whole cloves. Boil for 5 minutes.
If Dishes or Plates are Smelly-- Wash them in salty water, or use a little ammonia in hot soapy water. You can also add a little ground mustard to the water.
If Bottles are Smelly-- Fill bottle half-full of water and add 1 tablespoon of mustard or baking soda. Shake well and allow to stand for about 1 hour.

Tips ON Milk

Always use skim milk powder in your cooking.
If the milk begins to boilover, quickly sprinkle a little cold water over it and the overflow will subside.
To avoid milk from spilling - Apply glycerin to the rim of the vessel.^Curdling of Milk - While the milk is boiling add a pinch of baking soda to it.
Evaporated milk is fresh as compared to homogenized, unsweetened milk becoz 60% of the water has been removed from them.
While making paneer from milk, don't throw away the paneer water. Water can be used for making soft dough for chapatis or can be used in dals.
To prevent milk from burning, sprinkle one tsp. of sugar over milk before heating. Do not stir.

tips for life