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Published May, 2001

To me the least desirable part of cooking is the clean up. Whenever possible I use aluminum throw away pans for broiling, roasting and baking. Single pans are fine for baking and broiling but for roasting I use a double pan. The bottom one does not get soiled and can be re-used. I find that this cooking comes out equally well to using washable broiling and baking pans and they can be purchased cheaply in many discount stores.

For those of you who prefer conventional cookware try this easy cleaning method for your baked-on food. Place a sheet of Bounce in the pan, fill with water, let sit overnight and sponge clean. The anti-static agents weaken the bond between the food and the pan while the fabric softening agents soften the baked on food.

Another method is to add a few drops of soap and water to cover bottom of pan, and then on stove bring to a boil.

Avoid forgetting ingredients. Place all necessary ingredients on a counter and measure out each one your recipe requires. When finished put the unused items away and you will be sure that you have included everything you need for your finished product.

Make sure all of your measurements are accurate. A little too much or not quite enough can make the difference between your success and your failure.

Most important is proper cooking and baking temperatures ... the finished product depends on this accuracy along with the use of proper size pans when baking.

To savor the flavor of outdoor barbecued food in your kitchen try using a grill pan. It's amazing how with the proper seasoning you get this outdoor treat right in your own kitchen. I have used a number of grill pans and I find the square TFal pan the most desirable. It not only cooks well but rinses clean with absolutely no scrubbing. More information can be found on my page containing recipes for grill pan preparation.

Often fish like salmon or flounder, that are either fresh or fresh frozen, become dry when baked. To avoid this follow these simple directions. When frozen do not thaw completely ... allow to be slightly chilled. Place oven rack on top shelf, set oven to 500 and pre-heat for 10 minutes. Place fish on rack. Should be ready in about 12 minutes. Check for flaking .... dinner's ready ....

If water or sauce is too salty, add a peeled potato and some of the excess salt will be absorbed. Remember, all seasonings are a matter of taste. Recipes call for approximate quantities. You will have to experiment to get the proper amount for your personal taste.

Do your potatoes pop open causing a mess in your oven? Prior to baking, avoid this by using the tines of a fork to puncture a few holes in yams, sweet or white potatoes, allowing the air to escape.

Yams and sweet potatoes on the average take 1 1/2 hours to bake. They can be baked in advanced, refrigerated and used within a week by baking again for 30 minutes in a 375 oven. Just as good as the original baking!

To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

These same potatoes will remove stains from your fingers. Rub raw sliced potato on the stains and rinse with soap and water.

Celery wrapped in aluminum foil when refrigerated will keep for weeks.

That leftover wine will also keep if frozen into ice cubes and used later in casseroles and sauces.

Soft boiled eggs in 3 minutes!! Cover eggs with water. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Cover with lid for 3 minutes. Ready to eat.

Hard boiled eggs in 10 minutes!! Cover eggs with water. Bring to boil. Boil uncovered for 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water. Remove shell. Perfect eggs.

To prevent water from boiling over on your stove, just add a tablespoon of oil. Like magic, the stove is not splattered and the flavor of food is not altered .

To avoid scrubbing pans, eliminate greasing them. Cover pan with parchment paper instead.


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