Cooking, for some, is a form art, a hobby, a passion; for others, a cumbersome chore or a mere duty.
But no matter how you choose to define cooking, there are a number of tips and tricks that can instantly make the process of cooking not only fun, but also less tedious and far more efficient.
- Freeze herbs in olive oil so that you can use them when they are out of season. There are some exotic herbs that are not available all year round, but if you wish to enjoy a meal with these in it, then try stuffing them up in an ice cube tray and then filling it up with olive oil. You can also use this trick to create instant omelet cubes; cut up onions, green chilies and everything else that you like in your omelet and freeze them in an ice cube tray with oil. The next time you’re in a hurry and cant spend time making a proper breakfast, just pop one of these cubes into the pan, add the egg and spices and you’re done in half the time!
- Softening butter can be a real pain. You can’t microwave it because that will melt it, nor can you wait for it to come to room temperature because you just don’t have that kind of time on your hands. The quick fix solution to this problem is to fill up a glass with boiling water and then empty it. Now take that warm glass and invert it over the stick of butter and within minutes, it will be softened.
- To check if the baking powder is fresh, add one teaspoon of it into a glass of water. If it fails to fizz, then it is a sure sign that the baking powder is not fresh and hence should be gotten rid of.
- Writing on a cake can be a real challenge sometimes, specially if you have spent so long to perfect the layer of frosting on top to make it look as smooth as possible. To prevent any cake disasters that might arise while writing on it, use a toothpick to create a guide first. If you’re happy with the placement and the way it looks, go right ahead, if not, then you can always go back and fix it, without doing any damage to the cake.
- Substitute for one egg Ever run out of eggs while you’re in the middle of a dish? Well, worry not, because you can use any of the following three ingredients as: (1) ¼ cup applesauce, (2) ¼ cup mashed banana or (3) ¼ cup vegetable oil. You can also use these as vegan alternatives for an egg.
- Make a cake mix taste like a bakery cake, follow the recipe on the box and then add an extra egg (or two, if you want an even richer taste). Instead of oil, use melted butter twice the amount of oil specified and replace water with milk.
- To prevent mashed potatoes from turning grey, always mash it using warm milk. Cold milk allows faster oxidation of the potatoes and makes them turn grey.
- To bake the perfect loaf of bread, place a tray containing around 8 ice cubes on the rack directly under your cake tin. This creates the steam which is ideal to make the best, most soft and airy bread.