Tips and Tricks for your kitchen

To stabilize and sweeten your whipped cream add powdered sugar.  It dissolves instantly and the little bit of cornstarch it contains will stabilize your whipped cream, so it can be made ahead of time and it won’t deflate.  Start by whipping the cream into soft peaks, then beat in 2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar for every cup of cream.  (Tip from Bon Appetit Magazine)

To clean your iron skillet without losing its seasoning, add a splash of water to a teaspoon of course salt.  Use paper towel to wipe off food! (HGTV magazine)

To clean your nasty cookie sheets, sprinkle baking soda on the sheet, follow it up with some hydrogen peroxide and then sprinkle more baking soda on top. Let it sit for as long as two hours, then wipe it all away with a rag or coarse sponge. (Tip from Food & Wine)

Keep your crudites fresh for up to 12 hours:  cover everything with damp paper towels, then wrap the platter in plastic wrap and store in fridge until ready to serve. (Real Simple magazine)

Eggshells are excellent natural seed starters.  Fill the empty shell with soil and seeds and when the plant sprouts, plant the shell, which becomes compost.  (Real Simple magazine)

If you have overbaked your cake layers, make a simple syrup of 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon vanilla; boil for 3 to 5 minutes, then brush the cake layers with syrup on both sides until they are “revived.”  (Paula Deen)

Use lemon or lime juice as a marinade to tenderize chicken. (Paula Deen)

Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to beef stews to tenderize the meat.

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