Kitchen Techniques

Lessons and tips I have learned along the way...

Kitchen Technique #1-  Dried vs. fresh herb conversion is, 1 tsp dried = 1 T fresh, or 3 times more for fresh in place of dry.

Kitchen Technique #2- Always read the whole recipe before you start making it.

Kitchen Technique #3- If you loose a piece of the shell... Use a large half of the egg shell to pick out the broken piece. It acts as a magnet to the little piece that broke off...otherwise it can be a hard little sucker to fish out.

Kitchen Technique #4-  My top secret baking ingredient, the cinnamon.  If you have never heard of, or tried Vietnamese Cinnamon you are missing out.  You don't even realize what cinnamon taste like until you have used this!  I buy mine at Penzey's Spices.  I am lucky enough to have one in my city and they are expanding all of the time, they also have an online store.  They are excellent spices at a decent price.  If you cannot find Vietnamese Cinnamon, then I would say Chinese Cinnamon is a runner up.

Kitchen Technique #5-  Spinach cooks down much more than you think it will.  Even though it looks like a lot piled high now, it will not be when you take it out of the oven. 

Kitchen Technique #6-  Grade A Maple Syrup has less maple flavor, more sweeter, thinner and lighter. Grade B Maple Syrup has more maple flavor, less sweetener, thicker and darker. Choose based on how much maple flavor you want...or in my case, go with what you have in your pantry. More recently my pantry contains the latter- Grade B Maple Syrup is divine! From a health perspective it contains more mineral content too.

Kitchen Technique # 7-  To slice beef very thin for stir fries and soups, put the thawed beef into the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up before slicing. This will allow you to cut the beef very thin without it getting all wiggly and mangled on you....much easier!

Kitchen Technique # 8-  Save a step and a dirty dish when you mash your bananas inside the peel.  When you need mashed bananas for a recipe: keep the banana unpeeled and closed, with your fingers gently squeeze and smoosh the spotted, ripe banana until soft.  Peel the top or side back and squeeze through to use.