Welcome to my blog where I test, evaluate, and share recipes. I love trying new recipes, creating recipes, and improving on the classics. I also post about where I have gone to find quality products and the freshest ingredients in the Food Travels tab. If you have pets, you might enjoy making a homemade treat from the Dog and Parrot recipe tabs. Please feel free to comment or make suggestions on this blog. If you have any recipes that you would like me to test or improve (make it healthier, substitutions, put a twist on it, etc.), please email me at breagha70@gmail.com or click on the "Recipe Suggestions" tab above.

Cooking & Baking Tips

To quickly cool cakes and pies, put an ice pack under the wire cooling rack to speed up the process.

Poking holes with a fork in steaks and chicken before grilling will make cooking faster and more thoroughly.

When shredding cheese, place the shredder over a paper coffee machine filter to collect the cheese.  You can also use the paper coffee machine filter as a serving container when using cheese as a topping.

Cleaning an automatic coffee pot can sometimes be a chore.  Try this:  sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt and place an ice cube inside the coffee pot.  Swirl the salt and ice around and around.  Once the stains are gone, rinse the pot with hot water.

When grilling meat, cut an onion in half, dip in vegetable or olive oil, rub the onion on the grill and the meat won't stick.  It also adds flavor to the meat!

When browning poultry or meat, pat dry with a paper towel, then add a little olive oil and seasoning.  This makes for better browning.

For light and fluffy scrambled eggs, whisk the eggs and add a tablespoon of cream cheese.  The cream cheese will melt and is undetectable in the flavor of the eggs.

Instead of using crackers or breadcrumbs for light breading, try using ground up pretzels for a crispier crust and a different taste.

To intensify the taste of chocolate, such as in brownies or chocolate cake or cupcakes, add a tablespoon of ground, dry coffee to the batter.

If you're getting ready to frost a cake, and your frosting has been sitting in the refrigerator, to make it spread easier, add a teaspoon or two of hot tap water and stir.

Adding unsweetened applesauce to cakes, cupcakes, brownies and the like in place of the oil that a recipe calls for will reduce the fat, moisten, and sweeten.

Parchment paper isn't just for baking cookies...try using it to line a pan, a casserole dish, or anything that you use to bake with.  I use it when I'm baking french fries, baking fish, baking a pizza, baking biscuits, or roasting meats.  When you're done, just throw it away and there's no messy pan or dish to wash.

Use a muffin/cupcake pan to make dinner rolls.  It makes each roll the same size!

When making a homemade baked gift for someone, buy foil bakeware to bake your goodies in.  You can give your gift without having to wait to get your dish back.

To keep water, iced tea, lemonade cold during the summer and during a meal, fill up a small square container with water, place a lemon or lime wedge in the water, and freeze.  When frozen, pop out the cube and add it to your pitcher of water, iced tea, lemonade, etc.

Rinse a measuring cup with hot water before filling it with oil or syrup.  The oil or syrup won't stick to the cup.

When browning meat for spaghetti with meat sauce, or when making meat balls, add a half teaspoon of nutmeg to each pound of meat.  This gives the meat a little extra something in flavor.

To prevent bugs in your flour, put a bay leaf in the bag of flour.

When celery gets rubbery or wilted, try this trick:  in a large enough container half filled with water, place the celery in the water and refrigerate.  Within one hour the celery will crisp back up.

Easy crockpot cleaning...use crockpot liners which can be purchased in most grocery stores.  Just insert the liner, cook, and throw away the liner.  No messy cleanup!


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