hintsandthings.co.uk »Kitchen

More general kitchen and cookery related hints and tips.



When I am cooking that requires
something like 1 cup peanut butter, I use a 2 cup measuring cup and
put in 1 cup of hot water and add peanut butter till it measures 2
cups. It is then easily removed without having to scrape the cup.

Joe Price

Hate having soggy, squashed sandwiches on a walk?

Then cut out the middle man and make a sandwich
with pitta breads instead, they are already flat and taste good too.


This is a tip for transporting
devilled eggs to another residence.  Make the egg filling as you
usually do and place into a plastic container.  I usually line
the containers with plastic wrap and then fold over to prevent air
getting at the food contents. Stack the halved egg whites in
another container, cover with same plastic wrap and fill the egg
whites when you reach the home you are taking them too.  No
squashed devilled eggs, and easy to transport.


Could also
be useful for a picnic.

To make an easy cake that will seem
like a gourmet creation, substitute fruit juice for water in any
ordinary boxed cake mix – you can get any flavour combination, but I
like to use a plain white cake mix and a can of strawberry juice to
make a wonderful strawberry cake, then ice it with whipped cream
and sliced berries.

Ellie Peck

Best way to avoid
over salting food is not to…..healthier and individual can salt to
their own taste.

Dana Everhart

When baking, instead
of using oil use an equal amount of apple sauce in the recipe.  Not only is the apple
sauce less fattening but it also makes everything taste better too.

This tip was kindly sent in by
Heather Chaban but I have been to thank her as my response to the email address given is
being returned as unknown. (I am hoping she will see this!)

For a nice picnic
without an army of ants you did not invite, sprinkle a box of Tide with bleach around the
picnic area – it seems to discourage them.  It also seems to repel flies and
mosquitoes.  Ideal for people like me who don’t like pesticides sprayed on their

Thanks to
Melinda Noblett for sending us this one

Soak popcorn in water
for 10 minutes before popping, drain well and start popping.  Popcorn pops by turning
the moisture in the kernel into steam and exploding, so give it a boost.
If you have to pour
honey, molasses, corn syrup or other liquid glues into your glass measuring cup, rinse the
cup with cold water first, it will be easier to wash afterwards.
Expired packages of
yeast can usually be brought back long after the package date by “proofing” the
yeast.  Mix 1/4 cup re-warmed potato water (i.e. water used to cook potatoes in), 1
teaspoon sugar and 1 envelope or yeast.  Let it stand in a warm place.  If it
bubbles and doubles in bulk in 6-10 minutes, use it.  If it sits and sulks, chuck it
Cut newly baked
potatoes right away so the moisture can’t build up inside, making them gummy.  Eat
them as soon out of the oven as you can without scorching your tongue.
For light and fluffy
pancakes, replace the liquid in the recipe with an equal amount of club soda.  Works
for waffles too!

to Rose Lovegren for all these latest tips.

To sharpen a knife,
hold the sharpening steel vertically into a chopping board, hold the knife at a 20 degree
angle to the steel and use a circular motion.
When storing cut
the tops off celery or leeks to prevent them rotting from the top down.
To clean a chopping
board after use, sprinkle with baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), rub into board with a
clean cloth – good as new.

Use the outer wrappers from
packets of butter, lard etc. to grease and/or lining baking tins.
Margaret Reeve sent in this one.

To keep cheese from
sticking to the grater first spray the grater with non-stick cooking spray – it works a
Thanks to Charlotte Gean for this little gem.




Put an apple into a
bag with unripe bananas and avocados to ripen them.


To ripen an avocado
pear, place in a brown paper bag with an overripe banana and leave overnight.

Discard any mussels
the shells of which are open before cooking or closed after cooking.
Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the
bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.
Use a meat baster to squeeze your pancake patter onto
the hot griddle and you will get perfectly shaped pancakes every time.
To keep potatoes from budding, place
an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
To prevent egg shells from cracking whilst boiling, add
a pinch of salt to the water.
Run your hands under cold water
before pressing Rice Krispies treats in the pan and the marshmallows won’t stick to your
To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them
to room temperature and roll them under the palm of your hand on a hard surface, before

To bring a lemon back to life,
boil in water for a couple of minutes and then leave to cool.

To prevent stains on plastic
containers, spray  with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces.
When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan,
use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won’t be any white mess on the outside of
the cake.
Wrap celery in aluminium foil when
putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.
Brush some beaten egg white over pie crust before
baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.
Place a slice of apple in hardened
brown sugar to soften it.
When boiling corn on the cob add a pinch of sugar to
help bring out the corn’s natural sweetness.
Don’t throw out all that leftover
wine (What leftover wine I ask myself?).  Freeze into ice cubes for future use in
casseroles and sauces.
If you have a problem opening jars, try using latex
dishwashing gloves, they give a non-slip grip that makes opening easy.  
If you don’t have any rubber gloves
try putting an elastic band around the cap, this will give your grip purchase whilst
Potatoes will take food stains off your hands.  
Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.
To remove the smell of onion or
garlic from hands rub them on stainless steel (e.g. sink)

I am assured this works by Anita Jones.

For stained or
burnt coffee pot, sprinkle in “Comet” and add crushed ice.  Rotate the pot
to make the ice do the scrubbing.  Also good for small necked glasses, bottles etc.

Thanks to
“Lyle” for this one.

large number of these useful
tips were all sent in by an anonymous contributor 
– whoever you were – Thank you.

Food and Cooking related tips.


kitchen tips