Whether you're cooking for a crowd or for fewer than a handful of folks, these quick cooking tips will help you reduce your stress and keep everything going smoothly and efficiently in the kitchen.
1. Have a Plan: Before starting, read through every recipe you plan to make. Make sure you have everything you need, including ingredients & cookware. Have everything you need handy, or at least know where everything is. Consider what you will make when, and which recipes or cooking steps can be "staggered" or combined for greater efficiency.
2. Have Room to Work: Clear off counters, tables, sinks, etc. of anything you won't need before you start cooking. And once you get going, clean up as you go OR know where you're going to put dirty/used dishes & utensils until you're ready to clean up.
3. For Cheese Grating or Shredding: Cheddar and other cheese will grate or shred more easily if first chilled in the freezer for ten to twenty minutes.
4. Room Temperature Eggs: If a recipe calls for beating or separating eggs (or both), let the eggs come to room temperature first. They'll separate more easily, and beat to greater volume.
5. Making Muffins or Cupcakes? Use an ice cream scoop to fill muffin tins or cups more easily.
6. Baking with Nuts, Chocolate Chips, Raisins or other Dried or Candied Fruit? Toss these "add-ins" with a little of the flour from the recipe (NOT additional flour) prior to adding them to the batter. This will keep them from sinking to the bottom during baking.
7. Cutting Marshmallows? Apply a light coating of butter to the blades of your kitchen shears to prevent sticking.
8. Hardened Brown Sugar? Soften it quickly by placing in a microwave-safe bowl with a slice of bread or an apple slice, cover, and microwave for 30 to 60 seconds.
Merry Christmas to all of our Carolina Sauce Company customers, partners and friends who are celebrating Christ's birth!