more great kitchen tips

Alas, our last issue of Cook's Country has arrived. Or hasn't. I can never figure out when our subscription expire.
But let's assume it IS the last issue and celebrate with one last round of helpful hints!

New Use for Floss

Instead of using a spatula to loosen baked-on cookies from a baking sheet, I use unflavored, unwaxed dental floss. With a long strand held safely away from the hot surface of the pan, I can loosen all the cookies with one swipe!

This makes me a little queasy.
Why NOT use a spatula?

Burnt Cookie Quick Fix

Sometimes I get distracted and my cookies get a little burnt on the bottom, but I don't throw them away. Instead, I dip the bottom of the cookies in melted chocolate. The cookies look fancy, and there's no burnt taste!

If you are going to get distracted you'll probably ruin the chocolate too. I make burnt cookies all them time. I tell everyone I meant to do it because charcoal is good for us.

No-Mess Mixing!

I used to splatter food all over my kitchen every time I used my electric mixer. To avoid the mess, I now stick a paper plate through the beaters: the paper plate stops any food that splatters up. No more mess!

This could work, but why do I have this picture in my head of the paper plate getting totally wrapped up in my beaters resulting in origami covered in icing?

Seed Removal

I make a lot of salsa, and instead of using a paring knife to take the seeds out of a jalapeno, I use an old metal baby spoon. The spoon is just the right size to take the seeds out in one quick swoop.

-Just remember to wash it before you feed the baby.

Cool Down

When I make beef and vegetable soup, I always want to eat it right away, but it's too hot. A quick way to cool the soup is to add frozen peas and corn at the very end of cooking, just before serving - the vegetables cool the soup as they defrost. No more waiting!

If you can't wait for your soup to cool off a little before eating it I'm thinking you have bigger problems.

Quick Garlic Peeling

Peeling garlic can be very time consuming, especially when I need several cloves. Instead of taking the time to peel the cloves individually, I throw a bunch in the food processor and pulse them just enough to loosen the skins. The food processor gets the job started for me, making my life much easier.

...Because washing the food processor isn't time consuming AT ALL.

Double Duty

A few years ago I decided to make punch for a party, but I didn't have a ladle to go with my punch bowl. But I did have a brand-new turkey baster! My guests thought it was a hysterical idea, but I had the last laugh when I got every last drop of punch out of the bowl.

I'm queasy again, and I don't know why.
I've never been to a party wherein the punch was finished, I guess her punch didn't have a brick of sherbet floating in it.


Sarah Louise said…
Yikes. So I have to buy special floss for the kitchen? Thank you for making me guffaw.

and I like the soup idea. I might steal that one. My sister always puts ice cubes in her soup, but this would solve that problem.

I learn so much from your blog...

oh, and my vw is wwmxv, which makes me think of WAXED floss, (I use mint flavor.)
Badger said…
Okay, that floss thing is just stupid. You still have to get the cookies OFF the sheet, right? So yeah, why NOT use a spatula? Gah.

I use a spoon to de-seed my hot peppers, too. But I didn't send in that tip, I swear.

I love punch but only if it doesn't have bits of gunk floating in it.
Joke said…
The floss thing can ONLY work if you have a rimless cookie sheet. I think the idea of not using a spatula is to not crumble up the cookies.

Me? I use parchment paper on a nonstick cookie sheet.

Heather said…
we eat the jalapeno seeds ~ saves washing another spoon.
Anonymous said…
Your comments crack me up here, Blackbird!
Geggie said…
So very, very odd. I do have to say that I love the sherbet punch, only at baby showers though.
Sinda said…
My mother gave me a subscription to Cuisine, a magazine I do not enjoy, but I do read the tips,crack up, and think of you. I also think of all the people who sit around with nothing better to do than to send in these quirky tips.

I also use a spoon for jalapeno seeds, but I use a serrated grapefruit spoon. We received 2 grapefruit spoons as a gift one time - why??? - and this is what we use them for. Grapefruits, we loosen with a knife and eat with a spoon that doesn't have SHARP EDGES.
She She said…
Mmmm... turkey punch.

Thanks for the a.m. laughs.
RW said…
I'm the kind of klutzy gal that would burn my fingers if I used dental floss to get cookies off the cookie sheet.

Maybe her spatula was dirty from using it to scrape toothpaste off the bathroom sink.
Unknown said…
Thank you for the early morning laugh. And you, too, little miss sunshine state ("maybe her spatula was dirty from using it to scrape toothpaste off the bathroom sink").
These "tips" only confirm my fear of pot licks.
Er, pot LUCKS, even. Need more coffee.
Annagrace said…
It's so tempting to buy this mag just for these tips. Would be fun to put them all in an extra-long email, on some silly background color, add some cartoonish graphics and then send it out to my mother and aunts in retaliation for years of similarly dumb "female emails".

I like the pot lick comment. Perfect.
might I add...? said…
blackbird, thank you so much for these laughs. love it. and then I got to laugh some more reading through the comments. What a great way to start my "sitting down at the computer, trying to get started doing some work" time!
Saoirse said…
"If you can't wait for your soup to cool off a little before eating it I'm thinking you have bigger problems."

So THIS is TRULY one of those moments where I can truthfully use the over-used acronym LOL! I'm at work (too busy to be reading this, but what they heck) and, literally, LAUGHED OUT LOUD!!
alice c said…
Didn't she THINK of the risk of Salmonella? That would have been a great party - you could use the left over food for the funerals.
Suse said…
The last one made me squirm because I know what turkey basters are used for in some circles.
Dude, "turkey baster" and "punch" should never be in the same sentence. Ever.

My honey says he's never met a burnt cookie that a hammer couldn't fix. We take care of 'em by smashing 'em and sprinkling 'em on ice cream. Mmmmm.
Anonymous said…
I don't know what's more disturbing--the idea of frozen corn and peas ruining the soup's equilibrium, or the thought of the turkey baster in the punch.

Anonymous said…
You subscribed to that so you could get hilarious material for your blog, didn't you?
I think you need to renew it.
I know I could read lots more of your commentary.
KPB said…
In light of what some people I know use turkey basters for, the last one made me almost vomit in my shoe.

There are whole recipes I avoid simply due to my hatred of the washing up of the food processor bowl.
KPB said…
The only punch I'll drink is pimms mixed w/ dry ginger ale w/ orange slice and mint leaves. Anything containing juice that comes in a can is banned. B.A.N.N.E.D.
The end.
Mary said…
What Suse said.

And Kim.

And with you all the way on the dental floss.

So now I am feeling decidedly queasy myself.
MizMell said…
When I was a small child, I was told that if you eat burned stuff (burnt cookies, over-done biscuits and other crunchy things) that it would make your hair curly.
I know now this is not true.