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How About Sharing Your Favorite Cooking/Baking Hints?

2 months ago

I'll admit it, I love to cook and bake. Having my physician-hubs breathing down my neck is probably the only reason I'm not overweight! But, that said, Fall always seems to be the season many of us start to try out new recipes, or just start making our favs once again. I'm NOT interested in actual recipes for this thread, just tried-and-true helpful hints you've learned or developed over the years.

Feel like sharing some of yours? And, yes, I'm sure that many won't be earth-shattering, or even new to some, but I'd love to hear them, as I'm sure many others will, too! Anyhoo, here's a few of mine to start:

(1) Adding a bit of ground cinnamon when making a chocolate dish makes the chocolate flavor even richer tasting. You don't want so much that you actually taste the cinnamon, so be cautious about how much to add and err of the lesser side. For example: only one flat teaspoon of cinnamon added to a chocolate cake mix. Go from there. My best friend, a longtime and very brilliant home-ec teacher, taught me this one.

(2) Adding a good shake or two of ground cinnamon to your coffee grounds before starting the coffee maker adds a wonderful extra flavor to the coffee. It's a Greek recipe addition I've been told. I'm not Greek, but I really enjoy adding it to our coffee a few times a week. Again, a little goes a long way.

(3) Whenever it's possible, try to pour whatever into your next pot, bowl, carafe or bottle, while over or in the sink. This has saved me so many clean ups over the years!

(4) My fat-free coconut milk substitute when I've run out or don't want to open a new can: 1 cup fat-free half & half, 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract, 1/2 TBS corn starch, and 1 teaspoon sugar or sugar substitute. (I use a lot of coconut milk in my Asian recipes and run dry sometimes!) And, no, I'm not of Asian ancestry either.

(5) A healthful sour cream substitute is plain Greek yogurt (I use it all the time)

(6) A (more healthful) substitute for white rice is quinoa, farro or bulgar.

(7) A healthful substitute for diced potatoes in some (not all!) recipes is rinsed, canned butter beans.

Okay, I have more but that's it for the moment. Do you have any to share?

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