Category Archives: Tips

Replacement for brown sugar

I Tablespoon molasses (regular or light is fine) added to granulated sugar to make a total of 1 cup is a great money saver when baking cookies, cakes, etc. If more or less is needed, adjust accordingly. That is what brown sugar is made of that you purchase in the store – check the ingredients on the bag or box. This way you do not need to worry about keeping it soft too.

If you brown sugar does get hard, moisten the inside of the canister lid and replace it on the canister and it will re-moisten the brown sugar. I prefer this method. Some people use a slice of white bread or a quarter of apple or a special clay bear that you moisten and add to the canister.

Creative Cooking

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Lydia Critchley

608-240-9773

creativecook@sbcglobal.net

www.creativecookingbylydia.com

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How to measure unsifted flour

Use the scoop level method (using a scoop or spoon lightly place flour into a measuring cup that you can level off the top, then level with the edge of a knife.  Then for every cup used, remove 1 Tablespoon of flour to adjust measurement for the sifting that was not done by the manufacturer. Many organic, unbleached, un-bromated flours are not pre-sifted.

Creative Cooking by Lydia, LLC

608-358-7880

creativecook@sbcglobal.net

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How to boil eggs

HOW TO BOIL EGGS

Fill the kettle with enough cold water to cover the eggs completely. There should be about 1 inch of water over them. Although it increases cooking time, be sure to use cold water. This will help keep the eggs from overcooking. Likewise, do not place cold eggs in a pot of hot water, the shells will crack immediately and the egg will ruPlace the kettle on the stove and turn on the burner to medium.

Add 1/8 teaspoon of salt to the water. This will make the eggs easier to peel because, as mentioned earlier, the proteins coagulate and firm up, making the white easier to separate from the shell.

Put on a cover. Bring the water to boiling over medium heat.

As soon as the water boils, turn off the heat, but keep the kettle on the warm stove. Do not remove the lid.

Leave the eggs in the hot water for ten to fifteen minutes. It is important you do not start the timer until you turn off the heat. Too much time will make the eggs discolored and smelly, while too little time will cause them to be runny.

Drain off the water. To see if the egg is hard boiled, whirl it fast on a table. If it turns fast, it is hard boiled. If it turns slowly, it is soft boiled.

 Chill the eggs by placing them under cold running water or in a bowl of ice water. After that, immediately remove them from cold water and set aside or store in a refrigerator. Chilling the eggs helps to separate egg shell from the egg. However, this effect is lessened if you leave the eggs in cold water for too long.

Peel the eggs when they are cool enough to handle. It’s easier to peel them under cold running water. Roll egg on a flat surface to crack the shell slightly prior to peeling. Start peeling from the thick end of the egg. Once you crack the shell, be sure to grab the membrane directly under the shell as well. Doing so will make peeling a lot easier. Really fresh eggs are harder to peel, so try boiling eggs that you have had for a few days

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Difference between baking powder and baking soda

Both baking soda and baking powder are leaveners that cause baked goods to rise and give them a light texture. Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate, an alkaline. When combined with acidic ingredients, such as buttermilk or sour cream, there is an immediate release of carbon dioxide gas; this causes baked goods to rise. The soda also neutralizes acidity; which tenderizes cake or bread. Batters and dough’s that only use baking soda as a leavening agent should be baked immediately to keep the texture light and ensure proper rise.

Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda; an acid, such as cream of tartar; and a moisture -absorber, such as cornstarch. Double -acting baking powder is the most readily available type and is used in most recipes. Double-acting baking powder produces carbon dioxide gas in two stages: when mixed with liquid and when heated, causing baked goods to rise.

Lydia Critchley

608-240-9773

creativecook@sbcglobal.net

Creative Cooking By Lydia, LLC

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How to make a rain gauge easier to read

It’s easy to read a rain gauge if you put a few drops of food coloring into the tube. Even if the colored water dries up, there is enough residue to help read the next rainfall.

Lydia Critchley

608-240-9773

creativecook@sbcglobal.net

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Tips for Better Gelatin Salads

Always use canned or cooked pineapple in gelatin salads. Fresh pineapple and kiwi fruit will prevent the salad from setting (getting stiff).

For easy removal of gelatin salads from mold, moisten the interior of the mold with cold water, rub vegetable oil inside or coat with  nonstick cooking spray before filling.

Lydia Critchley

608-240-9773

Creativecooking by Lydia.com

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Using Last Year’s Shredded Zucchini Tip

Each year it many have left over shredded zucchini in the freezer when you are ready to save the current harvest. A tasty way to use it is to thaw it, drain it very well (maybe even squeeze it a bit) and use it in your bread or cake recipe. If the recipe calls for 2 cups of freshly shredded or grated zucchini, I use 4 cups of the drained zucchini and it makes a great product. The zucchini is much like coconut in it after it is baked, and does not taste like zucchini or look like it. You have the extra nutrition, fiber, texture and more space for the new harvest. If your baking powder might be close to expiration, add 1/4 teaspoon additional to the recipe amount, to the recipe to make it rise well.  If the recipe does not call for baking powder, you can still add some with no problem. I use Rumford brand which does not have aluminum in it – not bitter to me and healthier.

I teach cooking, homemade pet foods, homemade soap and personal products and many more items. If you would like a class in “home-making”, sewing without a machine or with a machine or any other subject, please contact me and we can arrange a class in my home or any location of your choice. Please contact me for more details. Classes for all ages are available, including children – hands-on or presentational style.

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