Category Archives: Food Tips

Save clean up work and time

If your cutting board does not have groves to collect juices, place the cutting board in a baking pan with sides, like a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with sides so when you carve meat the juices will collect in the pan. This makes it easy to save them and to clean up quickly.


Thanks. for visiting my website. You can contact me with any questions of if you are looking for someone to do enhanced food demos, via my e-mail: creativecook@sbcglobal.net.

Lydia Critchley



Save time and work in making several types of cookies with one batch of batter

You can save time and still make a variety of cookies for bake sales, large gatherings or holidays by making a large batch of basic refrigerator cookie dough and then do any of the following:

Make a log with the dough and refrigerate it. Slice some to make round cookies and top with colored sugars or topping of your choice.

Roll some into balls and coat them with coconut or chopped nuts.


Use a portion for Thumbprint cookies.

Wrap some around fillings like dates, cherries and candies.

Use some to form various shapes and frost as desired.

Thanks. for visiting my website. You can contact me with any questions of if you are looking for someone to do enhanced food demos, via my e-mail: creativecook@sbcglobal.net.

Lydia Critchley


Substitute for poultry seasoning

If you want to use poultry seasoning and do not have any, you can make your own – this will yield 1 teaspoon of seasoning:

3/4 teaspoon rubbed sage plus /4 teaspoon dried thyme or marjoram.

Thanks for using my website. If you have any questions or are looking for someone to do enhanced food demos, I can be reached via my e-mail: creativecook@sbcglobal.net.

Lydia Critchley

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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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.

Gift certificates are available for weddings, holidays or “you are special” gifts or any other reason.

Team building with cooking classes is fun. Join co-workers and create recipes or learn about each other while cooking.

Seminar and conference group presentations or workshops available regarding food, cooking, nutrition, and other related subjects.

I am also available to do food presentations of products in stores, etc.

I am available to teach cooking classes or food related subjects in your home or give presentations or classes for your organizations or groups, along with team building events. Contact me at the following e-mail address:
creativecook@sbcglobal.net

Interactive questions, comments, suggestions, etc. can also be posted on this website. I can also be reached at 608-240-9773.

Upgrade a Cake Mix Easily

When making a cake mix, instead of the water required, replace the water with the same amount or part of the amount of with yogurt (any type). If you do not replace the entire amount of water with yogurt, use milk (any kind – whole, 2% or what you have in the refrigerator) for the remaining required amount. You can also cut a cake horizontally and place a layer of yogurt in the middle and replace the top of the cake. This will keep the cake moist and add nutrition and flavor, especially if you use Greek yogurt, since it has 2 times the protein of most other types of yogurt. Black cherry in a chocolate cake or peach in a spice, or plain in any cake mix are good combinations.

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.

Gift certificates are available for weddings, holidays or “you are special” gifts or any other reason.

Team building with cooking classes is fun. Join co-workers and create recipes or learn about each other while cooking.

Seminar and conference group presentations or workshops available regarding food, cooking, nutrition, and other related subjects.

I am also available to do food presentations of products in stores, etc.

I am available to teach cooking classes or food related subjects in your home or give presentations or classes for your organizations or groups, along with team building events. Contact me at the following e-mail address:
creativecook@sbcglobal.net

Interactive questions, comments, suggestions, etc. can also be posted on this website. I can also be reached at 608-240-9773.