Category Archives: Food Tips

Pot Luck Tips

When taking food to a potluck, use dishes you’ve purchased at yard sales, or resale shops. You will never feel badly if the dishes are lost, broken or not returned.

Use a clean milk crate or a sturdy liquor box (from the wine department at your store) to transport a slow cooker to a potluck. Line it with a towel, take the cover off the slow cooker and put foil over it. Set the cooker in the crate or box with your serving utensil. The crate keeps the pot from tipping and catches any drips. When you leave, you don’t have to look for the lid, as it will be easy to find, being wrapped in foil.

When taking a salad, take the dressing in a separate container and put it on just before serving, to save wilting the greens or having the dressing settle at the bottom of the dish.

Use disposable or inexpensive serving utensils so if they are lost or not returned, you have not lost your favorite kitchen items.

Use a twist-tie and a small tab or folded address lable with your name or initials to attach to the handle of your utensil, kettle, bowl, etc. if possible. Tape often comes off in the dishwasher or sink at a pot luck or is not seen if put on the bottom of the dish.

Always take a set of eating items, i.e. plate, soup bowl or sauce dish, cup, fork, spoon, knife, napkin, water bottle, etc. in a plastic bag and leave it in the bottom of your cooler or in your vehicle, so if they are not furnished or do not have enough, you are ready to use your own.

I am available to do food presentations or sales presentations of products in stores, food shows, etc.

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Interactive questions, comments, suggestions, etc. can also be posted on this website.

How To Add Flavor, Nutrition, Eye-Appeal, Etc. To Your Foods

When making scalloped potatoes, add sliced carrots for more color and nutrition.

To add flavor to canned wax beans, brown a few tablespoons of butter in a hot skillet and add to the drained beans plus a bit of salt and pepper.

Zucchini bread is pretty with chopped dried apricots added instead of raisins.

To add flavor to white cakes, add a tiny bit of orange extract to the batter.

To add flavor to lentil soup, substitute salsa for half of the tomatoes.

Barbecued beef sandwiches are better with a topping of shredded lettuce, slivers of green pepper and a sprinkling of sugar.

To thicken and add flavor to your chili, add a can of re-fried beans.

When making fried potato patties out of leftover mashed potatoes stir in pancake mix instead of flour. It will lighten their texture.

Tips To Make Your Foods Special

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Tips To Make Your Foods Special

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A little addition to a recipe can often make it so much more healthy or tasty or eye-appealing.



  1. In lasagna use ground Italian sausage instead of ground beef.

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Secrets of Baking Light

When it comes to baking sweet treats like cookies it can be a real challenge to reduce calories, etc. They rely on fat found in butter, margarine or shortening as well as sugar for their appetizing taste and texture.

It’s possible to alter tried–and-true recipes to make them lighter, but you must do so carefully, or you could end up with cookies that are nothing like the higher-calorie originals.

One method is to simply reducing the sugar and fat called for in a classic cookie recipe by 25%, while making small changes in a few other ingredients, can result in a good lower-calorie cookie.

Here are some other ideas:

Adding an extra egg white gives crunch to a low-fat cookie. In recipes that call for several eggs, substitute two egg whites for one of the eggs if you are concerned about cholesterol.

Light cookies do not brown like their higher-sugar counterparts. Add a little baking soda (in addition to any other leavening in the recipe) will promote browning.

A little corn syrup will produce a browner cookie, with a crisp surface and soft interior. Substitute the corn syrup for the same amount of sugar called for in the recipe.

Use cocoa instead of melted or grated chocolate to help reduce fat. Three tablespoons cocoa plus 1 tablespoon water or other liquid equals 1 square or 1 ounce of melted baking chocolate. Mix the cocoa with the dry ingredients and the liquid with the wet or creamed ingredients.

Use butter or a high-fat content margarine. Reduced-fat butters or margarines contain water and air and will not produce a quality cookie.

Over baking will result in dry hard cookies. Most low-fat cookies should be removed from the oven while they are still soft and just lightly browned around the edges. Low-fat cookies taste best when eaten with in a few hours of baking.

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:

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:

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:

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


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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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