Ten-Second Tips for the Kitchen | Kitchen Tips
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To split a cake layer horizontally, use unwaxed, unflavored dental floss.

When preparing, ensure that all your ingredients are at room temperature before mixing.  This will make your cake rise higher.


Keep it crisp: stand the stalk upright in your refrigerator in a pitcher of cold, salted water.

Keep it fresh: to keep celery fresh in the refrigerator for weeks, wrap it in foil.


To Grate: If you freeze the cheese slightly before grating, it will be easier to grate and take less time.

To make cleaning easier coat your grater with spray oil; this will prevent the cheese from sticking to your grater.

To store:  Store cheese in a sealed container with two lumps of sugar to prevent mold.


Thaw a frozen whole chicken faster: Immerse frozen chicken in room temperature water in a large pot. (Do be careful that  the temperature always stays cold to the touch to avoid harmful bacteria.)


To store: It seems like I only ever need a little and cilantro is sold by the bunch.  So try this:  Clean and dry the fresh cilantro.  Put in a zippered freezer bag and store in the freezer.  You will find that this is just about as good as fresh when you need it.


To make the opening of clams easier, put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes. This will relax them so that you can insert the clam knife more easily. Note that larger clams may take a little longer.  If the juice has turned icy, just let them sit for a few minutes before serving.

When serving clams casino or clams or oysters on the half shell, present them on a platter of rock salt.  This will not only look pretty, it will prevent them from slipping.

To ensure that your fresh clams are free of sand, try soaking them in fresh water, sprinkle some pepper flakes on top and wait an hour or two for them to spit out those pesky grains of sand.

Another option: try soaking them in fresh water and add a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper.


To remove juice from a fresh coconut: use a waiter’s style wine cork puller.  Simply corkscrew into the nut’s eye an inch or so, hold the bottleneck jack against the nut’s shell and pull out the corkscrew with its plug of coconut meat as if you were pulling out a cork. This will produce a quarter-inch diameter hole for draining out the coconut juice.  A little more effective than the traditional screwdriver.


To save for iced coffee, put any leftover coffee in an ice cube tray and freeze. The next time you have iced coffee, use your “coffee” cubes instead of ice and your beverage won’t water down.  This also works well for iced tea if you have any leftover tea.

To clean the coffee pot: Put soiled pot on the bottom rack of your dishwasher and run.

Cookie Dough

Prevent sticking:  If the dough sticks to your spoon or scoop, dip it in milk so the dough will not stick.

Make even balls: use a small melon scoop.  When all your cookies are baked they will all be the same size.


Shipping: freeze first, wrap and ship in a box packed with popcorn.

Storing:  Freshly baked cookies will stay soft in a cookie jar when you add a fresh piece of bread.

Corn on the Cob

Remove corn silk: An easy way to remove corn silk from corn on the cob is to take a damp paper towel and rub it along the cob.

Husking: To make husking corn much easier, lay cob on your cutting board and simply cut off each end.  You can roll and remove all the husk easily.

When boiling corn on the cob: Instead of adding salt to the boiling water, add a pinch of sugar to bring out the natural sweetness of the corn.

To take corn off the cob, place the ear of corn on top of the center of a bundt pan.  Slice the kernels off the cob and they will fall into the pan.  Also a nice option is to invert a smaller bowl into an upright larger bowl.  Remove the smaller, inverted bowl when done and voila.

Cream Cheese

To soften a block of cream cheese quickly, put the block either in the foil package it comes in or in a zippered plastic bag and immerse in hot water briefly or put it in your microwave for about 10 seconds.


To decorate: To put attractive scalloped edges on cucumber slices, scrape the outside with the tines of a fork lengthwise over the peeled or unpeeled cucumber, then slice.

To remove seeds: Slice the cucumber lengthwise and use a grapefruit spoon to scrape out the seeds.  Works like a charm.


When cutting almost anything for children like pancakes, sandwiches or chicken, use a pizza wheel.  It takes much less time, only requires one hand, and is a lot faster and easier.