Ten-Second Tips for the Kitchen | Kitchen Tips
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Pancakes

Store extra batter: To keep pancakes on hand anytime, make extra batter on the weekend and store in the freezer in a zippered bag.  When needed, microwave the bag for a minute or two and viola!  Weekend pancakes during the week. Another way to prepare pancakes if you expect a time crunch on a working day is to make batter the night before and put in a squeeze container for instant use the next morning. To make fun shapes (especially for kids), place cookie cutters on a griddle, fill with pancake batter and see your favorite fun shapes come to life!

Pans

To prevent dripping when pouring, tilt the pan as you normally would to pour out the contents only continue turning the pan in the same direction until you do a complete rotation.  When turning the pan completely around, that last drip slides back into the pan itself instead of your counter.

Parsley

To clean: The best way to clean fresh parsley is to cut off the long stems and wash in your salad spinner until there are no traces of sand.

To store: Fresh parsley can be dried or frozen for later use. For either method, wash and dry parsley then chop. To freeze, place in a plastic zipper bag and freeze. To dry, spread chopped parsley evenly on a baking sheet and place in a 200 degree oven and remove from oven when completely dry. Store dried parsley in an airtight container.

Pasta

To prevent boil over: When cooking pasta, rub or spray the sides of your pot with oil; this will prevent boiling over.

To store: When you have extra cooked pasta, store individual portions in zippered bags and put in the freezer.  In a pinch, throw the frozen pasta in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until heated. The frozen crystals melt and steam the pasta to perfection!

Pastry Bag

Make a throw-away pastry bag: Take a zippered bag.  Trim a corner with scissors and place a frosting tip and coupling into the end.  Spoon in your frosting for a disposable bag.

To fill:  For ease of filling, put the bag in a tall drinking glass and pull the top of the bag over the edge of the glass.

Pear

To seed a pear, use a melon baller or a grapefruit spoon to scoop out the seeds.

To peel: Carefully dip  pears in boiling water and the skins will slip off easily.

Pomegranate
Pomegranate

To open: Pomegranates are probably my all-time favorite fruit, and I always pick one or two up when they are in season. When I was a kid, I would tuck a paper towel in the neck of my shirt and swim in the dark red juice but there is a better way!

The next time you bring home a delicious pomegranate, score the top on the blossom end. Hold the fruit immersed in a bowl of water and break apart into quarters. Gently push the seeds out of the membrane. When done, drain the water and enjoy!

Watch a video demonstration of this technique.

Potato

To store: To keep potatoes from sprouting, put an apple in the potato bag.

To reduce baking time: Drop the potatoes in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, remove; pierce with fork and bake as usual.  You can also put the potatoes in the microwave for about 10 minutes prior to baking and get the same result.

To keep from budding: Put an apple in the bag in the refrigerator

To keep raw potatoes from turning brown: Place in cool bowl of water with lemon juice or vinegar – About 1 tablespoon for every cup of water.

To whiten cut potatoes that have already turned brown: Place them in a pan of milk at a bare simmer.

Propane

If you run out of propane while grilling many times until I learned this trick:  Boil 1-2 cups of water.  Tilt your propane tank, pour the hot water over it, and put your hand on the tank.  Where the metal is warm, there is no gas; where it is cool indicates the level of propane you have left.