Annie's Kitchen secrets
What ever you do... don't panic!:)
Timing, preparation, flair and confidence is everything. Be bold, try new things, be spicy and then go back to your favourites.
When making a soup with onions, make sure you quickly sautee them first before adding other ingredients or they will ferment in the fridge if you keep it for a couple of days.
Cold spuds go black or grey when cooked so keep them in a dark, cool but not cold spot in the pantry not the fridge.
Keep celery fresh for a longer period by wrapping it in a aluminum foil and keeping it in the refrigerator. If your celery has gone a little limp, cut off the bottom and put the stalks in cold water, leave for 30mins and they will bounce back.
We are all busy people..don't waste your precious time making your own stock buy it at Coles or Woolies..Campbell's All Natural Stock or other preservative free stock works a charm.
To thicken our curries we often use cashew nut paste...just put 2 handfuls in the food processor and add as needed to the curry...yummmmm
Basil hates the cold (it turns black) so keep your freshly cut Basil in a nice small vase or glass of water, remember to change it every other day.
If you are having trouble with a pot or baking tray with a burnt bottom then add some chopped onions and pour some boiling water over it. Keep it for five minutes and then wash away. (Of course we never have burnt bottoms! hahaha)
If you accidently add too much salt to your divine dish, put in a whole potato, peeled, and remove once the dish is done cooking as this will absorb most of the salt.
Often we buy big pieces of Ginger, to stop it going off in the fridge pop it in the freezer then when you need fresh ginger just scrape, chop or grate it straight into the pot....still fresh and wonderfully aromatic. It's the same with most herbs like thyme, parsley etc.
If you added too much chilli, add some sugar (especially palm sugar for a curry). The Scoville scale determines how hot a chilli is, by taking a solution of the chilli and mixing it with sugar syrup until the heat is not longer detected. It's got something to do with how the sugar reacts with the capsaicin (what makes a chilli spicy)....Good Luck! If all else fails serve with beautiful yoghurt and cucumber and our ol' favourite chopped banana rolled in coconut.
You can't go past the good old "cooked chook" when whipping up a quick tasty chicken soup, just tear away the flesh and add stock, veggies, herbs, noodles or pulses and voila...beautiful chicken soup!
To remove the hust of a coconut very easily, keep it in water for half an hour.
Getting confused whether it is a fresh egg or an old one? Well simply put them in a pan containing cold water. If the eggs sink then they are fresh and if it rises to the surface BEWARE it is an old one.
If your teacups are stained, then simply wet cup and put around 2 tablespoons of salt in it and then gently rub it clean. You will find your cups sparkling clean.
When you are trying to shell a cold hard-boiled egg then the easiest way to do it is by tapping the center of the egg. Then grab the egg in two hands and simply give a twist and the entire shell will come out.
To avoid a smelly kitchen when cooking cauliflower, add a little milk to the cooking water, it really does work.
If you are having trouble with hardened brown sugar, then simply zap it in the microwave.
Keep your chilies fresher for a longer duration by removing their stems before storing them away.
If your lemon has become hard then try putting them in warm water for 5-10 minutes or zap in the microwave and then squeeze them otherwise roll them on the counter a few times to make them extra juicey.
To remove dried food bits, apply a paste of Bi-Carb Soda and water on the walls and on the floor of your burner or oven and then keep it on low flame for about half an hour. Dried food will come out easily.
While making rice, add a few drops of lemon juice in the water before making the rice and see your rice turn out whiter. Alway wash your rice several times until the water runs clear, to stop "gluggy, starchy" rice.
To remove grease and odour from your dishes, add a tablespoon of vinegar to hot soapy water.
If you have spilt red wine on your gorgeous white linen, cover with salt and leave for a few hours and wash as usual.
When cleaning glass and crockery add a handful of salt and then rinse with water to get it sparkling clean.
When making white sauce, and want to cut back on the calories, you can just use flour and milk, seasoned well and still tastes great
Do not throw away used lemons. Instead put them in a jar with salt, lemon juice and put at the back of the fridge..in 6 weeks you will have beautiful preserved lemons to flavour your couscous and salads.
If you add bay leaves to the flour container the flour will remain free from moisture.
“There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.”