1. squeeze frozen spinach in a flour sack towel to drain water
2. Always sift flour when baking....just trust me
3. Cake flour is much finer than regular flour...in case you were wondering. Not really a tip, but more random info
4. Use Mexican Vanilla always. It is sooo much better. In Texas it is not too hard to find. I like "Danncy" brand. I've been told that World Market also sells it, but haven't checked. I get a liter of vanilla in San Antonio at the market downtown for $12, I believe. Actually very cheap compared to the cost of a small bottle of regular extract at the grocery store. Ok, I'll stop now..but seriously. Once you bake with it, you will never use anything else
5. Use a "frozen" stainless steel bowl when whipping fresh whipped cream
6. It is best to use room temperature eggs
7. For pie crusts, chill it after making for ease of use and more flakiness. Also, always use cold butter for pastry crust. The small pockets of butter causes the flakiness.
8. Use good cocoa...ditch the Hershey's you'll thank me. I like Ghiradelli, but I'm sure there is even better out there. It is so much brighter and more fragrant than the cheaper kind
9. Most brownies are better if you don't overmix the batter
10. Store nuts in the freezer. They have a high oil content and will go rancid on the shelf for extended time periods
11. Put a piece of bread in your brown sugar to keep our excess moisture
12. a few teaspoons of olive oil will keep pasta from sticking
13. To fry okra simply add a few teaspoons water to chopped okra. Toss in flour and salt and pepper generously. This is not a tip, but my favorite way to fix it.
14.Boiled eggs: For "pretty" yolks with no green. Bring eggs to a boil, boil for 2 minutes, turn stove off, cover and let eggs cool on burner for 20 minutes.
15. I think Duncan Hines cakes mixes are the best to use if your recipe calls for a cake mix.
16. Do not soak fresh mushrooms, they will absorb too much water. Wash them with a damp cloth
17. Always use room temperature cream cheese
18. Use room temperature butter unless the recipe calls for cold butter
19. Use BUTTER, not margarine unless the recipe specifically calls for it. If you are baking, you might as well use the good stuff....no, my name is not Paula Deen...but I do live her recipes!
20. Eggs are old if they float in a bowl of water
21. If you cook garlic on the stove a too high of a temperature it will brown too fast and make it bitter
22. Add a little cream of tartar, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon to meringues and icings to stabilize.
I'll post more as they come to me. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have! If I don't know the answer- I'll get it.