Most of these tips are new to me - and I have been cooking a long time. How many are familiar to you?
Sandy Cluck - Everyday Foods Martha Stewart Radio
Sara Moulton, executive chef at "Gourmet" and host of "Sara's Weeknight Meals on PBS.
Lucinda Scala Quinn, executive editorial director for food at "Martha Stewart Living.
Allie Lewis Clapp, food director at "Real Simple"
1) Cut-up fruits and veggies turn brown? Lucinda Scala Quinn suggests placing things such as trimmed artichokes into acidulated water. To do that, use enough water to cover the vegetables along with the juice of one lemon or lime. Rubbing cut surfaces with lemon juice also prevents browning. "And when storing, cover the surface directly with a piece of plastic," says Allie Lewis Clapp,"this prevents air from getting to the flesh, which is what causes it to turn brown."
2) Stale bread? Sprinkle a slice or two with water and microwave it for 30 seconds, Scala Quinn says. That restores some of the bread's softness.
3) Chopped vegetables make a mess going from cutting board to pot? Use a metal bench scraper. "It's supposed to be used to scrape up dough from a work surface, and it's very good for that," Moulton says. "But you can also scoop chopped vegetables to the side of the bench scraper and take them to the pan without dropping any."
4) The recipe calls for buttermilk, but you don't have any? Make a substitute, Gluck says. For each cup of buttermilk, place 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a glass measure, then add enough low-fat milk to equal 1 cup.
5) Food stuck to your favorite pot? Sandy Gluck recommends simmering a baking soda and water mixture in the pot to help lift the food off. If you cooked something made with eggs, flour and milk (like pancakes), soak the pot in cold water first. "If you use hot water, it sets the starch and makes it glue on," says Sara Moulton
6) Dull knives? "Wash and dry them immediately after use, avoid leaving them in the sink, and never put them in the dishwasher," "Sitting water will quickly dull the blades."
7) Cutting board slips? "Always put a damp towel underneath it," says Ken Oringer, the chef and co-owner of Clio, Uni, Toro, KO Prime and La Verdad in
8) Garlicky hands? "Stainless steel will neutralize the odor," Lewis Clapp says. "Don't fall for the gimmicky stainless steel 'soap bars' that many kitchen stores will sell you -- your sink and faucet are probably made of stainless, so just rub your hands on them." A cut lemon also works.
9) Runaway peelers? A Y-shaped peeler gives you more control over fruits and vegetables that are harder to peel, like apples and butternut squash. "And it makes peeling significantly faster," Lewis Clapp says. Also, place the veggies on your work surface rather than try to peel in midair.
10) Spices lost their zing? "Heat or toast them to reinvigorate the flavor," Scala Quinn says. Put them in a cast-iron skillet over low heat with no oil. If you're using a thinner pan, be careful, because the spices can burn quickly. (In the future, Gluck suggests, store them out of direct sunlight in opaque jars. Write the date of purchase on the bottom.)
11) Onions make you cry? Try goggles. "Years ago, someone sent me a pair of the kind you use for welding," Moulton says, "and now they sell actual onion goggles in kitchen stores." Also, make sure your onion is fresh and your knife is sharp.
12) Cleaning shellfish? A barbecue cleaning brush is excellent for scrubbing clams and mussels, Oringer says. The bristles are nice and sturdy.
13) Chicken and other meats slip out of your hands as you try to prepare them? Chilled meat is easier to handle. "The cooler the better," Moulton says. "As it gets warmer, it gets more slippery."
14) Sauce won't stick to the pasta? Don't add oil to the pasta water to prevent clumping; i0 nstead, stir often. Oil keeps the sauce from adhering, Moulton says.
15) Dry turkey? To retain the juices, let meats of all kinds rest before you cut into them, Moulton says. The length of resting time depends on the weight of the meat. A pork chop, for instance, would probably need about five minutes; a turkey, a half-hour.
16) Meat slices stick to your knife? Use a hollow-edge knife. "The wavy hollow-edge blade prevents food from sticking, allowing the knife to pass through foods more easily," Lewis Clapp says. "It also lets you slice meat more thinly."
17) Your food doesn't brown nicely? Before cooking, pat meats and vegetables dry with paper towels. If you don't, they will steam and won't get that nice brown crust, Moulton says.
18) Raw meat juices spill onto your work space, contaminating it? "I love parchment for protecting the counter when working with raw meat and fish," Scala Quinn says. Spread out a sheet under your cutting board or bowls, then throw it away when you're done.
19) Unwieldy collection of pot lids? To keep them with their "mates," slip lids over the handles of your pots and hang them overhead from a pot rack, Scala Quinn says.
20) Brown sugar hardened? "Place an apple wedge or two in the bag with the sugar, seal it and store at room temperature," Gluck says. "It should soften in a day or two. A slice of bread, instead of the apple, works well, too." Lewis Clapp also puts her bag of brown sugar inside a second, resealable plastic bag.
21) Scrape your fingers usinga box grater? "I love the Microplane grater," says Moulton, who uses it for ginger, garlic, citrus, Parmesan and chocolate (you need a separate one for sweet stuff so it won't taste like garlic). It's a straight rasp with a handle, so you just hold it over the bowl with one hand and grate with the other.
22) Leftover broth or stock? Freeze the broth in an ice cube tray. "Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a resealable container, and label and date it," Gluck says. Each cube is equal to about 2 tablespoons.
23) Your food doesn't brown nicely? Before cooking, pat meats and vegetables dry with paper towels. If you don't, they will steam and won't get that nice brown crust, Moulton says.
24) Raw meat juices spill onto your work space, contaminating it? "I love parchment for protecting the counter when working with raw meat and fish," Scala Quinn says. Spread out a sheet under your cutting board or bowls, then throw it away when you're done.
25) Herbs scatter when you chop them? "I use rubber bands to bunch herbs before chopping, especially chives and parsley," Oringer says.
26) Lemons too firm to juice? Gluck microwaves them on high in 10-second increments until they are softened. Now the fruit can be juiced easily.
27) Not sure when pancakes are ready to be flipped? Use a slotted fish spatula, designed to lift delicate foods, to check underneath a pancake as it cooks. "It's not just for fish," Moulton says.