Feel free to send on your own to us through the contact page with the subject heading Hints and Tips.
For further food ideas and tips, check out the Love Food Hate Waste website.
As an avid beekeeper, Tanya is rather used to being stung - the lengths she goes to in order to produce honey for you! She would recommend that you always take an antihistamine tablet and finds calamine lotion the most effective for the pain relief. We found this article while searching for remedies, to save you from reading the whole article, in short, they recommend toothpaste and ice!
· Thaw frozen fish in milk for fresher flavour
· Add a little lemon and lime to tuna to add zest and flavour to tuna sandwiches. Use cucumbers soaked in vinegar and pepper in sandwich instead of tomatoes. Use mustard instead of mayo to cut the fat and add a tang.
· Fresh fish freezes well in a milk carton filled with water.
· Microwave a lemon for 15 seconds to double the juice you get before squeezing.
· Lemons stored in a sealed jar of water will produce twice the juice.
· Place ‘green’ fruits in a perforated plastic bag. The holes will allow air to circulate while retaining the ethylene gas which fruits produce during ripening.
· When picking a melon, smell it for freshness and ripeness. Check to see that the fruit is heavy in weight and that the spot on the end, where it has been plucked from the vine, is soft.
· When cooking any kind of strawberry dessert, add a splash of aged Balsamic Vinegar to the recipe to enhance the flavour of the strawberries. We recommend Mungo Deli’s essentials range.
. Store bananas with your unripe avocados - they help to hasten the ripening.
· Invest in a stainless steel odour remover to get the awful smell of onions and garlic from your hands! (we sell these!)
· Microwave garlic cloves for 15 seconds and the skin should slip off easily – or try our rubber garlic peelers, which are quick, cheap and simple.
· When mincing garlic, sprinkle on a little salt so the pieces won't stick to your knife or cutting board.
· Instead of adding raw garlic to sauces, saute the garlic first for a milder flavour.
· Rescue stale or soggy crisps and crackers: Preheat the oven to 300F. Spread the chips or crackers in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool, then seal in a plastic bag or container.
· If you have a problem opening jars: Try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy. (or buy a Jarkey from us, which is super!)
· You can correct greasy gravy by adding a little bicarbonate of soda to it.
· Keep popcorn fresh and encourage more kernels to pop by storing in the freezer.
Store freshly cut basil on your worktop in a glass with the water level covering only the stems. Change the water occasionally. It will keep for weeks this way, even develop roots!
Basil hates to be cold, so NEVER put it in the refrigerator. Also, regular cutting encourages new growth and healthier plants.
· To slice meat into thin strips - partially freeze and it will be much easier to slice.
· It's important to let poultry or a roast beef, pork or lamb joint to sit a little while before carving. It allows the juices to retreat back into the meat. If you carve a roast too soon, much of its goodness will spill out onto the carving board.
· A roast with the bone in will cook faster than a boneless roast, the bone carries the heat to the inside of the roast quicker.
· For a juicier burger add cold water to the beef mix before grilling (1/2 cup to 1 pound of meat).
If milk starts to go sour, salvage it for use in cake mixtures and scones. Sour milk also makes a good substitute for buttermilk in recipes which require it.
Add richness and moisture to bread dough and other baked goods by replacing the water with fresh milk.
Make a richer and more nutritious hot chocolate from a powdered mix by replacing the water with milk.
· Try adding parmesan to pastry, when making something like an onion tart, to give it further flavour.
· Brush pastry scraps with melted butter: sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and bake like cookies.
· Use a 4:1 ration of ratio of lard:butter to get the perfect crust on your pie.
Crumble a couple of Weetabix into wholemeal pastry to replace some of the flour and give your pastry a crisper texture
Pie vents and funnels, available from Cooking Fantastic, will help stop soggy pastry.
· For fluffier, whiter rice, add one teaspoon of lemon juice per litre of water.
· Try frying rice in a little oil in a very hot pan before transferring to a pan and boiling in water, to make a lovely rice – add onion, peas and sweetcorn for a meal in itself.
· To add extra flavour and nutrition to rice, cook it in liquid reserved from cooking vegetables.
· When using rice, keep in mind that 1 cup of uncooked long-grain white rice makes 3 cups cooked.
Lettuce keeps better if you store in the fridge without washing first so that the leaves are dry. Wash the day you are going to use.
· Cutting lettuce with a plastic knife will stop it going brown (we sell these)
· Also do not use metal bowls when mixing salads. Use wooden, glass or china (we also sell these!)
· Make your own celery flakes. Just cut and wash the leaves from the celery stalks; place them in the oven on low heat or in the hot sun until thoroughly dry. Crumble and store in an air-tight container. (we sell these)
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
· Sunlight doesn't ripen tomatoes, warmth does, so leave them in a warm place not directly in sunlight.
· Store tomatoes with stems pointed down and they will stay fresher, longer.
· To keep cauliflower white while cooking - add a little milk to the water - it tastes better too!
· Let raw potatoes stand in cold water for at least half an hour before frying to improve the crispness of your chips.
· Mushrooms are truly fresh when the stems and caps are attached snugly.
· A dampened paper towel or terry cloth brushed downward on a cob of corn will remove every strand of corn silk.
· Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.
· Use the most expensive wine you can afford for using in dishes such as Beef Bourginon (see recipe) as the results will be much better.