roasted veggies turkey meal

Holiday Cooking Shortcuts, Tricks, & Tips To Join The Fun

Once again, Christmas holidays are with us, and the mood for festivities is gaining momentum. Delicious dishes usually accompany the festive season so you should know various cooking tips. There are multiple cooking shortcuts and tips that can make your life easy during busy Christmas holidays.   

The following are some of the cooking tips that can make your holiday enjoyable with peers and colleagues. These tips can also help you avoid certain kitchen mishaps while at the same time serving delicious dishes to your guests. The following are also cooking tricks that improve the taste of food.

Cooking Bacon

There are three different methods that you can use to cook bacon, and they all give you the best results. These methods include the following: cooking bacon in the microwave, oven and a waffle iron.

bacon cooking tricks 

Cooking Bacon In The Oven

When cooking bacon in the oven, you first preheat it to about 400 degrees then line a sheet pan (has a small edge along the sides) with a lot of foil paper. You then place a cooling rack on top of the sheet pan and lay your bacon on top of the rack. 

When the oven is at the correct temperature place the sheet pan with cooling rack & bacon into the oven. Allow the bacon to bake for 20 minutes, and you will get crispy pieces of bacon.

The method allows the bacon to cook slowly and it melts all the fat that may not appeal to other people. The main benefit you can get from using this cooking trick is that it is hands-off.

You do not need to turn the bacon to enhance even cooking continually. You can relax and only take the bacon out when it is ready for serving.

Preparing Bacon In A microwave

The other method you can use to cook bacon is a microwave. If you do not like using the oven because it heats up the kitchen too much, then using the microwave is best.  The microwave technique is probably the fastest too since it takes about six minutes to cook the bacon in a microwave. Within ten minutes, you are already enjoying your meal. To prepare bacon using this method, you place two layers of paper towels on a microwave-safe plate. You then put your strips of bacon and cover it with two or more layers of paper towels.

The bacon is perfect, but it may not show the burnished dark brown color. The cooking method melts all the fat from the bacon, and it drains into the paper towels. The technique is great if you want to prepare a quick family breakfast early in the morning.  The more stips of bacon the longer it will take to microwave and it might require a paper towel change to absorb all the fat.

How To Cook Bacon In A Waffle Iron

The cooking process takes about ten minutes, but you need to heat the rotating iron waffle first to medium-high. Place the bacon on top of the iron when it is hot. Though the method of cooking bacon using a waffle iron is fast, the challenge you can encounter pertains to taste. When you try this method, make sure that the bacon is perfectly cooked before you serve it.

Use Alexa Skills To Improve Taste Of Your Food

The new Alexa “Skills” feature on Amazon’s Echo gadgets can act as an assistant or helping hand with ingredients when you are cooking. Each recipe comes with it, and you need to follow it to prepare a delicious dish properly.

Food seasoning plays a pivotal role in determining the taste of the food.  However, you may not know the exact quantity of seasoning to add to a particular recipe.

In such a situation, this is when the new Alexa skill comes in handy to assist you with information about different methods. For instance, you can ask it about the amount you can add to a, and it answers you quickly.

Morton device also offers you tips and tricks about marinating, brining, and baking different products. Of all the ingredients, salt is an essential component that determines the strong taste of the outcome.

There are more 4,000 types of dishes that you can learn how to season using this smart device.  Its main advantage is that it gives you quick responses and you do not need to consult recipe books which can be time-consuming.

The new Alexa feature acts as an assistant, and you can quickly and correctly prepare your dinner for your guests during the Christmas holidays.

How To Prepare Homemade Biscuits

Biscuits bring people from different communities together for occasions like breakfast, weddings as well as holidays. Homemade biscuits are not that difficult to prepare as other people would like to believe.

The three primary ingredients for biscuits include salt, flour as well as buttermilk. Other additives usually depend on your preferred recipe.

homemade biscuits baking

You also need other baking accessories like a wood rolling pin, parchment paper as well as 12” skillet of cast iron. A heavy duty baking rimmed sheet is also essential for making quality biscuits for your guests during the Christmas holidays.  

You also need round stainless steel biscuit cutters.  You can serve biscuits in a variety of ways with baked ham, sausage gravy, strawberry jam, and marmalades, or just real butter is good too during the Christmas holidays.

If you want to make your holidays enjoyable, you must learn at least one recipe for making homemade biscuits. They are simple to prepare as long as you have the right tools and ingredients.

There are also numerous recipes you can choose from, and one thing for real is that biscuits will never fail you.  As long as you can handle the heat in the kitchen from the oven, but opening a window for some cold winter air will remedy that or turn on the air conditioner if you live in the deep South.

Apart from cooking different types of food, there are also other tips that can help you to be efficient in preparing the ingredients.

You also need to learn various tricks that you can use to preserve prepared food so that you can enjoy it over an extended period. The following tips are crucial since they can make your life easier during this Christmas season.

Keeping Baked Items Fresh

Baked items can last for a week or more if you keep them in a tight container. However, you can use plastic wrap to cover the entire box if you want to present these items to other people as presents.

A tight plastic wrap will maintain the freshness of baked goods by protecting them from dry air so that they can remain moist.

Quick Way To Defrost Butter

When you forget to take out the butter you want to use in the freezer there is no reason to worry. You can cut the sticks of butter into smaller pieces and set a counter.

In about 10 to 15 minutes, the butter is ready to use it. You can also microwave wave the chopped pieces of butter on low in intervals of 20 seconds while checking progress in between. When the butter is moldable but not mushy, then it is ready for use.

Slicing a Frozen Ice Cake

When you take out an ice cake from your freezer, it is usually hard and difficult to cut with a knife into smaller pieces. However, it is good to eat the cake while it is still compact, but it is not right to wait for it to defrost.

The easiest way to cut a frozen cake is to heat a knife in hot water then cut the cake. With this method, you can reduce the cake nicely into desired pieces.

How To Prepare Simple Syrup

If you want to sweeten your lemonade, you can use simple syrup instead of sugar with granules that do not readily dissolve. You take a cup of sugar and another cup of water and mix the contents and cook in a small saucepan.

You should use medium heat when preparing the materials and continue stirring until sugar completely dissolves after about five minutes.  

Allow the contents to cool, and you can add the syrup to any beverage as you wish for every teaspoon of sugar that you usually use, use one and a half teaspoons of syrup. You can also store the syrup in the refrigerator for about two weeks.    

Setting The Right Temperature Your Oven

Your oven can lie, and it gives you defective products even after carefully following all the instructions on the recipe. At times you may think that your oven is running at 200 degrees but this may not be accurate.

Ovens can lose accuracy, and this can spoil your otherwise spoil your favorite recipe.  You need to place an oven-safe thermometer in the center and heat it to about 300 degrees.

Check the thermometer reading if it corresponds with the oven reading. If you notice a difference between the two numbers, then you should adjust your oven temperature accordingly. Fixing the problem is the best solution that can help you prevent unfortunate incidents during Christmas holidays.

Easy Ways To Chop Garlic

The following steps can help you peel, chop or crush garlic in no time. You need to remove the hard root of each clove using the tip of a chef’s knife so that the skin peels away more easily.

You then place the clove below the flat side of the blade then press it using your palm or fist. When you feel the clove giving away, you then discard the skin.

You then gather the peeled cloves together and chop the cloves until they give you the right size you desire.

How To Prevent Food From Sticking On The Pan

When cooking food, it is irritating to see peppers and other ingredients of the dish sticking on the stainless skillet. A little more oil helps but you should know the trick of adding it to the cooking dish otherwise you can end up with a greasy mess.

stainless frying pans

You can use a metal spatula to loosen the meat and vegetables and push them to the other side of the skillet. Tilt the pan in such a way that space is over the heat and add some oil to this area.

Heat the oil before moving back the food, and you will realize that the oil on the pan creates a nonstick surface. It guarantees you a surefire sauté and your food will not stick to the surface of the container.

Softening Brown Sugar

When you realize that brown sugar remains a rock hard mass while preparing your banana recipe, you can easily soften it. You take out the block of brown sugar and sprinkle it with about a teaspoon of water then cover with a damp paper towel. You then place it in a microwave at 30-second intervals until it is soft. 

The process may take several minutes, but you need to check progress. Alternatively, you can keep the whole package fresh by placing it in an airtight container. It is essential to keep the box at room temperature, and you can also use a resealable freezer bag.

How To Keep Fried Food Crispy

During the Christmas holidays, you are likely to host more guests that you expect. To avoid the hassle of continuously preparing food for them, you can roast your meat and keep it crispy. When you are frying chicken, make sure that you remove it from the plate to avoid trapping residual heat.  

You should use a cooling that you should set on a baking sheet to avoid messing the counters. You must also ensure that the roasted meet has access to the free circulation of air to maintain its crunchiness. You can serve the fried meat still fresh and tasting good hours after preparing it.

Cleaning Seasoned Cast Iron Pans

Cleaning is another task that can be tiresome after the main meal. Cleaning a seasoned cast iron pan can appear difficult, but with these tips, you will find the task manageable. The primary thing you should know is that you do not need to use scouring powder or soap to clean this particular pan. These detergents will destroy the nonstick coating. You only need to sprinkle kosher salt over the pan and use a paper towel to scrub it.

seasoned cast iron pan cooking tips

After scrubbing the pan, you then rinse it under running hot water and dry it using paper towels. Apply a thin coating of vegetable oil when the container is dry.

You should put a paper towel inside the pan in case you keep your cookware stacked. The paper helps to protect its surface such that it remains in good condition.

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