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Tips and Tricks for the Kitchen

Kate's shortcuts for baking and cooking.


Tips and Tricks for the Kitchen

As I prepared a strawberry rhubarb crisp this week, I calculated the ingredients in my head. The recipe was written to make 8 servings and I only needed 4. Half of ¾ cup? No problem, it’s ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons. That made me think of what tips and tricks I find useful in the kitchen and use most often.

  1. ¼ cup is equal to 4 Tablespoons. While we’re talking about measurements, 3 teaspoons is equal to 1 Tablespoon.
  2. If you’re making a recipe that requires cooking multiple vegetables, like a stir-fry, cut the vegetables the same size to allow for consistent cooking time.
  3. Need fresh lime juice? Here’s a trick my mom taught me about getting the most juice from that little green fruit.
  4. Read a recipe in its entirety before starting; this will prevent many mistakes or oversights (such as the need to marinate something for multiple hours when you intended on serving it that night).
  5. Use a scale when baking. Volumetric measurements can vary greatly; weighing your ingredients leads to consistent results. For example, put your bowl on the scale, zero the scale. Add flour and zero again before adding next ingredient, etc. No need to wash measuring cups!
  6. When you have a recipe that does not turn out well, it’s an opportunity to investigate what may have gone wrong. Luckily, most ingredients are not very expensive so making mistakes and understanding why will make you a better cook in the long run.

Have you found techniques that are helpful when you’re cooking? Please comment below!

Kate Sayre is a Registered Dietitian who counsels clients through her private practice and works in the Department of Nutrition at UNC. On the 1st and 15th of every month, she guest blogs here.