Sally’s Helpful Hints – food and kitchen tips

Here are some new food and kitchen related tips.  Enjoy!!  As always, these are hints that I have personally tried myself or discovered by accident.  I’m always looking for new stuff, so feel free to leave a comment.

Too Much Spicy
Ever make a dish and accidentally over season it with spiciness.  I’m a bit of a wuss with some heat-inducing spices, and I sometimes get a little overzealous with Thai Chili Sauce.  So, all you have to do is add some VINEGAR until it cuts the spiciness.  Just be careful, you are adding a very thin liquid and it will thin out any sauce or dish, so you may need to cook longer or add other ingredients if necessary.

I’m a runner so I eat a lot of pasta.  I mean a lot!  I hate when I start making pasta and I realize I don’t have any sauce left or I just don’t have the energy to make sauce for a small lunch snack sized portion.  Just add some OLIVE OIL, sprinkle some seasoning such as cracked pepper.  I also like to add some diced tomatoes and/or olives if I have them on hand. Voila, easy pasta without the need for spaghetti sauce!

I love pineapples and love adding them to dishes, such as salad.  But I also really like pineapple on my pizza.  There is just something about the sweet citrus mixing with the acidic tomato sauce, savory cheese, and the doughy crust.   So one day I sat around trying to think of other ways to recreate this flavor combination.  Duh, in PASTA!  I’ll add big chunks to my pasta as “vegetarian meatballs.”  But I especially like to make a baked ziti dish with the pineapples mixed in with the sauce and pasta, then layer with cheese and bake.  Note, this flavor combination is only useful if someone actually enjoys the Hawaiian pizzas, and if you do, then try it out!

This is an old trick, but works for me.  I’m a big fan of reheating in the microwave (hello queso!), but not all bowls or plates have a convenient splatter guard lid, and sometimes that darn paper towel just won’t stay on top of the dish rotating in the microwave.  Seal it with PLASTIC WRAP.  It will help prevent splatter and explosions and can also help steam your dish too if you’d like.  Just be very careful removing the plastic wrap, steam escapes very quickly and is very hot!  Making a small puncture hole will help some steam escape during cooking.

If you’re trying to learn to eat less or just eat slower, sometimes it comes down to what you’re eating with, not you.  Try using a smaller plate so you have smaller portions, but it will seem bigger as it fills up the small plate.  Also, use chopsticks whenever possible.  Believe me it will slow you down and usually force you to put smaller bites in your mouth at a time.  Your brain will have time to catch up to your stomach to tell you whether you’re full.

Drink Napkins
Here’s another oldie but goody!  I hate when the condensation on my glass of a frosty beverage (ahem cocktail!)  makes the napkin stick to my glass.  Simply grab the salt shaker and sprinkle some salt on the napkin.  There are two ways this works, first the salt crystals create a small distance from the napkin and it’s no big deal if salt is stuck to the bottom of your glass.  But more scientifically, it creates more of a hypo-, hyper-tonic situation with the water and the salt.  Then again I could be wrongly remembering my high school biology.  Regardless, it works and your napkin stays on the table and the cocktail in your glass on its way to your lips.


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