Helpful hints and tips for any cook

June 2023

This season’s Bayview Magazine recipe is taking on a different twist. Rather than featuring a favourite recipe with a cultural flair, readers were invited to share any hints and tips that have made a recipe tastier or easier or both! This is a perfect article to clip out and tuck away in that well worn recipe book so it can be looked at again and again. Enjoy!

If you don’t like peeling hard-boiled eggs for salads etc., poach them hard and drain them and use them as you would hard-boiled in the shell. Easy breezy and it tastes the same.– S.R.
Speaking of eggs – if you do hard boil your eggs the old way, cover them with water and as soon as the water boils, turn off the heat and leave on the element. The eggs will still cook and be ready in ten minutes whether the heat is on or not.– B.E.

Add a little nutmeg in your mashed potatoes for a unique and yummy flavour! – H.D.

Or for something a little different – add cheese curds to your mashed potatoes. – G.S.

If your homemade mac & cheese sauce tastes a little bland, add a tablespoon of lemon juice for that zingy taste we all crave! – J.K.

To extend the lifespan of washed herbs and greens by several days, roll them in damp paper towels and place in zip-lock bags with the seals left slightly open. If you see darker spots of liquid forming on the paper towels, it means your herbs and greens should be used within a day or two. – E.G.

Add a little salsa to that old comfort food, Kraft Dinner, to give it some new zest! – G. S.

To save time, place your meat on an aluminum tray or skillet to defrost. Aluminum is a great conductor of heat and draws energy from the environment into your frozen meat 30% faster than a cutting board or countertop.– T.S.

Try adding almond extract instead of vanilla in your pancakes, waffles, milkshakes, cookies, icing etc. etc. etc.! – J.E.

Add cinnamon and a drop of orange extract in the eggs when you’re whipping up your French toast. – L.S.

Instead of using a paring knife or vegetable peeler use a spoon to peel ginger. Scrape it against the skin and it’ll come right off! – H.B.

Add a couple drops of tabasco sauce or a teaspoon of mustard powder to your gingerbread cookie dough to give them a little zing. – L.W.

To slice avocados, split them in half, then remove the pit by whacking it with the heel of your knife and twisting it out. Slice it directly in the skin and scoop it out with a spoon to have ready made slices. There’s less mess and less waste. – J.J.

Throw a couple handfuls of grated orange into your favourite chocolate chip cookie dough recipe to give it that Terry’s Milk Chocolate and Orange flavour. – D.W.

Dissolve your baking soda in equal amounts of warm water to avoid unpleasant dry lumps in your cookies, cakes, etc. – D. G.

Slicing meat can be difficult even with a sharp knife. To make it easier, place the meat in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to stiffen it up. – P. R.

When you crack an egg on the rim of a bowl, you risk pushing a bit of the shell into your egg. Crack it on a flat surface like your counter top and separate the shell with your fingers.
If you have bits of egg shells in your bowl, use the empty half of an egg shell to extract stubborn bits of cracked shells. It acts like a magnet and you won’t
have that unexpected experience of biting down on one in your cake or cookies. – Y.G.

Instead of dumping your pasta water down the drain, add a cup of it to your pasta sauce. The salty water will add more flavor to your dish and the starch will improve the consistency of the sauce. – K.M.

And while we’re on the subject of spaghetti sauce, add a teaspoon of brown sugar to it to give a richer flavour. – S.S.

To keep your brown sugar from drying out and crystalizing, place a quarter of an apple, peel and all, in the container. When the apple dries, discard and add another. – V.P.

A little bit of maple syrup added to your chilli will give it a unique flavour that will have guests asking for seconds and thirds. – M.M.

Cover your turkey with mayonnaise before you sprinkle it with poultry seasoning. The skin will have a nice crunch to it when it comes out of the oven. – L.W.

Sprinkle flour on your bacon before you fry it – it reduces nasty grease splatters on you and your stove. – G.W.

Stir your pancake batter just enough to moisten the dry ingredients so you’ll have fluffier pancakes. – T. H.

Donna White is an accomplished author and Jubilee Medal winner for her volunteer work with World Vision. Visit her website at

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