Cooking 101

These are some of my favourite cooking tricks. They may be common sense for many of you, but for me they were revolutionary!

herbs and spice on wooden table

Cooking trick #1

The easiest (and only in my opinion) way to cut a bell pepper!

While Gordon Ramsay may be one of the most intimidating chefs on television, he is a genius when it comes to the fastest and cleanest way to cut a bell pepper. With this technique you are not fussing with the seeds. If you are working with mini sweet peppers this is the perfect way to handle them.

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1. Remove stem and turn pepper upside down.

 

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2. Look for where the seam (indent) of the pepper is and slice strip of pepper.

 

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3. Turn the pepper and cut along the next seam of the pepper.
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4. Continue to turn and cut the pepper along each seam until you are left with just the core. As you can see there are no messy seeds everywhere and not a lot of wasted pepper left on the core. This technique takes seconds! Thank you Mr. Ramsay for making my life that much easier!

Cooking trick # 2

The best way to cook sausages

When I first started to cook, every time I would make sausage I found the centre was not fully cooked until I had completely burned the outside. I never understood how breakfast sausages at restaurants would always come out perfectly golden brown. After pondering my dilemma for a little while I remembered that mom use to cook hot dogs for us as kids on the stove top in boiling water. I gave it a try with sausage. Once the sausage is fully cooked I transfer the sausage to a frying pan just to brown. I will never cook a sausage another way again! It looks gross while you are cooking it, but trust me it is the best way that I have found for getting a perfectly golden brown sausage. If you are a professional chef you may be cringing at my methods, but I am sticking to it!

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Boil water in a sauce pan.
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Add sausages to water and cook for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
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Transfer sausage to frying pan.
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Fry sausages until perfectly golden brown.

Cooking trick #3

Measuring sticky liquids

It is always so frustrating to measure sticky liquids like honey. You are always left with some liquid in the measuring utensil and then you have make more dishes by getting a spatula and scooping everything out. Maybe this does not bother you at all, and this is the first you have heard of this being a problem in the kitchen. You probably think I am crazy that this bugs me so much, but it does. I am too lazy to do more dishes. I am not sure where I learned this trick, it was probably Pinterest. Before you put a sticky liquid, like molasses or syrup in a measuring cup or measuring spoon, spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Sticky liquids come out perfectly clean every single time! I love this trick. I find if you are measuring something more than once, like 2 tbsp you have to spray for each measurement.

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Spray measuring utensil
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Add sticky liquid like honey, molasses, or syrup
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Pour

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Enjoy a clean measuring spoon and all of your ingredient in your bowl!

Cooking trick #4

Saving Time With Thyme

Sorry, I have my dad’s sense of humour!

Maybe it is just me, but working with fresh thyme always use to be such a headache! Trying to remove all of the tiny little leaves was messy and tedious. I cannot remember which show it was that changed my life, but I finally discovered the trick to removing thyme leaves from the stem! Start at the top of the stem and surround your fingers around the thyme. Gently pull your fingers down the stem, going against the direction of the individual leaves. The thyme leaves will all remove perfectly into your hand without any hassle!

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Thyme
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Surround your fingers at the top of the thyme stem. (Good thing my nail polish is all chipped! and this is a horrible angle of my hand. It was difficult trying to take these pictures on my own!)
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Pull your fingers down the stem, against the direction that the leaves are growing.
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You should have all the leaves sitting neatly in your hand.
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You can clear off the thyme leaves in just seconds this way!


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