Pressed for time when
preparing meals? Don't fret. Here are some tried and tested tips to help make
cooking a breeze.
convenience and quality.
Not all convenience food is of poor quality. Some of them, like
salads-in-a-bag and pre-chopped onions are actually well made and will save you
time in preparing meals. Pre-chopped onions, for instance, will eliminate teary
eyes because you won't have to slice onions.
products, including broth (or stock), tomato pastes, sauces and mixes, are also
a boon for quick-fix meals. However, do take the time to read the ingredients on
the labels to make sure you are not compromising your health.
in advance and use the freezer.
Chances are you have a freezer at home that is underutilized. This is because
most Filipino households still make it a point to buy fresh produce as often as
possible. However, if you are juggling home and business/career, it's wise to
make a food plan, cook meals in bulk and freeze them for future use.
you are freezing cooked meals, it's smart to recycle clean jars and plastic
containers. They can be used for storing left-over ingredients and meals as
well. Plus, you'll be helping clean the environment.
in cook-and-serve pots and pans.
Washing dishes is not exactly a popular pastime. Thankfully we can now buy pots
and pans that can be used for cooking and serving food. This means less items to
wash and avoiding dishpan hands.
in a microwave oven.
At one time, people were wary of using microwave ovens because of its supposed
radiation effects and cost of electricity for operating this appliance. However,
the newer brands are safe, electricity-efficient and also very inexpensive ---
proof that microwave technology has developed by leaps and bounds. Anyway,
nothing beats the microwave in heating food in a few minutes or even seconds. Be
sure to invest in microwave-friendly dishes.
a place for everything.
Baking a cake? Roasting a chicken? Don't just plunk it inside
the oven. Most baked goodies (e.g. pastries, some cakes, pudding) should be
placed in the center of the oven, while roasts should be placed at the lower
rack. Also, don't crowd an oven because the heat should be able to circulate
for even cooking/baking. Allow an inch of space between the pan and the oven
racks. Racks that don't readily slide are more harmful than
you think, as a sticky rack could easily jar delicate cakes and soufflés.
How to make them run smoothly? Regular lubrication is needed. Use petroleum
jelly to lubricate sticky racks.
an oven. Why should you preheat the oven? Well, some recipes
need preheated ovens to make baked goodies fluffier. How? Allow 15 to 20
minutes for the oven to reach the right temperature and you can never go