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Topic: Your favorite tip/trick/ingredient?  (Read 4428 times)
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« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2011 06:14:39 PM »

I buy MSG-free, vegan bouillion cubes. They're easy to cut so you don't need a full one if you don't want to. I use them for everything!

Freezing all leftover tomato paste flat in a ziploc bag so you can break off however much you need, whenever.

Lentils, dried. They last forever, are nutritious and can be very tasty. Lend themselves to flavors nicely.

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP). Plenty of protein and a blank canvas for all sorts of savory treats. More shelf-stable than tofu as a meat replacement.

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« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2011 06:54:58 AM »

With every meal I usually have a few leftover fresh bits - chopped carrots or onion, tomatoes, a handful of cooked rice, pinch of fresh basil...I keep a freezer bag going, then when it's full enough I dump it all into a pot, add some chicken or beef broth and have a delicious freezer soup. It turns out perfect every time.

Don't bother trying to blanch everything before it goes in the freezer. Keep it wrapped as tight as you can, but don't obsess about freezer burn unless it gets to be 6 months old or something. Use it up within a couple months and it will be OK.

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« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2011 01:27:28 PM »

My favorite cupcake tip--when making cupcakes from a box mix, if you only make 18 instead of 24 you get a much nicer high cupcake. Also, sometimes I like to just make 9 at a time. I weigh out half the contents of the box, add half the water, oil, and eggs called for, and seal the rest up tight for another use. This works if you have a smaller gathering, don't want too many cupcakes lingering around, and I've also done this when I had cupcake orders from friends for multiple flavors.

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« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2011 12:49:47 PM »

Dried beans/pasta/rice are awesome.  I made a huuuuge batch of chili and only used half of two bags of beans.  And by huge I mean we ate it for three days and have 3 portions frozen for future dinners. (Enough to have a bit left over for lunches the next day)  Plus, you can add beans/pasta/rice to just about anything to make it more filling.  I have a 15 year old brother who is in love with Ramen.  I sneak some veggies and a bit of rice in while he's not looking and he's usually good for almost two hours after that.  I don't think he even notices that it's there.  He just kind of swallows it all whole. I also like to make soups a bit soupier than most like it and then eat it over rice.  I guess it gives you the choice of having a light meal or a heavier meal.  Oh, and of course they are awesome because as long as they stay dry, they don't go bad like... Ever.  I've had this super huge bag of rice for like, three years now.  (I believe it was like 13 pounds or so?)  It's great to have when we run low on food (Yeah... Lazy about going shopping.  Too many people. >.<) 'cause we -never- run out of seasonings and I don't think we'll be running out of soy sauce any time soon either. (Bulk is <3)

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« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2011 09:08:05 PM »

Favorite tip:
If a dish doesn't taste right, add salt (before the point where you taste "salt" and after the point where the flavors brighten up. NEVER put salt in soup until you're just about to serve it!), lemon juice (not a lot, just a touch of acidity will add incredible depth to a dish sometimes. No lemon? Add a touch of vinegar and just heat whatever you put it in until you can't smell the vinegar anymore), and failing those two things: a touch of cayenne (will chemically stimulate your tastebuds making one taste the food better).

Add garlic to anything and it'll instantly taste better.

Spice *IS* the spice of life.
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