Thursday, December 16, 2021

A few tips to make things easier in the Christmas kitchen


 Today I thought I'd just share a few tips that might make life a little easier at this busy time.  

1.  Waxed paper is absolutely a must in my kitchen any time of year, but even more so at Christmas.  I use it for lining and separating layers of cookies in tins and also spread it beneath cooling racks when I am glazing or frosting cookies, to catch any drips.  I also use it to roll out pie crusts.  We actually ran out of waxed paper this week!  Thankfully, we were able to use parchment paper instead, but you can bet that waxed paper -- 2 rolls of it -- is  on my shopping list as we speak.  

2.  I find myself using lots of eggs at Christmas -- either for festive breakfast egg bakes or for a quick frittata or omelet for supper.  If you need to beat a large number of eggs with milk or cream and spices for a purpose like this, the absolute quickest and most mess-free method is to use the blender to do so.  Just put the eggs, liquid, and any spices called for into a blender and buzz it all for a minute or so, then proceed with your recipe. Cleanup is easy too -- just add some warm water and a squirt of dish soap to the blender, cover,  and buzz again for a few seconds.  You'll still want to wash the blender, but the hard part is done.

3.  If melting chocolate in the microwave, as some of the grandkids were doing during our candy making spree, the best tool for stirring is a chopstick (choose one without metallic lettering).  That way, you can leave it in the chocolate in between stirrings and there are no worries about placing a spoon or spatula somewhere on a counter where it is very likely to pick up moisture and cause your chocolate to seize up.  (Ask me how I know.)

4.  If you're baking cookies and run out of counter space for your cooling racks, do what we do and lay down sheets of newspaper on your dining table.  Then you can place the racks atop the newspapers and will end up with no crumbs, grease, drips or anything else on your table.  This is routine for us at Christmas time, with the large amounts of cookies that Mr. T bakes.  When you're done you can just roll up or fold the newspaper sheets to throw away.  No muss, no fuss.  You can see the newspaper in the photo below.

5.  I always keep Better Than Bouillon on hand for when recipes call for chicken broth.  I try to keep homemade chicken broth in the freezer, usually a few quarts -- and I also keep the boxes of chicken broth in the pantry if need be.  But when a recipe calls for just a small amount of broth, or if you don't have any on hand for whatever reason, it sure is a help to have Better Than Bouillon on hand to use with water to create broth.  I share the screenshot below to show you what the jars look like if you're not familiar with this product.


Anything that saves me time in this busy season is a win.  Hope one of these ideas helps someone else.

1 comment:

  1. Good tips! Wax paper is so nice and inexpensive. I went overboard and bought five a few years ago. Believe me, as much as I like it, I don't use that much! Your Christmas Kitchen is seeing lots of action.


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