By LisaE from WI
By karpar from Sterling, MA
By Painterlee from Indialantic, FL
When it's cool enough just replace it on the stove and your food is cool; no cooling rack taking up extra space; your cooling rack is invisible, in service on your stove top and always available if you need a cooling rack.
By Pattimast from Oklahoma City, OK
Someone on ThriftyFun submitted a post of how to bake rounded top muffins and I've been using their suggestion ever since. I place the muffin tins in a 500 degree F oven, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes or less.
With the electric oven, my whole wheat muffins were always on the dark side when they finished baking because the oven temperature didn't drop fast enough from 500 to 350 degrees F as printed in the recipe. And many times they were burned on the sides and bottoms when I removed them from the muffin tins to a cooling rack.
So just by accident the other day, I experimented with the electric stove and turned the temperature knob down to 200 degrees F. The oven temperature dropped fast from 500 to 350 degrees, which showed on the oven thermometer. Then I reset the oven knob to 350 degrees F on my stove and finished baking the muffins for 20 minutes. The results were perfect, they weren't over-baked and burnt on the sides or bottoms like they were in the past.
By MCW from Lewiston
Well, Zack said to me, "Noni, why don't you place paper towels under the cooling racks and then you can just pick up the paper towels and throw them in the trash?" I was so surprised that he came up with this idea. We put paper towels under the racks and it was a breeze to clean up. My grandson is one "Smart Cookie"!
By k9cats from Rohnert Park, CA
By fossil1955 from Cortez, CO
Source: My Mom
By JodiT from Aurora, CO
By Carolyn from Bellevue, WA
I have a car coffee cup that has a screw on lid, and a little tab that opens up to a little hole, where I can drink coffee from. I got tired of getting flour all over everywhere when I just needed some sprinkled on my cooking projects. So I use the coffee cup with the lid to hold flour and then I can open the tab and sprinkle the flour without making a mess. It is much more efficient that way.
Combine pitted prunes and water in food processor. Pulse on and off until prunes are finely chopped. Makes 1 cup. Another option is to make prune butter by blending 1 pound of prunes with 1 cup of hot water.
Use prune puree in baked products to replace up to 1/2 the fat without flavor or texture being compromised according to researchers at Pennsylvania State University. Other fat substitutes that you may want to try are apple butter, applesauce, bananas and yogurt.
Makes 24 bars. Approx. 60 calories per bar.
By fossil1955 from Cortez, CO
By Jan from West Portsmouth, OH
By Ness - Lakeview, NY
Here's what I came up with while baking recently:
1. You can cover any old pizza pan, cookie sheet (mine are old and BLACK from use!), tray, or even thick corrugated piece of cardboard to make a very nice holder for your cake. Doesn't matter how awful whatever is UNDER the foil looks like, as long as it is sturdy enough to hold a cake.
2. Instant pudding (stock up when it's on sale) makes a great filling for any cake. I use one cup of milk with one instant pudding box mix to make a thick filling. This will fill one layer of a 9 inch round or square cake nicely (with a little left over to lick off the spoon!).
3. You don't necessarily need 2 layers to fill a cake. One thick layer (that is, one 18.5 ounce cake mix baked in a 9" round pan, for example) can be sliced in half and then filled. This takes a little practice, but go slowly and use a long narrow bread knife or slicing knife to cut the cake into 2 layers.
4. You can enhance a can of generic frosting (or stock up when they are on sale) with a block of cream cheese beaten into it. However, if you FREEZE your cream cheese (like I do), once you defrost it, it does not "blend" as well and can become "grainy" in the frosting, so nuke it a bit first to make it *very* soft. (However, ex-frozen cream cheese is fine on bagels, however; just defrost & no need to nuke it!)
5. If you are "flouring" the cake pan so you can turn the cake out after it is baked, and the cake is chocolate, you can use a little cocoa powder instead of flour. Looks & tastes great!
6. You can use spoiled milk instead of the water called for in a cake mix, so no need to toss the milk that went a little sour; make a cake with it instead. You can also use the juice from any canned fruit when baking a cake mix, instead of the water the recipe calls for, as well as orange juice, lemonade, buttermilk, even beer or whiskey, etc. You get the idea. Each liquid gives the cake a subtly different and good flavor.
7. An inexpensive chocolate cake mix (again, stock up when they are on sale!), split into 2 layers, filled with chocolate instant pudding filling, and topped with about 1/4 cup of sifted confectioner's sugar can be a very elegant dessert with just a little extra effort. Yes, that's what I made recently, and it turned out so pretty (and tasty). It looks even prettier with a few fresh strawberries or some well-drained canned mandarin oranges to garnish the top.
Have fun baking everyone, I sure do!
About The Author: Ness, list mom of Frugal Friends in the Kitchen
Hope these little tips were helpful. I guess my all-time best tip would be to HAVE FUN when you are baking and don't be afraid to occasionally experiment. We all have a few "flops" sometimes, but the good"experiments" become tomorrow's tried-and-true recipes.
By Ness - Lakeview, NY
About The Author: List Mom of Frugal Friends in the Kitchen
Editor's Note: You can replace oil with applesauce in equal quantities although I've heard it is good to put 1 TBSP. of oil in in addition. It might really depend on the recipe, if it calls for a lot of oil and you are not deep frying it (that takes lots of oil and applesauce really won't work for that!) add the little bit of oil. (05/13/2006)
By Mrs. G