Nom nom for us, David!
Food is the cornerstone of life, and of our lifestyles. Bonds are formed over a good meal in ways that humans otherwise cannot bond.
And we always want ways to do things faster, right?
Here were some of those answers.
If you're cutting cake with a ton of frosting or that weird fondant layer, run the knife under hot water and it'll cut so much smoother.
I used to have to cut cakes when I taught gymnasitics and did child birthday parties and messed up so many cakes because the layers are just difficult.
Then I learned the hot water trick
PERFECT RICE EVERY TIME
Rice. Everyone loves it. Everyone hates making it. They hate making it because it comes out awful.
NOT ANYMORE, FRIENDS!
Here's how to get perfect rice, every time.
Whatever quantity of rice, double that amount for water.
Soak your rice for 10 minutes before cooking to help remove extra starch.
Bring your water to a boil. Salt if desired. Add rice. Let it come to a boil again, then reduce heat to minimum and cover.
LEAVE IT THE HELL ALONE FOR 17 MINUTES. NO MORE, NO LESS. DON'T TOUCH THAT LID. RESIST THE URGE. SERIOUSLY, LEAVE IT ALONE. IF ANYONE GOES NEAR IT, SHOOT THEM.
Enjoy your perfect rice.
That round pokey looking thing that came with your knife set? That's a steel. It is NOT a sharpener. However, if you use it before you cook (by running the knife a couple of times on each side, like you're trying to shave a slice of it off), then your edge will last longer.
Related, but important; NEVER cut with a good knife on any of the following:
Basically, use cutting boards, and only cutting boards to cut/prep your foods before you cook them.
Make It Taaaaaaste
Learn the how basic seasoning are used to add the basic flavours: Salty, sour, sweet, bitter an umami. Each cusine is different but if you get a grasp on how to combine those well you'll be a great cook.
If your oven has a turn knob to set the temperature, you can calibrate it. Get a good oven thermometer (not the crappy dial ones you get from a grocery store) and put the probe in the oven, turn the oven on and set the temp to 350. Check the reading on the thermometer and adjust the knob hotter or cooler until it actually reads 350. When it reads the proper temp slide the oven knob off and you should see screws that tighten down the knob face. Loosen them and adjust the face till it aligns with 350 then tighten the screws back down.
Figure out how to read a recipe for its technique and not its ingredients and you'll be able to make fancier food with just about anything. You don't have white wine or lemons making scampi? What are they adding to the original recipe? Roundness and brightness. Sub in mirin and rice wine vinegar, add a dash of soy. You're not making scampi anymore, but you're making something else that hits the same notes and you can take the recipe in a different direction. Want bolognese but don't have any meat? Stewed lentils and zucchini can both lend a meaty texture. Cook your lentils down in veg broth until they're halfway done, add fresh chopped zucchini and then the cream/red wine/tomato paste/broth. It's not bolognese, but it hits a similar feel and flavor.
Paprika works really, really well with pork. Pork chops, country-style ribs, that sort of thing.
Just a load of paprika on there with some salt and pepper, maybe a little cayenne mixed in if you like heat.
Paprika (at least the normal store bought kind?) is usually pretty mild in flavor, so it takes a generous amount to add big flavor, but it goes so well with pork chops. I just discovered this by luck a few months ago, and I've been doing it every time possible since.
Crack eggs on a flat surface not on the edge of the pan. If you crack them on an edge you will be more likely to get shell shards in your eggs and maybe even break the yolk.
If you are cooking with butter at a high heat add some cooking oil. It will slow the butter from browning or burning. This is most applicable when doing steak in a pan.
Bring meat or large vegetables to room temperature before cooking or they wont cook evenly. Especially important for chicken.
Stainless steel neutralizes the chemicals that make garlic-smells stick to your skin. They make "stones" to rub your hands with but generally if you have a stainless steel sink you can just rub the sink, or the faucet handle, then wash your hands. Voila, stink is gone.
Eggz For Dayz
Add 1tb of salt to water when boiling eggs. After about 9 minutes, take the eggs out of the water and place into ice and allow them to cool entirely. Place egg into a cup and shake vigorously The shell slips right off. Saves a ton of time. I've cleaned 50 eggs in 10 minutes.