This section is filled with helpful cooking tips.

No Onion Smell

I don't always use a whole onion when making a dish, especially with how large onions are these days. So I dice or slice half of a large onion and save the rest for another dish. Wrap the onion in plastic wrap first and then aluminum foil and store it in the vegetable crisper in the refrigerator. This keeps the onion from smelling up the refrigerator. Use the stored onion within 3 days.

Certain foods such as milk and ice will absorb the odor if onions are not wrapped. Baking soda placed in an uncovered bowl, in the refrigertor or freezer can help, but I haven't found it to be highly effective. Wrapping the cut onion, in plastic and foil eliminates all odor.

Wash you hands with soap and cold water after cutting the onion. The key here is cold water. Using cold water, will shrink or close your hand's pores and the onion juice will not be absorbed as easily. Sometimes, when in a hurry, I use warm water by mistake and the onion smell lasts for days.

Working With Blueberries

Blueberries are delicious added to muffins, cakes and pancakes.  I also like to make cobblers, tortes, pies and jelly. They provide vitamins A, C, E and folic acid.  That little blue fruit is packed with a higher level of antioxidants than most other fruits.

Read more: Working With Blueberries

Quick Tips

  • For easy removal, rinse flour off of bowls and the sink with cold water.
  • Lay lasagna noodles on a piece of aluminum foil to cool before assembling lasagna.
  • Mark older eggs with a pen before adding new eggs to the bin.
  • For ease of handling and a better looking product add frozen blueberries to muffin batter or pancakes once they are on the griddle.
  • When making candy, grease the pan with the paper wrapper from the butter or margarine.

Storing Button Mushrooms

White Button Mushrooms are readily available at grocery stores and add a delicious flavor to foods whether cooked or eaten raw. They come whole or pre-sliced, but I prefer to buy the whole, unsliced mushrooms. They stay fresh longer and I like to make sure they are cleaned properly.

When purchasing White Button Mushrooms look for clean, fresh looking, plump not wrinkled mushrooms. The whiter the mushrooms the better.

I've tried many times to store mushrooms in brown paper bags, as recommended, but they always shrivel up within a couple of hours. Recently, I found a way to storingmushroomskeep the mushrooms fresh, lasting longer than a week.

I buy the mushrooms that are packed in a paper or foam container and are covered with plastic wrap. If you look very closely the plastic wrap has holes to allow the mushrooms to breath and not build up moisture. When I use the mushrooms I carefully peel back the plastic, remove what I need and then stretch the plastic back in place. If the plastic tears or is the kind that is vacuum-sealed and you have to break it to get in, then cover the opening with your own piece of plastic wrap. If you cover the whole top with plastic then carefully make holes in the plastic with a paring knife or punch. The paper or foam container also has slits in the sides that help the mushrooms breath.

I've stored the mushrooms, with the plastic cover, in the main refrigerator and the vegetable drawer and have not seen any difference in length of freshness.