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September 12, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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Lovin’ From The Oven – Lovin’ Lessons

Occasionally things don’t go as planned in the kitchen, it happens to the best of us.

THIS EVENING WAS one of those times. An apple ginger upside-down cake from a beautiful Aunt Daisy cookbook my grandma gave me defeated me. I am not too sure quite what went wrong, but when I get it right, I’ll be sure to share the recipe I have always loved the hilarious ‘beaut brainwaves’ in That’s Life magazine, so instead this week we have a list of hints that have helped me get by in the kitchen. Let’s call them ‘Lovin’ Lessons’.

• If you’re pitting olives, the quickest and easiest way to do it is to squish the olive with the flat side of a knife and then rip the stone out with your hands. After squishing it, it’s a million times easier to get the stone out.
• Yoghurt which has passed it use by date is top notch for baking, don’t throw it out, throw it in a yummy lemon yoghurt cake!
• If you don’t have a sieve, never fear! Either give your dry ingredients a really good going-over with a fork, or if you are making a recipe that doesn’t risk over mixing, use an electric beater, too easy.
• If you’re into cooking with a bit of mince and want to make it go a little further, add grated carrot or courgette to your bolognaise/shepherds’ pie/burger patties to bulk them out and make them just that little bit healthier.
• If you make a roast chicken, make it go further by making a stock with the carcass. Simply pop in a pot with a litre of cold water, a carrot and an onion (leave skin on) both chopped in half, two bay leaves and some pepper. Boil for about an hour, let cool and strain. Now you have a cheap stock with no nasties to use as a base for soup.
• And my newest trick I discovered just this week to help with making bread at home in colder weather. It says to let it rise somewhere warm, but a toasty spot is hard to come by at this time of year, especially in a student flat. Heat a wheat-bag and set the bowl/tray on top of this when leaving your dough to rise. It works at treat.

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