I love giving hints, tricks, and tips about baking, cooking, and cookware. Most of the time, I need to tell people to STOP doing a bad "habit" in the kitchen. These 5 tips on what NOT to do in the kitchen will help you in the long run...
1) STOP using non-stick sprays on your bakeware/cookware/glassware:
Here is why: Non-stick sprays (anything in an aersol can) contains an ingredient called propellent, which is a nasty chemical that leaves a caramel colored firm on top of your bakeware. That film is very difficult to clean and remove from your pan.
What to do now: Line your bakeware with parchment paper. If needed, wipe a paper towel with soften butter or canola/veggie oil, and "grease" your pans that way instead of using the sprays.
2) STOP using constant high heat on your cookware:
Here is why: Constant high heat kills almost any cookware. Leaving you with warpped, clumsy pans. What is constant high heat? Think 8-10 on " the dial," daily.
What to do now: Preheat your pans correctly, so you won't have to blast your pan on high. Here is the proper steps: Put pan on stove top, turn burner on (probably 5-7 on "the dial), wait 3-5 minutes (this "waiting time" will depend on your cooking range) and start cooking. Want to know if your pan is warm enough? Drop a teaspoon of water in your pan, it should sizzle.
3) STOP using fake fats:
Here is why: They taste...like nothing. Real butter, oil, and fat bring flavor to any dish. Plus, your body digests real fat better than fake fat any day.
What to do now: Subsitute your fake fat, for real ones. Toss your "butter-wannabes" and exchange it for real butter.
4) STOP using pure aluminum cookware, bakeware, and tools:
Here is why: Aluminum is a decent heat conductor and very abundant. But, pure aluminum warps very easy, reacts with acidic foods (your lemon curd will turn gray), scratches and strains easily, and is known to be associated with serious diseases. The only way aluminum is safe when cooking or baking, is to buy hard anodizied aluminum with a safe non-stick coating inside and outside the pan. What does pure aluminum look like? It is light gray in color, lightweight, and soft. You could bend it pretty easy!
What to do know: Toss it out. Buy new cookware and tools.
5) STOP worrying if a recipe does not work out correctly:
Here is why: When you are cooking or baking, you might mess up. Actually, YOU WILL MESS UP. I have made many baking and cooking mistakes in my life, that is what I like passing along helpful information to others. With any new skill, practice is needed to become successful.
What to do now: Keep a recipe log, journal, or blog. Write down recipes that you and any modifications that you made during cooking/baking process.
Overall, enjoy your cooking and baking life! It is meant to be enjoyed, just like life.