Helpful Cooking Tips


To prevent summer drinks becoming diluted from ice cubes melting, make flavored ice cubes from soft drinks, punch, or what ever you are drinking.

To keep icing moist and to prevent cracking, add a pinch of baking soda to the icing and mix well.

Hard boiled eggs will peel more easily if you crack them and immediately place them in cold water after taking them out of the hot water.

Baking powder will remove tea or coffee stains from china pots and cups.

Depression era money saving tip: When making mashed potatoes save the water you cooked the potatoes in. Use it in place of milk or cream to mash the potatoes. The potatoes will be lighter and fluffier too.

To make mashed potatoes look brighter and whiter add a  little vinegar or lemon juice to the water you are cooking the potatoes in right before draining them.

To keep meatloaf from sticking to the pan put a slice of uncooked bacon underneath it before baking.

Dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh; so in recipes calling for 1 teaspoon of dry herbs you can use 3 of fresh-chopped herbs instead.

Grilling Tip:  Fill a squeeze bottle with barbecue sauce or marinade and squeeze directly onto what ever it is you are grilling.

To ripen green pears place them in a brown paper sack. Loosely close the bag and store at room temperature out of direct sunlight for a day or two.

For extra juicy and more nutritious hamburgers add one-fourth cup evaporated milk per pound of meat before shaping it into patties.

When cooking corn on the cob add sugar, not salt to the water. Salt makes the corn tough.

If you add too much salt to your soup add a raw piece of potato to the pot and it will absorb the salt.

Stale crackers? To re-crisp them, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in a 300  degree oven for 5 minutes. Cool completely then seal in an airtight container or plastic bag.

Use pretzel sticks instead of toothpicks for serving appetizer meatballs or other soft meats or fruits. They look and taste wonderful and reduce waste and mess too.

Inexpensive Halloween Face Paint Recipe:

 Mix together:

1 teaspoon cornstarch,

½  teaspoon water,

½  teaspoon cold cream

 2 drops food coloring

Mix well.

Apply to face. Non toxic to.

To separate an egg use a funnel over a bowl . The yolk will stay in the funnel and the white will pass through.

And last but not least, I saved this tip for last since the Featured Recipe today uses spaghetti:

Rinse cooked pasta under HOT water to prevent stickiness.

Featured Recipe          Cold Spaghetti with Tomatoes  Black Olive and Capers

Temperatures today in Los Angeles are predicted to be in the 100’s. The high today here in Columbus is predicted to be in the mid-90’s. So the hot spell is till with us. Therefore, I am still doing very little real cooking.

Today’s recipe uses tomatoes. I chose this recipe because it also allows to me to showcase and show off my fresh from my very own tomato plant tomatoes.

This spring in addition to planting my usual flowers in containers I planted a tomato plant.

It has done very well. I had had four fresh off the vine tomatoes already.

Below is a picture of the latest three.

During the extreme hot weather a lot of the yellow flowers that become tomatoes burned off. But that was OK as I still had half a dozen or more green tomatoes on the vines.

However, with only two to three days of mild weather more yellow flowers appeared, assuring me even more tomatoes yet this summer. So you can expect even more tomato recipes here at More Thyme this summer.

In a recipe this simple it is great to have fresh off the vine tomatoes as they are usually sweeter and tastier than the store bought variety.

I don’t really have a recipe for this dish. All I did was take a salad I often make and put it in cold spaghetti.

In fact, that salad recipe was one of the very first salads I shared here at More Thyme Than Dough: Tomatoes with Black Olives and Capers.

Leftovers of this dish are great to take to work the next day since it is a cold dish any way.

This is what you will need for 4 people:

1 package spaghetti

2-3 medium tomatoes

1 can sliced black olives

2-3 tablespoons capers

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

First cook the spaghetti according to package directions.

Drain under hot water, per the cooking tip above. Let the spaghetti cool off.

Wash the tomatoes and cut into cubes.

Easiest way to do that is to cut the tomato into slices. Cut each slice into 3 or 4 strips. Then cut those strips into cubes.

Add the oil and vinegar and some salt and pepper to a small bowl and whisk together.

Place the spaghetti in a big bowl. Add the olive oil mixture and using tongs toss the spaghetti to coat with the olive oil mixture.

If there is not enough olive oil mixture to do this, add a bit more olive oil and vinegar and toss some more.

Add the tomatoes and black olives, and capers to the spaghetti and toss together. Check for seasoning and add more if needed.

Eat and enjoy a cool and refreshing dinner on a hot summer’s day.

Bon appétit!!!


1 package spaghetti                 $1.29

2-3 medium tomatoes*            $0.00

1 can sliced black olives            $1.47  

2-3 tablespoons capers             $0.76

3-4 tablespoons olive oil            $0.48

1-2 tbspns red wine vinegar      $0.20

Salt and pepper to taste

*About $1.29 if buying at the store.

Total cost = $4.20
Cost per serving = $1.05

Total cost if  buying store tomatoes = $5.49

Cost per serving = $1.37

Either way you do it this is a Recession Buster Recipe©

Quote of the Day

It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.

Lewis Grizzard


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