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There’s just a week to go to plan your holiday feast. But you don’t need state-of-the-art gadgets or professional cooking chops. We’ve got 7 tips to help you get a handle on the holidays.
Microwave a holiday fav:
It wouldn’t be the holidays without a heaping portion of mashed potatoes. Don’t waste time and precious space on the stovetop by boiling your potatoes. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork and cook them in the microwave, turning once until they’re soft and ready for the masher. (Note: If they aren’t pierced they can explode in the microwave causing a mess, or worse could injure the cook!)
Ice, ice, baby!:
Tired of dry, overcooked breast meat? The cooking time for turkey is (ahem) tough – the dark meat takes longer to cook than the white. To even out the cooking process, place an ice pack on top of your fresh or thawed bird for 30 minutes or so before popping it in the oven.
Rice to the rescue:
You can “blind bake” your pie crusts and get them to hold their shape by using an ol’ pantry staple – rice! Line your crust with parchment and pour in some rice. And, unlike beans, you can still cook the rice again later, even if it gets a little buttery (yum!).
Fake it ‘til you bake it:
You don’t need to invest in a roasting pan if you only cook a big bird (or roast beast) once a year. Make a DIY roasting pan using coiled tin foil on top of a regular cookie sheet. Scrunch up the tin-foil and arrange it into the shape of a spiral or S shape to place underneath the turkey and add support. It does the same job for a fraction of the price.
Grate your way from frozen to flakey:
Want the secret to seriously flakey pie crust, every time? Start with frozen butter and use your trusty cheese grater to make those perfect little buttery bits to mix in with your flour. Easy as pie!
A splash of soy:
Feel like your gravy falls flat year after year? It’s easy to let it be an afterthought, when it could be the star of the show! Here’s a trick: add a splash of soy sauce for an instant flavour enhancer. Or, use it as a base for fast, vegetarian gravy. Whatever floats your (gravy) boat.
Dreamy (and creamy!) mashed potatoes:
And last but not least, a few tablespoons of Philadelphia Light Cream Cheese can help take your mashed potatoes to cloud nine.