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Home Cooking 112

The nit-picky cook/baker: what shortcuts do you take, and what shortcuts make you cringe?

chloe103 | Dec 11, 200712:55 PM

I often find myself, at the end of a day, look at a recipe and wondering if I *really* need to bother soaking or sifting or toasting-and-grinding or passing through a sieve to get the seeds out. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Most often, I find, it isn't a matter of my mood - I seem to have subconsciously developed policies about which details matter, and which do not.

Forthwith, some of my lapses and non-negotiables:

I never salt and weigh my eggplant. (Bitterness typically isn't a problem, but perhaps I'm just less sensitive than most?)

I'll never peel tomatoes for any recipe that calls for peeled tomatoes.

I always puree smooth soups in a stand blender rather than using an immersion/stick one.

I never whisk flour and salt/spices/baking powder/baking soda together in a separate bowl before adding to batter, but just add in the flour, sprinkle the other stuff on top, and then mix. (Exception: when the flour needs to be sifted).

I never use store-bought pie crust, but often use store-bought stock.

What are your must-dos and your do-withouts?

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