& Tricks

Over the last year, we’ve discovered some useful recipe tips and tricks to make more from your leftovers, speed up your prep and reboot some familiar old favourites.
Keep checking back as we add more.

Pop pottles of your favourite Fresh’n Fruity yoghurt in the freezer overnight for creamy frozen yoghurt in any flavour. It’s really that simple! Or for a fabulous quick dessert – freeze yoghurt in an ice-cube tray, then blitz frozen cubes in a blender with frozen blueberries and honey, for impressively easy homemade ice-cream. Top with toasted coconut or fresh berries. For other refreshing sweet summer snacks, check out these Caramel Coolers.

Leftover vege soup makes a great crustless quiche. Whisk 4 eggs with a 150g pottle Anchor Sour Cream, ½ cup flour, 2 cups leftover soup and salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 6 lined large muffin pans, top with Perfect Italiano Grated Mozzarella and bake at 180°C for about 35 minutes.

Cold, leftover porridge. Doesn’t sound that appetising, does it? But blend ½ cup milk, ½ cup De Winkel natural yoghurt, a ripe banana, 8 ice cubes and 1-2 tsp maple syrup, honey or chopped dates, with ½ cup of hot choc porridge, and you’ve got a wholesome breakfast smoothie for two.

Not sure those leftovers are safe to eat? Non-profit organisation Love Food, Hate Waste recommends the 2:2:2 rule. Two hours to get them in the fridge. Two days to eat them once they’re in there. Or freeze them for up to two months. A really simple rule that everyone in the house can understand. No need to waste leftovers.

This is for those times when you have baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and tartaric acid (cream of tartar) in the pantry, but no baking powder. Make your own by combining 2:1 ratio of tartaric acid to baking soda. To make self-raising flour, add one teaspoon of your baking powder mixture per 110g of plain flour.

Festive metal or ceramic cookie cutters make fun shapes for pancakes or pikelets. Place them in a greased frying pan, pour the batter inside the cutters, and watch them rise. PS. Larger cookie cutters also work beautifully with eggs.

If a cake recipe calls for vegetable oil, try it with butter instead, for a richer flavour and consistency. Many recipes taste more decadent this way, including savoury foods like eggs too.

If you’re in any doubt about the use by date of eggs, pop them in a bowl of water. Those that sink are fresh and safe to eat.

Also, slightly older eggs can hold a greater volume of air than very fresh eggs, making them better for sponge cakes and meringues. Bringing eggs to room temperature can also give you a better result in baking.

Having a chopping board that’s slipping around can be fiddly, not to mention a potential hazard. The solution: dampen a thin tea towel, fold it in half and place under the board. The resulting friction will keep the board in place, which makes slicing and dicing a less risky business.

This low-tech kitchen hack has saved many a stove from starchy water. When boiling pasta, potatoes or rice, place a wooden spoon over the top of your (unlidded) pot. Turns out there’s some science behind it. The spoon will destabilise the bubbles because of its hydrophobic surface. And when bubbles touch something below boiling temperature, the steam inside will condense back to liquid, break the surface tension, popping the bubbles.

Oh dear, there’s too much salt in the soup. Never fear, just peel a whole potato and add it to absorb the extra salt. Either remove it once it’s soft, or chop it in to add bulk and thickness.

If you find that you're out of icing sugar when you really need it, just blitz white or caster sugar in a spice grinder. But make sure the grinder is really clean first. Whizzing up uncooked white rice first will help to absorb leftover bits and aromas.

Next time you find yourself with a glut of spinach, kale or silver beet – freeze it in zip-lock bags. Then it’s ready and waiting whenever you want to toss in some extra greens to soup, omelettes or a stir-fry.

Trying to measure a sticky ingredient like honey and golden syrup can be tricky when most of it gets left on the spoon. Spray measuring tools with non-stick cooking spray first, and they’ll be considerably less ‘clingy’.

If attempting to fill a pastry or piping bag is making you feel domestically challenged, try popping it into a tall glass or vase while you fill it. There’ll be much less mess too.