How Do I ? Party Slow-Cookers

101 Food Tips By Angie

101 Food Tips, including a few laughs along the way

Honestly there was a time in my life that I avoided the kitchen as much as possible.   What’s for dinner was a scary statement, what do you mean simmer?  Life happened and I learned quickly that one of my keys for feeling better about cooking was to try and have a little fun with it.  What do you mean that the soup called for a cup and not the whole box of pasta?  Oh well add more salt and we are now having pasta stew instead of soup for dinner….🤪😍🤦🏻‍♀️

So in honor of my 101st blog I am sharing with you the tips that I have learned along the way.  These tips were learned over the years from family, friends and a few amazing kitchen experts. I seriously couldn’t have done this without all of you.  ❤️🥰❤️

Read to learn or read to laugh. Thank you for reading and being a part of the Food Tips by Angie journey! 😂❤️😂

If you have questions about any specific tips, answers are easy, just search on my blog or send me an email at

You might know this…

Rock Your Guac!
  1. Measuring is fun for kids and teaches great math skills-don’t tell them it’s a learning lesson though 😉…
  2. Make sure the cap is on tight on ketchup or dressing before you shake it. Seriously has this happened to you? My mistake was shaking Italian dressing with the cap loose. It did not decorate my dining room walls favorably. 🤦🏻‍♀️
  3. Kitchen Scissors are great for cutting herbs.  
  4. Partially freeze your meat to make it easier to cut.
  5. Keep an avocado pit in guacamole to prevent it from browning.
  6. When carrying your knives, carry blade down.  I know, I know, kindergarten rules here…but when is the last time you carried yours up and someone came around the corner?  It happens….
  7. Wash your hands often, 30 seconds with hot soapy water.  I know this goes without saying but it’s the Mom in me. 
  8. Kitchen helpers like Pampered Chef products can make life easier.  
  9. Invest in extra spoons, use a tasting spoon once and get a new spoon or use plastic throw away spoons.  
  10. A garbage bowl makes for easier clean up and saves you time while prepping.
  11. Put a paper towel in your prepared salad or washed and chopped veggies to draw away moisture and keep fresher.  
  1. Plain Greek yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream.  
  2. You can ripen Avocados sooner by placing in a closed brown paper bag.  
  3. Skin comes off ginger easily with a spoon.  
  4. Grill your buns for hamburgers, you have already worked hard on a great burger, serve it with a great bun.🍔
  5. Check your spices every October before the holidays for the best by dates-old spices=less/no flavor.
  6. Puff pastry waits for no one, always use cold, be ready to use it before you start defrosting. 
  7. Anything you make rolled like chicken cordon bleu or a stuffed tenderloin, put in fridge for 30 min before cooking, it will hold together much better.
  8. Make your dips and salsas 24 hours prior to when you want to enjoy them for the best flavor.
  9. Serve veggies with a warm sauce, veggies don’t have to be served super hot. 
  10. Cook bacon in the oven for less mess.
  11. Spray your serving spoon or measuring cup with non-stick spray for cookies or drop biscuits for easier release.  
  12. Let kids try a bite of things as they help prepare it, inquiring minds want to know!

Wait? What? I never knew…

  1. Read your recipe, read it again. How many people do you know put a bowl of macaroni and cheese in the microwave without any water in it? True it happens to the best of us.
  2. Stop chasing your cutting board.  Put a wet paper towel or wet dish cloth under it to keep it in place.
  3. When blanching your veggies for a stir fry – never put a lid on them as they are cooking, it dulls the color of some veggies, especially broccoli. 🥦
  4. Add flavor to rice by using chicken, beef or veggie broth to cook with it instead of water.  
  5. When you use a thermometer, to ensure perfectly cooked protein lift it up and put the thermometer in the side for an accurate reading.  If you stick it in from the top, well you will get the temperature of the burner and who needs that.  
  1. Make sure your stove has an anti tip device underneath to avoid tipping over when the oven door is open. 
  2. Store your meats at the bottom of fridge…seafood middle and produce at top. You don’t want raw proteins dripping on fresh produce.
  3. If you are cooking on an electric stove and lose power; turn off your burner.  It happens, power comes back on and whatever was on the stove will keep cooking/burning even if you are not there.
  4. When peeling fruit like melon or papaya slice a piece off to give you a flat surface so fruit doesn’t slip.
  5. When using your slow cooker always brown your meat before adding, it helps add flavor.  
  6. Smash your garlic with flat knife to loosen skin for easier peeling.   
  7. Use a Rotisserie Chicken (without the skin) for a quicker way to make a delicious chicken wing dip.
  8. Let your meat rest at least 5 min depending on size before you cut it-keeps flavor and juice in.
  9. When cutting lemons– cut each end off about 1/4 of an inch, there is tons of juice in there…
  10. When using cucumbers for Tzatziki sprinkle cucumbers first with salt and drain on paper towel for excess water to drain.  
  11. When you cook fish, always make sure it is dry before you pan-sear or grill it.  Pat dry with paper towel.  
  12. Plantain chips are easy to fry just make sure you “smoosh” them first.  Press down with back of spoon.  Otherwise you get a chewy chip which is not good, trust me on that one.
  13. When you melt chocolate ensure you are using a dry bowl and dry spoon or your chocolate will not work for you, water is not chocolate’s friend.
  14. Serve your cheese at room temperature, the flavors will really be enhanced. 
  15. If you must use a spatula to grill, use it to flip not to press out all of the flavor.
  16. A dull knife is a dangerous knife.🔪
  17. If the sauce in your meal in your slow-cooker needs to be thickened just make a quick slurry. Add a little flour or cornstarch to a bowl with a little hot water mix well and then add to your sauce to thicken it up. It’s important to mix the slurry first and then add it.
  18. Oils all cook differently, do your research about which oil to use depending on if your cooking, baking or finishing a salad.
  19. When shredding potatoes for hash browns, make sure and put shredded potatoes in a paper towel and wring out excess water before cooking.
  20. Lupini beans are a great snack! Just peel the skin and enjoy this salty treat.

Kitchen Game Changers…

  1. Get everything out before you start cooking-the french term is mise en place.  Not only does it help make it easier for you it helps you know if you are missing anything.
  2. Guessing is great for a game.  Guessing if your chicken is cooked all the way is not fun.  Use a thermometer every time you cook to easily ensure perfectly done meat and seafood.
  1. When cooking fish, if you see white stuff or it smells fishy your overcooking it.  🐠Thermometers are your friend here. 
  2. When cutting always lay your knife in the “safety zone” at the top of the board with blade facing away from you while not using.  
  3. Salt enhances the flavor of your dish when sprinkled on from a little higher.  Meaning if you sprinkle right over dish it will often concentrate in one area – so only a few people get a good bite.  Sprinkle higher for even flavor across the dish.  
  4. Add sugar to your tomato dishes like spaghetti sauce to cut acidity and help avoid the 2am “where are the tums?” wake up call.  💤
  5. Clean your kitchen drains monthly by putting in vinegar and baking soda.  
  6. Tongs really are a cook’s best friend.  They are an extension of your arm and make great serving utensils.  
  7. When you preheat your oven get out your oven mitts.  Don’t wait until you need them to find them or you will do the hot pan dance, while funny for those watching, it hurts.   🔥
  8. When baking follow recipe exactly, I have learned the hard way on this one.  Hats off to you bakers that can vary a recipe, baking is magical and it’s a magic I can’t always seem to understand.
  1. Always check with your guests about food allergies and read every label if your guest has an allergy.  I learned this the hard way, having the ambulance come to dinner was not the plan. Fortunately she is okay but I never want to experience that again.
  2. Do your cutting on a cutting board, not a plate or a counter.
  3. Always sauce wings after they are almost done, you don’t want burnt wings.
  4. Easily remove shells from shrimp and keep tail on by gently pinching/twisting at base of tail.
  5. Place your meat on counter about 1/2 hour before cooking to start the cooking at room temperature.
  6. Bananas last longer when we pull them apart of the bunch when putting in our fruit bowl.  
  7. A light brush of olive oil on your bread for grilled cheese instead of butter takes your grilled cheese to another yummy level.
  8. When toasting nuts or coconut, never-ever walk away, not even for a second unless you are looking for a burnt flavor, they cook fast! 🥥🥥🥥
  9. If you have some leftover fresh veggies and want to freeze them, freeze before you cook, you will get a much better result.
  10. Cooking for a crowd? Cut potatoes up a day prior and soak in bowl of water. They hold well after cooking as well.
  11. Appetizers often take longer than you expect, plan accordingly and recruit help!
  12. Serving utensils and platters; find them now don’t wait till the party has started.
  13. Food; put it on your counter in order of use. I am not kidding, try it tonight.  It helps ensure you put your recipes together correctly and saves time.😊
  14. Dried herbs release their flavor by rubbing together in your hands before adding…
  15. When serving messy yet yummy hand held foods, always place a dish of wet paper napkins at your table for cleaning your hands.

For the love of cooking…

  1. Life is whizzing by, take time when you can to cook with a loved one.  Share the recipe, make a mistake or two and laugh a lot!
  1. Don’t bother the cook while their cooking, unless they want to be bothered with something like a glass of wine.
  2. Be safe-change your smoke detector batteries and have a kitchen fire extinguisher.  By the way if you have one, know how to use it.  We had a fire in our oven and my daughter threw it at me and ran out the door.  So much for team work.  In her defense she was pretty young…🔥
  3. When cooking with oil always have a lid or flour out in case you have a fire.  Do it, if you don’t, the time you take looking for that could be detrimental. 
  4. Only cook with wine or beer you would drink….sometimes you have to test this but it’s worth the test. 🍷
  5.  If your oil starts to smoke or gets to hot on you, add more oil to quickly cool it down.  
  6. Never apologize for your meal.  It’s your meal, your guests won’t know it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it.  Unless it’s burned black or they see the pizza delivery guy at the door, then you might have to say something, always be proud of what you cook.
  7. When cooking if you like more of something add it to your meal.  It’s your meal, enjoy it the way you like.
  8. Serve cold salads in a bowl filled with ice.
  9. Set your buffet up so friends can serve themselves from each side.  Nothing tries the friendship boundaries like fighting for a delicious hamburger off the buffet. 
  10. Sure you have muscles and want to multi-task don’t do it with a hot pan, always grab your pan with 2 hands.
  11. Wear gloves when cutting jalapeños or it can hurt any part of you that you touch with pepper hands.
  12. Keep universal staples on hand always.  It might be different for you but a few ideas; pasta, canned tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, cheeses etc.,  This way you can always whip up a meal in a pinch. 
  13. Prep prep prep!!!  The #1 thing I always remember… get your grocery list prepped days ahead!  This reduces so much stress. Not only will you be ready for the event, but will have time to enjoy your time with your guests.
  14. A little red pepper flakes add some great flavor to many dishes.
  15. Try your substitute before you give it to someone.  I thought egg nog would go great in cereal.  My kids felt differently and have never let me forget it.
  16. When putting your grapes on a platter, snip the stalk a bit so when your guests pick them up they come apart easy.
  17. Dinners make great appetizers, think about cutting and serving your favorite.
  18. Chop up some peeled garlic cloves and add it to kosher salt. You will LOVE having garlic salt on your counter to add to everything.
  19. The secret ingredient in cooking is always love, think of why you are doing it and who you are doing it for.🥰
  1. Beer-will bring your chili to a whole new level.  Add a bottle to your next pot and you will see what I mean.  🍻
  2. It just takes one!  One bite of a food and we can be transported to a time where we last enjoyed that food or didn’t… 
  3. Grapes-you can kick this up a notch by drizzling with water or wine and rolling in sugar and putting in the freezer the night before.
  4. Teach kitchen safety at a very early age.
  5. It’s okay to take a short-cut, buy the chicken breasts already thin cut for your Chicken Parmesan.
  6. Dry herbs release more flavor when you rub them together in your hands as you add them to your dish.
  7. A delicious way to prepare potatoes is to saute them with Italian Dressing. The things you learn camping when you forget other things!
  8. And for the 101st tip courtesy of my biggest support and favorite taste tester in the kitchen my husband Mike; always check out Food Tips By Angie for ways to make life more fun and often easier in the kitchen.👩🏻‍🍳❤️🥰

-Cheers, keep cooking with love & laughter!