When baking, use shiny pans. Dark or discolored pans can cause uneven browning. If you use non-stick dark pan, try reducing the cooking temperature by 25 degrees.
When baking always measure accurately. Baking requires more precision for recipes to turn out correctly. Always use the correct standard measuring equipment, i.e.; dry measuring cup for dry ingredients such as flour, sugar, etc, and a liquid measuring cup for your liquids such as water, milk, etc.
For baking, always have eggs at room temperature. If you want to substitute eggs, use ¼ cup egg substitute per egg.
Cakes: I hear people say that they have trouble getting a cake out of the pan once it has been baked. To prevent sticking, grease the pan with shortening then line the bottom of your cake pan with waxed paper. Grease the waxed paper and the sides of your cake pan with shortening and then dust the whole pan with flour. When cake is done, run a knife around the outside edges and then let your cake cool in the pan for 2 or 3 minutes. Turn cake out onto a cooling rack covered in toule cloth as seen here. Yes, toule is the cloth used in weddings for decoration and the bride’s veil. The waxed paper inside the bottom of your cake pan helps the cake come out smoothly, and the cloth keeps your cake from sticking to the cooling rack !
For chocolate cakes try using cocoa powder instead of flour to dust your pans. This will prevent having white flour spots on your cake.
Reduce cooking temperature by 25 degrees and cook a little slower and your cake will not come out of the oven with a huge hump in the center. You may have to add more baking time, but your cake will be level on top.
Preheating your oven is a MUST for baking cakes. This will also help your cakes come out evenly baked without crusty edges or the giant hump in the center.
When making meatball or meat patties, wet hands first to keep you hands from getting sticky. If you are making a lot and get sticky hands, rewash hands and leave wet.
Always wash vegetables when you get home from the store. Pat veggies dry and place in zip top bags. Try adding a dry paper towel to keep the moisture content to a minimum which will extend the life of your vegetables. Be sure to store in the crisper of your refrigerator.
When recipes instruct you to cream butter and sugar, be sure that your butter is at room temperature. You can microwave butter 5 seconds at a time to try and soften, but you will have better results with room temperature butter.
Always spin lettuce dry with a salad spinner. If you do not have one, you can place lettuce in a clean, low nap towel, bunch up the ends and spin around manually to remove excess water.