BAKING POWDER generally has a shelf life of one to two years. You can check the viability of the powder by adding 1/2 tsp to 1 cup of tap water. If it fizzes energetically, it's still active and usable.
TESTING THE TEMPERATURE OF CASSEROLES - Before taking the casserole out of the oven, poke the center with the blad of a knife and leave it in place for 15-30 seconds. Remove the knife, then touch the side of the blade very gently to the back of your hand. If the metal is not, so, too, is the center of the casserole.
MINIMIZING SAUTE SPLATTER - When you are browning meat for a soup or stew, grease spatters on the stovetop and burners occasion a nasty mess and unpleasant cleanup job. Position inverted disposable aluminum pie plates over the burners. The pie plates can be wiped clean and used again.
PREVENTING STICKY JAR LIDS - Dip a small piece of paper towl or your impeccable clean fingertip into a bit of vegetable oil and wipe the threads of the jar. The bare film of oil prevents the lid from sticking to the jar the next time you open it.
EDIBLE TOOTHPICKS FOR HORS D'OEUVRES - Use pretzel sticks, which can be eaten right along with the tasty tidbit it has skewered.
SALT & PEPPER - since most recipes call for both salt and pepper, keep a large shaker filled with a mixture of both. 3/4 cup salt and 1/4 cup pepper is a good combination.
When to add salt: Soups and Stews: Add early
Meats: Sprinkle just before taking off the stove
Vegetables: Cook in salted water
PERFECT CORN ON THE COB - Bring unsalted water to rapid boil. Add 1/3 cup of milk and 1 Tbsp sugar to water and cook corn for exactly 10 minutes. Remove, drain on paper towels.
MARSHMALLOWS - they will not dry out if stored in the freezer. Remove what is needed for your recipe about an hour before you need them.