Sonia’s Useful Tips

USEFUL CALCULATIONS

1- each garlic clove counts as 1/2 teaspoon
2- 1 cup of nuts equals to 1/2 pound
3- for each cup of raw white rice you will get 3 cooked
4- for every 4 tablespoons of butter you get 1/4 of a cup
5- for each cup of cut apples you get around 1/3 of a pound
6- kids macaroni doubles when cooking
7- 1 cup grated cheese is about 1/8 of a pound
8- 1 cup milk equals to 1/2 cup evaporated milk
9- 1 cup flour equals 1/2 cup of whole wheat, bran or corn
10- 1 whole egg equals two egg yorks

PERFECTLY STEAMED LOBSTERS

1- 4oz of lobster tail you boil them 3 minutes
2- 8oz – 6 minutes
3- 10oz – 7 minutes
4- 1.5lb – 14.5 minutes
5- 2 lb – 16 minutes

EVERYDAY TIPS

1- Always recycle pot and pans but not the lids. Over time you will find a way to use them.
2- Try not to copy a recipe 100%. Give you flavor to whatever inspire you to copy the recipe to begin with.
3- Only good olive oil and good vinegar can make a meal.
4- Do not be afraid of spices. Mixing them will never be as bad as too much salt, oil, vinegar or sugar.
5- When you want to follow a recipe but you do not know what the ingredients means just go online before giving up.
6- Not everyone can like how cold or hot, salty or spicy you decide to serve your meal.
7- A good cook does not look for advice, just ideas!
8- My mom always told me that the only way you can give a salty flavor to your saute onions is before you cook them or while they cook. She is right! Coqui..
9- Half home made can be a good idea if you add fresh ingredients to the recipe.
10- When I buy garlic already undressed I use my parmesan cheese grinder.
11- Put a bag of green tea on the bottom of your coffee dripping pan. its great if you do not want to have only tea in the mornings. You will get the best of both world.
12- Anytime you use frozen fish, try a little bit of lime and old bay to bring the flavor back from the ocean. Always use sea salt.
13- The best knife for everything is a good steak knife and if you cut yourself a lot when cutting vegetables this is a great size.
14- If you want the garlic taste but not the cloves in your meal, just cut each clove in four pieces and place it in a cup with the amount of oil you are using to cook. Marinade for at least 30 minutes and discard the cloves and use the oil. You can do the same with rosemary or any strong herb.
15- Before planning a meal find out which fresh ingredients are in season.
16- When I used to live in LA I will walk my dog with my neighbor that used to work at the playboy club as a chef. Her best advise to me was “Sonia if you do not know how to cook just cook or grill a simple fish, poultry and meat and top it with a rich sauce that you can cook on the side, when no one is counting calories it is all about a rich sauce”
17- Keep a bag of frozen dice potatoes at home. It is the best way to enhance a recipe when you are not happy with the results, specially when a soup, bean or a casserole is too salty or boring. I usually keep the plain dice potatoes and dice potatoes with onions or green pepper. You will know which one to use after tasting your meal. If the recipe is complete, I usually saute them before adding to the meal.
18- Baking a turkey in pieces will make the turkey pieces juicer and the cooking time is a lot less.
19- I always keep fresh herbs made easy tubes on the refrigerator. The tubes last longer than fresh herb and is a good substitute to fresh herbs. You can usually find them by the fresh herbs.

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