I love having a trusty arsenal of tricks when I get in the kitchen.

To be honest, most of what I know about cooking, food storage and technique comes from a combination of trial and error, and my allegiance to Martha Stewart and countless other all-knowing doyennes of daytime TV.

The rest of my culinary know-how comes from afternoons spent in my grandma’s humid kitchen, baking lemon pound cakes, frying okra, and peeling pears from my papa’s gardens and groves.

These experiences, along with my own work as a recipe developer, have been invaluable. I’ve cobbled together a list of tried-and-true tips I’ve learn from these varied sources, and I hope you’ll find them as helpful as I have!


1. Put lavender oil or honey on your burns. The lavender oil prevents scarring, and the honey helps relieve the pain.

2. Soften butter quickly by putting it on a sunny windowsill. Or in your pockets, like my grandma did! (It probably sounds gross, but it was so endearing!)

3. Microwave lemons and limes if they become hard. Just because they’ve gotten super firm doesn’t mean they’ve gone bad! 10-15 seconds or so in the microwave will bring them back to life.

4. When baking, make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature. This includes eggs, butter, milk, everything! This allows for even baking.

5. Don’t salt your meat or marinade until it’s cooked. Unless you like it dry!

6. Store root veggies in brown paper sacks, not the plastic or net bags they come in. Plastic bags encourage mildew, but paper bags absorb moisture. And keep them out of the sun!

7. Don’t throw out your crystallized honey. Store it in a warm, sunny place and it will return to its liquid state. Honey never spoils.

8. Freeze your ginger. It makes it WAY easier to grate, plus it’ll last longer.

9. Never store your herbs and spices above the stove. The heat causes them to lose their flavor way more quickly.

10. After handling garlic, rub your hands on stainless steel. It works like a charm to remove the powerful smell!

Do you have any words of kitchen wisdom? I’m dying to know! Share them in the comments below.