Kitchen Tips:
When cooking pasta dishes, get your pot of water on the stove first,
as this is what usually take the longest. If your water starts to
boil before you are ready, simply turn the heat down to medium so
the water is just below boiling. Once you are ready to cook your
pasta, turn the heat back up to high and your water will start to
boil within seconds.

While you are waiting for your pasta water to boil, slice all of
your veggies and then the meat. You can get all of your slicing and
dicing done with one knife and one cutting board if you work
smartly. Slice your vegetables first and then place into a bowl or
bowls. The simply rinse the cutting board and use for your meats.

When cooking multiple vegetables, blanch the harder ones in boiling
water so cooking time is a bit more even.

When working with meats, it is easier to get thin slices if the meat
is still SLIGHTLY frozen. Because the meat is firm it is easier to
slice as thin as you want, and the thinner the slice the quicker it
will defrost and cook.

We eat a lot of garlic at my house and I prefer to use fresh as much
as possible. Do not buy garlic that has black powder around the
bottom of the head - that's mold, and is a good indicator that the
garlic won't last much longer.
Rather than buying a garlic press, save some time and money by using
a multi-purpose tool such as a chef's knife. Place an unpeeled clove
of garlic on your cutting board. Lay the knife on top of the clove
so that it (the knife) is perpendicular to the cutting board. Press
down on the blade with the ball of your hand, simultaneously peeling
and crushing the garlic clove all at the same time. The clove now
will simply slip out of the paper. At this point you can mince the
garlic with your chef's knife or just use the crushed clove.
Another time saver is to peel several cloves at once for use
throughout the week. I peeled cloves that have not been crushed and
have no blemishes in a plastic baggie in the fridge. You can also
store them in olive oil. ***Important Note: while this is a time
saver for those who use garlic frequently, it is important to
discard any peeled garlic after one week, especially if it is stored
in oil. Botulism can develop in the garlic/oil (due to lack of
oxygen) if kept for more than 7 days!

Anytime you cook chicken, make a pot of chicken stock with the
carcass or bones. Use ice cube trays to freeze the chicken stock.
Once frozen, pop out of the ice cube trays into quart sized plastic
baggie and store in the freezer*. (I usually place the stock-cubes
into one bag and then put that into another bag to prevent freezer
burn.) when ready to use, simply put the stock cubes into a
microwavable bowl and cook on high for about 2 minutes - perfect,
homemade chicken stock at your fingertips in no time!
*Be sure to label/date your bag; chicken stock will keep for about 3
months in the freezer.

Happy Cooking!