Kitchen hacks for the college cook

Editor-in-chief Anna Frost shares cooking tips for the common college student.


Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

Anna Frost, Writer

Editor-in-chief Anna Frost whips up batter for a tres leches cake. | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES [file photo]


If you have ever found yourself at a loss for ingredients or fruitlessly trying the same technique with no success, check out these simple kitchen hacks. Regardless if you are struggling in the dorms or using your sweet little apartment kitchen, these tips and tricks will make cooking sweat-free. If you have come across a problem not addressed here, send me your dilemma and I will see if I can provide a solution.

1 egg =

1 ripe banana, mashed; DFTF throwback: peanut butter banana cookies

1/4 cup applesauce

2 tablespoon water + 1 tablespoon oil + 2 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoon mayonnaise

1/4 cup tofu, whipped

Add extra 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder to recipe

Substitute liquid in recipe with buttermilk


Self-rising flour:

1 cup flour + 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt

If you come across a recipe that calls for self-rising flour, just make your own. For every cup of self rising flour the recipe calls for, also add 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.


Juicy chicken:

Chicken breast + oil + frying pan + cookie sheet + 350 F oven = better chicken

Say goodbye to sad, dry chicken with this simple method. Lightly coat a frying pan and cookie sheet with your preferred cooking oil. Place the cookie sheet in an oven and preheat to 350 F, so the cookie sheet heats up with the oven. Heat the frying pan over medium heat. Place the chicken in the pan for a minute, then turn it over to the other side, searing each side to a light, golden color. Use a spatula or tongs to move the chicken from the pan onto the cookie sheet in the oven. Cook chicken in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the meat in the thickest part of the chicken breast has no pink and the juices run clear. Using the oven allows the chicken to cook more evenly, while the pre-searing prevents the chicken from drying out quickly in the oven.


Whipped cream:

DFTF throwback: seen in whipped cream frosting for tres leches cake

Heavy whipping cream + cold metal bowl + cold whisk = easy whipped cream

Preparing fresh whipped cream with only a whisk and some elbow grease seems intimidating, but by pouring the heavy whipping cream into a metal bowl and placing it in the fridge with the metal whisk for about a half hour, or until cold, will make the process easier. Chilling the bowl along with the cream helps the fat in the cream stay more solid and therefore whip up faster than cold cream in a warm bowl. Add the powdered sugar just before whipping, to taste.



DFTF throwback: meringue seen in tres leches cake and macaron preparations

Room temperature egg whites + metal bowl = meringue

Let egg whites for meringue sit out in a metal bowl before whipping, until they reach room temperature. A warmer temperature allows the proteins to relax, allowing them to become meringue much quicker, saving your whisking arm a lot of work. Never use a plastic bowl, as the egg whites react to petroleum-based plastic in a way that prevents them from achieving more than a slight foam.


Smelly situations:

Use a soap with lemon scent to cut harsh smells on knives, plastic containers, and even your hands, from ingredients like garlic, onions or fish. All natural soaps from places like Trader Joe’s work better since they use lemon essences instead of lab-engineered scents.


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