favor-“ette”: mess-free measuring

May 22nd, 2013

Some tips today to make cooking and baking with those sticky, messy ingredients a little easier. Sound good?

Next time you’re baking with honey, corn syrup or molasses, lightly spray your measuring cup or spoon with a non-stick cooking spray (like Pam). Every last drop will pour right out, and you won’t waste any time scraping out those last stubborn bits. Try it!

When measuring a solid ingredient, try this little trick:

Tuck a piece of plastic wrap (large enough to overhang the sides) inside your measuring cup. Scoop in your ingredient, level the top, and using the wrap as a guide, lift it out and invert the whole thing over your mixing bowl. It will come out neat and clean, AND you’ll have one less utensil to wash. Simply discard the plastic wrap and you’re done.

This works beautifully for shortening, mayonnaise, brown sugar and tomato paste.

Speaking of which….

Is it me, or do recipes almost always call for less than a can of tomato paste? I discovered a while back that you can freeze tomato paste, and here’s how I do it:

leftover tomato paste

Line a 1/4 cup measure with plastic wrap, leaving extra overlapping the sides. Pack the cup with your tomato paste and level it off.

Fold the sides of the wrap into the center of the cup and put the whole thing in the freezer. When frozen, pop it out and put it in a ziploc bag. Label and date it if you like.

leftover tomato paste

Tomato paste defrosts quickly so you can take it out in the morning and it will be ready to use by dinnertime. Unwrap the paste while still frozen and defrost in a small dish in your fridge.

I freeze paste in 1/4 cup portions as that’s the amount I most commonly use. If you tend to use tablespoonfuls, freeze the paste in an ice cube tray instead (and remember, 4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup).

Any tips you’d like to share on saving the bits and pieces of ingredients that seem to always be left over? How about some mess-free measuring tips that you love? Please share in the comments; I’d love to hear from you!

6 Responses to “favor-“ette”: mess-free measuring”

  • Great tips! I freeze tomato paste in small ziplock baggies, but I flatten it first. It freezes in a thin sheet and you can easily break off however much you want, straight from the freezer. Tomato paste is one of those things that I don’t think you have to be too precise about. You must be more organized than I am, because I would *never* remember to take the tomato paste out of the freezer the night before. 🙂

  • Good tips! Trader Joe’s sells tomato paste in a tube, fyi! Like toothpaste!

  • perfecto! love these tips. xo

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