Food at the speed of life: Friends step in, offer pointers for cooking

In a mini-quest for kitchen wisdom, I asked around in the family, at the office and on Facebook. Here are a few pointers:

• In this area, use high altitude directions to heat frozen pizza and make baked goods.

• Don’t salt food before you microwave it because the food will dry out.

• Substitute applesauce for oil in baking to reduce fat.

• Don’t microwave eggs whole. They’ll explode.

• To get the smell of fresh garlic off your fingers, run your fingers over the flat side of a knife a few times. The steel will cut the odor.

• When your kitchen sponge stinks, dampen it, put it in a resealable plastic baggy and pop it in the microwave for 45 seconds to a minute. This kills bacteria and cuts the odor.

• Cut tomatoes with a serrated knife. This helps retain the juice while still cutting through the skin.

• Put leftover cooking grease in old coffee cans and throw away the filled cans. That way, the grease doesn’t go down the sink or make the trash can greasy.

• Pot holders are your friends.

Sources: Marianna Duncan, Victoria Garrett, Casey Mellody-Camacho, Clarence Plank and David Stevens.