Category Archives: Tips & Tricks & Gadgets

Tips Tricks & Gadgets for the kitchen


What to do with leftover sweets…

I’ve had a lot of company lately, baking sweets for them. Cannoli cream, peach cobbler, sour cream pound cake… A few leftover sweets from each.

leftover sweets
leftover sweets

I made a Sunday brunch dessert. Cubed the pound cake, topped it with cannolii cream and the peaches from the cobbler. Looks good and I didn’t have to waste the leftovers….

Table Setting

Setting your table for a special dinner can be ALMOST as enticing as the food. Pictured is an Italian dinner table setting I did recently and a Spring/Easter flower arrangement. Setting colorful napkins on a solid table cloth, adding flowers or candles. Use a printed or contrasting table runner to create the style you want.

Table setting
Table setting
Table setting
Table setting
Flowers Table setting
Flowers Table setting

European butter vs American style butter

So many people like the European style butters. However, for baking I’ve never been able to taste a difference. European and American style butters both have about 80-82% butter fat. Some American butter has annatto or carotene for a pale yellow color but both are natural ingredients. Personally I’d save the extra money and buy better flavoring for baking then spend it on a more expensive butter.

Have a pumpkin you’d like to do something with ??

My friend Tammy gave me this idea. Cut the pumpkin in half. Take out the seeds and stringy part. Rub a little olive oil over the skin and place cut side down on a lipped baking pan. Bake at 350 for about 30-45 minutes. Using an oven mitt gently pinch and pull the skin and it will come right off leaving the pumpkin pulp. Use the pumpkin for a soup or to make a pie or as a side dish with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon!! So tasty and no peeling and cutting the hard pumpkin shell.

What to bake a cake but don’t have much time ?

Here’s a tip to help and make the cake lower fat too. Choose a boxed cake mix. Leave out the oil/butter and water it calls for (not the eggs) and add a can of pie filling to your boxed cake mix instead. Try yellow cake mixed with a can of peach pie filling or a chocolate cake mix with a can of cherry pie filling. You can mix together any flavors you like.

Paper Bake-ware???

Yes, it’s great stuff. You can bake in it, serve in it, nothing sticks to it and you don’t have to retrieve a pan when you bring it to an event. Welcome Home Brands oven safe bake-ware is a bargain. You can buy it on line at Target or Amazon. 40 piece set cost about $15. See my Sour Cream Coffee Cake or the Fruit Filled Cobbler-Cake recipes for pictures of two of the sizes included in the set.

a comment about comments

(This is the website admin, not Liz)

I know its a bit intimidating to see that our comment section requires your email, but don’t worry. It does not post in your comments. It wont be there for the spammers to grab. We require it so we don’t get spammed on the blog. So if you have a comment or question for Liz about one of her postings – please feel free to comment and ask!


My Favorite Vinegars

My Favorite Vinegars

Some of the best balsamic vinegars I’ve had come from Isabella’s. They are aged and not sweetened with sugars. They have a variety of flavors and sizes. Great for salads, marinades and sauces. They also offer olive oils too. Two locations in NC; Huntersville and Mooresville, but you can order online too.

Check them out at :

Baking with Buttermilk

Baking or griddle items with Buttermilk:

Buttermilk tastes awful but is incredible for baking, pancakes or waffles. Substitute buttermilk for reg milk, ratio 1:1, When using the buttermilk substitution you should add a bit of baking soda. Recipes having baking soda won’t need any change. Otherwise add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for every 2 cups of FLOUR used.