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So far hintandtips has created 37 entries.

History of the Mince Pie

By Victoria Hansen |December 20th, 2015|

I find the history of food fascinating, take for example mince pies. On hearing the name, one might imagine it meant mince meat, but of course we mean fruit mince. But the history of these pies will enlighten you to how they got their name and why. Here's it is in […]

The History of Christmas

By Victoria Hansen |December 13th, 2015|

A child discovering the delights of Christmas for the first time is presented with a wonderful array of good things: trees with sparkling lights, carol singing, rich food such as iced cakes and biscuits, presents tucked into bulging stockings and days of excitement and parties. The modern holiday is in fact a cornucopia of […]

Christmas Meal – Hints & Tips

By Victoria Hansen |June 2nd, 2015|

So Christmas is just days away and for those not accustomed to catering the big lunch or dinner, I thought I'd give you a few tips to make the day go easier and slightly less stressful.

If you're doing a traditional style meal, that is roast […]

Preparing Thai Ingredients Hints and Tips

By Victoria Hansen |February 15th, 2015|

Cutting VegetablesAll vegetables should be cut up into uniform small pieces. This allows them to cook quickly and it also means they absorb the flavours of oils, seasonings and/or sauces. Some vegetables are cut according to their natural shapes (i.e. cauliflower and broccoli) and some are sliced, shredded or diced depending on cooking method. […]

History of Aphrodisiac Foods

By Victoria Hansen |February 8th, 2015|

Aphrodisiacs were first sought out as a remedy for various sexual anxieties including fears of inadequate performance as well as a need to increase fertility. Procreation was an important moral and religious issue and aphrodisiacs were sought to insure both male and female potency.

Why Certain Foods
In ancient times a distinction was made between […]

10 Pastry Hints and Tips

By Victoria Hansen |January 18th, 2015|

For best results, keep everything cold. Use cold hands, a cold marble top, pastry board or worktop and water. (To keep my hands cold, I fill a resealable plastic bag with ice and then hold it in my palms for a few seconds when I need to or run them under cold […]

History of Pates, Terrines & Galantines

By Victoria Hansen |January 4th, 2015|

Pates have been the staple of French chefs. They provide an opportunity to display the imagination and skill of and ambitious chef. Contrary to many restaurant patrons, pates are delicate, fine, exquisite specialties that require great culinary skill and passion to create. They consist of finely ground livers of: chicken, pigs, ducks, geese, and […]

23 Pies Hints and Tips

By Victoria Hansen |December 21st, 2014|

If you don't have a pie bird, insert tubular macaroni into cuts in the top layer of pastry on fruit pies to prevent the filling from overflowing. This also works for lattice tops.
For topping winter pies, such as apple, try using rum flavour for the whipped cream instead of vanilla […]

Muffin History & Trivia

By Victoria Hansen |December 7th, 2014|

The name muffin is given to two types of breadstuffs, one a yeast-leavened item, and the other ”quick” bread raised with baking powder or bicarb soda. In the UK, “muffin” also refers to what is known in much of the English-speaking world as an English muffin. This yeast-raised muffin is the older of the […]

22 Soup Hints and Tips

By Victoria Hansen |November 23rd, 2014|

The best soups are made with a base of homemade stock and fresh ingredients. Obviously this can be a time-consuming endeavor. You can reduce your time in the kitchen by using canned or frozen stocks or bouillon bases. Even so, plan on taking your time with a good soup or stew.