Summer is almost here and Michael, Carla, Daphne, Clinton and Mario are here to help you get ready with all their best gardening, kitchen and lifestyle tips. So, before you fire up your grill or plant your first garden take a look at their insider hints. Burger Tips
1. Burgers don’t have to be pure beef. Michael likes to use a combination of different meats.
2. You want a little fat in your burger for extra flavor. We suggest going for an 80/20 blend: 80% lean/20% fat meat.
3. Ask your butcher to grind white and dark meat chicken if you’re going for a chicken burger.
4. Add vegetables to keep your burgers. This will help keep them moist while cooking.
5. If you choose to use onions. Squeeze liquid the grated onions to prevent the burger from becoming too watery.
6. Salt the burgers right before adding to the grill, to prevent the salt from drawing moisture out of the vegetables too early.
7. When forming patties make them a bit larger than the bun.
8. Cook the burgers 80% on one side, then flip.
9. Toast the burger buns on the griddle where you cooked the burgers.
10. It’s always good to try different types of buns for different burgers, the classic bun doesn’t have to always be the go-to for every recipe.
11. Place the mayonnaise on the bottom of the bun, then add the burger, and finish with the relish on top.
12. Homemade condiments are easy to make and a great way to add flare to your burger. If you’re looking for something really creative and different to add to your burger try adding mac n’ cheese to your burger. Gardening Tips
13. While planning your garden consider using raised beds because they are great for drainage.
14. If you are concerned with back health raised beds are a good alternative. The elevation can prevent additional some pressure on your back.
15. When using raised beds for gardening, keep the nutrient component high, because the roots are not pulling nutrients off the earth.
16. If you can't plant an outdoor garden than an indoor garden is always a good option. The three most important elements of an indoor gradient are drainage, water and light.
17. Drainage is important because it keeps the roots dry. You can easily achieve effective drainage by adding rocks and pebbles to the bottom of a pot.
18. Watering plants is where people get nervous because if you over water than you will kill the plant. Test the soil first before you add more water. If it is most moist than hold off.
19. Herbs need plenty of light, and if you don’t have a southern facing window with lots of sun a grow light is a great investment. They cost under $20 and can be found at any hardware store or gardening center.
20. Michael suggests getting started with chives, mint and parsley. These are the easiest to grow because they require minimum light and water.
21. Gardens must have perfect soil. When working with the soil remember that composting and peat are both key elements!
22. Composting is also a great way to use up your old kitchen scraps.
23. Loose soil is best for planting herbs.
24. Before you plant a new item in your garden tease the roots of the plants to stimulate growth.
25. It’s always nice to have a variety of different herbs and flours in your garden, but the hardier herbs like rosemary and basil will last through winter.
26. The more you trim your herbs the more they grow.
27. While picking out vegetables to plan go for lettuce. You can get three to five cuts out of lettuces before having to replant for the season.
28. At the end of the season, allow your vegetables and herbs go to seed. It’s a great way to save money.
29. Once your soft herbs are ready for picking remember don’t chop them while cooking. Baking Tips
30. Before you get started baking bring all your ingredients to room temperature unless the recipe clearly states otherwise.
31. A nonstick silicone mat is great for rolling out dough, working with sticky batters, baking cookies evenly, and keeping cutting board in place. t is also heat safe, reusable and easy to clean.
Always use liquid measuring cups for liquid ingredients and dry measuring cups for dry ingredients!
33. There are so many different types of flour that you can use if you don’t want to use white flour. You can mix in flours like black bean flour or quinoa flour to get more fiber and make it gluten-free. Black bean adds tons of moisture, whereas quinoa makes for a crumblier consistency. Start by mixing it with a basic gluten free flour mix.
34. Do not over-mix cakes and muffins. If you over mix the batter, it makes them either tough or dense. Mix just to incorporate ingredients evenly to keep your cakes and muffins light and moist.
35. To prevent over-mixing try finishing the mixing process by hand.
36. When making chocolate cakes, dust your pans with cocoa powder instead of white flour, so the finished cake won’t have any white spots.
37. Line the springform pan with parchment paper to prevent the cake from sticking. Using this spring form pan along with the parchment will allow you to get the cheesecake out in one piece.
38. When baking with bananas look for overripe ones. They will add more flavor to your cake.
39. If you have extra overripe bananas save them in your freezer and use them later in a banana baked good or a smoothie.
40. Toast spices to release their flavor, and then grind them yourself.
41. After adding batter to your pan it’s a good idea to shake the cake to release the excess air bubbles.
42. While cutting a cheesecake or any other hard to cut cake dip your knife in hot water first and then proceed to cut it. This will make it easier to slice through the layers.
43. Chill the cheesecake in oven for one hour before serving.
44. To get perfectly portioned pieces of your cake score the cake before slicing.Co-hosts’ Favorite All Time Tips
45. Always let your meat rest after cooking.
46. Add brown flax seeds to your favorite smoothies.
47. Always match your belt to shoes, and sock to pants.
48. Use Coconut oil as a face mask or hair treatments.
49. Always cook pasta one minute less than package instructions.
50. Finish cooking the pasta in the sauce.