Cook’s Tools and Tricks

Begin with the Right Tools

Having the right kitchen tools can make cooking easier and more fun! However, you don't need every tool in the store. Before you buy that next piece of kitchen equipment, check the following tips and suggestions.

30+ Time-Saving Kitchen Tools
Save time in the kitchen with these tools.


Use “Mise en Place” to Make Meal Preparation Easier
Learn how practicing “mise en place”- prepping foods and measuring out first - can help you assemble meals more quickly and effortlessly.

9 Bites for Better-Tasting Fruits and Vegetables
Use these preparation and storage “bites” to enjoy the abundant summer produce at its peak of flavor, appearance and safety!

Add Flavor with Herbs, Spices

Healthy Cooking with Fresh Herbs
Whether you plant them or pick them up at the grocery store or farmers’ market, adding fresh herbs is a quick way to transform ordinary meals into extraordinary meals. Directions for substituting dried for fresh, how to store, wash, freeze, prepare fresh herbs, and how to grow an herb garden.

Flavor That Food Spice / Herb / Food Combinations
Make foods tasty without using salt or adding extra fat or sugar by adding these spices and herbs.

Add a Little Spice and Herbs to Your Life Handout
Recipes Handout using Herb and Spices

Guidelines for adding spices and herbs to foods.

Stay Organized

Find it Fast: Filing Food Appliance and Other Kitchen Gear Instruction Manuals
A product manual for kitchen items can be a cook's best friend. Here’s how to file them so you can find them.

How to Organize your Recipe Collection

Cooking Techniques

Using the Oven or Stovetop

Freezing Make Ahead Foods

Meat, Poultry and Eggs Basics

Techniques for Rice, Beans, Fruits & Vegetables

Helpful Thanksgiving Holiday Cooking Links - (includes cooking ahead) More Holiday Ideas in CIQ's Just For Fun!

Conversions and Reductions

Reducing the Size of Recipes
Directions for cutting recipes in half or thirds, plus equivalent measures.

Temperature Conversions for Fahrenheit to Celsius; Convert Metric and Standard Measurements

How to Interpret Can Sizes
Some favorite older recipes may call for can sizes such as a Number 2 or a Number 303 can. Here's a chart to help you determine how these correspond to current can measurements.

Standard Measurement Equivalent Chart
Need a pint instead of 2 Cups? Find equivalent measurements in this PDF chart.

Ingredient Substitutions

Often for lack of an ingredient, a recipe is ruined, an extra trip to the store is required, or you must buy a large container of an ingredient for just a teaspoon or two needed in a recipe.

Use these Tips to Substitute Another Ingredient

Nutrition Substitutions and Makeovers

Recipe substitutions and makeovers that help you enjoy delicious and nutritious food.

How to Bake Gluten-Free with Sorghum Flour

More Substitution Ideas from "Cook it Quick"

UNL Food Features

(Updated August 1, 2014)





Recipe Central
A collection of recipes distributed as part of the Cook It Quick email newsletter.

Cooking up Some Fun with Kids
Recipes to make with your kids. Also suitable for use in 4-H projects.

Recipes Featuring Locally Grown Foods Organized by season; short brochures include recipes.