As we move forward into 2017, here are some great cooking tips from the past year that we don’t want to forget. These are some of the best we shared, and they are nearly all applicable year round!

1. Always keep lemons in the fridge. They will keep much longer, so you can keep more of them around and always be able to add fresh lemon juice to everything from dressings to cocktails. Plus you can use the squeezed rinds to clean and deodorize your wooden cutting boards.


2. Treat your herbs like flowers. There’s nothing worse than limp herbs. Next time, trim the stems and put the fresh herbs in a Ziploc bag with a damp paper towel and stash it in the refrigerator.


3. Caramelize more onions than you need to. A lot more – you’ll use them for steaks, brats, salads, and even breakfast!


4. No grill brush? Crumple a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil until it is the size of a baseball, lock in between tongs and brush away!


5. Can’t decide to use direct or indirect cooking when grilling out? If the food takes less than 20 minutes to cook use direct heat. If the food takes longer, use indirect.


6. To make cutting corn off the cob easier, place the ear in the middle of a Bundt pan to keep the ear from slipping and to easily catch the corn.


7. Weigh your ingredients! Invest in a good digital scale for $20 and eliminate room for error. Don’t forget to set the tare to adjust for the weight of your mixing bowl.


8. To make the best rim garnish for a Bloody Mary, mix ½ cup of kosher salt with 5 teaspoons of Sriracha sauce and spread the mixture in a thin layer on parchment paper. Place in a preheated oven at 200° F. Shut off the oven and let sit overnight. Perfect for tailgating.


9. Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are a good source of magnesium, phosphorous, iron, zinc and protein. To shell pumpkin seeds, rinse thoroughly, lay flat and roll a rolling pin over the seeds. Boil the cracked seeds for 5-10 minutes until the hull gradually falls off. Dry with a paper towel and toss in olive oil and kosher salt at 325° for 13 minutes. Pumpkin seeds are a great garnish to add to any salad or dish!


10. Use a greased muffin tin to place apples in for baking. The tins will provide support for the baked apple.


11. When making stovetop popcorn use clarified butter to pop it in. It tastes amazing and has an impressive smoke point of over 450°F, much higher than regular butter.


12. When you plan on doing some baking, remember to set the eggs and butter out the night before to come to room temperature.


13. Invest in parchment paper, you won’t regret it.


14. Step up your dinner presentation with Bellisari’s Blistered Jalapeno & Fig butter. Blend ½ cup of softened salted butter, 2 tablespoons Bellisari’s Blistered Jalapeno & Fig Spread and ½ teaspoon finely chopped rosemary.


15. Try a stainless steel bar for the kitchen to help alleviate fish and garlic odors. This makes a great gift and is useful year round.