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From Asparagus to Omelets - Practical Time and Money-saving Techniques for the Kitchen

Practical cooking can go a long way. Culinary school will teach you how to cook, but it may not teach you how to save money and time while cooking. Here are some guidelines for some common cooking procedures.

Better Buttering

To butter a baking pan more easily, warm the outside of the pan by placing it under hot water for a few seconds. Then butter the pan while it's still warm. See the butter slide smoothly on!

Left-Over Pastry?

When making a pie crust, don't throw away the trimmings. Wrap them around cocktail wieners for a great hors d'oeuvre. Or shape them into small rounds, drop a bit of fruit jam in the middle, and bake for a miniature pastry.

No-Flip, Family-Size Omelet

Does your family love omelets? Make one quick and easy omelet for everyone, with no turning or flipping. Pre-heat a cast-iron skillet; add butter and olive oil, followed by seasoned, beaten eggs (two per person) and your favorite stuffing (bacon bits, roasted peppers, onions, smoked salmon - your choice!)

Top with cheese (a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar is top pick). Cook over medium heat until the bottom is nicely browned and the omelet is set half-way through.

Then, instead of flipping, transfer your pan to the broiler for about two minutes, or until the omelet is cooked through and the cheese is bubbly and golden. Delicious! And everyone gets to eat at the same time!

Dont Break those Asparagus Tips

When opening a can of asparagus, turn it upside-down first and open the bottom. You can now pull the spears out from the bottom without breaking the delicate tips.

And finally...

If you're considering a culinary career, check out one of the many culinary arts schools available from this site, Culinary Institutes. Or if you're an amateur like me, who just loves to cook, keep checking this column for more tips. Until next week, here�s to your culinary education!