Becky Low from the Dairy Farmers of Utah finds solutions for many of the problems you could encounter.
Frozen Cheese and Milk
Thaw milk in refrigerator, shake or stir well to mix in any separated cream
Cheese crumbles when frozen; shred before freezing or crumble after thawing for use in cooking
Keeping Knives Sharp
Use proper cutting boards (wood first, plastic next, ceramic or glass or stainless least preferred)
Proper cleaning (avoid dishwasher, strong chemicals, soaking, bumping the blade)
Proper storage (in a knife block, on a cotton towel)
Do not use knives as a screwdriver or hammer
Chopping Onions – without crying
Key – reduce the fumes from the bulb or root of onion
Chill onion in freezer before cutting; cut near a draft or fan; cut onion under water; soak onion in water before cutting; wear contact lens; remove the onion root or shoot first; wear goggles
Chopping Hot Peppers – without the burn
Wear plastic gloves – plastic disposable, sandwich bags, grocery bags
Turn plastic sandwich bag inside out, use bag to hold pepper while chopping, scoop chopped pepper inside and turn bag right side out enclosing chopped pepper inside.
Stop Cutting Boards and Pastry Mats from slipping
Place a damp paper towel under the board/mat
Place board/mat on rubber bands
Remove Excess Fat from Drippings
Pour drippings into a paper cup and allow fat to surface to the top of the cup. Hold cup over a bowl; using a skewer, poke a hole in the bottom of the cup and allow drippings to drain from the cup. When fat is all that remains in the cup, place skewer back in cup to plug up the hole until the cup and fat can be discarded.
Fresh Ginger, storing and grating
Freeze whole ginger, when ready to use remove from freezer and grate while still frozen
Spice Substitutions (for 1 teaspoon equivalent)
Allspice: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves.
Apple Pie Spice: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom + 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice.
Mace: 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
Pumpkin Pie Spice: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice.
Substitution chart for alternate spices http://homecooking.about.com/library/weekly/blspicesub.htm
Herbs – Fresh vs Dried
Approximately 1 teaspoon dried herb for every 3 teaspoons fresh chopped herb
Eggshells in the Batter
Avoid getting shells in the batter – crack eggs in separate bowl (most preferred method)
Use a larger egg shell to scoop up smaller shells fragments from the bowl
Shells sink to bottom – bake the cake, turn upside down and remove the shell (least preferred method)
A good resource for kitchen solutions: “834 Kitchen Quick Tips” from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated