Today I'm going to pass on two cooking/baking tips that I have added to my repertoire of cooking/baking skills! One I cannot take credit for at all, but the other I like to think is mostly my own innovation. If you think it's not, that's fine, but keep it to yourself. Everyone deserves a little glory. ;-)
So, #1. If you are like me and love a big pot of beans, but think the process is a time-consuming drag, I've learned a way to eliminate the "soaking" step! A commenter on allrecipes.com explained that you cover the beans with cold water, bring it to a boil, and boil for about 10 minutes. Then put the pot in the sink, and throw in 1/4 cup of baking soda. Start stirring it around and an amazingly disgusting-looking green/yellow/brown foam starts boiling up. Keep stirring vigorously til the foam disappears, and then rinse the beans and pot thoroughly. Put the pot back on the stove and start the cooking process! I am used to having to carve out about 4 hours to make beans, but this method shaves off about 1.5 hours. Awesome!
#2. After receiving a ton of mini chocolate chips leftover from Christmas baking items at my job and not sure what to do with them, I decided to throw them in some chocolate chip cookie batter. Voila! My new favorite cookie (and everyone else's, apparently--I have gotten rave reviews on these cookies whenever I make them)! I use the basic recipe that's on the back of most chocolate chip bags, but when it comes time to add the chocolate chips, I add a ridiculous amount of mini chocolate chips. You definitely don't buy one bag of minis for a batch of these cookies; buy a couple. If you're not willing to do that, well...why are you bothering in the first place? Skimping on the chocolate in chocolate chip cookies should be a crime.
Anyway. Basically, my rule is: if you add the mini chocolate chips to the dough and it looks like enough, add a little more.