The Culinary Architect: Helpful hints for a harried host

The Island Now

Over the years, I have come to rely on several tricks that make cooking and entertaining easier.  

I use these helpful hints all the time and they are useful and, most importantly, save me lots of time and stress.  

Try one, two or all; I promise you, will love these easy time saving tricks, which are also economical too.


How often do you just need one scallion or a snip of a scallion?  A bunch is just too much.  Take the bulbs from your scallions and plant them in a pot.  They will produce green stems forever.


If you burn something while cooking, or your kitchen or house just smells…use this quick and easy potpourri…

Place in a pot 2 cups orange juice, 1 cup water and 2 cinnamon sticks.  Simmer on the stove, being careful that it does not burn.

Enjoy the aroma! This is a great trick for staging your house to sell!


Instead of using parchment paper, I use Silpats; Silicone, reusable, non-stick mats.  They are fabulous for baking cookies, making sticky candies and baking fish, to name just a few uses.  Once you use one, you will find hundreds of uses for it

Scissons For Kitchen Tasks

I love using scissors instead of a knife for snipping herbs, lettuce, scallions and even cutting up a chicken.  It makes quick and easy work of these cutting tasks.  I other use my “herb scissors”, which is multiblade, or just a regular kitchen shears. Kitchen shears are also excellent for cutting up chicken.


Reusing Tin Cans

I love the look of printed tin cans, filled with herbs.  It is so easy.  Take the can, make holes in the bottom for drainage.  Add potting soil.  Plant your favorite herb.  Water two times a week. Snip herbs whenever needed.


Paper Plates

Whenever I have to coat something with breadcrumbs, I place the bread crumbs on a disposable plate.  When I am done, the mess goes right into the garbage…how easy is that!!!

Alexandra Troy is owner of Culinary Architect Catering, a 32-year old Greenvale-based company, specializing in private, corporate and promotional parties.  

For more photos and presentation follow Culinary Architect Catering on Facebook. 

Please email me photos of your dishes at

Reusing Tin Cans

By Alexandra Troy

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