Chatelaine Kitchen

Cooking tips from the Chatelaine Kitchen's home recipe testers

You can become a home tester too, and get the insider scoop on what we're cooking up in the Chatelaine Kitchen!
By Carolyn Lim Chua
kitchen cookbook

The Chatelaine Kitchen creates, develops and perfects the hundreds of delicious and easy recipes that are in the magazine each year. Every recipe is tested at least three times (often more), and once finalized, they’re passed on to our enthusiastic roster of volunteer home testers.

Here’s how recipe testing for Chatelaine works:

We contact 15 testers each month. They choose two out of the six to eight recipes we send. Within two weeks they submit their comments and suggestions on a feedback form. On the feedback form we ask simple questions like "Would you make the recipe again, if the recipe was followed as written?" and "Was anything difficult to understand?" It just takes a few minutes to fill out the form.

Adding home testers to the process of honing our recipes was a natural step, and needless to say, our plucky home testers are all eager and do not hold back on opinions — and tips.

Here are the top 10 tips they’ve shared with us over the past few months:

1. To prevent tears when peeling onions, refrigerate the onions overnight. Pam Couves, Kelowna, BC


2. Line baking sheets and cake pans with parchment paper. It works better than foil, keeps food from drying or burning, and makes cleanup a snap. Diane Tolomeo, Victoria, BC

3. Invest in a good knife and solid wooden spoon. Joelle Mackenzie, Stittsville, ON

4. Freeze unused tomato paste in tbsp portions on a plate. Transfer to Ziploc bags and keep in freezer for future use. Cathy Walker, North Vancouver, BC

5. Keep ends of lemons in a bowl. Add some water and microwave for a min. It refreshes the microwave and rids it of food smells. Justine Ng, Thornhill, ON

6. Baking is a science. Don’t stray from a baking recipe, unless it is switching nuts for chocolate chips. Esther Christensen, Ottawa, ON


7. Prep veggies after you bring them home from the market. There is less waste and you can throw a meal together in a pinch. Suzanne Watson, Barrie, ON

8. Don’t store potatoes with onions. But if you make them into soup, an immersion blender makes homemade soups a breeze. Sara Middleton, London, ON

9. Always add cornstarch with dry ingredients or stir into a cold liquid. This prevents lumps. Nadine Holmes, NB

10. Putting a damp paper towel or dishcloth under a wooden cutting board stops it from slipping. Laura Cofell, Whistler, BC

Would you like to be a Chatelaine home tester? We're always looking for more great home cooks! Sign up at:


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