Social Question

Aethelwine's avatar

What is your secret ingredient?

Asked by Aethelwine (42961points) September 26th, 2009

Would you care to share your secret ingredient that makes that something something special?

Mine: I use just a dash of ginger in my peanut butter cookies that everyone raves about.

It doesn’t have to be a food item. Do you have another secret that you would like to share that makes life easier for you?

What is the secret ingredient that makes life easier and/or tastier for you?

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93 Answers

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

boston market..

and on the rare occasions when i cook cilantro does some magic

Syger's avatar



a tiny bit of soy sauce too- if the dish allows.

patg7590's avatar


I’m the most well informed person I know. :]

Sarcasm's avatar

Garlic salt.
mmm sodium

PretentiousArtist's avatar

It’s called a secret ingredient for a reason, people.

filmfann's avatar

spotted owl.

evegrimm's avatar

Cinnamon for when I’m baking anything.

Veggies always taste better with some EVOO and coarse salt + pepper.

Secret: you can get a lot of knitting done while you’re watching tv. Great for Christmas presents!

Secret 2: Simple, inexpensive, well thought-out gifts are better than extravagant gifts that miss their mark by a mile.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@evegrimm im going to pretend you didn’t use a rachael ray-ism.

chicadelplaya's avatar

I love lavender, rosemary, and basil. They smell SO wonderful, and I often cook with them too! well maybe not so much with the lavender
And I love a great Barbara, Zinfandel, or Cabernet! :-) Now I’m happy!

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I’ve only told one other soul.. and he’s not talkin.

evegrimm's avatar

@eponymoushipster: sorry! it’s easier to type “EVOO” than extra-virgin olive oil. I don’t actually like her. Her recipes are very “eh” for me.

dpworkin's avatar

This is a great question. I’m not going to answer it. It’s a secret.

DrBill's avatar

Milk & Honey

rabbitheart's avatar

A dash of chili powder in hot cocoa. Simply delicious.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@evegrimm i’ll allow it…but i’m watching you… ;)

chicadelplaya's avatar

@evegrimm Beautiful suggestion! Thank you!!

jca's avatar

a big, cheery, disarming smile.

Aethelwine's avatar

@evegrimm & @chicadelplaya That does sound good. I need to be careful with the lavender that I grow though because it happens to be the hot spot for my cat’s urine.

@jca That’s what I’m talking about! :)

@rabbitheart I definitely need to try that.

ngelugh's avatar

Soy sauce… I put that thing on EVERYTHING lol. I swear.. try it on chicken while your frying it… or a steak… just pour some on top… put it in the soup.. put it in the lasagna.. seriously.. anywhere… but not too much just a dab. =)

PretentiousArtist's avatar

Even my fancy French black coffee?
no thank you

eponymoushipster's avatar

my super hetero girlfriend. like waaay hetero.

she won’t even eat tacos

chicadelplaya's avatar

@jonsblond Sounds like no lavender lemonade for you. ;)

chicadelplaya's avatar

@eponymoushipster NO TACOS!?! What does she eat??? dare I ask

Sarcasm's avatar

@chicadelplaya Probably just hotdogs and wurst.

Tink's avatar

Pixie dust.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@chicadelplaya she’s polish. she eats sausage.

Blondesjon's avatar

@eponymoushipster . . .the little vienna sausages?

chicadelplaya's avatar

trying to not laugh out loud

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Blondesjon they don’t eat that shit in Poland. They eat the big red hot kielbasa

Blondesjon's avatar

@eponymoushipster . . .my bad. did you know that kielbasa, loosely translated, means “the basa”?

lloydbird's avatar

@benjaminlevi Would that be fresh or dried?

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Blondesjon it actually just means “sausage”

aprilsimnel's avatar

Well, garlic, yeah, and…

Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute

Actually, for your greens, a little mustard powder. Not too much. A couple of dashes goes a long way.

janbb's avatar

Cumin – I put it in my potato salad, and on cooked carrots along with butter. It makes both of them delicious.

As for my other secret ingredients…..

SuperMouse's avatar

A quarter teaspoon of coconut flavor in chocolate chip cookies, yum, yum, yum!

chicadelplaya's avatar

@SuperMouse I love coconut!! Great idea! Love it!

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

semen, but I’m not telling you which dish I put it in.

filmfann's avatar

Wow, nothin’ says lovin’ like something from the oven!

SuperMouse's avatar

A great secret ingredient for moms with kids that hate vegetables is spinach in brownies! You can add almost a whole package of frozen spinach to a batch and the kids won’t notice the difference.

Sarcasm's avatar

@SuperMouse That is amazing.
Luckily, my mom hates spinach so I feel safe in assuming she never put it in brownies.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@eponymoushipster I was just being a smartass, who knew that there is actually a cookbook based on that particular substance? I did NOT write that book, but it might make a great Christmas present.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra seriously, i’m surprised that you never saw that before.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

My secret ingredient REALLY is: Ground Coriander seed. I add it to almost every meat dish I make. It just adds a certain flavor to bison, beef, pork, chicken and most wild game.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@eponymoushipster well, the internet is pretty big, and I do get easily distracted.

virtualist's avatar

….Sriracha ......... a few drops in anything brightens your day !

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

the most beautiful babies in the world

eponymoushipster's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra i suppose. i know im never eating flan at your house ever, though.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir they taste better if you squeeze the oil out first.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@eponymoushipster they taste fine to me the way they are

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir baby oil is high in cholesterol.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@eponymoushipster well my diet is otherwise very low in it

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir a little baby now and then won’t hurt you, then. just watch out for those little bones.

CMaz's avatar

Being true to myself. Good beef jerky.
And, Mrs. Dash

XOIIO's avatar

I always blow on solder connections to cool off tge top layer, so it solidifies and holds the wire as the rest hardens so I can work faster.but shhh!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@eponymoushipster I don’t eat the bones – I collect them for my special feminazi rituals

Facade's avatar

A fantastic waist to hip ratio. I use it for everything.

Sampson's avatar

Alcohol and variety (it’s the spice of life, don’tcha know?!)

And a variety of alcohol…

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@eponymoushipster well of course you wouldn’t I don’t prepare things like that. I am a simple person that prefers meat and potato dishes. My idea of sauce is BBQ sauce with lots of habanero pepper sauce mixed in to give it a ‘bite’.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra nothing involving a “sauce” is going in my mouth if you prepared it. lol

aphilotus's avatar

I cook my pierogies with cumin- I fry them in olive oil.

gottamakeart's avatar

Its a toss up between a wild imagination, creativity, and possibly un-medicated bi-polar disorder. I can be hard to live with at times, but i’m never boring!

Garebo's avatar

I like to add quality fresh cumin, heated over a hot skillet until it becomes aromatic, then ground. I have been in love with it for a few years now, and unfortunately, introducing it into way too many dishes, so I am told-still a great spice. Another great ingredient I use with discretion, is ground roasted coffee as a hidden component in a dry rubs-steak and ribs, it adds a whole nother dimension.

XOIIO's avatar

(meant “the”)

gottamakeart's avatar

@Garebo that coffee/steak combo, I’m going to have to try that!

Aethelwine's avatar

@Garebo That does sound good.(coffee) Thanks for the secret!

Garebo's avatar

Port Townsend, WA restaurant, I begged it out of them.

Zen's avatar

Everyone raves about my lasagna and makes a fuss about how much time and energy it must’ve taken. It’s easy, and here’s the recipe (let me know if you’ve tried it):

Fry (or saute, if you’re a fancypants) an onion and a few chopped garlic cloves in olive oil. Turn on the oven to about 180.

Add a tin of crushed tomatoes and a a little tom. puree

When it boils, add some mushrooms and spices to taste (I add salt, pepper, oregano, a bay leaf and a little sugar) and lower heat to miminum.

Let it cook for 10 minutes while you grease up a lasagna tray with olive oil.

Start with leaves on the bottom, then add sauce. Should be three layers.

Top off with mozzarella or any other blend of cheese.

25–30 minutes in the oven – keep your eye on it the first time – every oven is dif.


rooeytoo's avatar

I have a basil plant in a pot just outside the back door. I love fresh basil in salads, pasta, Vietnamese chicken rice noodle soup. It goes with just about everything!

mcbealer's avatar

The juice of freshly grated ginger root into spaghetti sauce.

YARNLADY's avatar

Some powdered mustard stirred in some garlic juice.

susanc's avatar

Marjoram in the masa for tamales. Explosion of interestingness.

janbb's avatar

@Zen – What leaves? Do you mean the lasagna noodles? And no ricotta in the layers?

Aethelwine's avatar

@susanc good to see you! =)

cyndyh's avatar

clove, coffee, or vaseline. One of those will work for just about anything. Oh, wait. Add peanut butter, WD40, and duct tape. Now we have most things covered.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Food: Sriracha sauce, yay!

Garebo's avatar

Certain scents when combined with certain music are often a very effective recipe when introduced at the right time.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Garebo Interesting. :) What is your favorite combination?

YARNLADY's avatar

@jonsblond—It might be that a specific answer to your comment won’t be “universal”, since I suspect that scents + music are very subjective. I associate the scent of the ocean with the Beach Boys concert where I met my second husband. That is the most pleasant combination for me.

jenandcolin's avatar

We put fish sauce in a lot of our stir fry and thai dishes (even when it’s not called for)

Garebo's avatar

@jonsblond :I can’t tell you, it’s my top secret weapon.

mramsey's avatar

I put a hunk of mozzarella in my meat gets so ooey, gooey and delicious.

Oh and I top it with a sauce made of ketchup and brown sugar.

nmac's avatar

magic seafood mix.

pizzaman's avatar


HumourMe's avatar

Soya sauce for saltiness, Oyster sauce for sweetness. I add them to almost all my savoury dishes. I couldn’t decide just one secret ingredient, it’s too hard to choose.

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