Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms

For surviving the holiday season!

It is fun writing down tips, tricks, and hacks I’ve been using for years and seeing the response from my fans. This time I thought I would share 2 of the most popular pro tips and some good advice to help with your holiday baking. 

PRO TIP: Buttermilk

Don’t buy it, make your own!

Chances are if you buy a carton you won’t have any other uses for it, before it sours. Here’s an easy method to make it from ingredients you have on hand.

Start with a liquid measuring cup [pictured].


1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice OR Vinegar. Dump it into the measuring cup.


The rest of the cup up to the 1 cup line with Whole Milk.

Stir, let sit, and then stir again

Stir the milk and lemon juice (or vinegar). Then let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes and then stir again before using.

  • The milk will be lumpy because the acid (lemon or vinegar) soured it.
  • 99.9% of the time buttermilk is used when it’s at room temperature, so let it sit longer if the milk was right out of the refrigerator.

Now you know the ratio of acid to milk, you can calculate how much you need if you need more than 1 cup of buttermilk.

PRO TIP: Don’t throw away that butter wrapper!

Use them to grease a pan or dish! They hold more butter residue than you may realize. Especially if the butter was at room temperature. Turn them gooey side facing one another or fold them with the gooey side IN. Store them in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator or freezer until you need them!


Missed a daily Pro-Tip? Click here to browse the entire 31-day library.


Be nice, patient, extend grace, and use your words to share kindness and compassion. 

Click here to see more of my holiday survival tips

Happy Baking!

Buttermilk and wrapper photos courtesy Maria Kemp
Pancake photo courtesy
Pastry Chef
Maria Kemp
Beyond Decadence

In 2017, Maria established Beyond Decadence as Lake Norman’s first and only pop-up bakery specializing in American, gluten-free, and French desserts. As Pastry Chef and Owner of Beyond Decadence, Maria Kemp wears many hats on any given day.

In her words, “At the end of the day, awards, accolades, recognition, being a French Pastry School alumni simply don’t matter if I don’t consistently produce a remarkable product or craft a memorable private virtual baking experience. My goal is to exceed my clients’ expectations on every level and/or tantalize their taste buds. I thrive on and gain inspiration from building relationships with my clients and finding ways to share my knowledge to demystify the art of baking. I don’t deviate with every latest fad; I stay focused in areas where my skills can truly shine. I am deeply humbled and proud to have earned the privilege of becoming a thought-leader/speaker in the entrepreneurial community and private baking instructor for several corporations.”

You can connect with Maria at or contact her directly at

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