15 Kitchen Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier.
I don’t know about you, but Anna and I are grateful whenever we receive a great kitchen tip or shortcut. People can be very clever and creative so whenever we hear of a great tip, (a.k.a. HACK), we tuck it away for use at a later date.
In today’s post, we are sharing 15 Kitchen Hacks that have made our life easier and today we want to share them with you.
Separate the bacon slices, place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper, then place them in the freezer. Once they are frozen, transfer the bacon to a zipper-lock bag. This will make it easy to pull out one or two slices at a time. You can also precook bacon and divide the bacon into your preferred serving size and freeze it as well. Perfect for when you want just a few pieces of bacon to crumble on top of a salad, soup or sandwich.
Taking a salad with you for lunch? Reuse small empty glass spice jars to hold your salad dressing. They’re narrow, easy to pour from, reusable, and hold the right amount of salad dressing for a large salad. Since they are glass, they will not absorb odors and you can safely wash them in the dishwasher.
The night before, make a batch of muffin batter and place the portioned amount into muffin tins. Seal them with plastic wrap and refrigerate them overnight. The next morning, unwrap the muffin batter and bake as usual. Baking powder is double acting, meaning it reacts twice – once when it gets wet and a second time when it gets hot. Baking soda reacts once; when mixed with liquid. Refrigeration slows the reaction rate of both leaveners, leaving them plenty of lift power if they are held overnight. The strength of the leaveners will eventually diminish over time so do not refrigerate the batter for more than 24 hours.
Since fresh garlic is healthy and always the best in any dish, I always keep some on hand. Purchase a small mesh laundry bag and use that to store heads of garlic. The garlic will stay fresh and receive plenty of airflow through the holes in the bag; plus the skins are neatly contained.
Buy bulk ground beef when it’s on sale and fry it in batches. Once the meat is cooked, drain the excess grease. Place pre-measured amounts of meat into several freezer containers or freezer zip-lock baggies. Store in the freezer until you are ready to use them. This is a fast and easy way to add cooked meat to casseroles, sauces, for maid-rites, soups, etc…
Avoid all the mess by using an uncoated paper plate. Simply place the paper plate on top of the greasy surface of soups, broth or sauces. Most of the grease will come away with the paper plate. You may need to use two paper plates if there is a lot of grease, but no worries. This is so much easier and less messy than blotting with paper towels, transferring to another grease strainer or trying to skim the surface with a spoon.
Instead of toasting coconut in the oven and risk burning it, use your microwave instead. Spread the coconut in an even layer on a large micro-wave safe plate and cook on high power, (stirring at 30 second intervals), until it’s golden brown. It usually takes a couple of minutes but it’s quick, easy and works great.
It’s usually cheaper to buy vanilla beans in bulk. To keep them from drying out, store them in a bottle of vanilla extract. The beans stay moist, fresh, and flavorful. Your extract will get an extra boost of vanilla flavor too.
Ever have leftover eggnog after a holiday party? It works perfectly for making easy and quick French toast. Dip the slices of bread in the eggnog instead of batter and fry as usual. Top with your favorite fruit and syrup.
Help your guest function easier through a serving line, (where it’s hard for people to manage their drink, plate and a bowl all at one time), by pre-ladling soup into individual bowls or Styrofoam cups on a buffet tray. Each guest can take one. If the soup you serve is drinkable, your guest won’t even need a spoon. They can simply drink it right from the bowl or cup. Perfect for the holidays or parties.
Before the holidays or a party, make a large batch of pie crust dough weeks in advance. Roll each crust out, wrap it in wax paper, then pack them up in freezer zipper-lock bags. Label each bag according to what the pie requires. For example: a bag labeled “apple” requires two crust (top and bottom crust), but a pumpkin pie requires only one crust for the bottom. Bags will stack nicely and lay flat in the freezer for easy storage. The night before, simply remove the crust from the freezer and defrost the appropriate bag in the refrigerator overnight. Finish the pie the next day.
Make a full batch of your favorite meatball recipe and place them onto a baking sheet and place them in the freezer. Once they are frozen solid, place the appropriate amount of meatballs in individual freezer baggies. When you are ready to fix dinner, simply thaw a bag of frozen meatballs, boil your pasta, and add sauce. Voila! Dinner is served.
When making homemade stuffing, croutons, or bread pudding, freeze your bread before cutting it into cubes. The bread firms up, making it much easier to cut into bite-size pieces. The edges will be neat and clean too.
Place a large bowl or pan of water in the sink. Add the cherries and pit them at the bottom of the bowl. The pits usually float to the bottom of of the water. If the cherry “squeaks” when pitting it, there is usually a worm in the cherry. A cherry floating on the surface of the water also signals that there is a worm or bug inside the cherry. The cherries are rinsed in the process and your hands won’t be bright red from the cherry juice.
“Hard water” can be a culprit of sticky pasta. The higher levels of calcium and magnesium, (typically found in city water to help reduce pipe corrosion), often make the water more alkaline. This in turn can produce stickier pasta. Noodles boiled in “soft water” typically are less likely to clump. If you have a sticky pasta problem, add lemon juice to the water as it cooks. It helps to correct the imbalance and reduces sticking. Also, the sauce will stay put on the pasta.
We hope that you have discovered some helpful kitchen hacks today. Do you know of any great kitchen hacks that you would like to share?
Here’s to happy cooking!
Resource: Cook’s Country