As promised, below are a few more helpful tips and tricks designed to make your time in the kitchen less frustrating and more fun. Don’t be shy, give them a try!
Reheating pasta: Reheating leftovers can be a pain because the outsides are sizzling and the inside is still cold. A better way to heat up leftovers is to position your pasta on the plate with a hole in the middle, like a donut. This way the entire plate is heated and you won’t have to make several trips back to the microwave.
Vanilla Extract Trick: A lot of baking recipes will call for vanilla. If your bottle of vanilla extract has a cap, then you can use that cap to measure out a teaspoon.
Egg Freshness: When determining if your egg is still fresh, the easiest way is to place the egg in a bowl or glass of water. If the egg floats to the top, then the egg is no longer fresh. If the egg remains at the bowl of the water, then you can still use it.
Proper leftover storage: A lot of people put their leftovers away in the refrigerator right after dinner. A safer way to store your leftovers is to let them cool for at least 30 minutes while you are cleaning up. Then, when you are ready to store them you should put the food in the shallowest containers that you have. For instance, if you made a large pot of spaghetti sauce you should not put it in a big, deep container. Instead, you should portion it into smaller containers. When you do finally put it in the fridge, you shouldn’t cover it completely right away; it’s best to loosely cover the Tupperware so that the middle is able to completely cool. If there is condensation on the lid of the container, then you covered it too soon. When you store hot or warm food it is a breeding ground for bacteria and you can make you and your family sick without realizing it.
Avocado Ripeness: It isn’t always easy finding the perfect avocado. A quick way to tell if your avocado is ready is to remove the stem off the outside and look at the color. If brown is displayed then it is too ripe. However, if you see green underneath you know it is just right to eat and enjoy!
Pounding meat: A quicker and cleaner way to pound different types of meat that need to be tenderized is to put the meat in a plastic Ziploc bag. This way you are not pounding it directly on the kitchen counter where you will be prepping the rest of your meal. You can also put the meat on a cutting board and cover it with saran wrap, but the Ziploc bag is easier if you have them.
Extra Kitchen Space: If your kitchen resembles anything close to mine, then a little extra work space couldn’t hurt. Placing a cutting board over open drawers will provide more counter space. This is an easy way to give yourself a little more room for food prep and helps to combat cross-contamination with different ingredients. For the cutting board placed on the counter, put a wet towel underneath it to prevent any slipping.
Cooking is meant to be fun and enjoyable. Although it can have its downfalls at times, the end product is always worth the effort. The kitchen hacks mentioned above are designed to help combat those frustrating cooking moments; less hassle leaves you more time for the joys of cooking. Most importantly, easier cooking and less prep time means you are able to focus on what really matters… good food!
Check back next week for a new recipe that will really stick with you! Don’t forget, sharing is caring!