This title is a little bit ( a lot a bit) facetious. I really haven’t been in the kitchen all that long.. and these tips probably aren’t anything you haven’t heard before. But in case you are like me and you tend to miss the newest “hack”, I’m here to help you out. 🙂 When I’m in the kitchen, it is typically after a long day at school standing on my feet. It is also typically after I have wrangled a wild 11 month old around the afternoon and evening. It is also typically as I am taking my first sip of wine. Because of all these reasons, I need any way possible to make my work in the kitchen easier.
Here are my Four “Hacks”:
1. Use a Trash Bowl:
When I’m elbow deep in a recipe and I have onion peel and meat containers that I need to get out of the way…and let’s face it.. I’m too lazy to walk to the other side of the kitchen and throw it in the trash can- I grab a large bowl. And I put all the things that need to be thrown away as I am cooking in the bowl. This saves me time because I don’t have to go back and forth from the “cooking area” to the trash can and back again. Everything goes in here (veggie scraps, packaging, cans, etc). Once I have the cooking finished, I throw the contents of the bowl away all at once. Easy. Peasy. Get a trash bowl! 😉
2. Soak Wooden Skewers:
Did I tell y’all that I can be a little slow on the uptake?! Yeah. I learned this the hard way. If you have the metal skewers, obvi you can ignore this. However, if you use the wooden skewers, soak them in water for about 15 min before you cook to prevent the skewers from burning and falling apart. *Be warned, if they stay on the grill for too long, they can still char and break.
3. Wear an Apron:
Okay… I’m not some 50’s house wife. However, wearing an apron saves my life in 2 respects. First: it keeps my clothes nice and stain free. I’m a little sloppy. Second: it gives me something to wipe my hands on. I’m a little sloppy. I don’t know about you, but when I cook, I feel like I am constantly wiping and washing my hands. If I have some tomato juice or chicken stock that has splashed on my hands, I don’t need to dirty up every kitchen towel I have. I can just use my apron and keep on about my business. This also helps save me valuable seconds. I don’t have to walk over to the kitchen towels…I’m wearing the apron! Boom. Once I’m done cooking, I just throw the apron into the wash and it is as good as new.
4. How to Properly Chop an Onion:
Guys…. this single hack has perhaps changed my entire life. It’s my favorite thing in the world. I don’t remember who I learned this trick from… either Ree or Trisha (you know…my two girls on Food Network…) If you don’t know about this method…you can leave your thanks in the comments. 😉 You’re welcome!
1. Cut the onion from the top to the bottom. Be sure you cut THROUGH the top and bottom.
2. Cut off the bottom of the onion (and put it in your trash bowl).
3. Peel all the icky stuff off (and put it in your trash bowl).
4. Place the onion cut side down and carefully make small slices from the top to the bottom, going across the whole onion. Be sure not to cut completely to the top. You want it to still be connected to the top of the onion.
5. Turn the onion the other way and cut completely across the whole onion. TA-DA! Perfectly chopped onion pieces.
Check out the picture below.
I have another random fact that I’d like to share- not quite a hack…
Did you know that you can FREEZE a banana in it’s peel?! Yep. You can. However…be warned. If you do this, you better just use it for banana bread. It’ll be a little runny, but it works perfect. You can also cut a banana into slices, freeze on a cookie sheet, and then place in a zipblock baggie and you are ready to go for any breakfast smoothie.
(Need a good one smoothie or banana bread recipe? Check these out. They are deeelicous! Banana Bread | Breakfast Smoothie)