10 Useful Kitchen Tips
From cooking and cleaning, to storing and serving there are many shortcuts and tips that can make any kitchen or household task easier and more economical.
With many busy families today, shortcuts are a welcome tool to make dinner preparations or kitchen cleaning faster and more efficient. If I can save time or money, I'm all for whatever tips and tools I can find. I love my kitchen, but sometimes it is nice to be able to save a few minutes and spend that extra time relaxing with my family.
Below is a list of 10 useful kitchen and household tips that I think any family can benefit from. If you have any more ideas I'd love to hear about them in the comment section below.
Tip #1: Keep Potatoes from Sprouting
For small families and single people going through a bag of potatoes can be a daunting task, however buying just one or two potatoes every couple days or weeks can be an annoyance. To avoid sprouting keep the potatoes in a cool, dark, and dry place coupled with an apple in the bag and you will gain a week or two of extra storage time for your potatoes.
Tip #2: Mashed Potatoes:
When making mashed potates instead of dumping all the water out, save some of that boiled water and add powdered milk. Using this method instead of simply adding in whole milk retains the nutrients and potato flavor that would otherwise be lost in the water.
*Note: The apple works by producing a gas called ethylene which hinders the potato development and slows down sprouting.
Tip #3: Breading Chicken
To keep your breadcrumbs on the chicken, use mayonnaise instead of egg to coat the chicken. Mayonnaise not only sticks to the chicken better, but it doesn't create a dripping mess like the egg. Mayonnaise also adds more flavor to your chicken. Depending on the type of chicken you are making, you can add different spices to the mayonnaise without the spices becoming diluted.
Tip #4: Pounding out Steaks
When pounding out steaks, or chicken breasts use the plastic bag liners from cereal boxes. These bags allow you to pound out your meats or other ingredients without the mess of saran wrap.
Tip #5: Roasts
When buying a fresh roast put it into a freezer bag and fit it into your roast pan. Freeze the roast in your pan and once it is frozen you can remove the roast knowing that when it is time to cook the roast it will fit perfectly into your pan.
Tip #6: Canned Tomatoes
When trying to chop canned tomatoes it can be messy. I have a foolproof way to chop these tomatoes in as little as one minute. Instead of trying to take out each individual tomato, open the can/jar and insert a knife cutting the tomatoes several times. This not only allows you to cut all the tomatoes at once, but you keep the mess inside the can. Clean up is a breeze.
Tip #7: Melting Chocolate Chips
Decorating desserts in melted chocolate can be a huge mess. Trying to transfer chocolate from a double boiler into a piping bag can prove to be time consuming and cause the chocolate to seize up. Instead of a double boiler, when decorating put your chocolate chips in a freezer zip lock bag and putting the bag into a pot of hot water. After a few minutes kneed the chocolate to smooth it out. Cut a small whole in one of the corners to pipe out the frosting. Leave leftover chocolate in the bag to cool and crumble over ice cream.
Tip # 8: Cookbooks
Do you have several go to recipes on-line, or from family note cards? Having several different outlets can be confusing if you don't know where exactly your recipe is located. When you have a better recipe than the one in your cookbook, simply take a note card and tape over the existing recipe in your book. This way you can easily find the recipe using the index of your cookbook. If your cookbook doesn't have a certain recipe create a new cookbook for all your online sources and keep it in the back of your cookbook.
Tip #9: Cleaning Your Oven
Let's face it. No one likes to clean their oven. Does anyone even remember the last time they cleaned theirs? Cleaning your oven doesn't have to be hard, or even time consuming. This quick recipe will get your oven clean in 10 minutes and using a little elbow grease (for those tougher stuck on messes).
Few drops of liquid dish soap
Enough baking soda to create a paste
With these 3 ingredients you can have a clean and shiny oven again in no time. Wipe up the paste after 10 minutes and you're done!
Tip # 10: Using Peppermint Oil
Instead of using chemical filled air fresheners or candles, I love to add a drop of peppermint oil to my hot dishwater. The oil instantly makes the kitchen and surrounding rooms smell clean and fresh. I love peppermint oil, because unlike candles the oil actually absorbs the odors. I don't have to worry about smelling whatever we cooked later after the peppermint oil is gone.
These simple tips and tricks are meant to save you time here and there and make dinner preparations a little easier. We all want to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with our family, and these tips are a way to give busy families a few extra minutes each day.