10 Kitchen Tips for Moms
The Kitchen is often the heart of the home for busy families. We congregate to cook, share meals, laugh, do homework, bake, create holiday traditions, and so much more. I love to discover and share handy kitchen tips and hints to make the most of our time spent in the kitchen. Here are kitchen tips I hope you’ll want to add to your repertoire of kitchen short-cuts.
- Peel bananas the easy way: like the monkeys do ~ from the bottom end, not the stem end! What a difference it makes, bananas do peel easier upside down.
- Freeze bananas for later use: sometimes the ripe ones are on sale and really cheap, so stock up. Peel and slice the bananas before freezing. Smoothies are my favorite use for frozen bananas, you could also freeze bananas to use in muffins or pancakes or bread. I find the best way to freeze bananas is to peel, slice, and place in a flat layer in a gallon size ziploc bag. Lay the bag flat in the freezer and once the first bag is frozen you can stack more bags of bananas easily on top of the first bag.
- To cut back on nibbling while you're cooking try chewing gum. Any flavor works, but cinnamon seems to work best. It helps cut back on the “taste testing” and nibbling! Another option is to keep a bowl of popcorn or carrots next to you while you are preparing dinner and snack on these, they are high in fiber.
- Flip it Tip: This tip is for baking french fries or chicken nuggets or anything you are cooking on a baking sheet that needs turning halfway through cooking. When it's time to turn them over to brown on the other side take the sheet pan out of the oven and take a baking sheet of the same size or larger and place it over your hot sheet with the same sides facing each other. Hold them tightly together and flip so the food is now on the new baking sheet. Place back in the oven and finish cooking. I like to keep the empty sheet in the oven from the start so they are the same temperature when you flip.
- Coat It: If you run out of bread crumbs or would just like to try something different for a change, dip your chicken cutlets/breasts in egg and then in “complete” pancake mix! Kids love it, and frankly so do we adults, it's a nice alternative that adds a touch of sweetness, it's delish!
- Parchment Paper: When baking cookies, parchment paper is your friend. If you use parchment paper on your baking sheets there is very little cleaning you'll have to do, and it keeps your baking sheets much nicer for much longer. You can buy parchment paper at your supermarket, but I've found the least expensive way to buy it is to use the 40% or 50% off coupons at A.C. Moore or Michael's and buy the double rolls.
- Buttermilk Alternative: Recipes sometimes call for buttermilk and this isn't something I always keep on hand. Here's how to make a substitute: add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a one cup measurer, then add milk to fill up the cup. Stir, let sit for 5 minutes, and you have a great buttermilk substitute for your recipe.
- Freezing Bacon: Great kitchen tip if you only cook half a package of bacon and want to save the rest, or if you get a great sale on bacon and want to stock up. Lay down a sheet of waxed paper and then lay out the bacon strips individually on top of the waxed paper, cover with wax paper, begin next layer, continue till all bacon is used, then top off with waxed paper. Starting at the short side roll the bacon & waxed paper. Place entire pack into a resealable freezer bag and place in freezer. Take out slices as needed.
- Slicing Grapes or Grape Tomatoes: I love adding sliced grapes to my salads. This is a tip for an easy way to slice a lot of grapes all at once. Lay a Tupperware lid on the table and fill it with grapes. Take another lid the same size and place it on top of the grapes and press down tightly. Now take a large, sharp, serrated knife and saw horizontally between the middle of the grapes all the way to the other side. Presto, you've just halved the whole group of grapes all at once! Works great on cherry tomatoes too.
- Cube It: Buy a few extra ice cube trays to have on hand and get busy cubing! Some of my latest cubes are:
Wine: I hate having to refrigerate the last bit of wine left in a bottle when no one wants to drink it. So now I freeze it and use it for cooking in recipes, or add it to my wine glass another time.
Yogurt: Frozen yogurt cubes are great for adding to the blender to make a quick smoothie. Just add the yogurt cubes, some fresh fruit, a little water and you are good to go. I like to stock up when yogurt is on sale, and now if we don't use it by the expiration date I freeze it.
Cookie dough: Usually when baking cookies I like to make a big batch, but the problem is, that big batch gets eaten, and way too many by me! So, this is a great solution. Place individual portions of the dough in the ice cube trays and once frozen add them to a Ziploc bag. Now when it’s cookie craving time, toss just a couple in the oven and bake. By the time they are finished baking the craving has subsided a little – and while you are waiting for the cookies to bake drink a nice tall glass of water, or milk.
© 2012 MomsTreasureChest