Well guys, we are officially in the midst of the holiday season. With that comes shopping, cooking, baking, entertaining and overall chaos, right?! With all that we have to do this time of year, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite kitchen tips and hacks in hopes that I can help you save time and make life easier while working in the kitchen!
Wow. We got a pressure cooker for a wedding gift and it is a game changer. How did I never know the marvels of a pressure cooker?! If you don’t have one, add it to your list! Our’s is a Fagor from Bed Bath and Beyond, and it’s not your mother’s scary pressure cooker!
I always have good intentions of taking something out of the freezer for dinner before leaving for work… it doesn’t always happen (a.k.a. I forget). Enter the pressure cooker. Being a pressure cooker newbie, imagine my delight when I discovered that I could prepare FROZEN foods in the pressure cooker! And FAST! To cook 3 frozen chicken breasts in the pressure cooker takes only 12 minutes! Less time than it takes to bake fresh chicken. The only requirement is that there is at least 1 cup of liquid in the pressure cooker. If you want plain chicken breasts, you can just pour a cup of chicken stock in to the cooker and call it a day. Check out this delicious pressure cooked Salsa Lime Chicken Recipe on Pressure Cooking Today. Oh and btw, it has 2 alter egos: a slow cooker and a rice cooker.
Sprinkle dishwasher cleaner in the bottom of pots & pans with baked on food
This tip CERTAINLY came in handy last week for Thanksgiving. After all of the cooking and eating, you’re left with a mess. It seems to be standard operating procedure that I end up with baked on foods stuck to the bottom of my pots and pans. And let’s be real, those Dawn commercials where they put a drop of this alleged miracle liquid in the pan and the baked on food layer separates like the Red Sea, it’s a scam!
The best solution for this predicament is to sprinkle dishwasher cleaner (in powder form) in to the bottom of the pot, run some hot water in it (a couple inches will suffice unless the entire pot is crusty), and let it soak for a half hour or so. This great kitchen tip (courtesy of my Dad!) is the end of your exhausting battle to scrub off the crusted on mess. No elbow grease required. Thanks Dad! 🙂
Store bananas in the grocery bag
This one really blew my mind. And now no one can say that Ryan doesn’t contribute in the kitchen (this kitchen tip was his discovery!) We love bananas in our house, and we both like them on the verge of ripeness. By the time that this state of ripe occurs, there’s only 2 or 3 that remain viable for consumption. Until Ryan’s revelation! Keeping the bananas wrapped in the plastic grocery bag helps to more than DOUBLE the life of the bananas! We can eat them for 3 days in the exact state of ripeness that we like. I took the below picture when the bananas were 4 days old. They look almost the same as when I bought them. Like I said. Mind. Blown.
Wear gloves when handling meat & seafood
As you know, there is dangerous bacteria that lives in raw beef, chicken, pork, fish and most proteins that aren’t vegetarian. Of course you wash your hands after handling, but wearing gloves prevents the bacteria from getting in to your cuticles and under your nails where it likes to harvest. Getting sick during the holidays is a major bummer! This tip leads me to the next one…
Use a paper towel to pick up any tools or products you need in between handling raw meat & seafood
I admire the cooks who have all of their ingredients for a meal displayed in a neatly displayed on the counter in a quaint vignette, Food Network style. If I did that, I wouldn’t have the need for this kitchen tip, but that’s not how I roll. I’m often throwing dinner together late after a long day at work, and I improvise as I go.
This paper towel trick is a great time saver. Simply keep a paper towel near by as you prepare your meal, and then after you handle the meat, seafood, etc., you grab the paper towel to open the fridge door, grab ingredients from the cupboard, grab a utensil, etc. to avoid leaving bacteria everywhere you touch. I save a good deal of time not having to wash my hands numerous times through out my food prep process!
I hope that you find these tips helpful. Do you have any favorite kitchen tips and tricks? I say why re-invent the wheel when there are so many great ideas out there to share! I would love to hear your’s!
Have a great week, and thanks for reading!