Cooking can be fun when preparations are done effectively and without much mess. Check out these tips to make your kitchen time fun and less time consuming.
Use Sheet Pans as Trays
Guess what, sheet pans are not just for dinner anymore! Use your trusty baking sheet to stay organized while you meal prep. Keeping ingredients in one place helps you stay efficient and expedites cleanup, too. Food prep doesn’t have to be a drag.
Soften Butter (Even if You Forgot to Take It Out of the Fridge)
Don’t you hate it when you forget to take butter out of the fridge to make your favorite recipe? If you forget to bring that butter up to room temp in advance, it’s OK. You can soften butter quickly. The easiest way is to cut butter into cubes and let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes. The smaller pieces will soften up faster than a whole stick.
Prevent Bowls from Slipping
Need an extra hand? According to professional chefs, a damp dish towel under your mixing bowl will keep it from slipping and sliding on your counter as you mix. This tip works well with a cutting board too.
Chill Wine Super-Fast
Fact: No one likes lukewarm bubbly. Find a tall pitcher about the height of your wine bottle and get cooling. Immerse the bottle in ice water with a small handful of salt and turn every few minutes or so. Your booze will chill in 20 minutes (or even less!).
Keep Ice Cream Cool
Bubble wrap is a powerful insulator. While on the road, keep your favorite ice-cream from melting by wrapping the pint in plastic bubble wrap. It’ll stay firm for hours.
Get Eggs to Room Temp Fast
When baking, it’s important to use room temperature ingredients (unless otherwise specified). If you forget to take your eggs out of the fridge in time, don’t worry. Just place them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
Stop Stirring Peanut Butter
Getting tired of mixing the oil back into your natural peanut butter? There’s an easy solution: Store the jar upside-down. When you’re ready to use some, simply turn it right-side up. The oil will try to rise back to the top and the peanut butter will be much easier to stir. Nutty right?
Store Picnic Essentials
Grab a plastic bin and place it inside a cooler. Fill it with all your picnic needs (such as serveware, games, and linens), so you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Plate Like a Pro
Dip the blade of your sharp knife in hot water to heat it up. Then wipe with a dry towel and cut your cake or cheesecake into nice, tidy slices. Repeat each time for pretty slices with a clean edge.
Add a Carrot
Carrots take away the acidity in tomato sauce by adding subtle sweetness. If you find your sauce has gotten too acidic, peel a whole carrot, simmer it with the sauce and remove before serving.
Freeze Your Roots
When you are finished grating fresh ginger, freeze the leftover root in a plastic container or re-sealable bag. No more shriveled ginger in the produce drawer!
Make Herbs Last Longer
Nothing is worse than buying fresh herbs and seeing them wilt the next day. Keep herbs like parsley bright with this simple storage tip! Trim the stems and place them in a small glass of water. Then place a plastic bag (like the one you got at the grocer) over top and secure by tying the plastic in a knot or wrapping it with butcher’s string. Store in the fridge or on the counter for up to two weeks!
Turn Wine into an Instant Cocktail
Have a group coming over but only one bottle of rosé in the fridge? Offer up some variety by turning wine into a fun, fizzy spritzer cocktail. Simply pour wine over ice and top with sparkling water. Red and white wine work well. Add fresh fruit as a garnish if you’re feeling fancy.