I'm not going to lie back in the day before I moved out on my own I was a horrible cook I even burned uncooked rice. Seriously how does someone even do that? Well I managed to. Growing up I always watched my Mom, Grandma, Aunts and even a few men cook in the kitchen and picked up some valuable knowledge I would use later in life while I was out on my own. I've learned everything from what substitutes to use in a recipe to how to have almost zero kitchen waste. I figure I should share some of my knowledge especially with the holiday season coming up and everyone baking and cooking away in the kitchen!
20 Quick and Easy Cooking Hacks
- Don’t add too much baking powder: Your cake or quickbread will actually rise less; not more. And taste bitter.
- When making holiday meals, first clear your counters. Remove unnecessary items to give yourself maximum work space.
- If you plan to freeze a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, invest in a vacuum sealer.
- An envelope cut diagonally, with the remaining point also cut off, makes a handy impromptu funnel for dry ingredients.
- Substitute coconut milk for condensed milk, if you’re making a vegan-friendly cake.
- Ready to peel the shells off eggs? Wet your fingers first—the peels won’t stick.
- Stock your kitchen with staples so you can quickly whip up anything: Flour, bouillon cubes, spices, sugar, salt and olive oil to start with.
- Use a griddle iron or heavy fry pan for pancakes. If you use cast iron, never wash it—wipe and season it with oil after every use.
- Worried that your eggs have been in the fridge too long? Put one in a bowl of water. If it sinks, it’s still fresh.
- When freezing anything, be sure to mark the date frozen on the bag.
- Can’t reach items on your top kitchen shelves? If stepping stools feel unstable, buy a long-arm grabber instead.
- Keep all your cake decorating utensils and ingredients in one small plastic tub with a lid. You’ll never lose a cake icing tip, that way.
- Did you know that frozen bananas make wonderful, creamy “ice cream”, when puréed in a food processor?
- Put a few grains of rice in your salt shaker, if you live in a humid climate. This will stop your salt from clumping.
- If you want to prevent cookies from hardening, store them in a sealed cookie jar with a slice of apple.
- Save time by pre-prepping ingredients for recipes you often make, and storing them , sealed, in your refrigerator or freezer.
- For gluten-free gravy, throw away the flour. Try cornstarch, arrowroot powder or tapioca starch instead.
- Blanch vegetables before freezing to stop sugars turning to starch—which does happen quickly after picking.
- Make sure you put all leftovers back in the fridge within two hours of serving. After that, food can begin to spoil.
- Make up salads in a jar for lunch: Heavy items like carrot slices at the bottom; grains, fruit and nuts in the middle, greens at the top.
What's your best cooking hack?