From ways to prepare food to how to store it to just some helpful hints, these uncommon tricks you probably don't know about will make life so much easier. And we all know we could use a little extra help in the kitchen sometimes. No shame.
Hang bags in the freezer with binder clips to keep them easy to reach and not forgotten. Simply fold up the bags to create a seal and clamp them on. It might take some practice getting the bag hooked without it opening, but once you do, you've just created some extra space in the freezer.
Find yourself digging into the thick rinds of citruses, like oranges and lemons, but still not getting anywhere? We've all been there. But here's a simple trick you can do to save time - and not to mention your nails. Pop your citrus in the microwave for about 20 seconds, it'll be much easier to separate the fruit from its peel - You're welcome.
Everybody loves bacon, but nobody likes the painful splattering grease that pops out while cooking it. The folks over at Wonder How To explain there's a simple solution to avoid the burns - just add water. That's right, lay the bacon in a skillet, turn the stovetop heat to high and add enough water to cover the slices. The bacon won't dry out and the temperature will stay low and even.
Turn the heat to medium after the water starts boiling. Good news, the fat from the bacon has almost completely rendered and you're less likely to burn it now. Let all the water boil away and then turn the heat down again to medium-low. Since it's been cooked in water, it won't get tough or cook unevenly as it starts to brown, giving it the perfect crispness!
Now you have the best bacon and no grease splatters, enjoy!
There's a brilliant way to get delicious, cheesy onion rings - Simply cut the ends off the onion, peel off the skin, and cut the onion into thirds and separate the layers. Put one onion ring down and put another smaller ring inside of it, followed by adding slices of mozzarella to fit perfectly in-between and freeze them for an hour. Take them out and dip them into your flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs until they are all coated and fry them in oil until golden brown. Serve with marinara and devour!
Nothing's worse than pulling your container of ice cream out of the freezer and it's rock-hard. Sure, you could just leave it out for a couple minutes and wait, but 'ain't nobody got time for that.' The secret to keeping your ice cream soft and always scoopable is how you store it in the freezer.
Put the whole carton in a plastic bag, press the air out, seal the bag, and pop it in the freezer. Now you won't have to struggle to get your triple chocolate chunk ice cream out for a second (or third) bowl. Treat yo'self.
"Cook This Page" will be the next big helper in the kitchen. IKEA and the Toronto-based marketing company, Leo Burnett, came up with a collection of recipes printed on parchment paper. The illustrated recipe posters are printed using safe food colors and they show the necessary ingredients, amounts and other details.
The best part is all you have to do is lay out your ingredients where they're marked on the page. With all the ingredients in their spot on the paper, the sheet can easily be folded and popped into the oven. Some examples of recipes are ravioli with Swedish meatballs, salmon with lemon and herbs, and cocktail shrimp.
The secret to making the best-tasting baked goods is creaming the butter and sugar together for much longer than you may think, actually. Creaming isn't about combining ingredients (unlike stirring, mixing, or beating), it's about aerating them. Either with a spatula or a stand mixer, little pockets of air are created with each fold of the butter. With sugar added, it builds up an expansive network of sugar crystals, fat, and air.
Creaming basically physically crams air into the dough and makes it puff up in the oven. But creaming doesn't only start helping you while your goods are in the oven... Even before you start scooping the dough, something amazing has already happened. Creaming added extra cookies to your batch, what a wonderful gift.
So cream your butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes to get perfect baked goods - and more of it!
Heating up leftovers for two just got easier. Instead of having one bowl wait and get cold as the other one heats up, just put them both in at the same time. No, you don't need to buy a larger microwave, just place a coffee mug upside down next to the first bowl and put the second bowl on top of the mug. T
When you've got a night in by yourself, there's an easy way to fill your carb craving while still keeping portion control in mind - Use a coffee mug to get the perfect pasta serving size for one.
Pile your mug with marinara, mozzarella, basil, cooked rigatoni noodles and top it off with some parmesan. Pop it in your 400 degrees F preheated oven for about 20 minutes and voilà!
Now, you can either put a plate over the mug and flip it over for a big finishing presentation, or, ya know, just eat it straight out of the mug! We won't judge you for not wanting to dirty a clean dish.
It's no secret that store bought cookies are just not as good as warm, homemade ones. But who wants to bake a whole batch when they're cookie craving hits? There's actually a simple way to get fresh, out of the oven cookies, you just have to think ahead. When you've got spare time, make some extra batter and form it into balls. Freeze the dough balls on a cookie sheet, then after they're frozen, put them in a Ziploc bag and right back in the freezer.
Next time you're craving freshly baked cookies but you don't want to deal with whipping up the batter, your problem is solved - Preheat your oven, pull out your frozen cookie dough bag, and you can have warm cookies in about 10 minutes.
To keep your snacks from being stolen, you may have to get creative with your hiding spots depending on who you're hiding them from. You could try hiding them in a tampon box - no guy will ever look in there, or the classic ol' hollow out a textbook trick, we suggest the biggest and most boring, of course, and if you're the only one who drinks coffee at home, the coffee maker is the perfect spot for you.
And to keep your cold snacks hidden, just use a totally inconspicuous empty bag of frozen chicken. Just make sure your snacks are wrapped, otherwise, you'll have chicken-flavored chocolate and that's (hopefully) not what you're into.
Sprinkle some salt on your garlic cloves while chopping it really finely with your knife. Then use the flat side of your knife to grind the salt into the garlic to season it. Why? It brings out the flavor of the garlic and even helps you chop it more easily.
Want to keep your cookies soft and delicious long after you baked them? Problem solved! Put your cooled off cookies in a Tupperware container with a fresh apple slice or piece of fresh bread with wax paper between them.
How does this work? When the moisture from the apple or bread evaporates in the container, it actually gives moisture to your delicious cookies! As days go on, switch out your secret helper with a fresher slice. Now you won't risk breaking a tooth on your leftover cookies.
Looking for a healthier alternative to greasy fries? Try baking your own potato wedges instead. The secret to getting the perfect wedge is using an apple slicer. Angry you've never thought of that before? Don't worry, that's what we're here for.
Baking your own potato wedges is super easy - for real it's four steps:
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
2) Slice your potatoes into wedges (with your cool new apple slicer trick)
3) Create a mixture of olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, and onion powder and coat your potatoes with it
4) Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes
The annoying part of all-natural peanut butter is that the peanuts' natural oils will separate and float to the top of the jar (because it's made without added stabilizers like hydrogenated oil). Mixing it with a spoon by hand will fix this, but if you've ever tried it, you know just how much of a pain in the butt it can be. The solution? Use a hand mixer with just one beater attached! And once it's all mixed and ready to go, be sure to store the jar upside down. This will cause any oil that again separates to "rise" to the bottom of the jar, so once you flip it right-side up, it will be even easier to quickly stir and serve.
Never suffer from stale chips again with this origami hack. Okay, the word origami sounds a little intimidating, but this trick isn't, seriously all you have to do is know how to fold.
Fold the top edges down diagonally to touch each other. Fold the top section down a couple times to meet sides.
Flip the edges up and over while tucking the middle section underneath the edges on the back of the bag to seal.
And now you can say you're basically an origami master, which will be rewarded with fresh chips later on.
Sad, wilted lettuce will no longer be a problem if you store it correctly. After washing and drying your lettuce leaves, lay them on a paper towel and roll it up. Place it in a plastic bag and let as much air out as possible, then seal it up and put it in the fridge (the crisper drawer, if you can).
The paper towels will absorb the excess moisture from the greens and keep them from getting slimy. The sealed plastic bag will help keep excess air from circulating in and out, slowing down the wilting process.
You may already know that you can quickly make a baked potato in the microwave when you don't want to wait an hour to cook it normally. Just set your microwave to the baked potato setting and cook it until it's semi-soft.
Unfortunately, popping it in the microwave doesn't really give it that same great baked potato taste. You can make it taste so much better with just one easy, extra step. After the microwave, place your potato in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes and it'll make it crispy, just how you like it.
Making chocolate bowls are incredibly easy, but we bet you never thought you'd use balloons in the kitchen. All you have to do is blow up balloons to your desired bowl size (about the size of an orange is a good starting point).
Add chopped chocolate and shortening to a bowl, microwave until melted and let cool.
Dip the bottom of the balloons in the chocolate using a twisting motion to get the bowl height you want.
Place them on wax paper and freeze.
After frozen, remove them from the wax paper and poke a small hole in the top of the balloon to let the air seep out.
Carefully pull the balloon from the walls of the chocolate bowl (if the bottom of the bowls have holes in them fill them in with melted chocolate and refreeze.)
Fill the bowls with ice cream, or fruit or your dessert of choice and enjoy.
Bonus - no dishes to clean!
Do you love onions but absolutely hate using them in the kitchen? We don't blame you, nobody likes bawling their eyes out while trying to prepare a meal. So, why are onion tears a thing? Well, onions produce chemicals that travel through the air and when they hit the back of your nasal cavity and your eyes, you start crying (super annoying). But there's a simple way to not suffer anymore. Chew gum!
Chewing gum causes you to breathe through your mouth which stops any chemicals from going up your nose. This means your naval glands don't get irritated and you don't cry. Now the "I'm not really crying, I was just chopping onions" liars can't blame their tears on prepping a meal - sorry.
You can basically make a slice of every kind of pie instead of having to choose just one flavor, that way all of your guests can have whatever they want. The people over at Little Things show how mason jar lids will give you the perfect mini pie serving size and they are completely adorable!
Don't forget to decorate the mini pies by tying ribbons around the rims of the Mason jar lids. How cute!
Cut off the top of onion and peel.
Cut the onion (not all the way to the bottom!) into 12-16 vertical wedges.
Remove about 1 inch of petals from the center of the onion (you can place the cut onions in cold water for a few hours to help open them up, just make sure that you drain them well).
Dip the onion in seasoned flour (flour, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, cayenne) and gently shake to remove excess.
Separate petals to coat thoroughly with batter.
Gently place in a fryer basket and deep fry at 375-400 degrees F for about a minute and a half.
Turn over and fry for another minute and a half more or until golden brown.
Drain your onion on paper towels.
Place it upright in a shallow bowl and remove the center core with a circular cutter or apple corer.
Serve hot with dipping sauce.
If you want to avoid the hassle of water boiling over when you're cooking dry pasta, we have a hack for you, and the pasta will be perfect too!
Heat your pot of water to a boil, put your pasta in, and bring it back to a boil. The trick is to then turn the heat off. Just leave it there for about 18 minutes and the pasta will be completely cooked, along with no boil-over mess to clean up either.
You've got your baked potato trick, but what about mashed potatoes? Try this. Put a bed of salt on a baking sheet and bake your whole potatoes on it. When you can easily poke holes in them, peel them. Save the skins! This is the good part.
Fry up the skins in some butter for about two minutes and then add half a cup of milk to the frying pan. Use a strainer to add the milk to your cooked potatoes (with some salt and pepper). Then mash up the potatoes to how you like it and bam! Epic. Mashed. Potatoes.