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Life hack for the Kitchen part 2 More tales from the kitchen

09 Feb

Yesterday I put out a little post about some awesome hacks to make your life easier in the kitchen. I got so excited I just had to bring you some more. Until we all live in houses like the Jetson’s ( oooh I am showing my age) I guess these little tricks will have to do! How cool would it be to walk into your kitchen and everything was voice controlled? Stove- preheat to 350,  microwave high 30 seconds   oh my gosh I would be playing in there all day long and my hubby would eventually call the men in little white jackets to take me away.

Just like yesterday if you like these hacks or even if you don’t or maybe you have already tried them and have a little insight for us or maybe you even have a few tricks of your own, leave us a comment and share your wisdom!

Okay here is a cool one. Did you know that the lid of a peanut butter jar fits on the top of a mason jar?  I know, cool right!  Now this is handy to know for a couple of reasons. First if you ever lose a mason jar lid you can replace it with the peanut butter lid and go about your day or the really cool part is sometimes you want to freeze things that you may have canned and mason jars have metal lids so the little bit of chemistry that I remember from high school tells me that metal will rust so a great alternative is to switch out the metal lid with the plastic peanut butter lid and freeze away with no rust! Who knows you may someday be on a game show and that knowledge could win you thousands of dollars.

 

I LOVE bacon. If I could I would make a bacon sandwich with bacon bread and lettuce soaked in bacon grease with bacon mayo and bacon chips on the side. I love the greasy stuff as most people do. What I hate is that when you fry bacon some of the precious meat shrinks and leaves me less and that makes me sad. Want to know how to cut down bacon shrinkage by about 50%? I know you are waiting with bated breath so here it is…. simply take the bacon out of the package and run it under cold water for just a few seconds before cooking it. You will get…. you guessed it… more bacon!  Now this little trick does cut down on the amount of grease in the meat while it cooks so be careful that it does not stick.  This is a good/bad situation for me because I like to save my bacon grease for future uses but I do get bigger bacon so it’s a trade-off. Yes I know bacon grease isn’t good for you but neither is anything else these days but I am a southern girl who loves her gravy and biscuits so I need bacon grease, I also love to cook my green beans in it because the flavor is A_MAZ_ING! another bacon tip is while the bacon is frying add a tsp of water to the pan and your bacon will be crisper! Oh my gosh more bacon and crisper, I just may faint!

 

Do you absolutely hate to peel cloves of garlic as much as I do? How much do I hate it you ask? I hate it so much that I would rather clean a toilet while scrubbing grout and sitting in a dentist’s chair , that’s how much I hate it. So here’s what I do to make it bearable. Place the cloves of garlic in a Tupperware like container and close the lid. Shake that sucker like it just tried to steal your purse. I mean really shake it. I like music in the kitchen so I tend to make a dance out of the process and I am sure if anyone is watching I look ridiculous but hey, it’s my kitchen and I’ll dance if I want to!  After your really good garlic shaking take off the lid and the skins will have separated from the garlic like magic!

 

There is one thing that I always try to keep in my kitchen and that is bananas. I love them but I also need them as I tend to have a potassium deficiency and end up with cramps in my feet and let me tell you I am not a happy girl when that happens. I love to keep them on hand but they ripen so darn fast that sometimes a few end up getting thrown out before I have a family of fruit flies taking up residence in my kitchen. Here is 2 ways to keep your naners fresher longer. The first one is to wrap the entire bunch, at the stems with plastic wrap. I mean wrap it tight. Downside is that whenever you want a banana you have to try to get into Fort Knox. My way of doing it is much more simple. I simply break the bananas apart. When they are apart the chemical reaction is slowed down and they last twice as long. Do not put  them in the fridge like some will tell you do,  this only speeds up the rot.

At the end of the day do you have like a 1/4 pot of coffee left that you end up throwing out? Well those days are gone. Simply take that left over coffee and freeze it in ice trays. Then when you want an iced coffee, use these coffee cubes to keep the iced coffee from getting watered down and it adds more flavor. Change things up and freeze a flavored coffee like a hazelnut or caramel and add to another kind of coffee for a unique taste. Who needs Starbucks??

 

My husband is a corn on the cob fanatic. We head to the farmers market several times a month during the summer and get him his sweet corn. The only problem is he hates how hard it can be to get the corn OFF the cob. So here’s a little trick I taught him. Get yourself a fluted pan, they even sell these at the dollar store so YAY!  The top of the fluted pan makes a great little stand to place the end of the cob in. Hold the top of the cob as it sits in the fluted opening, take your knife and slide it down the ear of corn, all of the kernels fall into the pan for a no mess corn cobbing time!

 

Okay I love to hit the fruit market early in the morning when they have the best selection. I want fresh, fresh, fresh. so if I get up early to get fresh fruit I want to keep it that way right? I love fresh pears and apples but I hate peeling them all of the time so I like to cut up the slices ahead of time so I can grab a healthy snack whenever I want. The only problem with that is… you guessed it, they turn the color of dirt in just a few hours.  So here are a few tips to keep that from happening.  Mix 1 tbs of fresh lemon juice to 1 cup of cold water and soak your apples or pears and they will stay fresh looking.  or you can use 1/2 tsp salt to 4 cups cold water  or try 1/2 cup apple cider to 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice. This one is my favorite for the apples because you get extra apple flavor. In any of the scenarios let them soak for about an hour then drain and store in a zip lock bag and they will keep for up to a week!

 

Okay this one is my absolute favorite!! I use green onion on everything! They are just sooooo good!! I have a garden every year but by September my stash is gone and I have to buy my greenery. It gets expensive with how many I use on a weekly basis so here is a great money saver!! Chop off the bulb of the green onion stalk and chop up the stalks for your use. Place the bulb in a mason jar filled with water and place in the fridge, no lid so put it where it won’t get knocked over. In about 3-4 days your bulb will have 3-4 inches of new growth green onion!! It’s like magic! Now you  will never have to buy them again as you can do this over and over again! NO dirt, no fertilizer , no breaking your back in the garden.

 

Okay, ever since I had my bariatric surgery last June I eat sugar-free and try to substitute anything I can that has a high fat content( with the exception of bacon). I love to bake so this is perfect for me! When you are baking and a recipe calls for oil, any kind of oil, use unsweetened applesauce instead. You can substitute up to 1/4 cup without it messing with your recipe. Anything more than that and you will have to experiment. If your recipe calls for 1/2 cup oil then try using 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup oil. If it comes out fine then slowly try to eliminate the oil. The next time you make the recipe try a little more apple sauce and a little less oil and if it works, slowly work toward edging out the oil completely! Now this may not work in all recipes but cutting out even some oil is a much more healthy way to go!

 

Here’s a little storage solution. You know those plastic magazine holders they sell at the dollar store? Let me tell ya they ain’t just for magazines. You can use them as is or get a little crafty and decorate them how you like but they are great to hang in side a cabinet door to hold your aluminum foil, plastic wrap and sandwich bag boxes. They are out-of-the-way, free up precious shelf space and are within easy reach.  I have a very tiny kitchen with very little cabinet space so this is perfect for me!  Also take one of those small tension rods you can find anywhere but the cheapest I have found them is Big Lots for less than $3 each. Measure inside your cabinet under your sink, you know the place where all the bottles and cleaners and such ends up? get the correct size tension rod and place it long ways across the cabinet and you can hang your spray bottles by the handles up out-of-the-way and that frees up room for things below them. You can also use one of these rods in your pots and pans cabinet and place it as close to the wall as you can get it. Store your pot lids on it as they won’t slide through because the lid will keep them in place. Then you have more room for new pans 🙂  Your hubby will love me!!

 

Check back for more little tricks, I will post them as I find them or create them! Life’s too short to do things the hard way!

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on February 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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