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Kitchen Hacks: My Favorite Tips and Tricks

I absolutely love finding good shortcuts in the kitchen. Whether it's a tip on storage or an idea for a new gadget to use (or a new way to use an old gadget), I'm game!

Here are some of my favorite tried and true kitchen hacks:

1. USE AN OIL/BUTTER COMBO IN YOUR PAN
When you're sauteeing veggies, use a combo of butter and olive oil.
Olive oil has a lower smoke point than butter, so you'll be able to increase your heat by adding a touch of butter to the pan.
And, as an added bonus, it's tasty!


2. PEEL GINGER WITH A SPOON.

I swear this works like a charm!
The peel comes right off, and you don't waste a bit of your ginger.

3. GIVE YOUR CITRUS A WORKOUT
Find a little friend to play with your citrus.
Rolling your lemon or lime around on the counter with the palm of your hand a) feels good and b) breaks up the membranes in the fruit, leaving you with a lot of extra juice when you squeeze it!

4.GET YOURSELF A CUISINART SMART STICK NOW.

This is my hands-down most used tool in the kitchen.
I probably sound like a broken record about this, but I love it.
Things I've made with it:
soups
baby food
salsas
dips
sauces
crepe batter
waffles
whipped cream

This list goes on and on...

5. HOARD BAGGIES.
Baggies are fantastic for oh-so-many things around the kitchen. As I mentioned in my Buffalo Chicken Sandwich recipe, using a baggie when you're pounding out meat cuts down on cross-contamination and makes clean up quick and easy. You can use baggies for freezing just about anything (freeze liquids in a baggie flat on a baking sheet to optimize your freezer space), and they're also great for marinades. You'll be shocked at how much less marinade you'll need to make when you pop it into a baggie!

6. FREEZE YOUR BERRIES IN THE SUMMER WHEN THEY'RE CHEAP.
Last summer I found raspberries on sale for $.50/6 oz. package and loaded up.
Thankfully, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries freeze like a dream. 
Spread them out on a cookie sheet and pop them into the freezer.
Once they've hardened, toss them into a freezer bag, and you're ready to go.
I'm still eating raspberries from last summer just about every with my yogurt and granola. 
YUM.

7. MAKE ICE TRAYS YOUR NEW BFF.
There is nothing more satisfying than popping a cube of pesto in the microwave for 20 seconds and being able to use it in the dead of winter.

It's pretty incredible.

I make big batches of pesto with the Catfish and Sweet Thing then freeze them in ice cube trays. Once frozen, I pop them into gallon size bags and throw them back in the freezer until I'm ready to cook. I flavor pasta salads, soups and aioli with my frozen pesto, and I also use it as a simple spread on baguettes when we entertain.
You can pretty much use this method with anything.
 I freeze marina sauce in ice cube trays then defrost a few cubes for a quick meal for my girls. I also thaw a couple for a super convenient dipping sauce.
I also buy my stock and broth in large containers and sometimes only use a half cup or so. I can freeze the leftovers and use them in 1oz. increments with the ice cube tray method.

Here are some great trays with different options for cube size:








Have a question?


 Leave it in the comments, and I will get right back to you!

9 comments:

  1. Great tips and hacks, love the ice cube one!

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  2. Thanks for the wonderful information! Love short cuts!!

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  3. Great hacks! I love anything that saves me time in the kitchen :) I like using ice cube trays too, but you've given me some more ideas!

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  4. I put everything in ice cube trays! Orange juice (for smoothies) before it gets bad. Chicken stock. Guacamole.

    If I can freeze it and use it in small amounts, I do!

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  5. These are all GREAT tips, and believe it or not, I use them all in my kitchen! :)

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  6. Alison, have you ever used that cuisinart tool to make almond milk? Really don't want to buy a vitamix...

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    1. I haven't, but I would look at the Ninja before you invest in a Vitamix :-)

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    2. Great. Thanks for the recommendation!

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