I love ideas and products that make my life easier! Who doesn’t, right? Here are six life hacks for the kitchen that not everyone may know about, and I HAD to share with you!
1) Wash your strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in the container you bought them in. There are holes in bottom and they is perfect for washing and draining your fruit. It saves you from dirtying your colander. HOWEVER, I heard that you should not wash blueberries until you are ready to eat them. There is a protective dust on the fruit, and once it is washed away, they go bad super fast. So, if you shop at Costco and buy the large pack of blueberries, only wash what you are going to eat that day. Otherwise, the fruit becomes soft and inedible before you get around to eating all five pounds of blueberries.
2) Use kitchen scissors for everything! I keep several pairs of kitchen scissors handy. I use them for cutting pizza, cutting up waffles and pancakes quickly for three hungry munchkins, cutting up lettuce, green onions, and other veggies. The possibilities are endless and much faster than kitchen knives.
3) Add vinegar to make peeling eggs easier. We eat a ton of hard boiled eggs in my house and I have one simple trick that makes peeling the eggs faster (though I have no idea why it works). You just add a splash of vinegar to the water before you start cooking the eggs. My process for cooking hard boiled eggs is simple: bring a pot of eggs and water (with a splash of any vinegar) to a rapid boil. As soon as it starts to boil, cover the pot and remove it from direct heat. Let it sit for 15 minutes and you will have perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs. (I also recently tried this fun method for cooking poached, scrambled eggs. So strange but surprisingly super easy and delicious.)
4) The best way to cook bacon is in the oven. Use foil to wrap a cookie sheet several times (I have found that 4 pieces of foil does the best job- or buy this super size aluminum foil!). Lay out the bacon on your cookie sheet and put it in the oven cold. Set the temperature to 400 degrees and the timer for 25 minutes. Soon you will have perfect bacon, with no cleaning the pan or all the kitchen counters that the grease splatters on. After the cookie sheet has cooled, the grease is hardened and just removes when you crumple up the foil. My favorite bacon is the apple smoked bacon from Trader Joe’s. It is thick cut, and so delicious!
5) Speaking of Trader Joe’s, this garlic from Trader Joe’s is a life saver!! It stays fresh in your freezer. You just pop a cube or two into soups, crock pot meals or skillets when the recipe calls for garlic. So easy and fresh-tasting.
6) Put a slice of bread in your brown sugar container. Living in the Arizona desert means that I am buying new brown sugar every couple of months. Nothing is worse than needing brown sugar for a recipe and finding out that your brown sugar is hard as a rock. I just learned that if you store a piece of bread in the container, it stops the brown sugar from becoming dry and hard. Awesome! And by the way, a tiny sprinkle of brown sugar on a slice or two of your bacon before you bake it = YUM!!