7 shortcuts to make your life simpler when cooking or baking
Know anyone who enjoys being on their feet in the kitchen all day? Me neither.
Yeah, we can do this. The satisfaction of accomplishment and compliments help us go, but shortcuts are welcomed by every homemaker.
Chopping a salad for a crowd? Veggies for the week? Fruit for the entire family? Some have found popping fruits or vegetables into an egg slicer to be an amazing time-saver. It won’t work with everything (don’t bother putting hard-to-chop sweet potato inside), but peppers, cucumbers, apples or anything like that should be a cinch.
Pie? Carrot cake? Yum! Cooking apples? Grating carrots? Not yum at all. Some canned fruit or veggies can be great substitutes for the real deal to place inside pie or cake. And the best part is no one will know, other than you (and your tired feet).
Most cookie recipes can be hand-kneaded. It may sound primitive, but who cares, when there is one less mixing bowl and whisk to wash? Here’s how: fill a large ziplock bag with the wet ingredients first. Release the air and zip the bag. Then, either pretend it’s Play Doh and knead it yourself, or give it to a child to play with. Add dry ingredients and knead again till it looks done.
Ever make cupcakes? They are so fun. But filling the cups is usually an operation of dripping and drizzling excess batter all over the place. With this trick, that won’t happen anymore. Place the batter in the freezer until it’s thick, but not solid. Then, use a scooper to scoop cleanly into the cups, minus the dribble.
You’ve likely already heard of the idea of cooking more and freezing the rest for another night when you’ll want an easy, breazy defrost and serve routine. Some hesitate, as they don’t want food that’s unfresh. Here’s a list of things that freeze so well, no one will know:
- That mountain of sauteed onions. It takes so long to saute, why not do one mass sauteeing fest and freeze the rest for whenever needed? Ditto for mushrooms.
- Chicken. Cooked or raw. Just prep em’ till the frying or baking step or fully make em’ ready to eat. If you have gravy or sauce, package together with the chicken you are freezing.
- Stew or soup. Freeze leftovers. Then: Defrost. Heat. Serve.
Kids hankering for butter bagels? If you want to soften butter, place a warm glass over it.
Want to cool a large pot of soup so you can freeze it or place it in the fridge? Clog the drain with your stopper, turn on the cold tap and fill your sink with cool water. Then, take off the lid of the soup pot and place the pot in the sink. The cold water will cool your soup in 10 minutes.