Cooking and entertaining is great, but there can be a lot of mess, waste and time-consuming prep work to do.
Here are some fantastic hacks to make your life in the kitchen a lot easier.
Keep tomatoes fresher for longer
If you want your tomatoes to last for longer, keep them out of the fridge and store them upside down. This stops air and moisture from getting to the stems.
Don’t waste ingredients
Fresh ingredients are great but how often do you end up throwing away hers and other ingredients after you’ve made one recipe with them? Instead of continually buying garlic or ginger, then throwing the rest away when you haven’t been able to use it, you can buy these ingredients in jars or packets that stay fresh in your fridge for a longer period. Spice World Inc has a great range of stay fresh ingredients.
Store leftover herbs to use again
Bunches of fresh herbs can wilt pretty quickly. Save them to use again by coating them in olive oil, putting them in a storage bag, and keeping them in the freezer.
Ripen fruit with a banana
If you’re waiting for that avocado or pear to ripen but it’s taking too long, put some bananas next to them in your fruit bowl. But if you want your bananas to stay fresher for longer, separate them and wrap each top in cling film.
Keep brown sugar from getting lumpy
Brown sugar is great for coffee or baking but it gets sticky and lumpy very quickly. To prevent lumps, leave a slice of orange peel in your sugar, it will absorb moisture. Keep it in an airtight container. If you’re already too late and now have more lump than sugar, pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds and break it up with a fork.
Avoid the tears when slicing onions
When chopping onions, avoid cutting through the root. It is this part of the onion that causes you to tear up. It’s also handy for keeping the onion together while you chop it.
Learn this trick to check if your eggs are bad
Eggs often have a best before date on them but they can often be used after this. If you’re not sure to place your eggs in a bowl of water. If the eggs sink to the bottom or stand on one end then they are still fresh. If they float to the top, this means that much of the egg has already evaporated and you should throw them away.
Peel potatoes like a pro, without the peeler
Make potato peeling a breeze by boiling them first and then putting them in ice water, the skins will start to peel away from the rest of the potato and you can just pick them off.
Make cheese grating easier
If you’ve ever attempted to grate a softer cheese, you know how messy it can be. Try putting the cheese in the freezer for half an hour, this will firm it up and make it easier to grate.
Dental floss works in the kitchen too
Unflavoured dental floss is a handy way to cut soft cheese, cookie dough or butter.
Make your honey runny again
Honey tends to crystalize after a while. Place the jar in some hot water until the crystals have dissolved again.
Make the perfect poached egg
Poached eggs are lovely, they make the ultimate brunch dish, but they can be tricky to get right. Get the perfectly shaped poached egg every time by lining a cup or small bowl with some cling film and spraying it with a little oil. Crack the egg into it and then gather the ends together and tie them in a knot. You then have the perfect little parcel to drop into boiling water. When you remove the eggs from the pan, just snip beneath the knot with a pair of scissors and the eggs will come out the perfect shape.
Use a wooden spoon to stop pans boiling over
Placing a wooden spoon across the top of your pan will stop water boiling over and onto your cooker top.
Creat lovely citrus ice cubes for drinks
There’s nothing like a refreshing, cold drink with a slice of lemon or lime in it. Using a shallow cupcake tin, place a slice of lemon of lime into each of the sections and fill with water. Place it in the freezer until frozen then pop each on out and keep them in a bag. Voila, perfect citrus ice cubes whenever you need them.
Store your leftover wine for cooking
If you cook a lot of recipes that require wine, don’t waste your leftovers. Pour wine into ice cube trays. This will keep it fresh for months and you can just pop a few wine ice cubes into your cooking when you need them.
Bread can go moldy pretty quickly. If you’re constantly tired of buying fresh bread and throwing half of it away, then simply put it in the freezer. You can use it directly from the freezer to make toast or let it defrost for a few hours first to make sandwiches.
This works best with sliced bread.
Reheat baked items or pizza without the chewiness
Pizza can still taste great the day after but it often ends up hard or chewy when you try to reheat it. To get that great texture of fresh pizza, sprinkle a little water on it first, this will put moisture into the air of the microwave, preventing it from drying out.
Cooldown your coffee without affecting the taste
If you love a cup of joe, but don’t like it too hot, you can either leave it (and probably forget about it) or add some water, which will dilute the taste. To get your coffee cooler, but keeping the taste, brew a pot of coffee, let it cool down, and fill an ice-cube tray. Simply pop a few coffee cubes into your hot drink when you need to cool it down.