Kitchen and Cooking Tips

I hate to call these kitchen 'hacks' because I've had failed tries of using internet famous internet 'hacks'.  So these are just a few handy tips and tricks I've picked up over the years that I find handy and that actually work in streamlining cooking or kitchen organizing.  Some of these tips I picked up from my mom.  Some of them I picked up from roommates or friends.  Some of them I found on the internet and found useful.

  • sharpen your knife before each time you use it
    • I picked this up from an old roommate of mine.  He would sharpen (re-align) his knife before he used it every time.  It only takes half a minute, but makes a world of difference.  I mean, you get that stick thing sharpener in most knife blocks and sets anyway, so use it!  I try and do 10 alternating strokes on each side of the knife. Also, contrary to what most beginners think, a sharp knife is much safer to use than a dull knife.
  • use the back of a spoon to peel ginger
    • way easier than using a knife or vegetable peeler and saves more ginger
  • store Silpats (silicone baking sheets) rolled up in an empty paper towel roll
John helping
  • dunk boiled eggs in ice cold water to make peeling easier
  • line your toaster oven tray with aluminum foil
    • cuts down on clean up
  • use the refrigerator crisper drawers correctly
    • set one on 'high' humidity and place things that would wilt in there
    • set one on 'low' humidity and place things that would rot in there
  • freeze chicken bones and vegetable scraps in gallon bags in your freezer
    • once they're full, place in a slow cooker or large pot and fill with water, add salt and pepper and a bay leaf and make stock
  • keep a used produce back on your counter or in your sink for trash/scraps
    • this limits times you have to walk to your trash can.  Also, for any stinky stuff, if you tie a knot at the top of it after you're done, it cuts down on smell and the number of times you have to take your trash out
  • to peel garlic, cut the ends of a clove and then smash it with the side of your knife
  • when scooping things off your cutting board, use the back of your knife
    • this won't dull your knife blade and you won't accidentally cut yourself

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