In our second installment of Who Knew? Helpful Kitchen Tips, here are ten simple fixes for common kitchen dilemmas. I’ve also included a few fabulous tips that readers shared on my last Who Knew? post. Do you have a useful kitchen tip? Please share in the comments below!
1. Keep your fresh herbs around longer by treating them like flowers. Store them with the stems submerged in water like flowers in a vase. Cover loosely with plastic bag and store in the refrigerator or at room temperature away from direct sunlight. This will help your herbs keep fresher longer.
2. Before browning meat, soak up any excess moisture with a paper towel. Too much moisture will steam instead of sear and you’ll miss out on that tasty browned outer crust.
3. If you need to add more oil to your skillet while sautéing, stream it in along the sides of the pan. This gives the oil a chance to heat up before it reaches the ingredients you’re cooking.
4. Next time you make mashed potatoes, drain them and return them to the hot pan, cover with a lid, and let them sit for a few minutes. They’ll dry out a bit, which will help to soak up any added liquids (like butter and cream!) when mashing.
5. If your soup or sauce begins to collect a layer of fat across the top, throw in an ice cube or slide one over the surface with a slotted spoon. It will attract the fat and make it easier to remove.
6. The weather is heating up and that means ice cream! But nobody likes a drippy cone. Put a marshmallow or a chocolate chip in the bottom of your ice cream cone so that you don’t lose a single drop of frozen, creamy goodness.
7. If you’re squeezing citrus by hand, roll it back and forth between your palm and the kitchen counter for a few seconds. This gets the juices flowing and ensures that you’ll get the most out of your lemons and limes.
8. If your cupcake or muffin recipe doesn’t fill your entire muffin tin, put a few teaspoons of water in the empty muffin cups to protect your pan from unnecessary direct heat, which can warp your pan and age it faster.
9. Measuring honey or molasses? That stuff is sticky! Spray your measuring cup or spoons with a little nonstick cooking oil before measuring, and it will glide out smooth as silk.
10. My standing mixer is so beautiful, I hate to mess it up! To avoid splatters and difficult cleanup in the nooks and crannies, wrap plastic wrap around the top of your mixer while you’re using it and remove when you’re finished. It will still be clean and sparkling!
Here are a few of my favorite tips that were shared by readers on the last installment of Who Knew!
I have a key lime tree that produces a good crop and I’m happy to share the fruit, pies, limeade and margaritas with friends. Any extra fruit gets squeezed and the juice frozen in ice cube trays. Once the cubes are frozen, they can go into freezer bags for later use when the tree is bare. I would think this method could be applied to most fruit you might be growing in your garden. ~Mary
If you place a head of garlic in a bowl and get another bowl the same size to cover it, you can shake the garlic head vigorously and it will self peel. ~Marjorie Weisman
If your tomato sauce is too acidic or needs a touch more sweetness add a peeled carrot to the sauce while its simmering and it’ll fix it right up!!! Works every time!!! ~Robyn
Do you have a favorite kitchen tip to share? Leave it in the comments below. Your tip might be featured in my next installment of Who Knew!