In our eighth 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. Craving banana bread, but don’t have any ripened bananas? Heat your oven to 300 degrees and place bananas on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake large bananas for 40 minutes and smaller bananas for 30 minutes. When the timer goes off you’ll be left with soft bananas, perfect for using in baked goods. Check out my Greek Yogurt Banana Bread recipe here!
2. To keep pots from boiling over, balance a wooden spoon across the top. It will pop any bubbles it comes into contact with and also helps to absorb some of the moisture.
3. Easily shred cooked chicken by placing it into the bowl of your stand mixer, just be sure that it has been removed from the bone. Use the paddle attachment at medium speed and you’ll have shredded chicken for sandwiches, tacos, soups and stews in less than a minute!
4. Looking for gluten-free breadcrumbs? Try replacing standard breadcrumbs with crushed Rice Chex. Bonus: you can make them as fine or coarse as you like.
5. Did you ruin your favorite shirt after frying without wearing an apron? No problem. Just douse the grease spot with some dish soap and let it soak in, then run through the wash like normal. Voila! No more stain!
6. Did you know that you can turn your standard blender into a smaller, single serving size? It’s true! Most mason jars (not the wide mouth variety) will accommodate the blade from a blender, making it easier to blend on-the-go smoothies and shakes for one.
7. No cherry pitter? Try balancing the cherry in to opening of a class bottle and pushing the pit out with a straw or chopstick.
9. Freeze whole slices of your favorite citrus or berries in muffin tins for use in water pitchers and sangria. Muffin tins are much larger than ice cube trays and allow for a prettier presentation. For a tasty sangria recipe, click here.
10. Instead of using a knife to mince garlic, try using a fork. Place a peeled garlic clove beneath the tines of a fork and press in a crisscross pattern until you achieve the texture you’re looking for.
When I am pressed for time, I buy a roasted chicken if a recipe calls for cooked chicken. I take the meat off then put the bones in a freezer bag to freeze. Then use the bones later to make chicken stock. ~ Nancy Henderson
I don’t bake often, but, I do keep a couple of (vanilla) pods in a jar of sugar. It flavors the sugar until I need them. The bonus is vanilla flavoured sugar for making pancakes or waffles. ~ Clara Cueva
I learned this recently and IT WORKS ! If you have a problem with tiny critters getting into your flours, try this. Store your bags of flour in zip lock bags and put 3-5 bay leaves in the bottom of the bag. The little critters HATE the smell of bay and won’t go near your flour. ~ Carla Sullivan Phoenix
My husband discovered slicing aged cheddar with a veggie peeler keeps it from crumbling like it does if we use our Swedish slicer. ~ Cathy
Years ago when taking a cake decorating class, my teacher shared what she called her “Magic Mix”. Instead of the old way of preparing your cake pans with a coating of shortening, then dusting with flower, this stuff is one simple step and it leaves no dry, flaky residue on your cake. It is FABULOUS!
Combine equal parts of shortening, vegetable oil and flour. I generally make it using one cup of each. I store it in a plastic container in my cupboard. I cut a hole in the middle of the lid and leave my pastry brush in the Magic Mix all the time. It is one of my BEST tips for the kitchen. This will last for months without going rancid. I promise, you will love the result. My grand kids love to help me in the kitchen and they especially love “painting the pans” when we make cakes and muffins. ~ Julie
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!
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