BEST TIME SAVING IDEAS FOR THE KITCHEN
Whenever I watch one of the cooking shows or worse – a variety show with a guest chef, they cook up a feast and have everything in cute, convenient, pre-measured little containers. Doesn’t it all look so very easy? Not like at home where you might need a GPS to navigate the nether-reaches of your pantry. Whenever there’s a way to bring the tricks of the cooking trade into my kitchen, I’m all for it! One of the best resources I’ve found is “Cuisine at home” (www.CuisineAtHome.com). This is a no nonsense, so ads, just cooking magazine. Here are some of my favorite time saving ideas for the kitchen:
Stuffed Red Peppers have not yet evolved on their own to be as brilliant as the flat bottom hard tortillas shells from Old El Passo – so in the meanwhile, use a bundt pan!
Tomato Paste in a can is very convenient and is used in most recipes for sauces – it’s a kitchen staple. But really – who every gets all of the paste out of the can?!? Now you will by simply opening BOTH sides of the can and pushing the paste out – Brilliant!
Stuffed Mushrooms are a personal favorite – yum! What a clever use of a melon baller. And if you don’t own a melon baller (to make those cute and perfect balls of melons for fruit salads – go to Ares and buy one. If not for the stuffed mushrooms, then think of the melon balls that can be frozen and then popped into your guests’ drinks instead of ice cubes – love a kitchen tool that lets you discuss both mushrooms and drinks!
Single Serving Sauce is a great idea especially for those nights when dinner needs to be on the table in 5 minutes and you aren’t sure how many people you will be feeding. First coat the mini muffin tins in cooking spray, then scoop the sauce in, cover with plastic wrap and put into the freezer. You don’t have to keep them in the tray – once they are frozen, allow them to thaw only slightly when you can put a butter knife in each “well” and pop out the individual servings – store these in ziploc bags in the freezer until you need them.
Better Butter – but really, can butter really be better? Well, it can be neater. The suggestion here is to place a whole stick of butter onto a butter dish (if you don’t have one – Ares has a nice selection). Slice the butter into tablespoon size pats. This way the butter is pre-portioned for recipes for even little hands that might want butter with their steamed vegetables, baked potato or simply to butter their toast.
Skimming Fat sounds so very much like something you would find in a gym. This is crazy smart! To remove excess grease from browned ground beef or sausage, “blot” the extra fat from the pan using a piece of bread.
I do not like being in a Pickle to open jars and I do not like banging the sides of the jars either. Wearing rubber gloves to hold and open stubborn jars ensures a non-skid and non-slip clean operation.