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I'm Just Cookin' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Darci Tomky   

You’ve been hacked!

Usually the word “hack” is used in bad situations. Let me demonstrate.

Your computer has been hacked, and the hacker uses all your important information to steal your identity. Bad.

Your little brother hacks your Facebook account and tells everyone you love to pick your nose. Bad.

Your email gets hacked and all your contacts, including your grandma, get a lovely forward that makes you blush beyond belief. Bad.

You hack off your big toe with the lawn mower. Bad. And you can’t find it in the grass. Very bad.

Lucky for you, I’m introducing you to some good hacks. Yes, finally some good hacks!

Life hacks are those little tips and tricks we learn to make life a lot easier.

Since we just celebrated the new year and have all been decluttering, losing weight and spending less money (or so we say), I thought it’d be a good time to throw out my top 25 kitchen and food hacks that will make your life easier.

Some of these might seem like no-brainers to you, but hopefully others will be an a-ha moment that will change your kitchen forever!

25. Cut cookie dough logs—or other soft foods—into slices with unflavored dental floss to keep from smashing it.

24. Turn a cupcake holder upside down over a glass to keep the bugs out at a picnic.

23. Shred meat with a stand mixer.

22. Hang a plastic shoe holder on a tall cupboard door for handy organizing of snacks or other food.

21. Use an apple slicer to quickly cut potatoes.

20. Use a Sharpie to number plastic lids with their matching containers so you can easily find its partner when you are dishing up leftovers. It always looks like its the right size, and then it doesn’t fit!

19. Separate silverware by type as you load the dishwasher to save yourself a step when you unload it later.

18. Freeze whipped cream in cookie cutters for a fun addition to hot chocolate.

17. Use a fresh shower cap to cover a container of food instead of plastic wrap or tin foil.

16. To peel a potato, throw it in some ice water after boiling and the skin will easily slide off.

15. Write lists on your fridge with a dry erase marker.

14. When needing to separate an egg yolk from the whites, squeeze an empty plastic bottle over the yolk, and it will suck it right up.

13. To get an accurate water measurement, instead of filling the measuring cup a bit, setting it on the counter and moving it back to the sink to fill it a bit more, leave the measuring cup on the counter and use your pull-out faucet to slowly fill to the desired level.

12. Fit tension curtain rods vertically between cupboard shelves to organize cookie sheets and cutting boards.

11. Store your ice cream container in a plastic bag in the freezer to keep it soft and avoid freezer burn.

10. Freeze lemon slices in water in a cupcake pan for large ice cubes in pitchers.

9. Use chalkboard paint on cute jars for do-it-yourself storage solutions. You can also use the paint on the top of spice containers—that way you can put them neatly in a small drawer instead of taking up space in a tall cupboard.

8. Add your taco meat and toppings into a mini Frito bag for a perfect Walking Taco every time.

7. If you’re in a hotel room, you can use a coffee maker for all sorts of things, like toasting a bagel.

6. Use a turkey baster to fill muffin tins with mix or squeeze out cute shapes with pancake batter.

5. Buy some cheap wire shelves or turntables for all those small refrigerator items that get lost in the shuffle.

4. Grab an extra pants hanger from your closet and clip it to your open recipe book. Hang it from your cupboard to keep it out of the line of spills and splatters.

3. Use a big broken piece of eggshell to retrieve small bits of shell that fell into the food. It acts as a magnet.

2. Utilize ice cube trays to freeze handy portions of all sorts of foods, like fruit/yogurt for smoothies, spaghetti sauce, etc.

1. Use a waffle iron to make hashbrowns. You can also use it with Pillsbury cinnamon rolls or a cake mix.

Holyoke Enterprise January 9, 2014