Kitchen Hacks: Part 2

I heard positive feedback about my Kitchen Hacks column from a few weeks ago. Using sunglasses to prevent one’s eyes from tearing up while chopping onions and lining a bowl with a compost bag for easy kitchen clean-up were helpful hacks I’m told! So, here’s Part 2 as promised.

— Make your own “house blend” spice. Most of the time I use the same four spices in my meals and green salads – salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano. Instead of pulling out all of your go-to’s very time you’re cooking, combine those ingredients into one jar at equal parts or to your preference. Next time you’re making a salad, you can quickly grab just that one jar, instead of several. It’s a time saver and less clean up. Take it a step further and make other custom blends – an Italian medley, Mexican-mix, and an Indian blend.

— This is an old trick we all seem to forget so here’s a reminder – add a few grains of rice into your salt shaker to absorb moisture and prevent clumping and clogs.

— If your cutting board is not laying flat and seems to be curved, make sure you wet/wash each side of it after use. It will fall back into form. Adding moisture to both sides prevents the wood from warping.

— If unexpected guests text you and say they’re dropping by and your kitchen is a mess, hide everything in the dishwasher! What makes a room look messy is clutter. If you can get most of the counter clear, your kitchen will look clean and organized. A quick sweep and you’re all good! You can deal with the pile up in the dishwater later on.


— Use the bottle opener tool on a can opener to loosen a jar top. You’ll hear an “air release sound” then it will open easily. Did you see the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode(S. 9, Ep. 2) with Funkhouser’s  nephew Kenny and the pickle jar?!?! “Everybody’s gotta be the hero with the pickle jar.” Too bad they didn’t know about my trick!

— Always make extra. Cooking can be a lot of work, pulling out all the ingredients, making a mess, dirty pots and dishes, etc. If you’re going through all that effort and the mess will be made regardless, double the recipe. You’ll  have leftovers all week. Or you can freeze some for use when you don’t feel like cooking, know you’re going to have a busy week and have no time to cook, or if you have unexpected guests. Back in the day my mother always had 30-40 meatballs in the freezer. If you get a “drop-in”, all you need to do is take those out of the freezer and through a pot of macaroni on the stove. Your uninvited, slightly rude guests will think you’re June Cleaver.

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