This Remarkable Food Trick Saved Us Hours In the Kitchen

This article was originally published on our site: Cooking can either be fun and exciting or it can be a boring chore that you simply have to do

4 years ago

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Cooking can either be fun and exciting or it can be a boring chore that you simply have to do to survive. It’s your choice to make! If you’re ready to speed up your whole cooking process and want to have as much fun as possible while doing so, here are few impressive food hacks to do just that. No fancy appliances or rare spices required! Just the things you already have in your kitchen.

Can You Still Eat Those Eggs?

Most eggs are still relatively fresh even after the expiration date, but how can you tell whether they are edible or not without actually cracking them? Here’s a quick trick that will take you less than a minute to perform.

Fill a large bowl with cold water and put a few eggs you want to test in there. Immediately, you will notice that the eggs will either go to the bottom of the bowl, remain somewhat standing, or completely float to the surface.

The ones that are floating to the surface are the oldest as they contain more air in them – we wouldn’t recommend eating them. The ones that stand on one end aren’t too fresh, but they are still good to eat. And the freshest eggs will always sink to the bottom of the bowl as they are the ‘heaviest’ and have almost no air in them (the air gets through eggshells as time goes by).

The Wooden Spoon Trick

If you’re one of those people who like cooking pasta but are very bad at keeping an eye on the whole process, then you might have already tried the fabled wooden spoon trick that prevents the pasta from boiling over.

It might sound like magic, but it does work quite well! Why, you might ask? Well, the spoon is hard and water resistant, so it keeps on breaking all those bubbles, returning  them back into watery state.

The spoon is cooler than the foam, so it works like a charm at keeping all those hot bubbles at bay. But when the spoon heats up – oh boy, you really want to be there when it happens because all the magic will fade away and the carriage will turn into a pumpkin right away, creating a mess in your kitchen. So, don’t leave your pasta unattended for too long!

What You Should Do with an ‘Empty’ Nutella Jar

A jar of Nutella never goes fully empty, you know? There are always some delicious leftovers there that you want to scoop, but it just seems so time-consuming. And you can’t just throw it all out, right?

Here are a few hacks that will help you enjoy all that deliciousness. The easiest way to finish your Nutella is to simply pour a glass of hot milk into the jar to create a sweet and yummy hot chocolate drink.

Another thing you can do is eat oats right from the jar, scooping all that extra Nutella while you’re having breakfast. You can also put some cereals into your ‘empty’ jar of Nutella and enjoy an even tastier treat.

Use WATER to Revive Old Baguette

Baguettes are notorious for getting stale pretty fast. A few days pass and it’s gone! But there’s a trick you can use to revive that stale piece of bread. It’s hard to believe it, but you’ll need to use some water!

Soak your loaf of stale bread fully in water and be quite generous, so the whole crust is properly damp. Then wrap your baguette in a big piece of foil that covers it wholly. Next, put it into an oven (not pre-heated) and turn it on 300°F. Bake for around 12 minutes and, when the time is right, unfold your bread and prepare to be amazed!

Your loaf of stale bread would turn all warm and soft once again, but if you want it to be crunchy like the day you bought it, return the loaf into the oven unwrapped and bake for around 4 minutes more. Enjoy your delicious revived bread!

This is How You Separate Egg Yolk from Whites

Seriously, is there a more hated cooking process than separating yolks from whites? While lots of recipes demand it, this is never easy even for the chefs.

Some people use egg shells to do the task, but this can get messy real quick. What you want to do is use something you can suck the egg yolk with. An empty plastic bottle is a perfect fit!

All you need to do is gently squeeze the air out of it, put the bottle on top of the yolk you need to separate, and simply suck it in! The trick also works with multiple eggs and yolks and it’s totally stress-free.

Revive Your Bitter Coffee with THIS

We all have good and bad coffee days – sometimes you just get distracted or use a different brew and end up with a whole pot of bitter coffee. It’s barely drinkable, yes, but there’s still something you can do to save it.

Just add a pinch of salt to your cup! It counteracts the bitterness and brings out the best coffee flavour. It’s so effective, that in some countries like Turkey and Siberia the use of salt with coffee is almost mandatory as it affects the drink’s taste so much.

If the coffee is bad the salt won’t change that, of course, but if it’s just too strong and bitter – a pinch of salt might become your savior. You can add it to the finished cup or add some salt to the grounds before you brew coffee to take off the bitter edge. You’re welcome!

What to Do With Pasta Water

You may flush it down the drain, of course, like most of us do, but pasta water is far more useful than you think. You can still use it to prepare some dishes, one of them being the sauce (that you may use for the pasta).

Just save a cup or so of pasta water and as you prepare your sauce on a low heat, mix in a ladle to create a silky and smooth texture. The sauce would also have a richer taste as a result.

Leftover water from boiling pasta or veggies can often be used in a variety of other meals, so you can plan ahead your dinner menu and add this yummy water to the recipe.

Cook Omelet in a Bag

This ingenious cooking trick is perfect for when you need to cook lots of omelets at once or you are out camping and simply don’t have a pan to fry them. Here’s where the resealable bags come in!

Put one or two eggs into a resealable bag, then squeeze the beg gently to “beat” the eggs into an omelet consistency. Next, you can open the bag once again and add whatever you want – veggies, cheese, spices, etc.

Seal the bag (or bags, as many as you want) and put them into boiling water. Wait for 10-15 minutes and your omelets are ready to be served. Just slide them out of the bag and right into your plate! It’s fun, easy, and can save you lots of time if you’re in a hurry.

Save Your Ice Cream from Melting

Sometimes to get your favorite brand of ice cream you need to go to some faraway shop. We bet it’s still pretty warm inside your car even with an AC on (it’s ice cream we’re talking about, duh).

So, how do you save your delicious bucket of ice cream and bring it home for everyone (or just you) to enjoy later on? There’s a remarkably easy trick – all you have to do is use some bubble wrap.

Plastic wrap is a great insulator, so when you’re taking your bucket of ice cream on the trip, thoroughly wrap it in bubble wrap and enjoy the cold goodness when you get to the point of your destination. The ice cream will stay cold for hours!

How to Save Leftover Herbs

If you have a bunch of herbs that are about to spoil and you don’t want to throw them out, you can save them for later. How? By using the freezer, of course.

Freezing herbs may not sound like the best idea at first, but if you freeze them in olive oil or butter using ice cube trays – it’s a whole different story.

Take a spoonful of herbs and put into each segment of your ice cube tray, fill with oil or butter, and let the mixture freeze. Take out these frozen herb cubes whenever you need to add some yummy herbal taste to your dish. It works like a charm!

Upgrade Your Microwave Popcorn with Soy Sauce

There’s this idea among home chefs that you can add soy sauce to literally anything and it will taste better. Is it true? Well, we don’t know about 'anything', but mixing soy sauce with butter for popcorn really makes a change.

There’s just something very delicious about umami soy sauce that, when mixed with creamy butter, makes for a perfect salty combination.

Mix equal parts of both ingredients and sprinkle on top of your homemade popcorn – and voila! Your amazing topping is ready and you can enjoy your favourite movie with a finger-licking snack.

The Fastest Pizza Recipe Ever

We all love pizza, but sometimes you just don’t feel like getting into the whole baking process and maybe ordering it is not an option, too. So what do you do then?

Well, if you have some tortillas and a few spare minutes, you can prepare thin crusty tortilla pizza in no time. Just spread your tortilla (you can do it right on the frying pan or a baking sheet), add your favourite sauce, grated cheese, some additional toppings, and you’re good to go!

Bake it for around 15 minutes or simply use your cast iron skillet without oil to fry it until the cheese is properly melted. It tastes delicious either way and it’s remarkably easy to prepare.

Upgrade Your Mac’n’Cheese to a Chef’s Level

The hearty delicious mac’n’cheese is one of those staple heart-warming dishes loved by people of all genders and ages. And what’s not to love? While this dish is pretty perfect on its own, there is one hack that will bring it to a whole new level of awesomeness.

You might have heard that adding something acidic to creamy foods makes them taste much better. Well, it turns out this is true for mac’n’cheese as well! And the secret ingredient you need to add is – mustard!

Add a few tablespoons of mustard to your mac’n’cheese sauce (or less, depending on the amount you’re preparing) and prepare to be amazed by the upgraded taste!

Are Those Coffee Beans Fresh or Not?

Maybe you haven’t stored your coffee beans for that long, but they can also get stale and, believe us, you don’t want to go anywhere near those stale flavourless beans even if your life depended on it.

So, if you have a bag of coffee beans that are old-ish, you can run a quick test to see if they’re still drinkable (or grindable) or not. For this, take half a cup of beans, put them in a ziplock bag, and leave for the night.

In the morning, if the beans were fresh, they would have released some carbon dioxide, resulting in a puffed bag. If they were old, the bag would remain flat and that’s a clear sign those beans shouldn’t be used for drinking your morning cup of joe.

Ripen Your Avocado in a Few Minutes

Avocados are notoriously tricky – they are either underripe or they ripen too quickly and you end up with brown mushy paste on your hands if you miss the right spot. But fear not!

If your avocado is still underripe but you want to eat it no matter what, there’s a quick trick that will help you out. For this, you will need to wrap your avocado in aluminum foil and simply bake it for 8-10 minutes, depending on how green it is. Preheat your oven to 200°F and you’re good to go.

The avocado will become nice and soft, ready to be used in any dish or simply as it is.

Chill Wine in the Water Dispenser

Okay, this hack may not be for everyday use, but if you’re having a party and you know that some drinking is going to happen, you can use this hack to get everyone a perfectly cool glass of whine wherever they need it.

For this, just use the water dispenser in the fridge! Pour a bottle of wine right into it, wait a few minutes, and enjoy chilled wine that tastes absolutely amazing when it’s the right temperature.

Of course, it’s best not to leave the wine there overnight as it’s taste would probably be ruined by other foods in the fridge. But it’s a perfect trick for a lovely evening with your friends or partner!

Make a Heart-Shaped Egg

Why would anyone want to make a heart-shaped egg? Well, it looks cool and if you’re one of those people who like cute food – then this trick is right up your alley. Try it once and it’ll grow on you, we promise!

To create a heart-shaped egg, boil your eggs as you’d usually do it, cool them down, peel, and perform a few easy moves that will transform your eggs into heart-shaped beauties.

For this, you will need to cut out a corner out of a juice box, wash it, then put the egg inside the corner so it sits nicely there. Next, slightly push the egg down with a pencil, so it creates some pressure on the egg, secure the pencil with a few rubber bands, and let the whole thing do its magic for 10 or so minutes. As a result, your egg will change its shape having a dent on top, and when you cut it in half it will look exactly like a heart!

Soften Up Butter FAST

Don’t you just hate it when you’ve prepared for a nice baking session but suddenly you realize that you forgot to take the butter out of the fridge? If you’ve already prepared to wait for an eternity for it to soften up, here’s a quick food hack for you.

Cut up all your butter into smaller cubes and leave them out of the fridge. It will still take up to 20 minutes for those butter cubes to soften up, but it is considerably faster than waiting for the whole brick to warm up.

Smaller pieces of butter warm up faster and you don’t have to wait too long as a result. The smaller the pieces, the faster they’ll reach room temperature! You can also shred your stick of butter for maximum effect.

Keep Your Herbs Fresh Like the Day You Bought Them

Herbs are notoriously hard to store as they start spoiling quickly the minute you cut them (or take from the store’s cooler). But the trick in keeping your favourite herbs fresh isn’t about freezing them!

In fact, the more natural way will make your herbs last much, much longer. Most of the herbs would stay fresh and delicious if you keep them like flowers in a glass with about 2 in of water.

Make sure there’s no direct sunlight as that will make your herbs dry out faster and wither. Otherwise, they should last for a few days or more without loosing their natural freshness!

Get More Juice From Lemons and Limes

Lots of recipes require using freshly squeezed lemon juice, but it’s always such a pain to squeeze it properly. That happens because lemons are pretty hard when you take them out of the fridge, resulting in a painful and somewhat messy juice extraction process.

But fear not, there’s a way out! Just warm up your lemon, lime, or even orange in a microwave oven for 15-20 seconds, then roll it on your counter back and forth, and your lemon is ready to get juiced.

You’ll be amazing at how easy your lemon will release all its juice in no time. It will require close to no effort at all and there will be more juice compared to the usual lemon juicing technique.

Cook Grilled Cheese with Mayo

We all love crispy grilled cheese with a crusty toast that's all warm and gooey inside, but how do you reach that perfect combination of both? There’s a trick that not many people know about, but oh boy, does it work wonders in your kitchen!

To make your bread extra crispy with a delicious golden brown crust, all you need to do is put on some mayonnaise before frying it. Yep, that’s the trick!

Using butter simply doesn’t create this spectacular delicious effect. But when fried with mayo, the bread becomes deliciously crispy, while the cheese inside melts to a perfect gooey condition. It just tastes amazing!

The Mango Cutting Trick

We all love mangos – there’s a reason they are considered the King of all Fruit in some countries! They are delicious, sweet, flavourful, and can be used for creating a variety of yummy dishes (mango sorbet, anyone?).

Cutting mangos can be somewhat messy, but only until you try this easy cutting trick. First, cut your mango into two halves (on each side of the fruit’s stone). Then create a grid with diagonal lines on each half of the mango.

Next – invert the halves of mango and you’ll be left with perfect yummy cubes sticking out ready to be cut and eaten. This is definitely the easiest way to cut mango, but it does work best with ripe fruits.

Easy-to-Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs

If you like boiled eggs, then you know that sometimes they are just a nightmare to peel. To avoid that gut-wrenching process of trying to pick the broken eggshell bits and pieces off your egg, here’s a neat little trick you can try right now.

First, use slightly older eggs (up to 10 days would be perfect) – they are more alkaline and would peel easily after you boil them. Knowing that, you can also add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water to bring out that alkalinity even more.

After you finish boiling the eggs, make sure you put them into cold water and start removing the eggshell after the eggs are properly cooled down. The peeling process should feel like a walk in the park!

How to Open Wine Without a Corkscrew

We’ve all been in those situations when everyone is dying to have a drink but somehow you forgot the corkscrew or simply didn’t plan to have a drink in the first place. But here you are with a tightly corked bottle and a bunch of thirsty friends.

Fear not! There’s a way to open a bottle of wine without using a corkscrew. Just look for a spoon with a long handle, a wooden spoon would be perfect. Place the tip of the handle on top of the cork, use some towel to secure it, then gently apply pressure on top of the spoon to push the cork inside the bottle.

And voila! All you need is 5 minutes of your time and a spoon to share a bottle of wine with your friends, no corkscrew required!

How to Prevent Your Carved Pumpkin from Rotting

This trick is so simple that we couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw how it works! If you’re a fan of Halloween (and who isn’t, seriously?), then you’d want your carved pumpkin masterpiece to last for as long as possible.

Carved pumpkins are known to rot fast, lasting for up to 3 days, but if you dump them into a bleach solution, you’ll be able to prolong their life for up to 10 days. We kid you not!

To do this, you will need a huge bucket that can hold you pumpkin along with a bleach solution. Mix 3 gallons of water with 3 teaspoons of bleach to create the solution, then place your carved pumpkin into the bucket. Make sure it’s wholly covered. Let it sit there for 2 minutes to soak in the solution. And voila! The pumpkin is ready and free from the microorganisms that would make it rot. Air-dry the pumpkin and enjoy its prolonged life.

When You Don’t Have a Mortar and a Pestle

So many recipes require grinding something up, especially spices, but we rarely have a mortar and a pestle on our hands when we suddenly crave that pumpkin spice latte in the middle of the night and need a bunch of freshly ground spices to make it.

Freshly ground spices taste so much better, but what should you use instead of mortar and pestle? Well, for softer ingredients like ginger or garlic you can simply use a heavy mug and gently smash whatever you need to grind.

For spices and herbs it’s best to use something heavier like a rolling pin or a cast iron skillet. Put your spices into a ziplock bag so they don’t fly all over the kitchen, put them on a cutting board or the floor, and start smashing them. It’s fun and effective!

Don’t Throw Out Your Stale Bagels

Stale bagels, or any stale bread for that matter, doesn’t need to go straight into the bin when it becomes a few days old. Yep, old bagels lose all their charm and glamour, but you can create something equally delicious without throwing them out.

How about an absolutely free bag of bagel chips? Just cut your stale bagels into thin pieces, put them on a baking sheet, add some salt, spices, oil, and bake them at 375°F until they start looking like delicious bagel chips, all nice and crispy.

These bagel chips will cost you nothing and you will end up with a plate of delicious snack that tastes so much better than anything they sell in the store.

How to Keep Your Cheese Fresh and Mold-Free

Most cheeses are sold in plastic covers and we tend to just leave them like that. But it turns out plastic wrap is the worst container for almost any cheese.

Cheeses tend to suffocate inside a plastic wrap, and some of them actually gain that plastic aroma from the wrap! To avoid that, just use cheese paper or wax paper, parchment paper works great as well.

If your cheese tends to ‘sweat’ a lot, you would want to replace the packing paper as much as possible, so it doesn’t all get wet. Wet wrapping paper won’t do your cheese any good!

Store Your Peanut Butter Upside Down

We all love natural peanut butter, but there’s one drawback most of you have probably faced when trying to prepare the yummy PB&J sandwich. Most of the time, peanut butter needs a good stirring to mix all the oils that got separated so you can use it to prepare the delicious treat.

And more often than not we store it in the fridge, so stirring isn’t an option until the butter softens up a bit. It’s just bothersome and messy. So how do you solve this problem?

Simply store you peanut butter upside down, so when you need to use it all the oils are already there and you can put it on your sandwich right away (or after a gentle stir).

Use Overripe Bananas for Baking

Overripe dark bananas may look nasty and not like something you could still eat in any way, but we assure you that up to a certain point those soft mushy bananas can still be used quite successfully in baking.

Yes, there’s a variety of baked goods you can prepare with bananas - you can use them instead of eggs and for some added flavour.

Bake a portion of sweet banana bread with some cocoa nibs or go for a vegan oatmeal cookie recipe that you can prepare with cocoa and carob, along with nuts and dried fruits that make it a healthy and delicious treat. Seriously, those bananas are a real game-changer when it comes to baking!

What to Do With Leftover Sauce

Ice cube trays are an incredible invention and you can do so many things with them, right? Or rather, freeze so many things in them.

Preparing homemade sauce, it’s likely that it won’t all be eaten in one go. There is always something left that usually goes into the trash bin, but stop right there and don’t be quick to dispose of that yummy extra pesto.

Take an ice cube tray and simply freeze whatever leftover sauce you have! You can always save it for later. It’s good to have some fresh sauce on hand whenever you need it without the fuss of preparing a fresh batch every time.

Have Fresh Fruit Smoothies in Winter

We all love smoothies, but once the summer is over there are less fresh organic fruits and berries available in shops. If you want to have yummy smoothies all year round, make sure you prepare some fruits beforehand.

For that, all you need is a bit of your time and a spacious freezer. Buy your favourite seasonal veggies, fruits and berries, wash them, cut them, place into ziplock bags, and store in your fridge for as long as you like.

As winter comes, enjoy your fresh smoothies by adding water or yoghurt to your frozen goodies. Get all those extra vitamins without a fuss!

Froth Your Milk At Home (No Appliances Needed!)

If you want a cup of barista-style coffee but don’t want to go outside to enjoy one, you can easily prepare home-made cappuccino right inside your kitchen (if you have a coffee machine, of course, but freshly brewed coffee will work just as well).

To froth milk the easiest way possible, you will need a jar and a microwave oven. Fill half of the jar with milk, close the lid, and shake it thoroughly for a minute or so.

Once your milk is properly foamy, open the jar and put it into the microwave oven for 30 seconds. Your frothy milk should be nice and ready to be added to your homemade cappuccino or frappe.

How to Hull a Strawberry

Lots of delicious recipes  call for using strawberries and if you want to put some on top of your cake as a decoration, you simply need them to look gorgeous. Of course, you can’t use strawberries with all that extra greenery, so you need to get rid of that without destroying the look of the berry.

To hull a strawberry the easiest way possible you will need a simple plastic straw (or a stainless steel one if you have it for a cleaner effect). Insert the straw into the tip of the strawberry you want to hull, push it through, and you will successfully extract the stem in no time.

All it takes is just a few seconds of your time, so preparing even a bunch of strawberries for your cake or ice cream won’t take too long.

Upgrade Your Butter

Butter is pretty amazing as it is, but have you tried herbal butter? Upgrading your butter takes just a few minutes, but you’ll end up with a really exquisite spread that tastes amazing on toast or freshly baked bread.

You can use a variety of herbs of your liking, but what we would really recommend is mixing finely chopped tarragon leaves with a dash of lemon juice.

Let your butter soften in the room temperature, then thoroughly mix it with tarragon leaves and lemon juice, roll it up using parchment paper, then either keep it in the fridge for up to a week, or put it in the freezer for later use.

How to Cut Onions Without Crying

We all love onions, but cutting them is always such a disaster! It’s like you’re watching the most dramatic movie in the world and simply can’t stop shedding tears. There’s a number of tricks that can help you a bit, but we found this one to be the most effective.

For this trick to work, all you need is to freeze your onion for 15-20 minutes to make it less aggressive for your eyes. It works like a charm!

Of course, you may still experience a bit of tear-shedding, but it’s far less compared to cutting a room-temperature onion. You should definitely give it a try.

Make Your Brownies Taste Delicious

Preparing out-of-the-box brownies requires almost no preparation at all. It’s easy, it’s tasty, and most of us wouldn’t think twice about it. But is there a way to bring your brownies to the next level of tastiness? You bet there is!

A simple coffee trick is all you need to enhance the chocolate taste of your brownies, making them even more delicious. Add a tablespoon of freshly brewed coffee or strong espresso to the brownie batter as you’re mixing all the ingredients and bake the brownies as usual.

It’s hard to believe it, but that dash of coffee does make a difference! The brownies end up being more chocolaty, with a deeper taste, and you can’t really tell there was any coffee involved in the making.

Add Some Fluffiness to Your Waffles

Waffles are pretty much perfect as they are, but there’s always something extra you can do to bring the waffle recipe to a whole new level of awesomeness. This time, try using seltzer!

Replace some or all water in the recipe with seltzer or some other carbonated drink that has bubbles – and enjoy a gentler batter that is more airy and delightful.

This trick works not only with waffles, but with pancakes, too!

Grate Hard Cheese With Veggie Peeler

Cutting or grating cheese is an unpleasant chore – you end up with having cheese all over the place and washing the grater afterwards can become a real pain. Well, we have a great solution (at least, for hard types of cheese).

Use your regular veggie peeler to create nice thin slices that can be used for anything you need from pasta to pizza toppings. It's remarkably easy and takes little to no time to clean after you’re done!

This is definitely much handier than using a box grater that would take ages to clean. Just wash your peeler and you’re good to go.

Elevate Your Instant Ramen to a Street-Style Dish

We all eat instant ramen from time to time – there’s no shame in that. In fact, it can taste absolutely delicious if you upgrade it a little bit with a few more ingredients.

Instead of making soup, prepare a ramen stir-fry using the noodles and the seasoning that comes with them. For the stir-fry sauce, use Sriracha, soy sauce, some garlic, sesame oil, and a few vegetables that you have on hand.

Stir-fry everything together, add the seasoning from the packet, then add the boiled noodles to the mix. Fry for a few minutes more and voila! Your street-style noodles are ready to eat.

Ivanna Y

Published 4 years ago