Cooking prep ever got you down? Ever get frustrated with that piece of garlic that just won’t peel? Or how about those stinging watery eyes from chopping that onion? Have you ever avoided a recipe just because you didn’t like the prep work involved? I know, I have. On this little journey called life, I’ve learned a thing or two about cooking and picked up a few handy dandy, super useful cooking tricks that make prep work a little more zen.
Krystle’s Super Amazing Awesome Cooking Tricks
1. How to Cut an Onion Without Crying– This is probably my numero uno pet peeve in the kitchen. THERE’S NO CRYING IN KITCHEN GAMES!!!! But seriously, peeling and cutting onions is my most hated task. Until I learned this little trick. Cut one end off of your onion, then rub the two sides together. No burning eyes, no crocodile tears. I don’t know why this works but it does.
2. How to Grind Seeds and Fresh Spices– Grinding your own seeds and spices can’t be beat. A food processor does ok for most but to get it really finely ground, use your coffee grinder. Obviously, you’ll have to wash the coffee grounds out first or otherwise have everything taste faintly of coffee.
3. How to Make Fresh Nutmeg Powder– Whole nutmeg is somewhat of an awkward spice that you can’t just toss into your coffee grinder. But you can grate it for the fresh ground goodness to add to savory soups and delectable pies.
4. How to Peel Stubborn Garlic Skin– You know what I’m talking about, that papery skin that manages to stick to everything. My method for peeling that pesky, papery garlic skin is: SMASH IT! That’s right, take your kitchen knife, smash that puppy real good, and the skin will peel off easy peasy.
5. How to Stop a Cutting Board From Slipping– Ever get into the zone of cutting your favorite veggie and notice that you have to chase it around your counter top? Sometimes our cutting boards get the best of us and like to do a little dance while we work. To get your cutting board to chillax, place a damp kitchen towel underneath to keep it in place.
6. How to Get the Most Juice From Your Lemons– In order to get the most juice from your lemon, allow lemons to come to room temperature before squeezing. Than roll them on the kitchen counter, slice in half, and squeeze to your hearts content.
7. How to Keep Fresh Herbs- I always have a problem keeping fresh herbs fresh for longer than a day. Than I learned this neat trick: Instead of placing fresh cut herbs in your fridge, sit them in a jar of water and they will last much longer. Plus, they are awfully decorative for your kitchen countertop.
8. How to Cure Limp Veggies– You knew you should have ate them yesterday but you just didn’t get around to it. Now you have some limp carrots. Sigh, they are so yummy and now you can’t use them because who wants a limp carrot? Don’t despair! Toss those suckers in ice water for an hour and they will be good as new!
9. How to Fix Over Salted Dishes– Tasted the awesome creamy potato soup you’re making and it was a salt explosion on your tongue? Add 1 teaspoon each of apple cider vinegar and sugar. This should balance out your problem and keep your heart from racing.
10. How to Clean Up Tough Counter Stains– You know the ones that I’m talking about. Where you might of spilled something messy in the heat of the moment and now it’s dry and kind of hard to wipe up. Throw some salt on the stain and rub down with a damp cloth, that should eliminate some of the elbow work.
That’s all I have for you for now. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to be a rock start in the kitchen, just learn a few tricks and help your gourmet chef fantasy come to life.
What are some awesome kitchen trick that you have learned?
Also by Krystle: Scientific Proof that “Hangry” is Real
*Photos: K.Troia-Alvarado, J.P. Alvarado