This article was originally published on TastyArea
While cooking might not be everyone's favorite activity, preparing or storing food doesn't have to be a hassle. Even if you're not a professional chef, making a delicious meal can be fun if you get the basics right. That's why we've gathered some of the best tips and tricks that can help save time, money, and a whole lot of trouble. Check out these entertaining culinary hacks to get your creative juices flowing.
Christmas Cookies Made Easy
Same cookie cutter, 2 different cookie shapes. 2 in 1 benefit of having a gingerbread man cookie cutter, is one can also use it to make reindeer shaped cookies! Flipping the Gingerbread man cookie around can change the whole game! These are fun to make, especially with the kids. There are many ways to create unique Christmas cookies, but this one is a must-try as it's easy to make and decorate. No need for tons of artistic skills to make these super cute cookies.
By simply flipping the gingerbread men upside down, their legs can be turned into reindeer antlers. Then, decorate them with icing to look like one of Rudolph’s cousins, and voila!
Simple Chip Clip Hack
Plastic clothes hangers are inexpensive and readily available in most homes. Most people have a bunch of them lying around in their closets. But they have other uses too! Plastic hangers can be used to make several helpful tools and crafts in addition to hanging your clothes. Collect a few plastic clip hangers. Then, simply remove the clips and use them to secure dry snack packages to maintain their freshness and use them later.
Don't throw out an old or broken hanger the next time! Instead, use the clips to reseal packages of chips, cereals, and other tasty snacks.
Onions To The Rescue
There are a few tricks to follow when it comes to storing fruits and veggies in the refrigerator. Good news for Avocado lovers: As we know, the time left for consuming an avocado is relatively short after we cut it open, even if we leave it in the fridge. The best way to keep an avocado from turning brown after it's been cut is to store it with an onion. It works miraculously because onions contain Sulfur, preventing the enzyme from reacting with air.
So, keep the cut avocado in an airtight jar with a small piece of onion cover and store it for future use. The brown-colored avocado is not usually harmful or inedible as it's not spoiled or rotten. But it's unappealing and tastes more bitter than a fresh one.
Hot Chocolate Can't Get Any Simpler Than This
It's sad when the jar goes empty, but have you ever thought of making a rich Nutella hot chocolate using a nearly empty jar? Never throw away a Nutella jar! Simply heat up some milk in the microwave, then pour the warm milk into the jar. Screw the lid on and shake it a little. Continue to shake until all of the remaining Nutella has dissolved into the warm milk to get an easy Nutella hot chocolate.
Hot chocolate may be considered a seasonal beverage, yet according to independent research, it is the second most popular hot beverage in most coffee shops, beating tea. It only takes a couple of minutes!
Move Over Ice Cubes
Ever wondered about the fastest way to quickly chill wine? On a hot sunny day, no one wants to drink wine that’s diluted and has lost its taste. If we add ice cubes to it, they dilute the wine as they melt. Fortunately, there's a trick that can cool wine and keep its taste the same as well, and it looks appealing too. Just add frozen grapes to the glass, and they will immediately cool down the drink without any dilution.
We become so accustomed to the way things work that we stop thinking out of the box. However, frozen grapes keep their (frozen) juice inside, keeping our wine tasty and refreshing.
Ready-Made Squeeze Bottle
Isn’t it satisfying to cook pancakes perfectly? A good way to start is by reusing an old ketchup bottle for a pancake batter dispenser. A ketchup bottle is about to make breakfast so much easier and more fun! Anyone can use this hack while going on a picnic or camping. It makes so much sense, too, because pancakes shape better when the batter is squeezed out of a nozzle rather than scooped or poured from a bowl.
Furthermore, the batter may be stored in the fridge for a few days or transported to another location without spilling. This approach could also be applied to other types of batter, too! Next time you finish a ketchup bottle, don’t throw it away. Instead, reuse it as a squeeze bottle for batter for pancakes, cakes, or icing.
Food Theft Is No Laughing Matter
Tired of having lunch stolen by sticky-fingered coworkers or roommates? No worries! Anyone can discourage their co-workers from stealing their delicious lunch by placing it in an anti-theft bag which looks moldy. It’s a reusable bag that comes with a clever mold design to create an appearance that the lunch has passed its expiration date. These lunch bags may seem ridiculous, but they can save your lunch from being eaten by others.
It seems childish, but it ain’t stupid if it works. Though these bags are more expensive than regular ones, it may be worth it if they keep away nosy coworkers or hungry roommates.
The Best Strawberry Huller
Summer is the perfect time to bring strawberries home and enjoy them to their fullest. However, De-stemming strawberries can be irritating. Still, that shouldn’t discourage us from enjoying this delicious food. So how do we normally remove the stem from a strawberry? A good straw is all we need. Well, the quickest way to de-stem strawberries is to put a plastic straw through the middle part of the strawberry and push it straight up until the straw comes out completely.
This way, we have the cap and the stem of the strawberry right there. People must hate wasting the berries by cutting off the stem. But with this easy and quick method, we can save more of the delicious fruit.
Bagel-To-Go CD Case
Ever got worried about a bagel getting squashed in the bag on the way to work? No worries, we can use a CD-spindle case to store the bagel perfectly. CD cases are becoming obsolete as technology progresses, but they're perfect for delicious bagel storage. Your parents are likely to have some old CD holders in the attic if you're too young to recall what CDs are! Even if we don’t have any CDs to put them in anymore, they're still valuable.
It's tempting to recycle stuff, but it would be even better for us to reuse them ourselves. Because it's difficult to recycle plastic in general so CD holders can be used as storage containers. The CD holder is the ideal size for a bagel sandwich, and it even includes a handy small spindle in the middle to keep everything in place.
The Coolest Egg Trick We've Seen
To prepare scrambled eggs, we whisk together some eggs. But what happens by aggressively shaking an egg before boiling it? Well, ever heard of a golden egg? An egg must be scrambled before being boiled and the entire inside of it turns into a cool yellow color. An easy way to do this is by spinning the raw egg inside some stockings. The stockings should be twisted around the egg to spin it rapidly. This way you won't break the egg by holding it too tightly with your hand.
Shine a flashlight through the egg in a dark room to make sure it's fully scrambled. That's because unscrambled eggs shine brighter in color than scrambled ones.
We're all familiar with the ketchup packets that come with the fast food that we tear open and squeeze the hell out of. Ever wondered about the right way to open a ketchup packet? We often get ketchup on basically anything, from the burger wrapper to the fry box. Well, it turns out we've been opening the packets all wrong all our lives! While opening a ketchup packet, don't tear off a small corner and squeeze. Better to rip off the edge all the way on one side!
This way, we have quite a large opening that's perfect for mess-free dipping, especially for kids. This is going to work pretty well while eating McDonald's in the car!
Shine Like a Bottle of Wine
When it comes to indoor décor, wine bottle crafts are a good way to go. We all love some nice wine, especially on special occasions. But what's the best way to use those empty bottles once the wine runs out? Light up your home by turning empty wine bottles into chandeliers. A wine bottle chandelier looks unique and quirky, and it can amazingly reflect light. It's a sure conversation starter!
If anything, making this chandelier is a good reason to drink more wine, even if we're not so crafty!
Hang Your Bananas
Ever heard of hanging bananas from a hanger? Banana hangers, also known as banana hooks or banana holders, have some science behind them, and it has to do with effectively maximizing the ripening process. They extend the life of the bananas and ensure that they ripen uniformly. When most fruits ripen, ethylene is released, causing enzymes to break down their starches into sugars. Bananas generate more ethylene than other fruits indicating a lower shelf life if left unattended.
Since this allows free movement of air, it slows the ripening of the banana, making it last a lot longer!
You've Probably Been Storing Peanut Butter Wrong
Peanut butter is a must to have in our kitchens. However, natural peanut butter often lacks stabilizers (mostly palm oil that is high in saturated fat), preservatives, and additives that keep regular peanut butter together. That is why the peanut oil separates from the butter at warm temperatures. The easiest hack to fix this is to store the peanut butter jar upside down. It's as simple as it sounds!
This way, the peanut oil will sink to the bottom of the jar and mix. When you flip it back to spread the delicious treat, this will even make it less oily and sticky. Just make sure it's sealed tight!
Easy-To-Make Iced Coffee
Most of us enjoy iced coffee, and ice cubes are by far the most convenient way to chill it, but they often dilute the delicious beverage, resulting in a disappointing experience. However, one can quickly learn to make coffee ice cubes and enjoy iced coffee the way it was designed to be enjoyed! Coffee ice cubes keep the coffee strong and don’t dilute the flavor even as the ice cubes begin to melt. Also, it’s good to use it on busy mornings in the office.
The ice cubes can be used to make any type of coffee drink chilled right away. No more disappointing, watery drinks for you!
Don’t Store Onions And Potatoes Together
Have you ever given any thought to storing your onions and potatoes together? We don't want our potatoes and onions to be too close together since the gasses from the onions can speed up the sprouting process in potatoes. Onions exude ethylene gas, and potatoes are sensitive to them, leading to fast spoiling, accelerating the ripening and rotting process. It's also because of moisture that onions and potatoes are best kept separate.
They both exude moisture, which might cause them to spoil more quickly. Therefore, it's ideal keeping them separate in a well-ventilated, dry, and cold environment.
Leftover Pizza Life Hack
Don't we hate that when we try to microwave a pizza and it comes out sad and dry? With this helpful culinary technique, one can say goodbye to soggy leftovers. Place the pizza on a platter, microwave it by placing a cup or a glass of water near it. Heat it for about 45 seconds and that's it! The water keeps the base crispy while allowing the cheese to melt. The water acts as a "microwave sink" for the food.
This way, the pizza heats slower and more evenly. The crust will stay moist, and the cheese will stay in the right consistency!
Testing Eggs For Freshness
Ever wondered if the eggs that have been sitting in your fridge are still fresh and good to eat? One of the most common methods for determining if an egg is good or rotten is the float test. It's a great way to tell if the eggs are fresh or not. All you have to do is just to put the egg in a glass of water. It's fresh if the egg will sink evenly; if it sinks to the bottom in an upright position, then it’s not that fresh yet edible. But if it floats, it's quite bad and inedible.
It happens because when the egg ages, the small air pocket inside the egg starts to grow larger due to the release of moisture.
The Perfect Mango Hedgehog
Mangoes are a favorite in many households, which is why it is frequently referred to as the "King of Fruits." The mango hedgehog is a fantastic eye-catcher, whether it's a buffet for visitors, breakfast with the family, or a snack for the kids. Furthermore, it is quite simple to prepare. This is also known as cubing, and it gives the mango the appearance of hedgehog quills. The fragments can then be removed using a paring knife.
Well, mangoes are delightful to eat but messy to cut. By cutting them in half, slicing a grid pattern on each half, and inverting them, cutting them has never been simpler!
Scrambled Egg Muffins
Breakfast egg muffins are a delicious savior and perfect for a healthy meal; whether someone is on a low carb or Keto diet, they just need something quick to grab on the way out the door. Although eggs are a popular and adaptable morning dish, only a few of us have the time to prepare them. That's where these high-protein egg muffins come in handy! These mini frittatas can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until needed.
Make this simple, delicious, and nutritious breakfast using muffin tins. Simply whisk up eggs, milk, vegetables, meat, or whatever is available, then bake for 20 minutes and you're good to goo!
Kiwi Shot Glass Hack
Some fruits are a complete mystery to us, especially when it comes to peeling and eating them properly. We’re thinking about kiwi because it appears nearly difficult to eat them appropriately. However, a few nifty tactics might help us peel a kiwi quickly and easily without leaving a mess. We just need a medium-sized glass to get started. Place the half fruit on the edge of the glass and run it over it to remove the peel smoothly.
Well, this technique works properly for ripened fruit, and it is a very clean and easy way to peel. So, finally, we have a hack worth trying and can save us from a mess while eating fruit
Multitasking Apple Slicer
Ever thought of a good kitchen hack to make cooking interesting and easy as well? How about using an apple slicer to cut potatoes in perfect shape for making potato wedges? Well, we don't even have to peel potatoes to make potato wedges (if we do, we'll end up with chips!). It slices evenly around the potato for a pretty wedge. Small to medium-sized potatoes are excellent for this hack. The identical slices are useful in baking all wedges at the same time (Don’t forget the seasoning). It’s a quick and easy way to make potato wedges.
Consider using an apple slicer rather than buying pre-cut and frozen wedges, as it can do more than just cut apples. Homemade potato wedges are a great option that will please children too.
Get Ready To Have A Chilled Drink
There are few pleasant things on a hot summer day such as ice-cold beer. But sometimes unexpected things do happen! What if someone drank all of the chilled beer, and the only ones that are left are warm. Ever heard of cooling a drink quickly with a wet paper towel? When a damp paper towel is placed around a beer and is put in a dry, cold environment, such as the freezer, the water evaporates and draws heat away. It is a fast way to cool beverages faster.
As the beer is wrapped in a damp paper towel, the paper towel's surface area acts to chill the beer more rapidly than the surrounding air. So make sure the paper towels are soaked and are not dripping. Well, in even more hurry, a bucket of ice water with a bit of salt would suffice.
The Best Ice Cream Sandwich Hack
Summer is approaching, which means summer snacks like ice cream are in season. Ever got curious to know the best way to make an ice cream sandwich! Ice cream that is too hard to eat is the misery of culinary existence. It always bends the spoon when we try to scoop it out. Well, better to take a warm and sharp knife and slice it into thick slices. Simply turn the ice cream pint over and cut a piece from the bottom. Remove the plastic wrap and place the ice cream in a bowl to serve.
We can’t forget that it’s quite a messy game to get a perfect slice when it comes to ice cream sandwiches. But with this simple approach, one can make the ideal ice cream sandwich by putting the slice between cookies.
Aluminum Foil Wrapped Veggies
We must have wondered about bringing home fresh fruits and veggies, storing them in the refrigerator, and then wondering what happened to them a few days later when they started rotting. The majority of the time, the culprit is the way how we store them. Better to wrap broccoli, lettuce, and celery in aluminum foil before storing. For up to 4 weeks, the foil will keep the vegetables crisp and fresh in the refrigerator. But ever thought about why it’s better to keep food in aluminum foil for prolonged periods? Aluminum foil possesses reflective qualities and works as a light and oxygen barrier.
So, loosely wrapping in foil allows the excess gas to escape while still holding sufficient moisture for the food to stay fresh. In addition, anyone can keep a few veggies for weeks instead of throwing them out a few days after purchasing them.
Freeze Fresh Herbs for Long-Term Storage
There’s a fantastic trick for keeping fresh herbs from the garden or crisper drawer from dying and browning before we utilize them. It’s best to keep them in olive oil in the fridge for up to three months and still get the same fresh-picked flavor. This works especially fine with basil and parsley, but we can also use chives, thyme, and other herbs. Freezing fresh herbs in olive oil is a great way to keep them fresh for a long time as oils. Make sure to keep the herbs in a Ziploc bag for upto 6 months.
Although nothing compares to the flavor of fresh herbs, this method for freezing fresh herbs comes close. Once frozen, don’t forget to move cubes into an airtight container for long-term storage.
Revive Stale Bread With Ice Cubes
If the bread has begun the inevitable transformation into a brick only for (maybe) creating croutons, there is not much we can do about it. At least that’s what we thought. It would be much better if we could prevent the bread from becoming stale in the first place. It's hard to make bread last indefinitely, but if it'll be a few days before one can eat it, consider taking measures to bring it back to life. However, it may not be too late to save the stale bread.
The best hack is to rub an ice cube on unsliced bread and put it in an oven for a few minutes. Bake in the oven for 12 mins at 370 degrees. Before tossing out hard, stale bread, consider heating and moistening it to restore its texture.
1-Ingredient Ice cream
Ice cream can never be enough for us, especially in the summers. Ever considered making a rich, dense, creamy ice cream in a blender in just 5 minutes with only 1 ingredient? Frozen bananas are the answer. Because when they are blended, they can be a great vegan alternative to ice cream with artificial sweeteners. Bananas have more sugar; thus, they create a solid consistency similar to dairy-based ice cream. This one is just an extraordinary way to make ice cream.
Have any splotchy bananas? Don't toss them away! Peel them, place them in the freezer, and then blend or process them once they're firm. Enjoy something similar to soft-serve, super easy to make, refreshing, and a lot healthier dessert.
Easy Microwave Potato Chips
Everyone loves to eat snacks during late-night cravings. Potato chips are one of the most popular snacks in the world. They're a guilty pleasure for everyone because of their salty flavor. Well, we can make our microwave potato chips! That's right. It seems miraculous that a quick spin in the microwave can turn potato slices into crispy (really crispy!) chips without the use of any oil. The trick to making these microwaved chips is finely slicing them. As they have a lot of starch in tubers, soaking and rinsing in cold water helps eliminate it, allowing them to crisp up faster in the microwave.
Crispy Microwave Potato Chips are tasty, crunchy chips made with all-natural ingredients that are so simple to create and we can enjoy homemade potato chips with 8 grams less fat per serving than regular chips.
Waffle Iron Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Ever wondered about the secret of making great grilled cheese? If anyone loves the crispy, cheesy bits of grilled cheeses (well, who doesn't?), they should try the genius waffle iron hack. This waffle iron grilled cheese sandwich is made with bread, cheese, butter, and a waffle maker. It is a panini version of grilled cheese. Is it possible to improve on a standard grilled cheese sandwich dipped in tomato soup? Yes! By making a sandwich in a waffle iron, get squares that hold delicious soup pockets. In addition, the waffle iron is used to press classic grilled cheese sandwiches for extra crispy crevices!
This is just brilliant, especially for those who always love to have a sandwich that could hold extra soup. We will make this the next time we have a grilled cheese desire.
Toaster Quesadilla Hack
Quesadillas are a delicious lunch, supper, or snack option. Even in its most basic version, this simple dish has a tortilla and some cheese. It is both versatile and easy to cook while we’re busy with work and life. Whether frying it in a skillet on the stove or baking quesadillas in the oven, it takes some time to prepare and clean up. One toaster Quesadilla hack will change your life because we all probably heard the saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention”.
Toaster quesadillas are trending in the kitchen. Just have to fold the tortilla in half so that the edges meet, then fold each side towards the center to form a pocket. Then, place it in the toaster and toast on medium heat. That’s all we need to have a quick quesadilla whenever we are craving a healthy snack with a twist of a time-saving hack and that too with minimal effort! Happy snacking.
Vegetable Peeler As Cheese Slicer
Cheese is one of those delicacies that many of us can't imagine living without! Adding cheese to almost anything makes it taste better! Well, cheese lovers may already have a cheese grater in their kitchen, but when it's time to grate some cheese for lasagna or a cheese sauce, the cheese grater is broken or buried somewhere in the kitchen’s cupboards. There’s no need to buy a mini grater when a vegetable peeler in our kitchen can do the perfect job. There's a simple hack of grating cheese without a grater is by using a vegetable peeler with a sharp and clear blade.
To keep the cheese from sticking to the vegetable peeler, spray it with cooking spray. To mimic the impact of a shredder, slide the vegetable peeler over a corner of the cheese. Alternatively, run the peeler over a broader area to make thin slices. To make short shreds, use rapid, short motions.
Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread
Ever tried a loaf of bread in which crosshatches are filled with delicious cheese? Pull-apart bread is simply warm, cheesy garlic bread cut into wonderfully pluckable small cubes for eating with hands. The stuffed cheese bread makes a fantastic appetizer for any occasion. With this hack, People will never be able to look at cheese bread the same again. Cheese and bread are a fantastic combination that may be enjoyed on their own but experimenting with the additions do increase the excitement and flavor.
So, take any cheese or mix of cheeses like Mozzarella or Swiss for a melty, gooey cheese-stuffed bread as a yummy appetizer.
Homemade Jelly Worms
Ever thought of making gummy worms for a Halloween party at home? Or remember going to a Halloween party where we have to play trick or treat and eat horrible-looking worms. However, the jelly worms work perfectly as a snack at parties, especially for kids. They do look like earthworms. So, it would be better to make them by ourselves. Just boil water, add jello, pour in a bowl, and put straws. Let it cool in the fridge and then remove the straws with a rolling pin and enjoy homemade worms.
These jelly worms look so convincing, and they are a perfect addition to any Halloween treats anyone is making for the kids. Just sprinkle them on top of a Halloween cake, mix them into a party punch for a creepy twist, or eat them plain.
Easy-To-Go Chicken Doritos
Chicken and Doritos are a fun twist on the usual chicken dish! These simple Dorito Chicken Tenders will be a hit for any party (and will bring a big smile to kids' faces)! Doritos crusted chicken is as good as it sounds. Tender juicy chicken coated in our favorite cheesy Doritos and roasted to crispiness. Any flavor of Doritos will work pretty well (especially Nacho Cheese). Of course, it has to be delicious! The chicken is moist, flavorful, and also well-seasoned because of the salty, cheesy chips.
This easy recipe for Doritos Chicken Tenders is a great way to convince kids to eat dinner or lunch! Adults will enjoy these as well because they are crispy and tasty. This is a fantastic alternative to fried meals for the family because it's homemade and baked.
Hack For Mess-free Ice Pops
After returning home from the grocery store, we usually just place our frozen things in the freezer. But when it comes to frozen popsicles, there is a right way to preserve them. We won't have to cut through them to open them if they're standing up, which will save us from a mess. This may appear stupid, but if anyone loves popsicles, they will understand the importance of placing the pops right side up in the refrigerator. We normally use scissors to open Pops because they are difficult to open. Cut off the top and a large chunk of frozen juice spills all over the countertop, making the scissors sticky and later, we have to clean the mess as well.
Wouldn't it be good if you could just cut the top off and not have to clean up the mess? Freezer Pops are simple and easy. Just freeze rightly and enjoy! Kids would love to enjoy them.
Campfire S'mores In A Cone
Love s'mores? Well, summer and camping are synonymous with s'mores, but they may get a little messy if we're not careful. This hack for having perfect Smores is a must-try. The S’mores cones are incredibly simple to make and enjoy. We can bake them, roast them over an open fire, or throw them on the grill. They're just so fun, versatile, and delicious. Simply add all the marshmallows and chocolate chips to the cone and wrap in foil, put on the grill for a few minutes, and they'll be all melty and gooey from the inside, confined within the cone.
There will be no more sticky fingers! Finally, unwrap the cone and enjoy. Therefore, campfire cones are a perfect alternative for a camping trip, summer party, or barbeque!
Oven Baked Taco Shells
What if it’s taco night at our home and we don’t have any ready-made hard-shell tacos. Easy to make crunchy baked taco shells that are healthy, low-fat, and tasty! These things crisp up like a dream with no oil and no deep-frying! Making hard taco shells at home is a lot of fun. It only takes a few steps to make the perfect taco shells. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, when it's done, carefully wrap the corn tortillas across two oven rack spaces.
Why are there two spaces? Because it creates a beautiful flat bottom that allows the taco shells to stand up on their own. So, baked taco shells are worth trying and are just as good as fried tacos.
The Mess-Free Way To Eat a Cupcake
Ever tried to eat a cupcake elegantly? It’s almost near impossible. Cupcakes are undeniably one of life's greatest pleasures, but they're also one of the messiest. Crumbs fly everywhere, and we need to ensure that the icing-to-cake ratio is correct to ensure that every bite is delightful. A cupcake topped with thick frosting is cut into two pieces, with the bottom half sandwiched on top of the icing. The icing-filled dessert is then split in half, resulting in two small cakes to enjoy. The icing stays nice because of the hack, and there is no need to eat the entire cake in one bite.
We must have been eating cupcakes wrong our whole life. But no worries, now there's a right way to prevent mess and maximize the taste. The cupcake sandwich is a popular method of cupcake consumption that emphasizes neatness, convenience, and cake-to-icing cupcake ratios.
Oven Baked Hard Boiled Eggs
Boiling eggs on the stove need a lot of attention. Ever heard of baking eggs in the oven? Baking eggs in the oven can be done in a variety of ways, including poached, scrambled, quiches, and more. Well, it’s easy to bake eggs in the oven. There’s a time chart for boiling eggs in the oven for both soft and hard-boiled eggs. It just takes 20-30 minutes to bake hard-boiled eggs in the oven. Just set a timer, walk away from the kitchen, and later enjoy a perfectly boiled egg. So convenient!
Sure, it takes more time in the oven instead of the nine minutes to boil them, but they have a creamier texture when baked and are even easier to peel. The main advantage of baking eggs over boiling them is when we need to cook for a large number of people. Boiling two or three dozen on an oven rack is considerably easier than in a large pot of boiling water.