Monday, March 2, 2009

Some kitchen tips

Here are some things that make my life in the kitchen more enjoyable. (These aren't things that I've only read about, but I've actually tried all of them.) Hope they help you, too!

  • Bananas last longer when you take them apart from the bunch as soon as you get them home. This has saved me from having to think up reasons to make yet another loaf of banana bread. I usually get my bananas to last twice as long--always important when you shop only twice a month.
  • Celery will last at least a month (mine usually lasts about 6 weeks) if you take it out of the plastic bag, completely cover it with foil, and put it back in the plastic bag.
  • I cook & shred a lot of chicken to freeze for future meals. Usually 3 lbs at a time. One of the worst things in the world to me is having to shred meat with 2 forks--it takes forever! I just read a tip a few days ago, thankfully on the exact day I was cooking up some chicken to shred, and it's my new favorite! After cooking your chicken or any other boneless meat (and while still warm), put in a large bowl and use your hand mixer with regular beaters to shred it. I was skeptical of this when I read it, but I figured I didn't have much to lose...Best Tip Ever!! It took me about 2 minutes to shred 4 lbs of chicken, vs 30 minutes of tedious shredding with forks.
  • If you're cooking or baking your family's favorite meals or desserts.....Double the recipe and freeze the other half. This saves me so much prep time.
  • If your family likes meatloaf: I usually buy my ground beef in 5 lb rolls, because it's the cheapest. I go ahead & mix up a huge batch of meatloaf using all 5 lbs, then separate the raw mixture into 5 quart-sized freezer bags. Then I have meatloaf all mixed & ready to go. On the day I have planned to make meatloaf, all I have to do is take the bag out of the freezer, let it defrost, press it into the loaf pan (or muffin pan if I'm short on time), and bake.
  • If you make a lot of soup: My least favorite part of making soup is chopping the veggies. I prep & chop the following veggies & freeze in quart-sized freezer bags: carrots, celery, onions, zucchini, peppers. This makes soup prep so much easier! Plus, the veggies soften faster this way. One freezer bag per type of vegetable makes it easier to use in individual recipes, as well. I have not had good results freezing raw potatoes.

Well, that's all this tired brain could think up this morning! Hope you have a blessed day.

1 comment:

Janet said...

thanks - awesome tips about the bananas - i'm definitely going to try that one! i'm not a big banana fan so that leaves jeremy to eat them and when they're all ripe at once, that's not an easy task! the freezing ideas are so great and i would love to try them, but it doesn't work when you only have the freezer above the fridge and the whole top shelf of it is taken up with emelia's baby food! only grocery shopping twice a month - that's awesome too! i have to go every week! oh and what do you use so much shredded chicken for??? have a good day - we need to chat - it's been ages!