If you've got a couple empty coffee cans getting ready to go out to the recycling—don't get rid of them just yet. Instead, use them to make your own homemade ice cream. It's the perfect DIY treat as the weather gets warmer in anticipation of the summer season.
However much you love cooking fried fish for dinner, there's no need for your kitchen to smell fishy for days afterward. Keep your post-cooking funky kitchen smell to a minimum by boiling cloves in water, simmering lemon peels, oven roasting coffee beans, or leaving bowls of white vinegar on the kitchen counter overnight.
Is it possible to cut or chop onions in the kitchen without stinging eyes and looking as if you just watched the saddest movie ever? Before we get to that answer, it's important to know why we tear up when cutting raw onions in the first place. What is this irritant? Are you reacting to the odor? The answer to the latter question is "no," and the irritant responsible is amino acid sulfoxides.
Have a hard-to-open jar? If it's never been opened, the air pressure inside the jar is making it harder to break the seal. If it's been in the fridge, it's possible that the lid shrunk slightly—just enough to be extremely frustrating.
Good home-cooking does require time, but not every step of the process has to be a time-consuming chore.
What can't coconut oil do? This edible oil, extracted from the copra or meat of a coconut, has done what most other food, beauty, and health trends have not: demonstrated real lasting power. Indeed, the "superfood" continues to make headlines, with its many uses the subject of debate, study, and fervent support. From the obvious (cooking) to the less so (home improvement), there are likely many coconut oil uses you're not yet aware of.
Believe it or not, it is absolutely possible to get by without a big refrigerator in your kitchen. After all, before refrigerators became a household staple in the last century, people somehow managed to store their perishable fruits, vegetables, legumes and meats for an extended period of time with ice boxes, root cellars, evaporative cooling pots, preserving, canning and more.
So, you want to decrease your hard-boiled egg peeling time because you don't want the time- consuming task to cut into your limited lunch break. Or maybe you've somehow been burdened with the task of cooking a lot of homemade deviled eggs for a big family gathering. How do you peel a hard-boiled egg as quickly and efficiently as possible?
If you're a beer lover, you can enjoy your passion even more by incorporating your favorite beer flavors into your next cooking experiment. Beer can be included in recipes for meat marinades, frying batter, chili, soups, bread and even dessert. And if you're concerned about getting drunk from these recipes, fear not—most of the alcohol will evaporate in the cooking process. But your dish will be left with a rich, earthy flavor that can only come from beer.
Here's a simple bar trick that you can pull off at your next alcohol-fueled gathering. Tap one beer bottle against another to freeze both beer bottles into solid ice in 2 to 3 seconds.
Add a little love to your next bento box or afternoon snack with a heart-shaped hardboiled egg. Other than one freshly cooked and peeled hardboiled egg, all you need is one milk carton, one round chopstick and rubber bands. Perfect for brightening up your special someone's day (and much more original than a dozen red roses!).
Oh, boy. A stopped-up drain. It'll inevitably happen with any home plumbing system and your kitchen sink is no exception. That clog won't go away on its own and will require immediate attention to keep any standing water from rising. But you don't have to resort to calling an expensive plumber or using a bottle of hazardous chemicals. Using simple kitchen staples or common household objects, as well as some determination, you can unclog your kitchen sink on your own without paying a dime.
As far as cooking appliances go, rice cookers are pretty fabulous. All you have to do is add rice grains and water, press a button, and wait for the magic to happen. You don't have to worry about the food burning or the pot boiling over. But what if you can apply those same lazy steps to cook other things, too?
There are only so many things you can store in the refrigerator, especially if you are sharing it with other people. So, what are some things you absolutely have to store in the refrigerator? And what are some things you can get away with storing at room temperature on your pantry shelves?
Gina Kometani posted such a cool tip to the community corkboard, I had to illustrate it!
What do you do with that unused box of cake mix collecting dust in your pantry? Grab two eggs, some butter and a cup full of semi-sweet chocolate chips, and you are all ready to bake yourself a batch super quick and easy cake mix cookies.
The most dangerous thing about having a bunch of baked goods in your home is the possibility that you will gorge on all of them. If you are in a cupcake-y mood, but want to keep your sugar-happy gluttonous side in check, just make enough batter for two cupcakes in a single mixing bowl. Sharing is optional.
Sick of the standard bread baked in a loaf pan? Impress your family and friends by baking bread in a plain terracotta flower pot. Baking bread in a terracotta pot makes for crispy bread with a tender and moist interior. Make sure the terra cotta pot is unglazed and unpainted before using it.
Continuing the theme of using a muffin pan to quickly whip up super-simple and super-delicious baked things (see Part 1: how to make mini-pies in muffin tins), how about making yourself a savory snack in the form of a pizza cupcake?
Craving pie? Muffin-sized mini-pies are perfect for when you just want a couple bites for yourself. They are ridiculously easy to make, and take very little time. Using a muffin tin also gives you the luxury of creating multiple mini-pies with different fillings, which means you don't have to settle on one pie flavor.
Don't let a missing corkscrew deter you from uncorking your bottle of wine at your next party, picnic or romantic dinner at home. Following up on a previous post on how to open a bottle of wine using just a towel and a flat, vertical surface (a wall or a wide tree trunk), listed below are three more handy ways you can open a bottle of wine using common household objects or tools. And what better way to impress your date than taking off your shoe, placing a wine bottle between your knees, and ...
What do you do when you have a bottle of wine ready to uncork, but no corkscrew on hand?
Waste not with your excess food. With a little bit of imagination and extra ingredients, your boring leftovers and extra ingredients idling in your fridge can be transformed into tasty meals, side dishes and desserts.
Contrary to what the infomercials may tell you, you don't have to own a gajillion kitchen gadgets and utensils to function properly in the kitchen when you're preparing a meal or dessert at home. To save money and space, get acquainted with the unexpected multiple functions that are possible with your everyday kitchen tools.
For the next time you have a severe chocolate craving but a) don't want to go through the trouble of going through an elaborate recipe and b) don't want to go through the trouble of going to the supermarket, make yourself a microwave brownie in a mug. All you need to do is six very simple ingredients plus water, mix them up in a microwave-safe mug, nuke everything for one minute, and enjoy.
What do you do when you're right in the middle of your cooking or baking groove and realize that you're missing an extremely vital ingredient? Rather than delaying your next meal or one-person cake-eating party with a last minute trip to the supermarket, get around your missing ingredient by substituting another common ingredient. Below are 13 handy cooking and baking substitutions that just might save you time or money for your next cooking and baking adventure.
So many things can go wrong when you cook or bake for yourself. Mushy veggies, overcooked pasta, dry meat, crumbly cakes—not to mention too spicy, too acidic, and the ever-dreaded too salty.
Never buy pasta sauce from the supermarket again. Or salad dressing. Or pie crusts, chicken stock, hummus, bread crumbs and other common cooking staples that can be easily replicated within the comfort of your own kitchen.
The next time you are craving sushi, how about making it yourself? All you need is some sushi rice (you CAN use leftover white rice, but this would taste better), sheets of nori (seaweed), a sushi rolling mat and your favorite sushi ingredients. Do the classic California roll (avocado, imitation crab meat, cucumber, daikon radish) or go crazy with your own unique sushi invention (tempeh? smoked salmon? shredded kale? Anything goes).
The next time you go out for sushi with friends, impress your company by fashioning your own chopstick rest using the paper wrapper the wooden chopsticks come in. Keeping the ends of your chopstick off the table surface makes for good hygiene (who knows when was the last time the table was really wiped clean?), and there is no awkward moment of getting your chopsticks off your plate when your server whisks your finished plate away mid-meal. Gotta love functional origami.
The next time you are in the mood for a hot drink, make your own tea bags to brew at home. Grab your favorite herbs and spices from your garden or your local supermarket. Mix and match your favorite combination, add to an empty tea bag, and steep in hot water. Voilà—instant one-of-a-kind tea and instant brownie points for your DIY street cred.
Apple slices are so meh... that is, until you add bunny ears to them. A long-standing staple of bento lunches in Japanese and Japanese-American households, bunny-shaped apple slices are quite easy to make and sure to bring a smile to your face—or you child's face.
To some, vegetables are even more flavorful than meat, but they're also more sensitive—overcook them and they go from extremely delicious to extremely icky real quick. They generally require very little prep, and the best recipes are the simplest. A little salt, olive oil, and garlic—just watch them close, and make sure you time it right. Print out this handy drawing, set your timer, and you'll never have soggy, ill-cooked veggies again.
You just baked a yummy cake, but who can eat it all? If you're lucky, you don't have a gang of family members gobbling up your leftovers—it's just you and one delicious slice a day for the rest of the week. But you don't want your cake getting stale on you. The secret is all in the way you slice it—and a spare apple doesn't hurt, either.
I'm sure you've heard that binging on turkey will make you sleepy, and there's a reason for that. Turkey contains tryptophan, which some believe is the go-to amino acid for increasing serotonin (a calming neurotransmitter) and/or melatonin (a sleep inducing hormone) in your brain. Some say old wives tale, some say science, but clinical research has shown mixed results in regard to its effectiveness as a sleep aid.
Flowers can be just as delicious as they are beautiful—as long as you know which flowers to choose and what to use them for. Nasturtium salads, rose jam, chrysanthemum-sprinkled cakes—the possibilities are as endless as the shapes and colors the flowers come in.