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best kitchen hacks for professional and novice cooks

Sheltering at home means that you’re playing more casino games, watching more TV and doing more of other leisure activities that you normally don’t have the time to do. One of those activities involves cooking – there are more opportunities during stay-at-home times to dust off your kitchen skills and prepare some good healthy meals.

SlotoCash online casino wants to make sure that you’re making good use of your at-home time. Regardless of whether you are a cooking maven with years of experience or a novice who’s just learning one end of the spatula from the other, check out our well-known (and some not-so-well-known) kitchen hacks to you save yourself time and energy while you create better quality meals.

Eggs

Eggs are filling, nutritious, full of protein and low calorie. You can eat eggs on their own or add them to other dishes. Some helpful egg hacks include

  • Freezing – you can free raw whole eggs. Wisk together the yolks and whites and put it in a plastic container to freeze it.  You can freeze raw eggs for up to a year.
  • Removing shell – if you got a piece of shell in your eggs you can remove it easily using a piece of the shell to scoop it up.
  • Determining whether an egg is fresh or not – if you’re concerned about the freshness of an egg, crack the egg into a glass of water. If it sinks and lies at the bottom, it’s fresh. If it floats and tilts halfway, it’s not too fresh. Fresh eggs are best for soufflés but you can use a less-than-fresh egg for omlets, baked goods, etc.
  • Hard-boiled eggs – to cook fully- (but not over-) cooked hard boiled eggs, place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a saucepan and cover them with water plus another inch or two. Add ½ teaspoon of salt to the water (to make the eggs easier to peel after cooking). Bring the water to a rolling boil, turn off the water and put the lid on the pot. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10-12 minutes. Then, peel. 
  • Peeling – speaking of peeling, if you are having trouble peeling a hard-boiled egg, crack it all around and then put it in a dish of water. Let it sit for a few minutes before trying to peel it again.
  • Safety – always store eggs in the refrigerator. If you have an egg that was cracked while sitting in the carton, throw it away.

Potatoes

Potatoes are filling and can be prepared in dozens of ways. That’s why they’re so popular as a main dish or a side dish. Some ideas to make it easier to prepare great potatoes

  • If you’re getting your potatoes ready but won’t be cooking them for a little while, put the peeled potatoes in a bowl and cover it with water. Not only will the potatoes stay white but a lot of the excess starch will be drained away in the water. (on the other hand, when making dishes like scalloped potatoes or potato pancakes, you want to keep the starch so that it thickens the dish naturally)
  • Store potatoes in a cool, dark place. NOT in the refrigerator and NOT together in the same bin with onions
  • You can eat potatoes that have green patches or sprouts but you need to cut those areas off the potato before you cook it. Sprouts and green patches contain solanine which can make you sick.
  • If you’re making mashed potatoes, boil them with the skins on and then peel the skins off. The peel helps keep the potatoes from getting water-logged.

Fruits and Vegetables

You can extend the shelf life of your fruits and vegetables by giving each type of produce the care that it needs.

  • Bananas – wrap the end of the bunch of bananas with plastic to keep the bananas fresh longer. You can also separate each banana and wrap its end in plastic (a small plastic baggie will do nicely and you can reuse it afterward).
  • Avocados – if the avocados that you bought in the store are hard, place it in a paper bag to soften faster.
  • Fridge – fruits and vegetables that must be stored in the fridge include: sweet potatoes, berries, leafy greens and melons. Some fruits such as apples and citrus fruits can be kept on a countertop for a few days but the sooner you get it into the fridge, the more life you’ll get out of it.
  • Tomatoes – tomatoes should be stored on a countertop, not in a refrigerator. Too much time in the refrigerator will cause tomatoes to rot.  
  • Cut up fruit – squeeze some lemon juice over cut up fruit to help it keep its color 

Soups

Soups are versatile and are wonderful, both as a main dish and as a side dish. A good pot of soup can keep your family going for quite a while and can give them high doses of vitamins and minerals in one delicious serving. Some suggestions for your soups:

  • Once a week (or so), cook up a big pot of vegetables – root vegetables and leafy greens (parsley, cilantro) are really all you need. Drain the vegetables from the pot (after cooling, squeeze the liquid from the vegetables back into the broth) and then you can use the broth as a healthy and flavorful base for any type of soup that you want to make.
  • Dice up onions, carrots, celery and garlic as another soup base to which you can add a variety of legumes and grains. When you dice up garlic, you release allicin which is a vital virus fighter. You should chop the garlic 5 to 10 minutes before you intend to use it in order to allow the allicin to reach full effect.
  • If you want to skim out excess fat from your soup, put the pot in the fridge or freezer for a short amount of time (less time in the freezer). The fat will rise to the top and harden, making it easier to remove. If you don’t have time, wrap a few ice cubes in a cheese cloth or a paper towel and skim it along the surface of the liquid. That will cause the fat to solidify and cling to the cloth/paper towel so you can take it out more easily.

Etc

Some additional general kitchen hacks:

  • Grating cheese is easier if you put it in the freezer for a half an hour or so before you grate. That hardens the cheese so it become easier to grate.
  • Remove skins more easily from garlic by removing all the bulbs from the core and then wacking each bulb with the side of a butcher knife or a rolling pin
  • Cut onions without weeping by freezing the onions before chopping. (not to be done if the onions need to be fresh – only for onions that will be fried or otherwise cooked)
  • Open stubborn jars by tapping the side of the lid on a hard surface (countertop, floor) hard, a few taps on the four sides of the lid. That breaks the seal and makes it easier to open the jar.
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