10 Kitchen Shortcuts to save you time

 smash garlic with a knife image

#1: How to Quickly Peel Garlic

  1. Smash with a flat part of the knife.  Use your palm to hit the flat part of the knife over the garlic.
  2. Peel easily.  Garlic will appear slightly smashed but you have to mince it anyway!



#2: No need to Rinse Pasta

  1. Rinsing noodles after they are cooked is an extra step that is totally ok to skip
  2. Flavor and natural starch is washed away during rinsing.
  3. Simply drain the pasta and mix through a tablespoon of olive oil (optional).



cracked eggs image

#3: Separate Egg Whites and yolks

  1. Get an empty water bottle
  2. Crack an egg into a shallow bowl
  3. Hold the mouth of the bottle near the yolk and gently squeeze.
  4. When you release the squeeze, the yolk will be sucked out, and you can deposit it into another bowl.



#4: Use a bowl on the counter for easy garbage

This is one of my favorites.  Eliminates all effort to get to the trash can – even if yours is close by.  Keeps the counter uncluttered.

  1. Use any bowl in your kitchen.
  2. Place it on the counter near your working area
  3. As you chop vegetables, prep fruit, or any other ingredients place ll trash into the bowl
  4. Every so often, empty the bowl into the garbage can


breadcrumbs photo

#5: Make breadcrumbs in seconds

Do you ever have burger or hot dog buns left over after a party?  Instead of throwing them out, make bread crumbs!

  1. Tear the buns into pieces and freeze in a zip-lock bag.
  2. When you need bread crumbs for a meatloaf or other recipe, take the breadcrumbs out of the freezer.  No thawing need.
  3. A few pulses in a food processor and you will have gourmet home-made bread crumbs.


ice cube trays image

#6: Freeze leftover wine

Wine is used in so many recipes to add flavor to sauces, stews, or braised meat.  Most people hesitate to open a new bottle of wine when you only need 1/2 of cup?  Here is a solution!

  1. Freeze leftover wine in ice cube trays
  2. Add a few ice cubes into any recipe
  3. Red wine goes well with tomato or beef-based varieties (think chili).   White and sparkling work best in seafood dishes, creamy or clear soups, or white pasta sauces.



#7: Skip pre-sauteing ingredients to put into the slow cooker

Slow cooker recipes always ask to saute onion, garlic, carrots and similar ingredients.

  1. Instead of sauteing, mix onion and garlic into a bowl
  2. Place in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.  This process releases the flavor and smell.
  3. Add warm onion and garlic to your slow cooker.
  4. The end result is the same with less time and less dishes to wash

When the recipe asks to sear or saute meat, sometimes I only sear 1/3 of all the meat that I’m cooking.  The browned edges provide complexity of flavor to the whole dish without spending time browning every single piece.



#8: Use an egg slicer to cut strawberries

  1. Use and egg slicer to quickly cut strawberries on any soft fruit
  2. Slices come out uniform and beautiful



#9: Quickly soften cold butter

  1. Take butter out of the fridge
  2. Fill a glass with water and microwave until hot
  3. Pour out the water
  4. Use the empty hot glass to place over the butter for 20 seconds
  5. Lift the glass and find silky smooth butter perfect for spreading



#10: Instant mashed potatoes used as breading

Instant mashed potatoes are not great as mashed potatoes.  However, they are delicious as breading on fish and chicken such as this potato crusted sole

  1.  Open a package of instant mashed potatoes
  2. Add desired seasoning
  3. Use in place of breadcrumbs
  4. Voila! You have a gourmet flavor having used a fast and inexpensive ingredient