Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kitchen Tips from Tipnut

TipNut has to be one of my favorite websites. They have so many great tips. Here are a few for the kitchen.

Squeezing Lemons For Juice: For those who suffer from arthritis or hand pain, use a nutcracker to mangle and squeeze wedges of lemons to juice them. Otherwise jab a fork into the fruit flesh, squeeze both ends of the wedge together (towards the fork) and then twist the fork every which way. Lots of juice! * I also like to pop the lemons in the microwave for about 10 seconds - this helps the juicing process.
  1. Use plastic bins or tubs to hold all pouches of dry soup mixes, seasonings, etc. Keeps them neatly contained in one place, store in the pantry or cupboard.
  2. Insert kitchen reference charts and favorite recipes in clear plastic sleeves then hang on the inside of kitchen cupboard doors for easy access. They can easily be wiped clean as well as keeps often used info at your fingertips (Kitchen Printables: Kitchen Measurements Equivalent Conversion Chart, Recipe Ingredient Substitutions & Equivalents Chart and 34 Handy Kitchen Measurement Hacks & Tidbits).
  3. Use a large crock or container to hold your most used kitchen utensils and set it on the counter for easy access (wooden spoons, spatulas, large soup ladles, etc.). Also helps to keep the large utensils drawer better organized since less is packed inside (use drawer dividers or shallow baskets in these drawers, helps keeps things better sorted). You could also hang a hanging wall basket to stash lightweight larger items (as in the picture above).
  4. Pack lids for plastic containers or Tupperware in a clear plastic tub or large ziploc bags, you’ll be able to see easily just where the lid you need is. Keeps them contained instead of rampaging foot loose and fancy free through your cupboards.
  5. Spices can take up a lot of precious pantry or kitchen cupboard space–get them off the shelf and up on the wall. Mount a spice rack inside the pantry on a wall or hang a narrow basket shelf inside the pantry door (not over the stove, heat isn’t good for herbs and spices).
  6. You can get the knife block off the counter by installing a magnetic bar along a back counter wall–will hold your knives securely. You could also install a magnetic bar on the wall of your pantry to hold small tools you like to keep close at hand (screwdriver, pliers, etc.) or make a hanging tool organizer.
  7. Plastic lazy susans are a great organizing help in the pantry or small kitchen cupboard. Store like things together and you’ll know just where to grab what you need.
  8. Use cup hooks: Affix to the inside of cupboard doors and on pantry walls. They’ll hold things like measuring spoons, large bbq & kitchen utensils (with straps or holes for hanging), potholders, etc.
  9. Use small ziploc bags to hold small like-items together (like twisty ties, corn cob holders, etc.) then store all the bags together in a small plastic basket or tub.
  10. Utilize the space underneath hanging cupboards, you can install a paper towel holder, plastic wrap holder, knife holders, etc.
Measuring Tip: Rinse measuring cup in hot water before using syrup, oil, etc. Will pour out clean and not stick to cup. This was also mentioned in the 45 Cooking & Baking Tips - A Collection Of Timeless Wisdom tip list.

Neatly Cut Fudge: Use a pizza cutter to easily slice through flats of fudge and candy squares. Make sure the baking has been chilled or thoroughly set before cutting. The process is fast and easy and the result is nice, neat squares.

Freeze Cookie Dough: Try preparing a few batches of cookie dough at once and freezing the extra that you won’t be baking that day. You can roll the dough in logs first before freezing (wrap the dough really well) and then just slice off and bake what you need whenever you crave freshly baked cookies.

Fresh Fruit & Veggies Washing Tip: Sprinkle wet fruit and veggies with baking soda then gently scrub and rinse. This cleaning method safely removes dirt and residue off produce. This was part of Tipnut’s Arm & Hammer week.

Flour Bugs: Keep a couple bay leaves in the flour canister to help deter the bugs (flour Weevils) congregating in their favorite hangout. You can toss the leaves loose in the flour or make a rough pouch out of one layer of cheesecloth to keep the leaves separated from the flour. Another tip is to tape the bay leaves to the inside of the lid. Always try to keep flour and other grains in air tight containers, this will help keep pantry pests out.

Make Your Own Celery Flakes: Instead of cutting off the leafy tops of celery and tossing away, try making your own celery flakes. Simply wash and dry the leaves well, place in oven at 180° F. until crispy dried (a few hours), crumble and store in an air tight container. Use the celery flakes in cooking dishes such as soups, stews, stuffing and anything else you’d like to add a little flavor.


Julieann said...

OOOOO---> I love kitchen tips:)

I am going to be making cookies, I am going to try freezing some of the dough:)


Lauren Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the tips. Store more spices in less space and get them out of sight with a SpiceStack spice rack. Its really cool!

Caroline said...

I love to freeze cookie dough - then on days when I don't have much time or energy I can just pop them in the oven and bake. So easy!

I will have to check out the spice stack. I have lots of spices!