The Genius Trick to Soften Ice Cream That’s Hard as a Brick
...And more clever kitchen hacks that will save you time, money and effort.
Cooking Tips You’ll Wish You’d Known Sooner
Soften ice cream hard as a brick
Heat a sharp knife under warm water, then use it to make one-inch-deep cuts in a grid formation, spacing the lines about an inch apart. This increases your ice cream’s exposed surface area, speeding up the thawing process. Run a scooper under warm water, and easily serve up each section.
Use an empty water bottle to separate egg whites and yolks
Crack an egg into a shallow bowl, then hold the mouth of the bottle near the yolk and gently squeeze. When you release the squeeze, the yolk will be sucked out, and you can deposit it into another bowl.
Cut corn with a Bundt pan
To remove corn from the cob quickly, stand the cob upright in the centre of a Bundt pan. Holding the top of the cob steady, stroke a chef’s knife downward along the sides to remove kernels. Scrape the cob with the back of the knife to release juices. Kernels and juice collect in the Bundt pan—meaning one less mess for you to clean up.
Put this trick to work on these tasty corn recipes.
Skip the pasta rinse
Rinsing noodles washes away flavour and natural starch, which helps yummy sauce stick. It’s why some recipes suggest saving pasta water to use in sauce. Instead, skip the wash and spread drained pasta on a pan to cool.
Find out how to make store-bought pasta sauce taste homemade.
Don’t cry over a broken cake…
Instead, make a trifle by layering salvaged cake pieces with fresh whipped cream and fruit in a pretty glass bowl, advises Tamar Adler, chef and author of An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace.
Craving cake but don’t have a lot in the pantry? These easy cake recipes can be made with just a short list of ingredients.
Keep counters clean with a baking sheet
Place all ingredients on an empty baking sheet prior to prepping them. (This will help you catch spills and avoid wasting time hunting for an item as you cook.)
These clever cleaning hacks help take the hassle out of housekeeping.
Pizza wheels chop herbs
Turn in the chopping knife: Instead, roll over herbs like parsley and cilantro with a pizza wheel for quick and safe slicing. A pizza wheel also effortlessly chops foods like pancakes and pasta for small children.
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Use a countertop bowl for easy garbage
As you cook, toss scraps, eggshells, and other garbage into a large bowl. This will contain messes and save time if a trash can isn’t readily accessible. Line the bowl with a plastic bag to make cleanup even easier.
Find out why you need to stop throwing away eggshells.
For easier hard-boiled eggs, salt is your BFF
Want the shells of hard-boiled eggs to come off in big chunks instead of a million tiny pieces? Add a teaspoon of salt to the cooking water before putting in the eggs.
Don’t miss these pro tips on how to get perfect hard-boiled eggs, every time.
Clean a blender sans sponge
Fill it one-third full with warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid, recommends Woman’s Day. Run it for 10 seconds. Rinse and dry.
Find out the kitchen appliance mistakes everyone makes (and how to avoid them).
Juice a lemon with a microwave
Zap a lemon for 10 seconds to break down cells and make the juice flow faster, suggests Laurent Tourondel, chef and partner at Arlington Club in New York City. This is good to remember when trying to squeeze out as much juice as possible for a vinaigrette.
Discover more microwave tricks worth adding to your repertoire.
For better pie crusts, use a cheese grater
A cheese grater makes quick work of piecrusts and biscuits. Instead of cutting the butter into the flour, simply grate a stick of frozen butter, and then toss the shreds with flour until a crumbly mixture forms, says Beth Moncel, creator of budgetbytes.com.
Find out more brilliant butter hacks.
Flavour sauces and stews with leftover wine
Freeze leftover wine in ice cube trays to add flavour to sauces and stews. White and sparkling work best in creamy or clear and brothy soups (think chowder and simple vegetable), while red wine goes well with tomato or beef-based varieties (think chili). Add a few generous splashes per portion.
Here, Canadian chefs share their best-ever chili recipes.
Flip natural varieties of peanut butter upside down
This position allows the pool of oil near the lid to move through the rest of the jar and make the peanut butter creamier (and to skip messy stirring). Just make sure the cap is screwed on tight to avoid a greasy pantry shelf.
These pantry organization ideas make meal prep so much easier.
Use your porch to refrigerate
If your fridge is full because you’re hosting a party, place hardy perishables (like fruits and vegetables) in a cooler outside near the back door. Doing so will free up a lot of extra shelf space while still keeping food cold.
Find out the genius trick that keeps ice cubes from sticking together.
Leftover Doritos? Think outside the chip bag
Smash a handful of chips, stuff into a clean pepper mill, and grind away onto everything from mac and cheese to broccoli.
These simple three-ingredient recipes come together in a snap.
Make friends with your kitchen scissors
Use them to chop cooked or tender raw vegetables (especially greens) right in the bowl or pan, suggests Mark Bittman in his book How to Cook Everything Fast.
Discover more smart uses for kitchen scissors.
Halve cherry tomatoes fast
Save time on your next salad: Find two similarly sized storage container lids. Place cherry tomatoes on top of one, then firmly hold the other lid on top of the tomatoes. Use a very sharp knife to slice through the entire bunch at once.
Find out 20 foods you should never store in the fridge.
Apple cutters slice potatoes
You’ll have perfectly sized pieces to bake as wedges!
Here are 40 kitchen hacks that’ll change the way you cook.
Chop strawberries with an egg slicer
Use an egg slicer to quickly chop strawberries for fruit salads and desserts. Or cut avocados for sandwiches and uniform mozzarella slices for salads and pizza.
This viral video reveals the trick to dice an onion without a knife.
Twist open a mason jar for easy fried eggs
For perfectly round fried eggs (handy for breakfast sandwiches), heat a pan and spritz Mason jar rings with cooking spray. Place the rings on the pan, and slowly drop one cracked egg into each of the rings. Cook for about five minutes for a medium yolk. Use tongs to remove the Mason jar rings, and serve.
Here are the 10 mistakes everyone makes with eggs.
Whip up French toast in your microwave
Rub a pat of butter on the bottom of a mug; fill it to the top with chopped bread. In a separate cup, mix one egg, three tablespoons of milk, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Pour the mixture into the mug, and microwave for one minute.
Discover more easy mug meals you can make in minutes.
Cut away the mould
Before you toss suspect-looking leftovers, know this: firm foods are more likely to be salvageable than soft foods. Mould generally can’t penetrate deep into hard cheeses like Asiago and cheddar, so it’s OK to cut off about an inch. The same goes for firm produce like bell peppers and carrots. However, chuck mouldy-looking foods with high moisture content—yogurt, soft cheeses, cooked leftovers, and bread. Porous foods are likely to be contaminated beneath the surface.
Find out which expiration dates you should never ignore.
Defrost meat at the last minute
Thank high school science for this neat trick: Remember, metal conducts heat. Place meat in a plastic bag, then put it on top of an upside-down aluminum pot. Fill another pot with room-temperature water, and set it on the meat. In five to 10 minutes, your meat will be defrosted.
Check out more cooking hacks that’ll save you time (and money) in the kitchen.)