Sunday, February 22, 2015

Kitchen Hacks

As a mom who doesn't enjoy cooking, I appreciate any short cuts I can find. Thought I'd share a few of my favorites here...

First off, onions and garlic. Few recipes don't call for these! These 2 items save me so much time, tears, and frustrations over a garlic press! I hate chopping onions so much, I would make my husband do it if he was home! My garlic press is now in our play-doh box! I also never want as much onion as a recipe calls for, so I don't end up wasting anything. I just add what I want!
The garlic is available in organic, and onions are one of the foods you don't have to worry about being organic. Neither of these items is expensive. The off brand onions at my store is $.88!

Secondly, these 2 crock pot recipes will have you constantly stocked with 2 important staples. 

Crock pot Re-fried Beans

Crock pot Rotisserie Chicken

Both of these are SUPER easy. For the beans, I use half black, half pinto, and I also leave half of the beans whole for those recipes that call for "a can of black beans". I freeze them in little sandwich bags inside a big gallon freezer bag. For the re-fried, after I thaw the bag, I will cut a little hole in the corner of the bag and squeeze the beans out, just like a pastry bag. 

For the chicken, the only tricky part is turning the crock off at just the right time. Grab one of the legs and try to pull it off. If it's stuck hard, it's not done yet. If it comes off, it's good. Don't wait until it comes off super easily or your chicken will be too dry. Also, check out the link in her post about making stock from the bones (only with organic chickens!). Bone broth is super healthy! OK, so make that 3 staples!

Next, spray oil.

This may not be the healthiest or most frugal option, but I LOVE my spray cooking oils. More and more brands are appearing, and they now have organic as well. I buy coconut and olive oils. I don't use other vegetable oils. Here's why.

Finally, ice cubes! Not from water, but from things like cream, coffee (both of those make great frappes!), baby food, etc. 

What are your kitchen hacks? I am always looking for more!

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