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If you’ve been visiting this blog for a while, you’ll know that I love saving time, because time = money. There are so many things I could be doing, like reading my favorite blogs, investing in myself by attending an online class, or continually improving the blog.
One of the places I least like to spend time, after doing the laundry, is the kitchen. B and I share kitchen responsibilities pretty equally, although he does cook more than I do. That’s more because he doesn’t want to eat peanut butter and jelly everyday, whereas I would be okay with that. 🙂
Combining my love of efficiency plus adult responsibilities of not living in a hovel, over the years I have learned a few helpful tricks to make doing ‘kitchen stuff’ more enjoyable. Some of these things I learned through trial-and-error, from my parents and friends, and from the wonderful online community of other efficiency-lovers. 🙂
Since it’s Thanksgiving-time for those of us in the US, I thought I would dedicate this post to making your lives (hopefully) a little more stress-free with these tips. However, these tips are awesome to use year-round. You’ll wonder how you got along without them before!
Time-Saving Kitchen Hacks
Hard Boiled Eggs
One of my favorite time-saving kitchen hacks is peeling an egg more efficiently and carefully. My family’s traditional dish is deviled eggs – I could eat deviled eggs every day, but my Mom mostly makes them around the holidays.
As a kid, I was always roped into helping crack and peel the eggs. However, Mom would only make a dozen eggs (only!), which meant if I broke the fragile boiled eggshell while peeling, that egg would be useless in terms of delicious deviled egg-filling-goodness. After several failed attempts, my Dad showed me the best way to peel an egg properly, leaving no marks or damaged boiled shells.
To properly peel a boiled egg: After the eggs are done boiling, crack the shells with a spoon and immediately put them into an ice cold bath to shock them. Once cool, take the eggs out immediately and begin peeling under cool water. Start where the crack is, and slowly peel out from there, keeping the egg and your hands under the water.
It’s important to not leave the eggs too long in cold water, as that will harden them and make them more difficult to peel. Additionally, you’ll want to keep the egg under cool running water as you peel so that the egg shards will wash away, and not hang out on your egg, stabbing it as you peel.
For more info, check out Saveur’s article on how to peel hard boiled eggs and read their intriguing recipes for deviled eggs!
Are you making anything requiring fruit juice, like Key Lime Cupcakes? I can’t tell you how many times, when I was in a cupcake-baking frenzy, that I had to get lime juice and zest from the two random limes I had in my apartment. Imagine the frustration when the recipe called for 2 tablespoons of fruit juice, and as I manically tried to squeeze out more juice, all I got was a slow, excruciating drip… of 1 and a half tablespoons. Would I have to go to the store for one lime? That’s the epitome of wasting time! Oh, the frustration!
One day, while I was cursing for the 70th time, my roommate taught me an amazing trick: how to get more fruit juice out of my lemons or limes with little effort. In case you’ve suffered through the same fruit-agony, here is the best way to get more juice out of your fruit.
How to get more juice out of your lemons, limes, and oranges: Microwave those bad boys for 10 to 20 seconds before squeezing. So simple, right? Just make sure to not put them in for so long that they explode. That would definitely defeat the purpose.
Cutting up a lot of potatoes for your mashed potatoes? Well, I can’t help you with any peeling tricks (maybe just leave the skin on?) but I can help with ideas on how to cut up those potatoes faster. This time-saving kitchen hack also helps when you want to make French fries, too. Win-win!
How to cut up potatoes faster: Use an apple corer! You do own an apple corer, right? Because those are amazing if you want to chop up apples as a snack. If you own one, grab it and your potatoes. Cut your potatoes in half, so you have a solid base to rest on the counter/cutting board. Take your apple corer and slice those potatoes just like you would an apple and voila, chopped potatoes!
This time-saving kitchen hack actually came from the wonderful online community I mentioned: Cris from Goodeness Gracious. Check out her blog here!
Stocking the Dishwasher
Clean up time! This trick is by far my favorite, because it saves so much time after the dishes are done and you need to put them away. I don’t know about you, but I run my dishwasher at night and unload it in the morning, when I am half-awake. This one time-saving kitchen hack saves me so much time in the mornings, and I don’t even stab myself anymore. Yay!
How to efficiently load utensils in your dishwasher: This one is really simple: load all your utensils in the same way you store them. For example, all my regular spoons go in one place in my drawer. When I load the dishwasher, I place all of those spoons in one section of the utensil basket. See the picture below from The Kitchn blog as an example.
This is super helpful because the next day, when I’m unloading the dishwasher, I just grab all the utensils in that section and put them all in the drawer where they belong. No more picking and placing one utensil at a time in its proper spot. It may sound silly, but this has really saved me so much time in the mornings!
In terms of not stabbing myself, I store all the knives handle-side up. I know that’s not how you’re supposed to store them, but it’s better than stabbing myself every morning accidentally.
I hope these tips were helpful! I’ll be taking a day off from posting on Thursday, US Thanksgiving holiday. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled Weekly Update on Saturday!
Do you know of any time-saving kitchen hacks, and which time-saving tip is your favorite? Please share your tricks – I’m always looking for more ways to get out of the kitchen faster, and onto the blog quicker! Or, you know, hanging out with the dog… 🙂