It's always nice to hear about an easier or faster way to do something--especially if that something is in the kitchen, where we spend so much of our time!
Try these time-savers!
1. Mix up your pancake batter in your blender, then pour right out of your container onto the griddle. You'll have lump-free batter and lots less to clean up.
2. Having a children's birthday party? The day before, scoop ice cream into a muffin pan lined with paper liners. Keep in the freezer till serving time.
3. For quick frosting on a cake or pan of brownies, sprinkle a 12-oz. bag of chocolate chips on top while cake is still warm. Let it sit for a few minutes, the chips will be soft enough to spread. Try using mint chocolate chips, too!
4. We've all made small pizzas using English muffins, but have you tried using flour tortillas? Just top with pizza sauce and your other favorite things, and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or so.
5. Your kitchen shears are the best tool for cutting fresh green beans into pieces. You can even cut more than one bean at a time.
6. Instead of making a white sauce for your veggies tonight, mix equal parts of mayo and the water the veggies cooked in. Add salt and pepper to your taste.
7. When you have cooking odors you would like to get rid of, boil a few cinnamon sticks in water for a few minutes.
8. Another way to clean up pots and pans quickly--boil a little vinegar and water in the pan. Then stuck on food is easily cleaned out.
9. Another use for your electric knife: it slices chilled cookie dough very neatly.
10. Don't fry your bacon, cook it in the oven! Just lay the slices on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until crisp and done. Easy cleanup, too.
11. An easy, quick way to shred carrots for carrot cake: place pieces of carrot in blender, add eggs the recipe calls for and blend until of desired consistency.
12. Want to have spaghetti for sauce but no time for making sauce? Just blend a can of Italian diced tomatoes and heat.
13. If you spill cooking oil on the floor or counter, sprinkle flour over it; wait a few minutes for it to absorb and wipe or sweep up.
14. An easy way to peel a tomato: rub all over with the back of a knife. Then it peels easily.
15. Use a small funnel to easily and quickly separate an egg. The white will go through, while the yolk will stay in the funnel.
How you spend your time is more important than how you spend your money. Money mistakes can be corrected, but time is gone forever. ---David Norris
= = = = = = = = Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another" bi-weekly newsletter and founder of the website of the same name. Visit http://www.cynroberts.com to find creative tips, articles, and a free e-cooking book. Subscribe to the newsletter and receive the free e-course "Taming the Monster Grocery Bill".