With so many high-tech refrigerators out there today with built in ice cube machines, it seems the classic freezer staple, the ice cube tray, is sadly becoming outdated and useless. Well, think again! This plastic tool has much more potential that just turning liquid water into solid ice. It is a party essential, allowing you to be ready for guests at all times. Here are five ways to use this versatile tool that will make your cooking experience both faster and easier:
1. Freeze herbs in olive oil: Chop fresh herbs of your choice and place them in the ice cube tray. Then, fill the tray with olive oil to create flavorful cubes. Then, as you begin to prepare dinner or a party dish, just pop a cube into a pan and sauté vegetables and/or meat to perfection.
2. Make coffee cubes for iced coffee: Especially in the summer months, everyone loves a refreshing glass of iced coffee. But when the ice cubes melt in the summer heat before you can take a sip, you’re left with a watery glass of joe. The next time you make a batch of fresh coffee, pour it in an ice cube tray and freeze it for your next glass, so even if the cubes melt, you’re just left with more coffee!
3. Make chocolate-covered strawberries in a pinch: Simply fill the tray with melted chocolate, pop in a strawberry, and freeze for last-minute guests (or for a late-night snack).
4. Freeze homemade sauces: After putting so much effort into making a sauce from scratch, whether it's marinara or pesto, you don’t want to let any of it go to waste. Freeze sauce in an ice cube tray and you’ll always have flavor on hand for your next meal.
5. Freeze homemade cookie dough: The next time you’re prepping meals for the week or have a spare few minutes, whip up a batch of cookie dough and scoop it into the ice cube tray. The portions are already separated, and you will always have dough for an afternoon snack or last-minute guests.