Cooking hacks have grown in popularity during 2014. Here’s a look back at some of the craziest tricks we learned during the last year.
Ironing can be a real chore. While the iron is hot, treat yourself to a snack and cook yourself up some bacon. Tightly wrap a few slices of bacon in aluminum foil, iron it until thoroughly cooked, and munch away. Just don’t forget to make sure there’s not any grease on the iron before you use it for your clothes again!
Place an unbaked cinnamon roll in your waffle maker, close the lid, and you’ll have a cinnamon waffle ready in mere minutes. Added bonus: The “waffle” squares catch the frosting, creating delicious pools of sweetness.
Why invest in an expensive pasta maker when a paper shredder is perfectly capable of cutting fresh pasta? Just feed your lightly floured pasta dough on through for uniformly cut strands.
Cut through soft foods such as goat cheese with ease by using unscented dental floss. Line up your “cut” and slide the floss right through.
Don’t let fresh herbs go to waste; save them for later use by freezing them in your choice of water, olive oil, or stock. Simply chop up fresh herbs, add to ice cube trays, cover with liquid, and freeze. Pop a cube or two out when ready for use.
Not having a stove can be a real inconvenience, especially when you’ve got a hankering for a toasty grilled cheese sandwich. Tap into your coffee maker’s unrealized potential and use the burner as a makeshift grill.
Toss a garlic bulb into a metal bowl, then place another bowl on top, upside-down (so that it forms a sphere). Hold the bowls together, shake like crazy for 10 seconds, and voila! Peeled garlic cloves.
A BLT should have bacon in every bite (hence the ‘B’ in BLT). Avoid ever having to take another meatless bite by topping your BLT with a bacon weave. Cut a package of bacon strips in half and weave six mini-strips into a square, then cook until desired doneness is achieved.
No room in your oven or on your stovetop? Tightly wrap a salmon (or other fish) fillet in foil and place it in your dishwasher (without any soap!) to cook. When the cycle is complete, so is your fish.
Remove corn from the cob with ease by balancing it vertically in the center of a Bundt pan and using your knife to slice whole sections of kernels off at once, which conveniently fall into the pan.
Mastering the art of rolling sushi takes practice and patience. If you have neither, you can push the easy button and use an ice cube tray to your advantage to make uramaki-style sushi (squared-off rice rolls with fish and/or vegetables in the center and no nori wrapping). Press sushi rice onto the sides of each compartment on the ice cube tray. Then, put your fillings inside. Pop the sushi out and serve and revel in the admiration your guests will have for your faux culinary skill.
If you prefer not to get your hands dirty, mastering this neat trick will keep your mits egg-free when separating yolks from whites. Slightly squeeze an empty plastic water bottle, place the mouth of the bottle over the yolk and release. The yolk will be sucked inside the bottle, leaving the white behind.
Need to cut a bunch of teeny tiny tomatoes? Tackle this tedious task by cutting them all at once; simply sandwich the tomatoes gently between two plates to hold them steady, then run your knife between to cut them in half.
Need butter softened fast? Grate it! Grated butter shreds warm up faster than an entire stick because more surface area is exposed. Plus, you’ll avoid making a butter-splattered mess in your microwave.
Believe it or not, your dishwasher can be used to perfectly steam vegetables. Tightly seal your vegetable of choice in aluminum foil and let your dishwasher do the work. Soap-free, of course!