Wednesday, November 5, 2014

5 Kitchen Secrets

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  A lot!  However, our kitchen is small and terrible and I pretty much hate it, so spending a lot of time there isn't fun. I dream of having a big, open kitchen with LOTS of counter space. However, in the meantime, I just do my best to save time, while not sacrificing health or taste. 

Here are my five favorite time-saving tricks. 

1. Peel garlic and onions super fast!!

This video is about peeling garlic, but it works just as well for onions too. 

2. Make chicken stock overnight while you sleep!

This is so easy you don't even need a video. Just put the chicken carcass in your crockpot, cover with water, add a few tablespoons of vinegar and cook on low all night long.  And even the next day.  You can keep it in the crockpot as long as you like, until you feel like dealing with it.  Could not get easier and you never have to worry about it.  

3.  Make most any vegetable delicious, guaranteed!!

That's right, most ANY vegetable can be made totally delicious by roasting.  Lettuce, cucumbers and radishes are the exception. Anything else can be be made absolutely scrumptious by roasting...broccoli, winter squash, kale, collards, turnip greens, red beets, Brussels sprouts, carrots, zucchini, green name it and I roast it.  

To roast, just chop your vegetable, toss with olive oil, salt and whatever other spices you feel like throwing in there.   Bake at 425 degrees until done.  The length of time depends on the vegetables...leafy greens (kale, collards, etc.) roast quickly (10 minutes) while broccoli, carrots, butternut squash, etc. take a bit longer (30-40 minutes).

4. Never waste any food, ever again!

Make kitchen sink soup!  What is kitchen sink soup you may ask?  It's soup you make using all the leftover dribs and drabs you have in your refrigerator.  Just take your chicken broth (that you made up above) and throw in whatever you have that you need to use up.  Those limp carrots...throw them in.  That onion that is about to go bad...throw it in.  Potatoes starting to turn green...throw them in. Leftover meatballs or meatloaf or chicken or pork or sausage or pasta or rice or beans or mashed potatoes or anything...throw it in.  Round out your soup with some onions, garlic and whatever else you like to make it nice and hearty (I usually throw pasta in there).  Don't forget the salt and other seasonings! 

It's incredibly easy, delicious and healthy!

5. How to Make Any Baked Good Taste Fabulous!!

Add lots of butter and sugar.'s the secret to delicious baked goods...every time.  Maybe not healthy baked goods...but delicious ones!!

photo source

And, since there are 5 of these favorite tips..I'm linking up with  Jenna for Five Favorites.
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  1. Thank you! The garlic trick was amazing.... I will have to try it. I almost don't believe it!

  2. Amen on the roasted vegetables! I have converted many a folk to brussels sprouts with a quick roast! My new fave...parsnips! If you haven't tried them, you must!

  3. Every chicken stock I have tried has not turned out well... but I will prevail!!

    1. What?? I'm genuinely confused, as I thought there was no way to screw it up!

      I cover a chicken carcass with water, add root veggies (carrots, etc.), salt, pepper, and let it simmer for a long time, then strain! It's really that simple!

    2. Well if you don't add enough salt, I think it can be pretty bland.

  4. I love roasted vegetables! I started with broccoli and now roast everything I can!

  5. Great tips! I think roasting needs to make its way into my kitchen techniques. Thank you! I hope you know that I keep you and your family in my prayers!

  6. Oops. This is Stephanie, not Cory! Busted, since I swiped his iPad!

  7. Can not wait to try the garlic tip! Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Ok HOW does the garlic thing work with onions!?! I use onion in EVERYTHING. If it doesn't have onion and garlic, I'm not interested. So can you elaborate a bit on how it works with onions?
    To be honest...I buy the huge things of minced garlic, b/c I hate dealing with garlic so much. :/

    1. I just put the onions in the bowls...shake and peels either come off completely or are loosened enough that they come right off without actual "peeling." They just slide off much easier. We've been getting a lot of onions from my parents' garden and they are need like 3 of them to equal 1 big onion (and I also put onion in everything), so this saves a lot of time peeling these small onions.

  9. I've made beef stock before, never chicken but I would think you can use the bones from the cut chicken like the thighs, etc. I've not made beef stock in a crockpot, though. That sure sounds easier than on the stove.

    And in all my years of cooking I have never roasted vegetables!!! I must remedy that, stat!!

    No. 5 is my favorite. :)


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