It’s Friday! Just a few short hours and we’ll be headed into the weekend. I hope you have some wonderful things planned: an afternoon nap, for example… or maybe you’ll be whipping up a new fall recipe filled with pumpkin spice. Yum!
Many of us spend a large amount of time in the kitchen, and there are some little things that can be SO frustrating; like, going to make a batch of warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies, pulling out the brown sugar, and it’s as hard as rock. Frustrating, right? Today I’ve got a couple little tips and tricks to share with you, including how to get that brown sugar back to its soft, sticky state.
1.) Soften Brown Sugar With A Slice of Bread:
I won’t hold you in suspense, I’ll just start with the brown sugar trick right away. If you go to spoon out some brown sugar and find it in a rock-hard state, add one slice of bread to the canister and cover. This, unfortunately, takes a bit of time to work, so you’ll have to postpone cookie baking for the day, but after 24 hours, you’ll find a rock-hard piece of bread, and your brown sugar will be soft and ready to use. I have no idea why this works, I just know it does.
2.) Crock Pot Chicken for Future Recipes:
There are so many times in which a quick dinner comes in handy, but this often means frozen pizza, and I get kinda sick of frozen pizza. I started using this simple tip years ago. When chicken is on sale, stock up (I actually like the chicken breasts with the bones and skin because it adds a lot of flavor- and you can sometimes find them for 88-99¢ per pound). Cook the chicken in your crock pot and then shred it for future meals. Think: chicken quesadillas, soups, casserole dishes, chicken salads, etc. There are so many quick meals you can make, and having it shredded and ready to go saves you a whole lot of time.
3.) Ripen Pears in A Paper Bag:
I have actually met a few people who prefer their pears hard like an apple. Ummm… no. Right? Pears should have a little give when you press on them. I am right, right? Sometimes, however, these are hard to come by in the produce section of my grocery store. No worries; there is an easy trick that will soften those pears right up. Stick them into a brown paper bag and they’ll ripen in no time. Do not leave the pears in the bag for days. Check them every 12-24 hours to see if they have softened ’cause mushy pears are no good either.
4.) Plastic Condiment Bottles for Dispensing Oil:
It used to be that I would pour oil directly from the container into my pan. Problem was, I’d pour, like, an entire cup, when I really needed a tablespoon. So, I did what many do, and I bought an oil dispenser. It worked well until I had to refill it. After that, the seal wasn’t great and I’d pour oil into the pan, on my hands, on the oven, on the counter- it was a mess! I actually researched what to do because my cute, glass dispensers were annoying! I found that I had to forego the cuteness factor and get these plastic bottles, but they actually work, and not just once, they have worked for years. I will say that I usually wrap a paper towel around the bottle and add a rubber band to secure it (not shown because the already “non-existent cute factor” goes down even more). The paper towel helps to absorb any oily residue.
5.) Making Bacon Without the Splatter Factor:
I love bacon! I do not, however, appreciate grease splattering me in the eye. I now cook bacon in the oven. It comes out crisp and lays flat (no curling edges). Here’s what you do: Grab a baking sheet and line it with foil (this makes clean up a whole lot easier later on). Place your bacon slices on an oven-safe cooling rack and put the whole thing on the baking sheet. Like this:
Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes. You can go ahead and enjoy the bacon, but let the grease cool, so it hardens a bit, and just remove the foil, with the grease, and toss it all in the trash.
Do you have any helpful kitchen tips or tricks you have learned over the years? If so, leave them in the comments below.
Enjoy your weekend~