7 kitchen hacks to make cooking and cleaning easier

crystalized honey

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1. Cleaning your cast iron

Water and soap isn’t the best (or proper) way to clean your beloved cast iron. Try coarse salt as an abrasive or steel wool with just hot water. If the pan was used to cook something simple you need only wipe it out with a paper towel.

Crochet cotton clothes are one of my favorite tools to use for my cast iron. I have three set aside just for this purpose.

2. Keep your pasta water from boiling over

You bring your water to glorious rolling boil only to forget to turn it down after adding the pasta and within moments you have a mountain of foam ready to tip out of the pot and all over the burner and stovetop.

Use a wooden spoon to stop this from happening. Simply lay the handle across the top of the water and you don’t have to worry about your pasta water erupting like a volcano.

3. Easy peel eggs

Fresh eggs are best when you can get them but they are the hardest to peel due to the air pocket being nearly non existent.

You can tell how fresh an egg is by putting it in a glass of water and if it sinks it’s fresh, if it floats that air pocket is large meaning the egg isn’t just from the farm this morning.

Put your eggs in a steamer basket or vegetable steamer tray and the shells will release much easier after they are hard cooked.

4. Easy peel butternut squash

Known to be as delicious as it is difficult to peel, butternut squash is a favorite seasonal vegetable.

Peeling it can be downright dangerous but this hack will help you breeze through the breakdown of this glorious gourd. Put it whole in the microwave for 3-4 minutes and that will soften it enough to manage.

5. How to easily remove screw tops from jars

It happens to all of us, sometimes no amount of banging the top of the jar will get it to loosen up. I’ve had good luck with these three techniques based on the size of the lid.

  • Use a can opener handle for narrow tops. The rubbery or silicone grip grabs the lid between the arms and allows you to twist it off easily. Position it like a nutcracker and unscrew.
  • A rubber band on larger lids gives you a good grip
  • Silicone kitchen pads do double duty to not only work as a hot pad but a great mid size screw top remover

6. Honey gone bad? How to fix crystalized honey.

Sugar molecules can be a funny thing. Honey can crystalize causing you to ask, “has my honey gone bad?” Do not panic. This is an easy fix. Put the jar in some hot or simmering water and it will be back to normal in no time at all. If you have a plastic honey bear it will be slower as you can’t go with simmering hot water without warping the container but slow changes of hot tap water will do the trick.

7. Coffee grinder does much more than grind coffee beans

After you dump out those delicious grinds, you can use your grinder to turn white sugar into powdered sugar, oats into oat flour, flaxseeds into flax meal and pulse to chop nuts or grind to make your own almond flour, walnut meal, etc.

Just wipe it out with a dry paper towel before you grind your beans the next day.

It’s a must have even if you don’t grind your own beans. I use this one.

Grind oats to make this low calorie gluten free dark chocolate cake.