Face it, I say. It’s simple to fall into a rut or bookmark a tonne of new recipes with the intention of trying them later. Making the same old go-to dinners is even simpler, but then you notice that your old favorites have lost their appeal and become routine.
There are many ways to spark your urge to try something new, regardless of how little time you have in the morning, afternoon, or evening. These clever culinary ideas will make you ponder, and since they are all simple enough, they will inspire you to venture outside the conventional wisdom and experiment with new foods.
1 Use muffins tins to portion and freeze steel-cut oatmeal
One of the major issues that many people have with breakfast is time. The majority of us don’t have time to spend an hour making breakfast every morning, whether we’re getting ready for a long commute or rushing the kids to school. Oatmeal lovers may find themselves gravitating toward the instant variety.
But they don’t compare to homemade steel-cut oats, and like other prepared foods, they could contain other substances you don’t want. Fortunately, there’s a fantastic trick that will enable you to have a delicious bowl of steel-cut oats whenever you want, without having to spend the extra 45 minutes on preparation.
Steel-cut oats can be divided into portions and frozen in single servings, although the standard freezer bags are inconvenient. As an alternative, divide them into muffin tins and freeze them for a few hours.
When they’re nice and solid, remove them and place them in a freezer bag. Take a chunk out and heat it briefly in the microwave for a delicious breakfast or mid-day snack.
You may top them with whatever takes your fancy, and they’ll be steaming hot and just as tasty as the day you cooked them. (Or, make some ice cubes and add them to your morning smoothie!)
2. Don’t throw out that funky chocolate
A little chocolate is loved by everyone. If you prefer to keep a special bar hidden away for one of those days, you know there’s nothing worse than opening that bar of chocolate to find it has turned nasty and grey.
When chocolate isn’t stored properly, one of two types of chocolate bloom—which are distinct—can occur. When the chocolate begins to melt, the fat blooms to the top and reforms. When the chocolate becomes wet, some of the sugar dissolves, and then the chocolate dries, causing sugar to bloom.
Even though it’s unpleasant, it’s still safe to eat. Due to the harm done to its fat content, it is no longer suitable for melting because it won’t melt, look, or set properly. Who made the hack? You can bake using it.
The bloom won’t be apparent after it’s been baked into cookies or any other type of treat you wish to prepare, and it will taste and behave like any other chocolate.
3. Use your waffle iron for cookies
Even if you love cookies dearly, baking a large quantity often leaves you feeling guilty. If you find yourself desiring cookies, you can certainly freeze part of the dough and use it later, but doing so will still require turning on the oven, waiting for it to heat up, and then waiting again while the cookies bake. Try making some incredible cookies in just a few minutes with your waffle iron instead!
How To: Simplify has a tried-and-true recipe that cooks up quickly in a waffle iron and works beautifully.
They’re quick, they’re entertaining, and they’re ideal for satisfying your craving for a few cookies without making you feel guilty about not eating the full batch you just cooked. Win!
4. Freeze wine in ice cube trays for cooking
Wine of one kind or another is required in a large number of recipes. One of those tried-and-true tips that can up your cooking game is to add wine while preparing the sauce, regardless of what you’re making it for.
There is a remarkably simple wine hack that will address both issues if you don’t want to have to open a bottle of wine just to get the amount your recipe calls for.
The next time you have some wine at the bottle’s bottom that you just can’t finish, freeze it.
A very useful tool for this is an ice cube tray, which allows you to freeze leftover wine (and even wine that is no longer fit for consumption) into convenient serving sizes that are ideal for adding to whatever you’re cooking. Save that complete bottle and prevent the wastage of wine at the same time!
5. Remove strawberry stems with a straw
You probably detest wasting any of these lovely tiny berries if strawberries are one of your favorite fruits. The stem must be removed, and getting rid of the white part in the middle is a nuisance, but there’s a super simple way to do it that produces no waste, no mess, and just a tiny amount of effort.
Utilize a straw! You can remove the stem and the center core of the berry by simply pushing the straw through the middle of it, leaving the remainder of the fruit intact.
The strawberries will remain whole and are ideal for topping strawberry shortcake or adorning the cake you’re creating, in addition to being far faster than trying to hack them apart with a knife.
6. Remove cherry pits with a paper clip
Cherries are wonderful, but you’ve probably passed them by in the supermarket a hundred times because you thought they were simply too much trouble.
Taking out the pit is, after all, the difficult part, and purchasing a cherry pitter means you’ll have one more kitchen tool taking up room in your drawers.
That’s a hassle, particularly if you don’t use it very often. Fortunately, there is a quick fix for those annoying pits that involves a tool you most likely already have at home: a paper clip.
To cut around the pit, simply open the paper clip and insert it into the cherry’s stem end. The cherry is still intact, and the pit comes out with a little mess.