The key to this is putting some common kitchen items to uncommon uses, using creative thinking and a sense of organization.
Here’s a few ideas:
Got an egg slicer? Use it to slice mushrooms thinly and evenly in seconds.
Add chopped veggies (like asparagus or peppers) to pasta water during the last two minutes of cooking to quickly blanch them for a vegetable pasta medley.
When making waffles or pancakes, cook a few extras to freeze in individual servings for toaster breakfasts in minutes.
When slicing an onion: 1. Make two cuts horizontally. 2. Slice vertically across the top. 3. Chop parallel to the root. Done!
Keep one or two sticks of butter in the freezer for recipes that call for chilled butter (such as pie dough and biscuits). Then, instead of cutting the stick into cubes when baking, use a cheese grater to shred the butter directly into the flour.
To defrost frozen foods quickly, place in a colander under cold running water. For frozen veggies, rinse with warm running water.
To quickly seed tomatoes, cut them in half width-wise. Then squeeze out juice and seeds. For a refreshing drink, save the juice and strain the seeds before serving.
Did you know that cheese can be sliced evenly without crushing or crumbling by using a piece of dental floss? Hold the floss taut and draw it through the cheese.
Don’t throw away the rind from Parmesan cheese. It can be used to simmer in soups and stews for extra flavor; just wrap and freeze the rind until you need it.
When chopping peppers, slice them vertically into four pieces first, then discard the core.
Puncture citrus fruit with a skewer, then squeeze. The pith, pulp and seeds stay in the fruit, but now the juice can be extracted any time!
Soak eggs in warm water for two minutes to bring them to room temperature for baking recipes.
Need to soften ice cream fast? Use the defrost setting on your microwave. Check the ice cream every 15 seconds and stir for even texture.
Quickly toast nuts by using a hot skillet instead of waiting for the oven to preheat.
Sift dry ingredients together over waxed paper when baking to have less bowls to clean.
Any extra marinade on hand can also be used to make a salad dressing, added to pasta sauces and even on pizzas.