The things we consider the hardest are most likely to be done in a simpler way and actually work. Some of us view the kitchen as a room for the experts only and shy away. The very complex things you see being done in the cooking channels are as easy as a walk in the park if you try some of these simple kitchen hacks. They are suitable for saving time and money. You can call them shortcuts that really go a long way.
1. Keep Your Tomatoes Fresh
The most nagging problem in the kitchen is finding your tomatoes rotten after some time. We buy enough tomatoes to last us through the week but before it ends, you start seeing rotten sports on them. Keeping them in the fridge is not the solution because eventually, they will still go bad after some days. What you should do is, when buying tomatoes, be sure to mix both raw and ripe tomatoes. Buy some lemons as well and put them together in one basket. Be sure to place a lemon in the middle of four tomatoes. The lemon slows down the ripening process making the tomatoes stay fresh for longer.
2. How to Store Your Coriander
Putting coriander stem in water won’t keep them fresh. They wither after some time and turn yellow. The best way to ensure that they stay fresh for up to 10 days is very simple. Buy your coriander and cut off the roots. Do not cut up to the stem. Wash them thoroughly and put them in a container. Seal the container tightly to make sure no air goes inside. Store them in the fridge and only open it when you need to take some out and use it. Close the container and return to the fridge for use on another day. Your coriander will stay fresh up to two weeks or more. Remember, store in the fridge and not the freezer.
3. Slice Your Onions Without Tearing Up
Every time you slice an onion, you always find yourself ‘crying’. The smell of the onions irritates our eyes which causes us to tear up. A helmet could work yes, but having to go to the store and buy a helmet yet you don’t own a bike could seem awkward to yourself. It is also expensive to incur unnecessary costs. To avoid all this, peel your onions and soak them in salty water twenty minutes before you cook and that will do the trick.
4. Need to Store Peeled Potatoes?
For instance, you go to prepare dinner, you have already peeled your potatoes ready to be cooked then, a friend pops in with the takeaway food. That situation is tempting and you suddenly feel like you don’t want to cook anymore. What will happen to your potatoes? If you leave them like that, they will turn black by morning and you don’t want to boil them. Just wash them well and put in a bowl with water then place small slices of bread on the water. Bread floats on water while the potatoes are underneath the water. By the next day morning, the potatoes will still be very fresh, as the bread will have sacked up the gas that causes them to darken.
5. Do Not Throw Out Your Jars
Most if not all stores, sell empty jars for us to buy and store spices, sugar, salt and other things in them. To avoid these costs, just improvise on what you already have. The empty Nutella and honey jars can come in handy. Simply remove their labels and put nametags of what you want to keep in them. This is a good form of cost-saving.
6. Peel Tomatoes With Less Hustle
Sorting tomatoes peels on the side of your plate as you are having dinner is a lot of work. You could even lose appetite while at it. You don’t have to keep doing that. If you don’t prefer blending your tomatoes, you could opt for this very simple hack. Soak your tomatoes in hot water for thirty minutes. This will soften their skin making it easy to peel with your hands. Peeling with a knife is not a good idea as you might deeply cut out some part of the tomato, leaving you with a very small tomato.
7. Replace Plastic Bags With Containers
Storing food leftovers in plastic bags and placing them on the shelves look a bit messy. The entire kitchen tends to look clustered just because of that shelve. The best way to avoid this is to get rid of plastic bags and opt for containers. Foodstuff like beans and peas can be put in cereal containers instead. If you need to have plastic bags around, get a drawer for them.
8. Do Not Throw Out Leftover Bread
For the lovers of bread, you do not have to throw the one remaining piece every day. Dry the bread and put it in a jar in form of crumbs. After a few times of drying your leftover bread, your jar will be full and you can use the crumbs to fry chicken or make meatballs. You will have saved the cash that you could have used to buy breadcrumbs from the store.
9. Preserving Your Tomato Paste
Whether in the fridge or not, tomato paste seems to go bad soon as you have unsealed the can. You end up throwing away a merely used can of paste. To prevent this, simply pour some little olive oil on the paste. The oil prevents bacteria from forming on the paste keeping it fresh for longer. You could use cooking oil too in case you are out of olive oil.
The Bottom Line
These simple hacks are a lifesaver for almost every situation. Some of the hacks are basic science that we learned in our early school days. Do not attempt any hack that you are not sure of to prevent loss or damage to your stuff.
It’s so irritating to find fruit flies in your kitchen hovering around. No matter how hard you swing that broom or dustpan to make them go away, they will always gather again at the same point in less than a minute. This also applies to gnats as spotting their eggs could be a bit difficult. The difference between these two insects is that gnats are mostly found around your houseplants or bathroom and sink drains while fruit flies are mostly found around the kitchen or garbage area. Here are some ideas to help you get rid and control these insects.
1. Use the glue trap method.
Get a glue trap, of course, made of glue, to nab the fruit flies. It has a distinct smell that tends to attract the flies and gnats towards it. The smell cannot be easily detected and is not harmful. Be sure to hang it where kids will not bump into it as they are very curious and might try licking it.
2. Take out the trash regularly.
Fruit flies like to be around the trash can as it is one of the places where they find their food. It is therefore advised that you take out the trash before going to bed. If this is almost impossible for you, cover the trash can tightly so that no insect will have to be attracted by the smell from the garbage.
3. Dry out your drains.
Do not leave water on your drains either on your kitchen sink or your bathroom drain. Always leave it dry so that no water is left stagnant since it will be laying the ground for gnats especially for the rarely used bathrooms. Clean your kitchen sink well after doing the dishes and unclog from time to time to prevent blockage. You could also pour slightly hot water mixed with lemon and dishwashing soap just to be sure your drains are clean and clear.
4. Observe hygiene.
Apart from the bathroom, the kitchen and dining room are the second places that hygiene should be highly observed. Gnats feed on the remains of whatever we have eaten. To prevent them from raiding your kitchen, get rid of the food remains which fall on the table or on the kitchen floor immediately after you are through with your meal. Those fruit flies cannot stay in a place where there is no food.
5. Do not overwater your houseplants.
When watering your houseplants, you should be keen so as not to give your plant too much water. The water should not be visible or appear flooding at the top of the plant-soil as it can be laying the ground for gnats. Do not, however, be mean to your plant for the sake of saving yourself from the annoying insect. Put a reasonable amount of water on your plant. If the gnats persist, change the soil in the plant pot.
6. Come up with a home remedy for the insects.
You could use food to trap the gnats and fruit flies. One idea is to put some fruits, preferably sweet and rotten in a jar then leave it open. The insects will get attracted and fly into the jar then immediately you can cover the jar and get rid of it. Do not worry about catching one or two insects as they come in groups after a very short time. Sticky fruits will be effective so that the flies do not escape.
7. Store your food well.
The manner in which we store food could also be one of the causes of infestation in our house. The best thing to do is store food in clean containers and have them sealed airtight. You could store some fruits in the fridge for those that can survive in there. Ensure that you check for any holes or defects in the fruit before storing and be keen on the fruits that ripen very quickly.
8. Use insecticides.
If the gnat and fruit fly problem persists, you can go for an insecticide. Seek professional help and guidance on how and when to administer the insecticide. Also, get to know which one can be harmful to you so that you can keep off. Insecticides help in getting rid of the flies much quicker. It is also a good idea to use insecticides in cases that cannot be controlled by natural remedies.
9. Avoid spillage of sugary stuff.
Sometimes you might be in a hurry to get to work and spill some coffee while running around. It is better to take a minute and wipe away that spillage because it will become sticky after some time and attract a whole army of gnats that fly above the mess which may take almost forever to get rid of after that. Do not to leave sugar or empty bottles of soda out in the open as well.
10. Do not leave your window open for too long.
From time to time, you need a breath of fresh air and have to open up your windows. This is a chance that you give to the gnats to fly in and cause damage to the house. You could decide on closing your windows and not opening them often or if you really need to keep them open, you could think of having one of those fly stoppers on your window.
Stressing too much over gnats and fruit flies will ruin your day for nothing. Have a look at one or two tips that might kick-start your journey to a clean and insect free environment. Above all, observe cleanliness and inspect your home from time to time as you do your general cleaning. The gnats and fruit flies might carry germs to your food which may result in health complications no matter how minor. In very severe cases, seek professional help.
Everyone wants an easier time in the kitchen especially if you are lazy at cooking and have little patience. Time is a crucial factor for a hungry person. You want the food there and then. A few people would part with money especially when it comes to the kitchen little do they know it would save them time and money. Here are a few kitchen gadgets that will make the kitchen your favorite place if you invest in them.
1. The Egg Slicer
This can not only be used on eggs alone but on mushrooms and strawberries. It slices the hard-boiled eggs evenly within a short time. It’s made of a plastic holder with wires with the same spacing.
2. Egg White Separator
Egg separation is a stage in cooking. This is when the egg white is separated from the Yolk. The egg white separator should be one of those must-have kitchen gadgets if you practice egg separation frequently. Those who don’t want to buy this gadget could also crack open the egg manually and separate it with a spoon. In this case, this was made easier by inventing the egg white separator. It can come in rubber, plastic or metal design. It is affordable and every household can own one.
This is a tube-like item that is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom used to guide liquid or powder into a container with small openings. It is very effective and saves you a lot of time. It also minimizes spillage and wastage.
4. Lemon Squeezer
A lemon squeezer has silicone handles to ensure it has a firm grip. It is made out of stainless steel because it is durable. It has a large space to fit the fruit in it easily. Cut the fruit. Place it in the hopper facing down. Press the lemon and see how much juice will come out it because the squeezer inverts the fruit turning it inside out and no seeds will go in. It’s super easy to hand wash and doesn’t take too much space when storing.
5. Fruit and Vegetable Keeper
Fruits and vegetables go bad easily and we try to keep them stay longer so that we can enjoy them. This gadget lets you enjoy the small part you would want to eat first then keep the rest for later without it not getting spoilt. You can also let your kid carry a small part of the fruit to school with this.
6. Mini Waffle Maker
When the waffle maker is plugged in, takes about ninety seconds to warm up. Clean up is easy. Generally, it takes 2-4 minutes to cook depending on how brown you want them. It’s fast and the kids really like it. Whenever you need to make an easier breakfast that is cheaper, waffles can always be the best option. Just dribble honey on them with a slice of your favorite fruit.
7. Pressure Cooker
This is very effective for foods that take longer to cook at the best temperature. For example cereals, tough meat and some vegetables that take too long as well. A pressure cooker can come in different sizes depending on the purpose used like 2 liters, 5 liters and 10 liters. This saves you money because it takes a shorter time to cook compared to when you used ordinary cooking pots. It will last you up to 20 years and you can hand it down to your children.
From smoothies to ice cream, soup, cake mixes, it can do all this and save you so much time. It comes in different sizes. It has different modes depending on the consistency you want. So far there is no competition for this.It polarizes the small seed to the biggest ones. It is fast, efficient and easy to use. It also has a manual in cases where the user is not familiar with its usage. It is readily available in supermarkets or utensils shop. The spare parts are now readily available if need be.
A grater was first invented to grate cheese in the 1540s. It is used to grate food to fine pieces. You can find in different colors and sizes. Its prices are very affordable. A grater is safer than a knife. It also makes you get different sizes of whatever food you are grating. It is made of metal with sharp perforations.
10. Sandwich Maker(dual)
It takes about three minutes to heat up after plugging it in. First put the bottom half of the sandwich then the meat, then the cheese. Then you can crack your egg in the top, season with salt and pepper, then put the top part of the sandwich. It has a timer, which blinks when the food is ready. Clean after use and store out of reach of children. Its mobile you can take it camping with you. You can carry the sandwiches to work or let your kids carry them to school and it will save you a lot of money
11. Sharp Knife
A blunt knife is more likely and injures you. A sharp knife saves you a lot of time and reduces stress. It is one of those kitchen gadgets that you will find a lot of use for.
12. Kitchen Scissors
A kitchen scissor is different from normal scissors because it is more versatile. It could be made from aluminum or steel. When purchasing it make the blades open wide for easy gripping on the chicken joints or any other thing that would need cutting. It can also be used to slice pizza without making the toppings fall off. It is also used for gripping that is why the handles are made out of rough plastic for easy grip.
13. Silicone Garlic Peeler
Peeling garlic looks like it take an eternity in the kitchen. Kitchen gadgets have been created to make the exercise easier. All you need to do is cut the ends of the cloves and put them in the silicone rubber peeler one after the other. Roll the silicone rubber applying pressure and if you are keen you can hear the covers coming off. It is fast and easy to use.
14. Express Whisk
The express whisk makes you mix everything effortlessly. You only need to pump the handles to make it a spin. The rods can be adjusted depending on the type of foods. It uses a non-slip base that prevents it from scratching. It is very sturdy and easy to wash.
Your cooking shouldn’t take you a lot of time. All the above kitchen gadgets and more of them should make your work easier. Do things the modern way during these times of great innovations and technology advancement. Make your home life easier while adopting more kitchen secrets with gadgets as inspiration.
Cleaning as essential as it is, is not everyone’s cup of tea. We were born and found that people have to clean stuff. To most, I included, is just about “when you go to Rome, do what the Romans do”. Some even feel cleaning is overrated, but seriously though, a clean home is a happy home. It an activity that you can barely look up to, but in a big way very important. The reward is great, who doesn’t enjoy the peaceful vibe that comes out of a clean home? And while there’s not just one way of cleaning your home, there are smart cleaning ways of doing it. The bottom-line is to have a clean home, therefore, why not achieve the same result but now in half the time you used to.
Frankly, life gets in the way most times than we would prefer and cleaning your home seems to be the fair option to be kept aside (I mean, without your salary, you won’t have the house in the first place). Therefore if you are a victim of circumstances like most, you need all the help you can get. Lucky for you, we have some smart ways that will keep things tidy and neat in time. With a few simple changes to your daily routine, you can buy back several of those hours for whatever activity you want to do. Here are some smart cleaning ideas:
Simplify your closet; less laundry
When it comes to the closet, we know the drill. On our good days, we thoroughly organize our stuff only to go back to square one when looking for an outfit the next day. While there are several ways you can solve that problem, there’s one that is most effective. Simplify your closet. Get rid of all the clothes that don’t fit or are out of trend for you. Having less can reap huge rewards in not only having an organized closet but also less laundry to wash. Speaking of laundry, there are clothes that don’t need to be washed as frequently as we do. For instance, jeans should be washed only if it starts showing dirt (we are talking about washing it after about four times of wear). You bras don’t need to be washed after every wear too because they easily get out of shape.
Break up chores
If you are looking for cleaning short-cuts, chances are you don’t have the whole day to do cleaning or you don’t want to put a whole day’s effort. Therefore, instead of spending the whole day cleaning on weekends, break up the chores. Most of us wait until weekends to do our cleaning, in which we are most likely to talk ourselves out of because there will be too much to do. It is easy to distribute the work throughout the week, dealing with the basic ones like washing utensils daily.
Less is more in the kitchen
I can’t think of a room that can be a huge turn off when dirty from the kitchen. Essentially this is the heart of every home. It is a place where meals are prepared and very critical to our health. Therefore, it is important to maintain order in the kitchen by creating a place for everything. This will mean that you cut on some things because our kitchens are not as spacious as our stuff demands. Therefore, go through your utensils donating or keeping in the garage or store the things you don’t need. Also those that are in double. You will then, have an easier time keeping your counters free and clean.
Make use of dead time
This simply means maximizing your time. For instance, if you are leaving a room, you can grab something and put it in its right place. Or you can be setting the table as the food warms up. Or straightening up your throw pillows when the show goes for a break. This, though, should not be mixed up with multitasking. There’s a fine line between the two.
Have a junk drawer
A floor that has only furniture and less clutter is way easy to clean. That is why you need to have a place for everything. Yet there’s this hack that most people overlook. A junk drawer. This is a drawer that is used to keep things that are regularly used. And by regular, I mean nothing more than a week. These can be your keys, remote, pen or the novel you are recently reading. You can have a draw for that purpose in every room. You will have an easy time wiping surfaces due to less clutter.
Get your kids to help
You might roll your eyes at the thought of your kids doing the cleaning. We get it, all they seem to get well done is having stains on their clothes. But if you know your way around getting your kid to do a task, they can be very good at it. Allocate them responsibilities according to their capability. There’s so much they can help you do, for instance, feed the pet, water the garden, set the table or put away grocery. Mostly, to have it easy when cleaning, talk to them to ensure their toys are always contained in the right place. You will love that you did, kids are smart and they get it. Trust them and teach them smart cleaning ways to make it easier for them.
Clean the bathroom after bathing
By now you know it is best if you clean your kitchen after every use, same applies to the bathroom. It might sound inconvenient but gradually you will realize it is easier that way. You will rarely have to deal with stains and scum. Bathrooms can get really gross if you let them. Therefore, after you finish bathing, swiftly squeegee your bathroom. You will be grateful you didn’t leave the dirt to accumulate for a week.
Have area rugs in high traffic areas
You don’t want to be mopping or vacuuming every other day. You can solve this by having a no-shoe-indoor policy, or enjoy the comfort of your shoes but then invest in area rugs. You will simply take them out to hose or air them.