Making life easier - Duh moment

PattyPeterson2208May 2, 2013

I was making potstickers for the first time (turn out wonderful) and the bits of ginger were stuck in the teeth of my ginger grater. I was trying to pick them out with all kinds of things then DUH pastry brush. So I thought I would share a few more with you, some of them I got from GW. A wet towel under a cutting board or a bowl that wants to slide around. A grapefruit spoon with the little teeth to hull strawberries or peel ginger. Use chopsticks or wooden spoon handles on both side of ex. ( onion or tomato) that you do not want to slice all the way thru. When you have a lot of cherry tomatoes to slice in half, take two lids like cool whip lids, tomatoes in between palm flat on top and slice right thru the middle. Last to make portion size meals that need to be baked in my muffin pans so I can freeze some for another meal. To cook scrambled eggs low and slow I love them now. I would like to know some of yours, always looking to make my life easier. Patty

This post was edited by PattyPeterson2208 on Thu, May 2, 13 at 14:18

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Patty, you have some good tips there! Another use for a grapefruit spoon: scooping the seeds out of an acorn squash or butternut squash; the serrated edge cuts the "strings."

I inherited a "tomato shark," and I've found it useful to hull strawberries, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: tomato shark

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 1:50PM
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I think it was Annie who gave us the tip of using a straw to pit cherries.

I keep a long-handled stainless steel baby feeding spoon in my kitchen drawer. It's useful for all kind of things like garnishing something with capers, stuffing mushrooms or cherry tomatoes, adding a dab of jelly to cookies, scooping seeds out of cucumbers, etc.

Microwave citrus fruits for about 20 seconds before juicing to maximize juice output.

When I only use a portion of a can of tomato paste, I freeze the remainder in one tablespoon blobs and then transfer to a container in the freezer for future use. I do the same with bacon or duck fat so I can use a blob for frying potatoes or add one to flavor greens while they're cooking.

Mtnester, I also use the tomato shark for removing potato eyes or bruised spots on bananas.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 2:41PM
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Ruthanna, I'm having a "duh" moment myself! I never thought of using the tomato shark to remove potato eyes--yet there is so much waste when I cut them out with a paring knife. Brilliant!


    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 3:21PM
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Got this one from Sol - if I'm only using my food processor bowl to chop an item and not use the feed tube - I cover the bowl with plastic wrap before I lock down the lid to keep it clean. One less thing to wash!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 6:20PM
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Here's a fantastic one I just learned from a former CF poster, Bubbeskitchen. Brilliant!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 8:26PM
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I make plops of Patek's Curry pastes and freeze them in the same manner as the tomato paste above. After they are frozen on a sheet of wax paper, I put the paper sheet and the frozen plops into a plastic freezer container and cover them with more wax paper before sealing with the lid. Curry paste can stain anything beyond repair.

Just the other day I made my own "butter blend" with oil: soften a stick of butter (1/2 cup) at room temperature, beat it very well with an electric mixer or in a food processor, slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup oil of your choice (olive, canola, or I used safflower oil), blend very well, pour into a suitable container with a tight fitting lid. The mixture will be quite runny, but will firm up as it chills.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:15AM
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The "tomato shark" that I have is sold to hull strawberries. I'd never thought to use it for a tomato! Who knew? HAHAHA!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:46AM
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Heat up limes when they're hard to juice, 30-60 seconds in the microwave. Just thought I'd get that in before Cinco de Mayo. Fresh lime, here I come! Chicken flautas with cilantro, lime juice, and jalapenos, and fresh lime juice margaritas (equal parts simple syrup, lime juice, and good tequila. The simplest, best, and truest margarita)! Woohoo!

Why is bubbeskitchen former? That makes me sad.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 2:00PM
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I have seen the tomato shark before but I thought it was a tool to zest little strips of lime or lemon. who knew. Patty

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 4:38PM
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Bubbeskitchen hasn't been posting here in awhile, but maybe she'll come back. She's a busy lady!

Another hint -- put an onion in the freezer for 15 minutes before slicing to avoid the tears.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 6:34PM
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One of my favorite little tricks is using a melon baller to core apples. So much easier than any apple corer I've ever used! I will be watching this thread for more great ideas,, thanks for this prompt, Patty!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 7:14PM
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Grate frozen butter on the large holes of your box grater when making pie crusts or biscuits. No knead to use a pastry blender or knives to cut it into the flour.

Cereal liners cut to fit, between tortilla shells before freezing. Line a cookie sheet with cereal liner to freeze berries. Perfect to put your chicken breasts in when pounding. They are so much thicker than waxed paper for any of these uses.

I always use a serrated knife when slicing tomatoes.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 5:06PM
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I use a 1/2 cup ice cream scoop for measuring things like mashed potatoes, rice, pasta salads, etc. Perfect for portion control and many of us already have one so nothing to purchase.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 5:55PM
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I store my cans of beans and spaghettios (for the GS) upside down. When you open from the top everything slides right because sauce always pools at the top and no beans stuck in the bottom. I always soak a canned ham or Spam in warm water for a few minutes to melt any fat or gel inside the can.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 11:36AM
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