What is going on here?
a. running out of storage space in the kitchen
b. another mess left by my roommate
c. a sandwich playing hide and seek
d. using another pot to heat a panini on both sides
Today’s post is about life hacks I have personally used and experienced in my kitchen. I’m going to be giving you tips on how to better toast a panini, cook mess-free pasta, and a fun way to peel garlic. Maybe you’ll feel inspired to prepare a complete scrumptious dinner and dessert from these life hacks! (Oh, and the correct answer is D!)
I absolutely LOVE trying new food, especially when unlikely ingredients combine to create unusual flavors. One day, I decided to make a dark chocolate and brie cheese panini. (The saltiness of the brie cheese compliments the bittersweet flavor of the dark chocolate.) I got all my ingredients together, equal parts of cheese to the chocolate, and started to toast my sandwich in a pan. I put butter on the pan and on the bread and got started. I figured I would just flip the sandwich over, the wat I’d cook any grilled sandwich. Then my roommate had a interesting suggestion: heat up another pot and place it on top of the panini sandwich.
So I tried it. I got a clean pot with a flat bottom surface and heated it on another stove. Then I placed it on top of the panini, putting slight pressure so the sandwich could flatten out a bit. I repeated this a few times, re-heating the pan, and flipping the sandwich over for even toasting. Long story short, I found another cool way to toast sandwiches!
Another helpful tip I found online was for cooking pasta. Placing a wooden spoon over a boiling pot to prevent the bubbles from spilling over. This works because wood is a low heat conductor, and it helps break down the bubbles as it rises. This is definitely a simple solution, because pretty much everybody has a wooden spoon, so why not put it into good use! This trick isn’t just for pasta either. If you’re boiling anything, eggs, meat, or vegetables, the wooden spoon trick can come in handy!
My last tip is by far one of the most unusual life hacks that I’ve encountered. I cook a lot of stir-fry dishes, so onions and garlic are common ingredients I use. I’m used to peeling garlic by crushing it a bit with the side of a knife, but that could get a little messy, and I’d end up breaking the garlic. What if I told you there was a way to peel garlic but still keep it whole? All you have to do is put cloves of garlic in two bowls and shake them.
A friend and I came across this YouTube video. My friend had his doubts, so I decided to put this life hack to the test! I didn’t have two metal bowls, but I used one plastic and one metal bowl, making sure one was able to fit into the other. I pulled apart the cloves of garlic, pulling out loose layers, then put them in the bowl. Then came the fun part: I vigorously shook the bowl. After shaking for about a minute, I checked inside the bowls, and sure enough, there were whole garlic cloves that were peeled. I was surprised that I didn’t wake up any of my roommates in the process, but I was more surprised that it actually worked! The friction of the garlic rubbing against the bowl and the other cloves of garlic loosens the layers on the garlic, allowing them to fall off. It’s a great way to amaze your friends and stock up on freshly peeled whole garlic!
What I like about these particular life-hacks is that they came from things I already had in my apartment. It’s as simple as remembering to whip out an extra pot, or wooden spoon. There’s no pre-staging or preparation, these tips can be done right then and there when you need them. In me experience, I find it a lot of fun changing up my routine once in a while. Doing something different can be a good thing, it definitely keeps life interesting!
- Challenge Accepted: Your Not So Ordinario Panini (eattheweek.wordpress.com)
- DIY in the Kitchen: Carve Your Own Wooden Spoons (thekitchn.com)