Food & Recipes

13 Kitchen Tricks That Will Change The Way You Cook

#7 Fry bacon in water.

1. Swap Sour Cream For Milk In Mac And Cheese

Use sour cream, not milk, when making macaroni and cheese. Try this simple swap on a deluxe Kraft macaroni cheese recipe, which includes spinach and bacon. You just turned mac and cheese into a respectable and (almost) balanced meal!

mac-and-cheese
Kraft

2. Upgrade Box Cake Mixes

Take prepackaged cake mix to the next level with these three easy changes: Add one extra egg. Use melted butter instead of oil. Use milk instead of water. And add 2 tablespoons of vanilla. Check out these other tips for making great cakes.

3. Make The Fluffiest Scrambled Eggs

Add a dash of baking powder to scrambled eggs for extra fluff. Use an immersion blender to mix instead of whisking by hand for even more fluffiness. Read more tips for cooking your morning meal on Mr. Breakfast.

Flickr | Karen

4. Make Grilled Cheese With Mayo

Use mayonnaise on grilled cheese instead of butter. Don’t worry, mayo-haters: You won’t actually taste the mayo, it will just help to give your sandwich that perfect crispness. Read more on The Kitchn.

5. Use Lemon To Prevent Fresh Foods From Turning Brown

Add a spritz of lemon juice to pesto to keep it from turning brown. This also works for keeping apples and other items like avocados (and guac!) from turning brown.

6. Cook Rice With Coconut Oil

You know you should always rinse your rice before cooking. But did you know that cooking rice with coconut oil could actually reduce the calories in your rice? It’s true! Preliminary research shows that coconut reduces the caloric content of rice by 10 to 12 percent.

Flickr | Ruocaled

7. Fry Bacon In Water

Most of us know about roasting bacon in the oven by now, but have you ever heard of frying your bacon in water? The water renders the fat and stops grease from splattering all over.

8. Make Your Own Buttermilk

If a recipe calls for buttermilk but you don’t have any on hand (and who does?), just use regular milk mixed with a little vinegar. Learn more about this handy trick on Epicurious.

9. Microwave Garlic For Easier Peeling

Microwave your garlic for 20 seconds before trying to peel it. That way, it won’t stick to your fingers! Check out NPR for more deets. And, use a razor blade to mince it thin enough to liquefy in the pan. Just kidding! “Goodfellas” reference, anyone?

Flickr | liz west

10. Use Molasses To Make “Brown Sugar”

If a recipe calls for brown sugar, but you only have white sugar, add in a little molasses to give it that full-bodied flavor.

11. Use An Egg Shell To Remove Tiny Bits Of Shell

Shell attracts shell. Don’t make yourself crazy trying to pick out egg shells with your finger or with a spoon. Use a bit of shell to scoop that sucker right up.

12. Keep Ice Cream In Freezer Bags

Keep your ice cream containers in large Ziploc bags. This hack will keep ice cream nice and soft, so you will never have to fight it into a bowl again. Oh, who are we kidding? Just eat it right from the carton.

13. Put A Slice Of Bread In Containers Of Baked Goods

Here’s one of mine! Use bread to keep baked goods fresh. Baking cookies for the holidays, but don’t want them to get stale? Add a piece of white bread to the tin. The bread will become stale while the cookies stay fresh. I’m sure there’s some science behind this trick, but all I know is it works! Thanks, Mom!

Flickr | Logan Ingalls