Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mom Tips - For Cooking, #2

I so enjoy the little "mom tips" that I've come across in life - those little things that I've learned from my mom, or a mom friend, that just make life a little nicer.  Things that make the "daily-daily" just a little easier, or make me smile a little more, or maybe will be a time saver for me.  

I'm not referring to the bigger projects like de-cluttering or re-organizing, (although those definitely make me smile)!  But just the small  things - the "mom tips" that aren't in the self-help books, they're just life-experience things that I've gotten from a mom with experience under her belt.  Well I'll share with you some Mom Tips for Cooking, #2; I hope they bring a simple breath of fresh air to your regular every day patterns!  *smile*

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~ Sour cream dispenser - My hubby really likes his sour cream spread out evenly over his taco salad or soup so that he never takes a bite of a clump of sour cream.  So he would quietly get up during a meal and put some sour cream in to a baggie, cut off the corner tip, and squirt the sour cream where he wanted it to go evenly over his food.  *smile*  We all eventually came to also appreciate our sour cream being evenly distributed, so I purchased a ketchup/condiments bottle from Wal-Mart for about $.97 and we put our sour cream in to that to serve it during meals!  To get it in to the ketchup bottle I scoop the sour cream in to a baggie and then cut off a tip of the baggie so that I can squirt the sour cream directly in to the bottle.  I've also labeled our new bottle with a permanent pen for easy recognition in the refrigerator.



 



~ Not too much cayenne - My husband, Bob, is a great cook, and he's one of those people who likes to change the recipe every time he makes things.  He doesn't measure ingredients (unlike me - exactly to my recipe), he just adds some of this and some of that as he goes.  He often seasons our weekly Sunday morning skillet breakfast of eggs, hashbrowns, and sausage with a little Cayenne Pepper but he didn't want to use too much of course, so he taped most of the holes closed so he could sprinkle very little at a time and controll his portions easily.  I thought that was brilliant!




~ No more sticky scissors - Our scissors seem to get a little gummed up over time as people use them to cut packing tape (which we use for many things around the house) or masking tape.  Well our daughter recently discovered that when she scrubbed the scissor blades with a little Purell hand sanitizer (which has alcohol in it) and an abrasive cleaning sponge, the stickiness comes right off the scissors!  Nice clean blades once again - Aaah.

 
~ Reserve the food - I have been finding lately that often times I purchase ingredients for recipes that week (such as bacon bits, bell pepper, lettuce, or corn chips), but then they get eaten up by someone over the course of the week and I'm having to make an evening mid-cooking trip to the store in order to complete my dinner recipe!  Not a happy mama - but they didn't do it intentionally; how could they know I needed it?  So I've started labeling with a post-it note certain foods that I know people are likely to eat, but which I need for a recipe, and this has solved my problem.





~ Handier spinach - We use spinach in our Green Smoothies every morning for breakfast, and I purchase 6 bags from Costco per week which freeze beautifully in our large upright freezer until I need them for smoothies or for a recipe (but not good for salads once it's been frozen).  But when I would pour it into the blender every morning there was always leaves dropping out on to the counter and making a mess.  I also have a couple of favorite recipes that call for large quantities of chopped spinach, which with a double recipe for our family took a fairly long time to chop up even when using my food processor.  Until one day I discovered that I could just crush the entire bag of spinach with my hands before I've even opened the bag!  When spinach freezes it's a lot like thin potato chips, and is easy to crush.  Now I do this every time I'm using the frozen spinach, crush it up and pour it into the blender; or crush it up and measure it by cups or ounces for a recipe.  So simple and easy!  *cheer!*


(An unopened bag before I've crushed the spinach)

(the same bag after I crush the spinach)


And pour it right in.













Blessings on your efforts in the kitchen!  *smile*

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