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17 Kitchen Cheat Sheets To Shorten Your Cooking Time

17 Kitchen Cheat Sheets To Shorten Your Cooking Time

1. For faster prep have a decent knife and know how to sharpen it

Nothing slows cooks down more than blunt knives that don’t cut well. They’re also unsafe. Learn to sharpen your knife by watching this youtube video and make sure it’s always ready for the task at hand. For advice on how to pick a knife, see Kitchen Knife Guru.

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    2. For faster cooking let someone else do the prep

    Chopping your own vegs for every dish is authentic, but it’s also slow. Why do all that work when you can buy it from the store pre-chopped? Most grocery stores carry a wide range of ready-to-use vegetables. Look at WholeFoods or Trader Joes or even order online. You will be surprised at the quality of the produce.

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        3. For a tasty kick keep frozen herbs in your freezer

        I love to have pre-packed herbs in my freezer. They can be popped into a stew, pasta sauce, or a soup. They’re not as flavorful as out-of-the-garden herbs, but they still taste great. Use about twice as much as you would with fresh herbs, and remember you can always make your own!

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          4. For faster pasta blanch and freeze

          Spaghetti cooks in 8 minutes, but the water takes time to boil. To save time pre-blanch your pasta for six minutes and then freeze on trays. When you’re ready to eat, reheat in the sauce and hey presto! According to stilltasty.com, frozen pasta has a 1-2 month use by date.

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            5. For quicker weeknight meals prepare and freeze on the weekend.

            If you have time on the weekend put it to good use by cooking large quantities of food and freezing individual or family sized portions. Pop them in the microwave and press go on a weeknight for a real meal. Try “24 Easy Freezer Recipes” from Southern Living or “17 best freezable recipes” from Cooking Light.

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              6. For easy salads use a jar.

              There is a growing movement for salads in a jar with dressing and components in layers. Just shake and serve. My favorite salad site is “30 Mason Jar Recipes: A Month Worth of “Salad in a Jar” from Zina at LassotheMoon.com.

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                7. For sophisticated satisfaction jazz up a grilled cheese

                There are so many options for the grilled cheese. Like pickles? Slide them in! The Food Network has 50 ideas that will lift good to great.

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                  8. For great canned soup add some extras

                  Canned soup isn’t always great. In fact, sometimes it’s plain awful. Buy the best quality soup you can and then layer in flavor with hot sauce and other foods packed with umami like parmesan cheese. The right ingredients turn plain jane soup into something of note. Don’t forget to add a jazzed grilled cheese!

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                    9. For great steaks, try thinner cuts

                    While thick cuts of steak like sirloins and filet need time to cook and rest, the thinner cuts cook in a snap and take a marinade very nicely. Martha Steward has an excellent recipe for so called “hangar steak” that I love, or look at this YouTube video where chef Jackson Lamb shows how to pan sear thin steaks.

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                      10. For a quick carb fix, microwave a russet potato

                      If you have a humble potato and a microwave then you’re in luck. An average size potato takes around 5 minutes to cook to a fluffy tender inside. The toppings are only limited by your imagination and your fridge. I like sour cream, cheese, broccoli slaw, and a little thousand island dressing.

                      In this post Bon Appetit shows us “12 creative ways to top a baked potato” that will make your mouth water.

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                        11. For a fruit explosion make a smoothy out of frozen fruit.

                        Smoothies are nourishing and easy to make. Take some of your favorite fruit and yoghurt and blend until it’s the way you like it. You can add spices like cinnamon, sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup and even a dollop of ice cream.

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                        If you are more interested in the health benefits of smoothies take a look at Prevention Magazine’s list of the  top 20 super smoothies.

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                          12. For a brilliant breakfast presoak your oatmeal and fruit

                          Instant oatmeal tastes like cardboard, but the real thing takes a long time to cook. Save yourself the work by pre-soaking your oatmeal over night and blitz it in the microwave the next morning. Self Magazine has a list of 18 delicious add-ins that are healthy and taste good.

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                            13. For radiant rice presoak and use the absorption method

                            White rice cooks quickly, but heathy brown rice can be slow. Pre-soak your brown rice over night with whey or an acid to get a more tender and digestible product. Tip Hero suggests these 33 cheap ways to spice up the results.

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                              14. For a captivating chicken dinner try these rotisserie tips

                              The humble rotisserie chicken can make so many great meals. Try Christine Skopec’s site for great recipes like “Speedy Enchiladas”, and “Herbed Chicken salad sandwiches”.

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                                15. For a quick chocolate fix use your microwave

                                When my wife showed me this neat trick for how to make a brownie in a mug I was stunned. Lana shows all the details in this YouTube video. If you add ice cream or powdered sugar it’s truly spectacular.

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                                  16. For a quick desert try old-school ice cream sundaes

                                  Ice-cream sundaes have been around for many years, but Delish has kicked it up a few notches with their “7 spectacular ice-cream Sundaes” that may melt your mind.

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                                    17. For a late night snack try an omelet

                                    Omelets were known to the Romans and Greeks two thousand years ago, yet they remain a staple for the late night snack. Eating Well published 50 Inspiring Omelet fillings to get you started.

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                                      Source: pixabay.

                                      Featured photo credit: flickr via c2.staticflickr.com

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                                      Colin Rhodes

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                                      Last Updated on February 11, 2021

                                      The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

                                      The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

                                      Instagram allows you to see exactly what inspires people and how creativity is drawn from their everyday life. We use Instagram to capture what makes us smile, what brings joy to our life, and what we are passionate about, and the accounts listed below are sure to inspire you in turn.

                                      Here are our 20 top creative Instagram accounts that you should be following today.

                                      1. Humans Of New York

                                      Brandon Stanton walks the streets of New York City taking street photography, and he gets his subjects to open up about life details that even many family members may not know about them. It makes you smile and connect with the images at a new level.

                                       2.  Paris in Four Months

                                      Carin Olsson moved to Paris and is documenting every part of her experience, from the macaroons to the Eiffel Tower with all of its shimmering lights. If you want to go to Paris but can’t get there today, Carin will take you.

                                      3. Civilized Caveman Cooking

                                      George Bryant offers up more than his love for cooking Paleo cuisine as he shares more about life, joy, and happiness. His coined hashtag is #hugsandbacon.

                                      4. Andrew Knapp

                                      Andrew has taken the world by storm with his adorable version of Where’s Waldo? His version is Find Momo, and stars his border collie.

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                                      5. Idafrosk

                                      Ida Skivenes has developed a knack for food art. From the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Strawberry Fields Forever, she has recreated it all with food.

                                      6. GrandmaBetty33

                                      Grandma Betty is fighting cancer and is inspiring others to smile and be happy in life. She brings a smile to your face instantly and is like having your grandma right beside you.

                                      7. Maya_on_the_Move

                                      Tania Ahsan captures the world of her cute bulldog, Maya, on her adventures in New York. Maya makes appearances that will make you smile, laugh, and inspire you to go out and create something special.

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                                      8. Leoleoparis

                                      Leo captures the life on the streets of Paris. Most of his work is done in black and white, offering that iconic Parisian look.

                                      9. Jacob Santiago

                                      Jacob Santiago creates stunning, vibrant images around New York City, showcasing the architecture and streets. I’m sure you haven’t seen the streets of NYC like this before.

                                      10. Julie’s Kitchen

                                      Julie Lee showcases how everyday produce can create colorful art designs. At first glance, you think it is just a design; then, a second take illustrates that it is really fruits and vegetables.

                                      11. iloveplaymo

                                      iloveplaymo brings together photography and Playmobil toys in action. The images are up to date with current world events and everyday life.

                                      12. “Red” Hong Yi

                                      Red Hong Yi loves to paint without a paintbrush. Her style uses daily items to create lovely images.

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                                      13. Alexis Diaz

                                      A breathtaking artist from Puerto Rico who loves to paint murals. Alexis’s work is featured all over the world.

                                      14. Murad Osmann

                                      Murad Osmann is a music video producer, but his claim to fame on Instagram has been his photographs with his girlfriend leading him by her hand.

                                      15. Simone Bramate

                                      Simone Bramate is a storyteller who just so happens to take delightful photos as well.

                                      16. Willie Kessel

                                      Willie Kessel brings beach life right to your smartphone. Amazing surf and lifestyle images that take your mind off of all of the work and stress in your life.

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                                      17. Nick Ulivieri

                                      Nick Ulivieri is a talented photographer who loves to capture the windy city of Chicago and skies, especially during storms. His images are gorgeous and make you realize how wonderful life really is.

                                      18. Jo Jerry

                                      Jo Jerry’s landscape photos around Santorini, Greece, make you want to book a flight immediately. The bright colors and simplicity in the images make his photos stand out from the rest.

                                      19. GoPro

                                      GoPro uses fan-sourced images on their account that are all captured with a GoPro. Creativity to the max is used in these images and range from the grocery store to incredible surf.

                                      20. Vin Farrell

                                      Vin Farrell is a creative who works on the agency side for large clients and has a knack for photography. His iPhone captures amazing aerial images around NYC and the world.

                                      Featured photo credit: Andy via flickr.com

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