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20 Killer Cooking Hacks That’ll Make You Look Like A Total Pro

20 Killer Cooking Hacks That’ll Make You Look Like A Total Pro

Your time in the kitchen doesn’t have to be tedious. Enjoy cooking again with some of these creative hacks that put a little spice into your dishes and pantry.

1. Muffin Tin Magic

muffintin

    Pre-scoop frozen desserts into a muffin tin before you serve your meal and stick it back in the freezer. When it’s time to serve, your guests won’t have to wait.

    2. Or Slice Your Ice Cream

    icecreamloaf

      Dip the container in warm water for 30 seconds, pop the whole ice cream “loaf” onto a plate and then slice it with a warm knife.

      3. Wooden Spoons

      wooden spoon

        Prevent water or other items from boiling over by resting a wooden spoon across the top — or at the edge.

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        4. Freeze Scraps

        wineice

          Wine, stock, herbs – in ice cube trays. This gives you neat little hunks of goodness you can throw into future meals.

          5. Clothespins

          pegs-349782_640

            Keeps bags tight – and food fresh.

            6. Spoon Rest

            pothandle

              Place the end of a wooden spoon into the hole of a pot handle, keeping it up and out of the way and keeping drips on the stove or counter to a minimum.

              7. Frozen Fruit Ice Cubes

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              strawberry-82529_640

                Freeze berries, grapes and chunks of melon whole (make melon pieces into cool shapes if you’re feeling Martha Stewarty) and place them in punch, kiddie cocktails, champagne or white wine coolers.

                8. Taco Bowls

                upsidedown muffin tin

                  Turn a muffin tin upside down and spray it with a little vegetable oil if it’s not non-stick. Place tortillas in the crevices and create your own taco shell bowls. Bake at 350 until the shells are hard.

                  9. Bread in Sugar

                  breadin sugar

                    Place a piece of bread in your brown sugar container to keep the sugar from forming lumps.

                    10. Pastry Bag

                    Need a pastry bag to frost those cupcakes or write someone’s name on a birthday cake? Don’t despair. Load your frosting into a storage bag – Ziplock or plain – twist it down tight and then cut the corner off. Cut off as much or as little of the corner as you need for your “tip.” A small amount off the corner makes a great writing tip while a larger amount gives you a thick tube of frosting.

                    11. Funnel

                    Need to fill a jar? Cut the corner off an envelope or roll a piece of paper into a cone.

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                    12. A Little Water

                    guac

                      Tired of wasting guacamole when you’re done with it because it turns brown? You can save the guac! Just pour enough water on top of it to cover it and the water will prevent the guacamole from reacting with the oxygen. When you want to eat it again, just pour off the water. Voila!

                      13. Need mayo?

                      One large egg in a cup of oil in the blender makes mayo. Yeah. It’s that easy.

                      14. Bundt Pan Magic

                      corn

                        Place an ear of corn in the hole of a bundt pan and slice off the corn. The pan catches the kernels. Who knew?

                        15. Freeze Cool Whip

                        Then pop it out and cut it with cookie cutters for a fun addition to a hot beverage like cocoa.

                        16. Grill the Fish

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                        fish

                          Save that lovely piece of salmon from a grill-induced death by placing the fish on a bed of sliced lemons. The lemons infuse the fish with flavor and keep it from sticking.

                          17. Boil Water

                          Boil water for clear ice cubes. Cold water makes cloudy cubes. Yes. True.

                          18. Coffee Filters

                          coffeefilters

                            Invert a coffee filter over your glass, poke a straw through the top and keep the bugs at bay on a hot summer day. Does not prevent spilling, I’m afraid.

                            19. Ice Pack Sponges

                            Soak a sponge. Place it in a Ziplock bag. Freeze it. Place it in your lunch cooler.

                            20. Ice Cream in the Bag

                            Place your container of ice cream into a Ziplock bag before putting it in the freezer. Keeps it scoopably soft.

                            21. Cut Cherry Tomatoes or Grapes Easily

                            anigif_enhanced-buzz-25766-1377982915-4

                               

                              Simply place your cherry tomatoes or grapes (especially for little kids) between two large lids or plates and run the knife through them horizontally. Take the time to arrange them so you don’t end up smooshing them too badly.

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                              Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                              How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                              How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                              Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                              If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                              1. Breathe

                              The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                              • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                              • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                              • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                              Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                              2. Loosen up

                              After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                              Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                              3. Chew slowly

                              Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                              Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                              Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                              4. Let go

                              Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                              The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                              It’s not. Promise.

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                              Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                              Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                              21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                              5. Enjoy the journey

                              Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                              Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                              6. Look at the big picture

                              The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                              Will this matter to me…

                              • Next week?
                              • Next month?
                              • Next year?
                              • In 10 years?

                              Hint: No, it won’t.

                              I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                              Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                              7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                              You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                              Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                              8. Practice patience every day

                              Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                              • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                              • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                              • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                              Final thoughts

                              Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                              Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                              Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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