Ladies [and Gentlemen]….Start Your Ovens! Whether you are having a large family meal for the holidays or your just starting to bake up some office goodies these 15 Holiday Kitchen Hacks will get you started off right.
15 Holiday Kitchen Hacks
- It’s all about the prep. About a week beforehand make a menu, and do your shopping. Three to four days before write out your menu. Match up similar cooking times or temperatures in the oven. Get a good game plan, so you know when to start each item. That way everything is ready at once, nice and hot.
- Ice cube trays aren’t just for ice. Use those trays to store leftover broth, sauce or wine and freeze. You can pop them into other recipes in the future.
- Holiday rule: Never try a new recipe and a new ingredient at the same time.
- Juice it real good! To get the most out of juicing a lime or lemon, roll it hard between your hand and counter. Then juice it.
- Music on! enjoy your time in the kitchen. Sing, dance and throw
♥ Note this: December 4th is National Cookie Day:
- Sweet vanilla sugar. Vanilla beans add extra vanilla flavor to those baked holiday goods. Split the vanilla bean, and gently scrape down its length many times. After all the seeds are scraped out, bury the pod deep in your sugar canister. Let it sit for a few weeks, Use the vanilla sugar in everything yummy.
- Make ahead your cookie dough. Cookie dough can keep frozen for up to 6 months.
- Don’t forget to thaw. Place cookie dough in zip top freezer bags with as much air removed as possible. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
- Chill out cookie. most cookie dough does better when you let it chill in the fridge immediately before baking. It will stop the dough from spreading too much when first in the over. Great for getting that perfect round shaped magazine cookie.
- Just roll with it. You can plop all that cookie dough in a freezer bag and spoon out when thawed. Or for a less messy way: Before freezing, roll your cookie dough into a log then wrap plastic wrap around it. Cut a slit in a used paper towel tube lengthwise. Use the tube to wrap around the plastic wrapped dough and put this in your freezer bag squeezing all the air out. This will help the log keep its shape when freezing and thawing. Then just cut off slices from the log when ready to bake.
- Want better cookies, always line your pan with parchment paper. They don’t get too brown on the bottom and its an easy clean up. Just throw away the paper when done.
- Love walking into those delicious smelling cooking supply stores in the mall? Get that same smell at home. Simmer a pot of water on the stove with your choice of; cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans, sliced oranges, sliced lemons, cranberries, cloves, etc. Experiment and enjoy!
- Nothing to waste. After simmering cinnamon and sliced oranges try pouring a bit into your hot cider for a very tasty punch!
- Be sure your oven is heating correctly. Calibrate your oven with an oven thermometer. If the heat is off, you need to adjust the temperature accordingly. See your oven’s manual for more details with this.
- Always taste before serving. surprises are great, but finding out your dish needed more salt or is just…bad. That is better to find out before you hand it over to everyone for dinner.
Need some gift ideas? Try my post on 50 Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids.