Life‘s too short to spend ages in the kitchen, doing boring tasks or prep that could be done in half the time. There are also tons of ways to avoid food waste, make things taste better and generally make life easier, freeing you up for more fun things… Like a game at Mecca!
Here are our 10 top cooking hacks you’ll thank us for:
1). Cook up a big batch of spag bol or lasagne and portion it up, in quantities that work for you and the fam. Tupperware boxes are great for this and can be reused again and again, saving the environment too. Stick a label on the lid, to remind you what it is, when it was made and how many it’ll serve.
2). Bread gone a bit stale? Freshen up your loaf by running the cut end under the cold tap quickly. Then pop it in the oven at approximately 200C for 5-10 minutes. Ta da! Warm, fresh bread, Paul Hollywood style!
3). Slow cooking is the way forward. Love some pulled pork or a hearty stew? Prep early and chop up your ingredients, chuck them into the slow cooker before you go to work and when you’re home, you’ll be greeted by delicious aromas and can enjoy a feast of melty, tender meat. Effort needed? Virtually none.
4). If you’re a chocoholic, there’s an easy way to get it perfectly melted, without the fuss. Chop up chocolate into a Pyrex measuring jug or a bowl and into the microwave it goes. Set it for about 20-30 seconds and then check and stir. It might need to go back in again for another 10-20 seconds, depending on how much there is. It’s a super-fast hack for your next bake, posh hot choc or ice cream topping.
5). Got a cake craving? Bake a cake in a mug to save time, washing up and loads of equipment. All you need is a mug and a tablespoon to mix your ingredients together and stick it in the microwave for 1.5–2 minutes. Be a domestic goddess and create yummy homemade bakes in just minutes! No one’ll ever know….
6). Freeze leftover red wine (ha, if there is any…) in an ice cube tray and pop them out when you next fancy a cocktail or a spritzer. You could even add it to a sauce when you’re cooking for something a bit fancier.
7). Fed up with bits of crunchy eggshell cropping up in your scrambled eggs? You’ll crack it with this tip to remove any stray pieces, by using the remaining eggs shell to attract the broken bits, like a magnet, in the bowl.
8). Make crystallised honey runny again by chucking it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so, lid off. Good as new!
9). Most of the use-by dates on eggs aren’t that accurate and you can actually use them for longer than you think. An easy trick to check for freshness is to gently drop your egg into a glass or bowl of water. If it sinks to the bottom, it’s ok to use! If it floats to the top, we say ditch it.
10). Make even better gravy for the Sunday roast with the water from par boiling your veg. You’ll keep some of the nutrients and improve the flavour when added to your Bisto or gravy granules. Extra tasty.
With all that time saved from these clever hacks, you’ll have more time to play a game of Mecca Bingo – there’s tons of fab prizes to be won!
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