Over time, we have learned so many shortcuts and tips when cooking, prepping, storing and transporting food.  We are going to share some of our favorite tips with you.  Keep checking back because as we learn more tips, we will be sharing those with you too.



Green OnionsDid you know you can use the root of the green onion to grow more onions right in your kitchen window (or in a pot on your porch)?  Simply cut the root from your onion.  Plant the root in dirt in a jar or planter and place in a sunny window or warm spot outside. Keep watered well and watch them grow! Cut the onions back as you need them and use the root until it dries out; then plant some more!


Soak raw chopped onions in cold water for 10 minutes to mellow their spicy bite so they won’t overwhelm your salad.


The secret to perfectly roasted vegetables is to cut them into equal-sized pieces and turn them often during roasting so they crisp and brown evenly.


When you’re storing carrots, keep them away from apples.  The apples give off a gas that can cause the carrots to taste bitter.


Fresh peppers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze sliced or chopped peppers up to 6 months. Try this tip when making our favorite homemade salsa recipe.


To revive limp asparagus spears, cut ¼ inch from the bottom of each spear.  Place spears in a glass of ice water, cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate for 2 hours.  The spears will crisp right up.


Celery TipClean your celery when you bring it home from the grocery store. Wrap the stalks in aluminum foil and they will stay crispy in your refrigerator for about a month!  If you won’t be using the end and leaves, freeze them in a zip-top bag and use them later for broth or soup.


Peel boiled sweet potatoes easily. Just boil the potatoes and drain off the hot water.  Immediately plunge the potatoes into cold water. The skins will slip right off.  Polar plunged potatoes!


To ripen tomatoes, put tomatoes with an apple in a paper bag, pierced with a few holes. Let stand at room temperature 2-3 days.


To easily peel tomatoes, cut a shallow X-shaped slash on the bottom of each tomato with a sharp knife. Drop them in boiling water for 5 seconds (if very ripe) or 10 seconds (for firmer tomatoes). Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl of ice water; let stand about 1 minute. Use a paring knife to easily peel off the skin.


Pre-packaged, ready-to-eat lettuce is so convenient but it seems to quickly turn brown once the package is opened. To keep the contents crisp and fresh, squeeze out all the extra air, fold down the top of the bag several times and secure it with a pinch-type clothespin or chip clip.




Cooking corned beef? Empty the seasoning packet into a round loose tea ball. The meat gets the flavor of the spices without the seasoning getting in the water or on the meat.


How much chicken should i buyTo remove skin from chicken drumsticks, boil them for 2 minutes, drain, then rinse in cold water. The skin slips right off.


It’s easier to slice boneless chicken pieces for a meal if they are slightly frozen.


Whole roasted chicken or turkey will be juicier if you let it stand for about 10 minutes before carving.


Grated zucchini adds moistness to often dry ground turkey when making burgers. Try mushrooms too!


Need quick meals?  When chicken, pork or beef go on sale, buy several packages and prepare your favorite way.  Cube or shred the meat and freeze in measured portions to use in casseroles, stir fry or other quick meals.


When shopping for a rotisserie chicken, pick an evenly browned bird that feels heavy for its size. That extra weight is moisture, meaning you’ll get juicier meat.



Egg PoacherFor quick egg salad, use an egg poacher. In just a few minutes, you’ll have hard-cooked eggs without boiling water and peeling shells.


Transporting deviled eggs to a party?  To avoid them from sliding together, use a muffin tin to transport.


Having trouble peeling hard-cooked eggs? After cooling them under cold water, put the eggs in a saucepan (large enough for them to move around in). Shake the pan vigorously from side to side until the eggs are all well cracked. The shells peel right off.



Peeling oranges? Don’t throw away the navel or thin-skinned peels. Freeze them in plastic bags and use in recipes that call for grated orange peel. When frozen, the peel grates easily and it doesn’t stick to the grater, which makes cleanup easier.


To get more juice from a lemon, soak the fruit in hot water for 15 minutes, then roll on the kitchen counter. Halve the lemon and squeeze it; the juice comes out more easily.


Herbs & Spices

Storing herbsUsing fresh basil in spaghetti sauce? Instead of chopping, place several leaves in plastic bags and freeze them. Take out a handful of the frozen leaves and crumble them in the sauce.


For easy-to-peel garlic, zap whole cloves in the microwave on high for 20 seconds.  They’ll slip right out of the skins.


Storing herbs in the refrigerator isn’t always the best option to keep them fresh and usable longer. The best storage option is just to put herbs in a glass of water. They’ll be fresh and clean for a long time as long as you remember to change the water every few days.



Want to add body and flavor to vegetable soup? Peel, cube, cook and mash a sweet potato and add it to the soup stock.


Dressings, Dips & Sauces

Want a tastier spaghetti sauce? Use leftover meatloaf instead of plain ground beef.


To keep oil and vinegar from separating in your homemade salad dressing, add a little Dijon mustard. It aids in the emulsion.


If you make guacamole ahead of time, leave the avocado pit in the guacamole with the dish covered. The guacamole will retain its pretty green color.



An easy way to chop nuts is to put them in a plastic bag and roll them with a rolling pin to desired chop. Bonus: no chopper to clean!



For a snack with staying power, combine a veggie or fruit with a healthy fat. Good examples include raw veggies with guacamole, an apple with nut butter or grapes with nuts.  You’ll fit in an extra serving of protein and the fat will help you feel fuller longer.


Misc. Tips

Instead of doing full meal prep every week, just freeze your leftover ingredients, like that half onion or a single lemon that needs to be used right away. Ice cube trays are great for stuff you use in small quantities (finely chopped garlic, pesto). Muffin tins are great for things you want a little more of (stock, leftover chopped vegetables, marinara sauce).  Gallon-size freezer bags are perfect for storing sides (any fruit, raw greens for smoothies).


Keep your steel wool scouring pad in a plastic bag in the freezer between uses.  It won’t rust and thaws quickly under warm water.


Don’t waste time scrubbing your grill rack. Once cooled, put it in a clean plastic trash bag and spray it generously with oven cleaner. Close the bag tightly and leave it overnight.  The next day, washing the grate is a breeze.



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