These kitchen hacks are things I do quite unconsciously, and in fact I had to think hard about what they are . . . but they make my movements while cooking smoother.
I’m a food developer and stylist, beginning my career at Donna Hay magazine, where I learnt about the beauty of simple, fresh food. I’m also the creator of Instagram page, Every Night Of The Week, a “spot” to post my “recipes” for people who don’t do recipes. Weekdays, the weather, my children’s hunger, working full-time and the desire to cook good food dictate my posts.
So here you have it. Kitchen hacks and the tricks and tips of the trade delivered straight to you. (Keep reading to the end for a bonus recipe to ensure your kids get a good hit of greens—and enjoy it.)
- Storing your herbs properly can mean the difference between three and eight days of freshness. Rinse and wrap them in paper towel, put them in a zip-lock bag or airtight container and toss them back in the fridge.
- Similarly, trimming and washing lettuce before you pack it away is both a time saver and extender.
- Icing salad herbs is a stylist trick to keep things perky on set, and worth doing at home too. At the start of making a big salad, pick all your herbs and put them in a large bowl of iced water for about 20 minutes. They will drink and spring up.
- When herbs do start to lose their vibrancy, pick the leaves and discard any that have decayed. Blend the rest with olive oil and store in a jar in the fridge, or freeze in ice-cube trays. What you have there is the perfect flavour hit for grilled meats, pastas and soups. You could even stir through mayo for a great sambo condi.
- Buy a second thing of steamed rice for the freezer when ordering takeaway. That’s half a meal done.
- Save your stale bread. Trim off the dry crusts, tear the bread into chunks and freeze. When you need a crispy crouton, just toss with oil and salt and bake until golden.
- Or blend the bread chunks to a fine crumb to use later in pangrattato, as a lasagne topping or for generally coating things.
- When making schnitty or any procedure involving dipping something to coat, use skewers to eliminate sticky breaded ET fingers.
- Make double of anything that you can freeze. Ragu, soup, gnocchi.
- Making wontons or dumplings can be laborious. If you’ve made more filling than you can deal with, any excess makes a great midweek stir-fry—it’s already seasoned and full of great things.
- Family-style means eating from the pan and is totally acceptable. As is DIY eating with your hands. This is one of the more obvious kitchen “hacks” . . . so look at it as more of a reminder.
- Make enough dressing for a week.
- Use round sticky dots to label the top of your spice jars. I store mine in a big Tupperware container and this saves me from the intensely irritating lift-and-search method.
- Storing dry goods in jars keeps them all fresh. It also means basics like flour, sugar and rice all get topped up before they run out because you can see them.
Free recipe: Super greens pie
Text from Every Night of the Week by Lucy Tweed; photography by Lucy Tweed. Murdoch Books RRP $35.00
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