We live in an era of “overpromise-underdeliver” life hacks. From viral beauty tricks to cooking hacks, it’s only fair we’re all a little skeptical about dyeing your brows with scissor handles or chopping an onion with a potato peeler.
But this time we invite you to learn something people really swear by. In a bid to elevate our cooking skills, not just by a little but times ten, we wrapped up a list of the most simple and smart food-related affairs.
From quick and delicious meal recipes to mouth-watering food combos you haven’t thought about, it’s time to put on your aprons, everyone!
If you still want some inspiration to surprise your inner foodie, make sure to check it out Bored Panda’s previous features here and here with more cooking tips.
With grocery prices soaring, it can be challenging to cook at home during inflation. You wonder if all the hassle is even worth it, or if you can buy a fast food meal without breaking the bank. But cooking in times of inflation seems to be a skill in its own right, and knowing some tips, you can still treat yourself with delicious homemade food when your budget is tight.
Darren Cooper, the managing director at HotWaterTaps.com, suggests planning your meals ahead of time. “One of the easiest ways to save money on groceries is to plan your meals ahead of time. Sit down and create a weekly menu and grocery list, and stick to it. This will help you avoid unnecessary purchases and make sure that the ingredients you buy are used in all the meals throughout the week,” he explained.
You need: smaller potatoes, oil, salt, herbs/spices
1. Wash the potatoes in their skins and boil them for about 30 min.
2. Then line the baking tray with baking paper and grease it with oil. Then place the potatoes on the tray.
3. Cut each potato crosswise and smash it with the back of a cup. Sprinkle them with salt and herbs/spices.
4. Bake the potatoes at 200 degrees for another 30 minutes until crispy.
Darren’s second tip is to buy products in bulk. “Purchasing staple items in bulk can significantly reduce your overall grocery bill. Look for bulk deals on rice, beans, pasta and other non-perishable items you regularly use in your meals,” he said. “Although the upfront costs may be more significant, the savings over time can be astounding,” Darren added.
Shopping on sales is another way to not overspend on groceries. Darren suggests heading to your supermarket’s reduced section first so that you tick some items off of your shopping list before you start buying things at full price. “In-season produce tends to be the most affordable, so consider how you can incorporate seasonal fruit and vegetables into your meals throughout the year.”
Many people don’t take full advantage of their freezers. But Darren says that a surprising amount of food can be frozen, including milk, yogurt, baked goods like bread and fruit juice. “As food items around your home near their use-by date, it’s worth freezing them to preserve them for use further down the line. It’s particularly useful for commonly thrown items, such as herbs and vegetables.”
Simply cook up some sushi rice, then divide your Nori sheets into 4 squares. Place a heaped tablespoon of rice into the middle of each nori sheet, then squish them into a muffin tray.
I topped my sushi cups with some Atlantic salmon which I marinated in soy sauce, oyster sauce, five spice powder, sesame oil, and rice wine.
Bake in an oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes, then garnish with your favorite toppings.
I used avocado, crispy fried onions, sesame seeds, spring onions, kewpie mayo, and of course some extra soy sauce.
You may also want to cook in batches, Darren says. “Cooking up larger portions of food and splitting them throughout the week is a great way to save money and time. By purchasing your groceries in bulk, you can make each individual portion cheaper, and then refrigerate or freeze them for further use down the line.”
The last trick, but not least, is to simply focus more on filling and low-cost ingredients. “Incorporate filling ingredients like beans, lentils, and grains into your meals to keep you full and satisfied. Not only are these foods typically cheaper, but they also offer important nutrients and can be used in a variety of dishes,” Darren explained.
We also found out more about kitchen hygiene, something most people are guilty of disregarding without realizing. HotWaterTaps.com recently commissioned a study of bad kitchen habits, and found that the most common hygiene mistake is eating food off the floor. In fact, a whopping 64% of respondents revealed that they did this.
But studies that show 99% of the bacteria on the floor is transferred almost immediately to your food, and the transfer starts in less than one second. Therefore, the famous five-second rule is nothing but a myth!
Here’s how you make it:
Peel some red onions and cut them 8 times but not completely through. Place them well apart in an oven dish and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Then season with salt and pepper. Then cover the oven dish with aluminum foil and place the dish in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about half an hour. After that half an hour, check whether they have opened (otherwise a little longer in the oven). You can eat them as they are or serve them on a toasted bun with goat cheese or cream cheese!
Moreover, 63% of the survey’s respondents admit to another faux pas, which is chopping food directly on the kitchen countertop. Darren explained that “as the surfaces where homeowners prepare food, countertops can quickly become dirty with bacteria including possible culprits to cause food poisoning, such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria. Homeowners should therefore avoid chopping food directly on their worktops and also regularly sanitize them.”
Now, it’s time for the infamous dish sponges. The study revealed that people are indeed guilty of not regularly replacing the dish sponge. In fact, 33% of the respondents replaced theirs only once or twice a month.
Darren warns that “dish sponges can harbor bacteria, fungus, algae and even viruses, which is why we recommend replacing dish sponges once a week.” According to him, “Homeowners can switch to silicone sponges or scrubbing brushes (basically anything non-porous) as they’re less likely to stay moist, which is the perfect environment in which bacteria can multiply.”
Worryingly (and probably unsurprisingly!), not washing hands before preparing food is also very common. “Washing your hands is the first step anyone should take before preparing food, as it can limit the spread of potentially harmful bacteria,” Darren told us. Despite the fact that most people are aware of the potential danger of not cleaning their hands, 55% of respondents admitted they skipped this necessary step from time to time.
A tasty snack to eat while waiting for the actual lasagna to cook!
I used jalapenos, smokey cheddar and swiss, thick bacon, dijon style mustard, and pre-made biscuit mix. I cut jalapenos on top and wrapped them with bacon. Then I used wood pellets to grill, but you can use a standard bbq or oven. After it’s done, flatten out the biscuit, spread a thin layer of dijon mustard, stuff the jalapeno with cheese, and close tightly. I also added a little extra cheese here and there. Wrap everything and grill again.