Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Tips for slicing bread

When I shared photos of my wheat and rye bread, several of you asked about slicing bread. I don't have any magical tips, but I'm happy to share what works for me! :)

Knives: Bread knife or electric knife?

I like to use an electric knife for slicing. It makes thinner slices and is faster when there's 2-3 or more loaves to slice all at once. My electric knife was a wedding shower gift, and bread is the main thing I use it for. Growing up, my mom made 8-10 loaves of bread at a time and used and electric knife to slice them all before they went in the freezer.

If I  have only one loaf I am usually too lazy to pull out the electric knife and I use my bread knife. Any large, thin, serrated knife works well for bread.

Position the loaf

I also turn the loaf on it's side to slice, since the knife seems to go through the side easier than through the (soft) top of the loaf.

Tip for fewer crumbs when slicing

Slicing fresh-from-the-oven bread (after it's cooled slightly) can yield some crumbs due to the more dry crust, so if I don't need the bread right away, I like to put it in a bag for a little while and then slice when the crust has softened somewhat. Depending on the type of bread, this could make a big difference. (I notice especially with Italian-type breads!)

Does anyone else have any bread-slicing tips to share?? :)

My favorite homemade bread recipe can be found here! :)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, posts not adhering to these guidelines will be removed. We need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. 5 tips for baking with apples (Willa at Armstrong Family Fare)
2. Easy pumpkin puree tips (Jill at The Prairie Homestead)
3. Pyrex heating pad substitute/tip (Stacy at Stacy Makes Cents)
4. Blueprint for an easy brunch (Jenna at Blessed Roots)
5. Squash in a slow cooker (The Local Cook)
6. Tips for making your own convenience foods (Heather at Feel Good About Dinner)
7. Tip for cooking noodles (Cheryl at The Bz House That Love Built)
8. Tips for leftover mashed potatoes (Donna at Moms Frugal)
9. Cutting bread (Rachel at Trial and Error Home Ec)
10. Cleaning crumbs from waffle iron (Alea at Premeditated Leftovers)
11. Cooking day tips (Living So Abundantly)

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Tips for cutting cookies and softening butter

When we made cut-out cookies during the Feast of Tabernacles this year, all my cookies were sticking inside the cookie cutters. I could gently push them through without harming the shapes, but it was taking a lot of time to cut out the cookies that way. Then, I remembered what my mom taught me when cutting out cookies:

Cutting out cookies

In a small pile of flour, dip the cookie cutter before each cut. (It's almost like inking a stamp before stamping.) The cookie cutter doesn't stick, and it's much faster!

I also have a tip about melting or softening butter. I think I got in the habit of doing this when we didn't have a microwave. If your oven is in use, you can easily soften or melt butter in a glass or metal bowl by setting it near/over the steam escape vent for the oven.

Easily melt or soften butter

This is perfect if you're baking cookies or a cake and need some softened butter for the frosting later! :)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, posts not adhering to these guidelines will be removed. We need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. Using fewer dishes when cooking (Willa at Armstrong Family Fare)
2. Busy schedule meal planning (Heather at Feel Good About Dinner)
3. 6 tips for eating healthy on a budget (Adrienne at Whole New Mom)
4. Emulsifying vinaigrette dressing with a whisk (Robin at Happily Home After)
5. Tip for baked pasta dishes (Georgia at Georgia's Cookie Jar)
6. Storage for silicone baking mats (Living So Abundantly)
7. Impromptu "wire rack" for cooling bread (Katrina at The Quirky Quaker)
8. Tip for freezing bananas (Jenna at Blessed Roots)
9. Tips for making homemade broth (SnoWhite at Finding Joy in My Kitchen)
10. Tips for using store-bought whole wheat flour (Donna at Moms Frugal)
11. Tip for baking with bananas (The Gentle Mom)

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Pairing Buy-1-Get-1-Free Meat Packages

Right after my post about beef stew meat, one of our local grocery stores had a sale on chuck roast and chuck steak. I asked Joshua to pick up 4 packages on his way home from work. He came home with 8! So, four are in our freezer. ;)

When I was opening the package of steak to make beef pepper steak for dinner, I remembered a tip my mom taught me for purchasing buy-1-get-1-free packages of meat.

Since meat is sold by the pound, the packages all have varying prices. The store will always give you the cheaper package for free, so try to purchase pairs of packages as close in price as possible.

For example, if you pick up a package that is $8.00 and one that is $6.00, you will get $6.00 off your total. But if you pick up a package that is $7.90 to go along with your $8.00 package, you will get $7.90 off your total, and your meat will be as close to "50% off" as possible! :)

I've used this tip a lot over the years. A dollar or two here and there may not sound like a lot, but it's always worth the extra minute or two it might take to find packages similar in weight/price when there's a buy-1-get-1-free sale! :)

Here is the yummy beef pepepr steak I made for dinner. I served it with brown rice, but really, I think it tastes best with white rice... :)

Beef pepper steak with rice

It had probably been years since I've made (or eaten) my mom's beef pepper steak recipe, and wow! Every bite was sooooo good! The children told me it was one of their favorite meals ever.

And here's the little sweetie who wanted her picture taken after I took the pictures of my plate:

Ruth, with flour on her forehead! We had spent the day making cut-out cookies. Actually, that project took two days. The first day, I made a bunch of cookie dough and we baked a few sheets of cookies. The next day, we cut and baked more cookies. With all my helpers, it was quite the project! I ended up freezing at least half of the dough after the second day, because I just wasn't up for another day of baking cookies. ;)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, posts not adhering to these guidelines will be removed. We need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. Tip for cutting quesadillas (Willa at Armstrong Family Fare)
2. Buttering your griddle (Jenna at Blessed Roots)
3. Keep ice from watering down your drinks (Stacy at Stacy Makes Cents)
4. Top 5 tips for making bread from scratch (SnoWhite at Finding Joy in My Kitchen)
5. Cream cheese flavorings (Christy at One Little Word She Knew)
6. Tips for flax seed, wheat germ, and more (Heather at Feel Good About Dinner)
7. Disappearing onion tip -- great taste, no texture (Living So Abundantly)
8. Kids' kitchen tip (Georgia at Georgia's Cookie Jar)
9. Other uses for tea-making gadgets (Donna at Moms Frugal)
10. Tips for making gluten-free pancakes from scratch (Kristy at Little Natural Cottage)

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Tips for sticky pizza dough (and why I use butter to grease the pans)

Pizza dough is very forgiving.  I don't think I've ever had it not turn out okay!

I even started pizza dough one day and then realized I was out of yeast. I didn't have an alternate dinner plan, so I made the pizza anyway and just pressed the crust really thin. It still turned out quite good! Thin, yes, but good. (Now, I even have an "official" unleavened pizza crust recipe.)

Tip: If you ever find yourself with pizza dough and no yeast, press or roll the dough very thin before adding toppings and baking. Okay, I am probably the only person who runs out of yeast and still makes pizza for dinner... ;)


Sticky pizza dough in my bread machine

I use my bread machine's dough cycle to knead the dough for me. Tip: If you don't have time for the whole dough cycle to complete, you can stop the machine after the kneading is finished and transfer the pizza dough right to the pans.

I usually have 500 things going on at once around here, and so while I try to watch the dough near the end of kneading and see if it needs more flour added, sometimes I forget. And the dough ends up a bit sticky.

Sticky dough still makes great pizza crust. In fact, it's easier to just press onto the pans that way (instead of rolling with a rolling pin, like a stiff dough would require).


A vegetable pizza (which wasn't my favorite): Ranch dressing and minced garlic for the sauce, spinach, zucchini, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and onions (mozzarella cheese was added after this picture was taken)

Tips for dealing with sticky pizza dough:

Use clean hands to butter or grease your pizza pan(s). Then with your oily hands, lift or pour the dough out of the bread machine pan (or stand mixer bowl) onto the pan(s) and press to the sides. Put more oil or butter on your hands if needed while pressing.

Another way to deal with sticky dough can be to wet your hands with water. I know, it sounds like the wrong thing, but it works! If you're pressing out the dough and your hands are sticking to it -- wet your palms with some water to finish.


The finished (baked) vegetable pizza

Why I like to use butter to grease our pizza pans:

I love using butter to grease pizza pans because it's a little salty (we buy salted butter). That salty butter flavor makes the crust soooo good! Sometimes I skip adding any oil to my pizza dough, but I liberally butter the pan. Just don't liberally butter the pan if you're using a perforated pizza pan. Instead of crisping up the crust, that butter will all drip through and start a grease fire in the bottom of your oven. (Yep, I learned that first hand!)

I don't, however, grease the pan if I'm using my silicone baking mats. There's no need to grease them because nothing sticks, and I'm all about taking a shortcut like not greasing a pan if it still wipes clean afterwards! The silicone baking mats actually make very good breads/pizza crust, even if it's not buttery and salty.

Related posts:

Tips for perfect homemade pizza

I did a price breakdown of my homemade pizza recipe here... concluding that my 16-inch turkey pepperoni extra-cheese pizza costs just $3.25 in ingredients!

I've also shared my tips for making homemade pizza to serve to guests. I especially like serving pizza to families with children, since it's always a hit! :)

My pizza recipes (you'll notice my obsession with Papa Murphy's!)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, posts not adhering to these guidelines will be removed. We need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. Quick cooking method for steel cut oats (Heather at Feel Good About Dinner)
2. From-scratch pancake tips (SnoWhite at Finding Joy in My Kitchen)
3. Plastic wrap substitute (Adrienne at Whole New Mom)
4. How to keep your honey jar lid from sticking (Stacy at Stacy Makes Cents)
5. Knife/cutting practice for kids (Jenna at Blessed Roots)
6. Don't throw away your pumpkin seeds! (Purposely Frugal)
7. 5 essential ingredients for a frugal pantry (The Gentle Mom)
8. Uses for kitchen shears (Georgia at Georgia's Cookie Jar)
9. Easy kitchen cleaning tips (Living So Abundantly)
10. Soup and stew tips (Donna at Moms Frugal)
11. Making jelly NOT messy (Doing My Best for Him)
12. How to freeze cherry tomatoes (Alea at Premeditated Leftovers)
13. Kitchen cleaning tip (Christine at iDreamofClean)
14. Tips for using stevia (Katie at Kitchen Stewardship)
15. Artisan bread tip (Jodi at LgFamilyFarm)

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: 3 Things for Dinner (tip to make dinner simple!)

I love creating beautiful and delicious things in the kitchen. But, like a lot of things in life my life right now, getting beyond the basics has become more of a hobby than a daily event. Which is okay. :) Healthy-ish and homemade is certainly good enough (and dinner on time is an extra bonus!).

Dinner at our house is often very simple. (I know, I had everyone fooled!) This week, I'm going to be blogging a few of our favorite simple meals. Me?? Blogging?? Well, I am. For real (finally). :)

My tip for keeping dinner simple but balanced: Plan 3 things. It's just enough to call it "dinner". :) (I don't include dessert in the 3 things, and we usually only have dessert on the weekends.)

Some examples of how I use the "3 things" rule:

  • Meat, bread or starch, and vegetables
  • Main dish, vegetable, and fruit
  • Soup, bread, and salad
  • Sandwich, veggies, and fruit

 

Dinner tonight
Tonight's dinner: roasted broccoli and cauliflower, fish sticks, and oranges. The kids also each ate a banana because they were still hungry after we finished what you see here! :)

My go-to easy meat dishes are grilled chicken or fish, grilled beef burgers or salmon burgers, and oven-roasted chicken.

For a starch, I like to make baked potato wedges (great with burgers!), rice (perfect with fish), pasta (with chicken especially) and bread (with soup).

I either cook frozen vegetables or roast some fresh ones in the oven. For fruit, it's whatever's been on sale, or bananas. :)

(See also: 6 Tips for Perfect Oven-Roasted Veggies!)

Chicken, pasta, and broccoli

I love pasta and white sauce, but hadn't made it for quite a while. Last week, I cooked some pasta, made homemade alfredo sauce, steamed some broccoli, and warmed some leftover grilled chicken breast that I had previously frozen.

If I had mixed everything together, the family would have said "What? One thing for dinner and that's it?!" Instead, I served the foods separately, but everyone ended up with layered pasta, broccoli, chicken and sauce on their plates. Delicious! I even had some shredded (not grated) Parmesan cheese on hand from Costco, thanks to Jessica making me go buy some (see her chicken parmesan?!).

Smiley Ruth :)

I had to take a picture of Ruth (3), so excited about the wagon-wheel shaped pasta! :)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, posts not adhering to these guidelines will be removed. We need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. Cutting dough (Willa at Armstrong Family Fare)
2. 7 baking tips and shortcuts (Heather at Feel Good About Dinner)
3. Maple icing and other ways to stretch your real maple syrup (Blessed Roots)
4. Identifying squash (The Local Cook)
5. Freezing leftover soup, adding spinach to soup, & more (Robin at Happily Home After)
6. Identifying cups in the kitchen (Stacy at Stacy Makes Cents)
7. Year-round mint chocolate chips (Kolfinna's Korner)
8. Sweetening applesauce (Georgia's Cookie Jar)
9. Fridge baking soda tip (Living So Abundantly)
10. Ran-out-of-milk substitute (Adrienne at Whole New Mom)
11. Fruit pizza tips (Cheryl at The Bz House the Love Built)
12. Must-have sweeteners for from-scratch baking (Finding Joy in My Kitchen)
13. Bread-baking tip (Donna at Moms Frugal)

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Adjusting the microwave power level

Today's kitchen tip is super simple, but something I would never have thought of doing if Joshua hadn't showed me how! :)

When we moved from an apartment to a house (with a great kitchen!) last year, a friend gave us a microwave that they no longer needed. I admit to using it more than I expected I would!

But, I don't like it when I go to melt butter in the microwave and before it's all melted, it's splattering everywhere. Or, I try to warm some leftovers and need to keep stirring the food as it gets hot, to prevent spots that are sizzling along with spots that are still hard and cold.

To avoid this? Adjust the power level. Here's how it works on ours:

1. Set the time (minutes/seconds) you want to use.

2. Press the "Power Level" button. Ours is saying "HI" which is at 100% power.

3. Continue to press the "Power Level" button until it says the % of power that you want to use. Ours goes down 10% with each press (shown above: 30% power).

What adjusting the power actually does:

The power level is adjusting how much the microwave cooks. At 100% power, it is emitting microwaves 100% of the time. At 50% power, it's emitting microwaves 50% of the time (alternating 10 seconds "cooking", 10 seconds just turning the turntable).

So, to use my melting butter example: Instead of setting the microwave for 20 seconds and hoping I don't have butter splashed everywhere inside, I set the microwave for 90 seconds at 20% power. This allows the butter to slowly melt.

My tips for Defrosting and Re-heating Without a Microwave (I still think defrosting meat in the microwave is a little scary/gross!)

Softened butter tips (super useful when you don't have a microwave to soften butter on-demand!)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, posts not adhering to these guidelines will be removed. We need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. Tips for packing lunches (Healther at Feel Good About Dinner)
2. Covering dishes in the oven (SnoWhite at Finding Joy in My Kitchen)
3. Butter tip (Living So Abundantly)
4. Cleaning the seal on your fridge (Anna at The Joyful Wife)
5. Using a bowl to cover a crock pot (Lenetta at Nettacow)
6. Easy kitchen tips (Georgia at Georgia's Cookie Jar)
7. Getting real food on the table, simplified (Christine at Lily of the Valley)
8. Freezing leftover spaghetti sauce (Alea at Premeditated Leftovers)
9. Tip for less-icky dish drainer (Stacy at Stacy Makes Cents)

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Salt the water when cooking pasta or beans

I love beans and I love pasta! We eat beans often, but pasta is more of a treat. Last week I made macaroni and cheese for lunch with the kids... so delicious! (I'm ready to enjoy some non-grilled comfort foods again, now that the weather is cooler.)

When I posted my tips for perfect, tender cooked beans, I mentioned that I like to add salt to the cooking water. The salt does not stop the beans from becoming tender and soft, but DOES give a great flavor to the beans, since the salt is in the beans and not just sprinkled on after cooking.

Adding salt when cooking beans eliminates the problem of either A) draining off the salt when you drain the beans or B) needing to stir salt into the cooked beans and ending up smashing them in the process.

Now, the part about pasta. I had known for a long time that adding salt to the water when cooking pasta was an option. I didn't routinely do it or even consider why it might be a good idea until recently though!

Just as beans absorb the salty water and are perfectly salted after cooking, adding salt to your water when cooking pasta salts the pasta from the inside and gives a great flavor! This also eliminates the issue of needing to make an extra-salty sauce to make up for unsalted pasta.

I now always add salt when I'm cooking beans or pasta, and I love the results! Is there anything else like this that you add salt to when cooking? I'd love to hear about it! :)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, posts not adhering to these guidelines will be removed. We need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. Cleaning your stained crock pot (Heather at Feel Good About Dinner)
2. Freezing pizza dough (SnoWhite at Finding Joy in My Kitchen)
3. Leftover tomato sauce tip (Living So Abundantly)
4. Baking dishes tip (Anna at The Joyful Wife)
5. Homemade dishwasher rinse aid (Adrienne at Whole New Mom)
6. Save money on paper towels (Stacy at Stacy Makes Cents)
7. How to puree winter squash (The Gentle Mom)
8. How to puree pumpkin (Carrie at My Favorite Finds)
9. Making colored sugar for decorating (Cooking Luck)
10. Cleaning coffee parts (Christine at iDreamofClean)
11. Drying herbs from the garden (Blessed Roots)
12. Potato tips (Donna at Moms Frugal)
13. Tips for canning green beans (Gretchen at Extraordinary Ordinary Life)
14. Thawing baby food quickly without the microwave (Covenant Homemaking)

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: When your grilling plans go awry

I've been so not online lately, but I'm back this week. I'll share about our blackberry harvest tomorrow, along with one of my favorite recipes for using our freshly-picked or frozen blackberries! :)

We have a gas grill, and we sure do love it! It's quick and convenient and Joshua makes the best grilled food ever. Of course I'm not biased. Anyone who tries his food agrees! ;)

Until recently, we had just one propane tank for the grill. Every number of months, the tank would run empty, sometimes surprising us when we would open the lid of the grill that we thought was pre-heating, only to find a cold grill with no fuel.

My solution for times when grilling goes awry: 

Oven-grilled chicken breast on a wire rack

Use a baking sheet (with sides) and wire cooling rack and place meat in the oven (top rack or near the top is best). Roast uncovered at 425-450 degrees until meat is done, turning once during baking if desired. I usually use a meat thermometer unless I'm really familiar with the cut of meat.

I even have an old, worn-out baking sheet on hand to use for this purpose, so I don't need to worry about harming one of my "good" pans.

The finished chicken breast...

Yay! Dinner was rescued, and while my oven "grilled" chicken breast wasn't quite as good as "the real thing", it was definitely better than any other baked chicken breast I've made. :)

Oven-grilled chicken breast on a wire rack

A few tips for determining when meat is done (although I still recommend using a thermometer if you're really unsure when it comes to chicken!):

Chicken: Chicken should feel firm, not soft, when you press down on it.

Beef: For beef, one comparison I've read is that a rare steak will feel like your cheek when you press it, a medium steak will feel like your nose when you press it, and a well-done steak will feel like your forehead when you press it. Elise from Simply Recipes has a similar method shown in pictures here.

Fish: Fish should flake easily with a fork. Fish also cooks really quickly! When I first started cooking with fish, I would usually over-cook it because it just didn't seem possible that it could be done after just ~15 minutes. One day, I tested some salmon that truly wasn't done yet -- and it didn't flake. I finally SAW the difference and could believe that my flaking fish really was fully cooked. (Fish should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, posts not adhering to these guidelines will be removed. We need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. Tip for not wasting fruit (Willa at Armstrong Family Fare)
2. Sweetened condensed milk substitute (The Local Cook)
3. Reduce splatters when frying food (Stacy at Stacy Makes Cents)
4. What to do when you're out of coffee filters (Heather at Feel Good About Dinner)
5. Tips for using less disposables in the kitchen (Purposely Frugal)
6. Weigh ingredients for easier baking (Robin at Happily Home After)
7. How to make perfect wavy bacon (JessieLeigh at Parenting Miracles)
8. Keep apples from browning (SnoWhite at Finding Joy in My Kitchen)
9. Spaghetti sauce tip (Georgia at Georgia's Cookie Jar)
10. Freezing lemon zest (Living So Abundantly)
11. Instant mixes for bread machine (Centsable Dining)
12. How and why to soak grains (Adrienne at Whole New Mom)
13. Keeping cookies soft (Carrie at My Favorite Finds)
14. Shopping/pantry supplies tip (Donna at Moms Frugal)
15. Tips for cooking real food with little ones (Blessed Roots)

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: How to reach things in high cupboards without getting a stool

Since I'm not very tall (5'4"), many times the top shelf of a kitchen cupboard is too high for me to reach without getting a chair or stool, especially if it's something in the back of the cupboard.

My lazy woman's solution? Get a silicone spatula and use it to grab the item and pull it to the edge of the shelf. I have a shiny/smooth silicone spatula that is especially "sticky" and helps me get just about anything from the back of the cupboard without dragging over a chair. Yay! :)

Do you have any tips for helping short(er) people in the kitchen? I'd love to hear them! :)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, posts not adhering to these guidelines will be removed. We need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. 8 time-saving kitchen tips (Adrienne at Whole New Mom)
2. Using parchment paper for cookies (Anna at The Joyful Wife)
3. Sneaky carrots (Christy at One Little Word She Knew)
4. Save money by using re-usable sandwich bags (Stacy at Stacy Makes Cents)
5. Keeping pancakes warm without turning on the oven (SnoWhite at Finding Joy in My Kitchen)
6. Menu plan and grocery list tips (Purposely Frugal)
7. Organizing foods you stock up on (Heather at Feel Good About Dinner)
8. Quick and easy way to pit cherries (Georgia at Georgia's Cookie Jar)
9. Ideas for leftover chicken (Living So Abundantly)
10. Tips for packing tasty healthy lunches (The Gentle Mom)

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Labeling freezer food

When I told Joshua what my kitchen tip was going to be this week, he said "You mean your 'common sense' tip?!" because apparently this is something everyone but me knew! Regardless, it was like a revelation to me this week...

Since we got a chest freezer, I've been freezing an extra lot of things. I often divide up stuff I bought at Costco and freeze portions of it. I freeze cooked beans and rice. And this month we've picked tons of blackberries from our yard and the park down the road!

Blackberries

We've been freezing blackberries on cookie sheets and then transferring to gallon bags after they're frozen, so they stay separated. All of us LOVE the sweet, juicy, SUN-RIPENED berries! Yes, the sun came out for August. August may now be my favorite month after 3 summers in the Pacific Northwest... ;)

But, that's not my tip. My tip is: When labeling a bag of food for the freezer, label the bag before you fill it. It's flat, there's no condensation to worry about, and it's a whole lot easier! (Don't ask me why I just realized that this is how I should be labeling things...) :)

Labeling food for the freezer

I often have extra grilled chicken breast in the freezer, which is perfect for last-minute burritos, quesadillas, pizza, or salads. I really like my Food Saver for sealing cooked meats because they never get freezer burn! Plus, they take up about half the freezer space they otherwise would. When I had only a small(er) apartment freezer/fridge, space-saving was a huge plus. :)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, posts not adhering to these guidelines will be removed. We need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. How to soak and dehydrate nuts and seeds (Adrienne at Whole New Mom)
2. Using a funnel to separate eggs (Stacy at Stacy Makes Cents)
3. Make-ahead pancakes (Georgia at Georgia's Cookie Jar)
4. Juicing lemons without a juicer (Living So Abundantly)
5. Freezer cooking tools (Gretchen at Extraordinary Ordinary Life)
6. Tips for cooking in a small kitchen (Katy at Purposely Frugal)
7. 10 Tips I Learned While Canning Peaches (The Local Cook)
8. Leftover chicken fat tips (Heather at Feel Good About Dinner)
9. Homemade vanilla extract (Katie at Kitchen Stewardship)
10. Tips for long-term food storage with humidity (Donna at Moms Frugal)
11. Freezing green peppers (Amanda at Traditional Foods)
12. Washing dishes tip (Anna at Kolfinna's Korner)
13. How to make casseroles that people will actually eat (The Gentle Mom)
14. Freezer inventory tips (Elizabeth at Cents-Able Dining)

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