Family get-togethers can be a truly joyous occasion — unless you are the chef! As the holidays draw closer and people begin organizing their social calendars, many people spend too much time flapping in the kitchen worrying about meal prep ahead of large gatherings. Calm things down this season with life-changing kitchen hacks that will change your family dinners forever!
Peel garlic in a flash
Garlic is one of those bulbs that is only cut by the person who drew the short straw. Don’t let the lingering smell get on your fingers with this quick kitchen hack. Put the shelled garlic bulb into a mason jar, put the lid on, and shake vigorously to remove the skin. Voila!
Desserts are nothing without the essence of chocolate to accompany them. To create delicate curls, scrape a potato peeler along a piece of chocolate to produce ringlets of confectionary for the ultimate dessert treat.
There’s nothing worse than overboiling pans in the kitchen when you’re trying to entertain your guests. Place wooden spoons over each pan to stop the water from touching the ring. Honestly, it works!
We all have to agree that stuffing is one of the most difficult sides to scrape out of the dish! Instead, try cooking them in silicone muffin trays for a cool addition to your family dinner. Not only will they slide right out of the pan but they also look awesome.
Moisten your poultry
Chicken and turkey are renowned for being dry meats when cooked incorrectly. Before putting the bird in the oven, baste the meat with a combination of oil and herbs, and spread this evenly onto the top of the bird. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the meat over — this will ensure all of the juices run evenly through for a well-cooked and tasty main dish.
Mass batch hot drinks
For those evenings when your guests need to sip on something warm, create a batch of mulled wine or hot chocolate in the slow cooker to provide delicious libations.
Chill drinks quickly
If you know the estimated arrival time of your guests, treat them to a cool glass of bubbly when they first arrive. To chill the bottle as quickly as possible, wrap it in damp paper towels and put it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Make sure to put on a timer, otherwise the bottle could crack. Then pop the champagne, and you’re good to go!
There are fewer things that are as unpleasant as congealed cold gravy. Whip up a batch of the good stuff on the morning of the meal and place in a sealed Thermos to keep it toasty throughout the day, ready to be poured on your meat and veggies.
If your appetizer involves a light display of melon, then you may be in luck with a new appetizing salad topping. Once you’ve removed the seeds from the melon, place them on an oven tray with olive oil and seasoning, and roast them at 325°F for 30 minutes. After they’ve cooled, pop open the shell and eat the seeds inside.
Buying prepared desserts, sauces, or pigs in a blanket doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality. Even Gordon Ramsay is sure to lose his cool when cooking an entire meal from scratch! Put your own spin on these shop-bought delights by glazing them in honey or adding fresh fruit.