Monday, June 12, 2017

Life Hack A Day - Hacking The Kitchen

I love food.

I love cooking, I love eating, I love trying new recipes, I love everything about being in the kitchen.

Ok well maybe not dishes, but I love the rest of it!

And so, for my second week of my Life Hack A Day Project I decided to get down to hacking the area of my life that brings me so much joy, in the hope that I could find a few things to make my time in the kitchen that much better.

I have to say: Not a supremely successful week, though definitely an interesting one!

Let's talk about Life Hacking The Kitchen.

June 4 - Pancake mix mess - POINTLESS

My first life hack for the week was having a mess-proof way to pour pancake batter! By using a cleaned out ketchup bottle I made my regular batch of pancakes and then put the batter in the bottle to just squeeze on the pan while I cooked.

I have a few thoughts on this hack... While I wouldn't say it was an outright FAIL, it wasn't particularly helpful. 

For one thing, I could have just used my regular measuring cup with the pour spout which is not only mostly mess free, but then I wouldn't have had to clean it AND the ketchup bottle afterwards (which, by the way, is hard to clean). And second, any lumps in the batter would get stuck in the spout and I had to pick the out by hand before I could keep making pancakes.

So... is it "mess free" - kinda? It's great for fridge storage! But I don't think I'll be doing this again.

June 5 - Keeping bananas fresh with saran wrap - FAIL

So the trick of this hack is to keep your bananas fresh longer by wrapping the stems in saran wrap.

I picked up some bananas and separated the bunch so I could have a control group, wrapped one and left the other's alone (well mostly, Kris ate one of the control bananas)

Result: Bananas aged at the exact same rate and this hack is a lie. 

June 6 - No Onions No Cry! - FAIL

So far my week of hacks wasn't going so great, so I decided to try the one that I was REALLY interested in for the week.

I m a HUGE crier when I cut onions. I cannot handle even a single cut without welling up and often need to take a break to wash my face mid onion chopping. I like to call it "getting emotional in the kitchen"

Anyway, this hack was to stop yourself from crying by coating your knife in oil! Unfortunately it sounded too good to be true because it WAS. Not only did I still cry, but the onion got very slippery from the oil-knife and I was pretty nervous about chopping off my fingers (especially as the tears make it hard to see).

There's got to be a better way, but it isn't oil.

June 7 - Make boxed cake taste bakery made - PASS

Finally a hack that really worked, and more than that, a delicious one!

This is a hack I had seen multiple times, and when I decided to do this challenge it was at the top of my list. Using extra butter, eggs, and milk to take a boxed cake and turn it into a bakery-worthy delight.

OK, I'm not sure I'd say it was as good as some high-quality bakery cakes that I've eaten (baking is a true art). HOWEVER, I will say that the cake was rich, moist, fluffy and far better than any standard boxed cake.

I would absolutely recommend this hack!

June 8 - Soften butter FAST - PASS

I NEVER remember to soften my butter before I start baking so I'm really glad this hack worked.

Softening your butter in the microwave is next to impossible. You always end up melting it more than you want, and runny butter just doesn't whip with sugar the right way to make the perfect frothy consistency you want when you're baking.

This trick was super easy, really effective and led to some pretty tasty chocolate chip cookies!

June 9 - Keep ice cream easy to scoop with freezer bags - FAIL

Sigh. Another kitchen fail. I'm tempted to try this one again because I think maybe I had too much air in the bag and that might have been the problem.

All I know is, I had freezer burn on my ice cream and needed to let it sit out before I could indulge in some rocky road, I don't know about you but when I want ice cream, waiting is soooo annoying.


June 10 - Cook potatoes to taste like french fries - PASS

Alright, I'm not entirely sure how this got declared a "life hack" it's really more of a recipe...

But it's BRILLIANT! 

I will say that you should cook the potato for about 50 minutes for best results (i didn't find 40 minutes long enough) but this was a great way to serve up a side dish and it was really pretty looking too! 

I think I'm going to try this again with sweet potatoes and see how it goes. highly recommended for a BBQ because you only need a fork to break off the last little piece of potato, you can cook a bunch at once, and they aren't sliding all over your plate in a pile.


So the life hacks this week weren't such a success. My hopes are kind of dashed on kitchen hacks BUT I did find a delicious new way to cook potatoes and to make a delicious boxed-cake so at least I have two tasty victories!!!

Next week's hacks are all about hacking the internet (boy... does that sound different then intended). I have some awesome website related life hacks to share and I'm hoping for a more successful week.

Got a good hack? Hack me back and share it with me on Instagram, Pinterest or by Email!

Happy Hacking!

PS: If you liked this post, check out these posts!