3 Kitchen Hacks for Lazy Cheapskates
Things have gotten increasingly busy at our house lately, and they don't seem to be slowing down. Three kitchen hacks in particular have helped me save time and energy costs when it comes to cleaning and food prep.
Double compartment crock pot insert
My extra large crock pot has been doing extra duty lately. We've started experimenting more with ground and whipped up beans and nuts in order to incorporate more plant based recipes into our diet. The slow cookers are great for that, but up until now I'd only been using the extra two-compartment insert crock for parties where I needed hot items standing by. When I wanted to try getting both black beans and chick peas cooked ahead the other evening, it hit me. Why was I using two crock pots when I only had to use one?
That's where the kitchen hack portion of the crock pot use comes in. The one with the double sided extra insert is enormous anyway, with each side holding a fair amount of food when you are slow cooking. So I put the black beans in one side and the chickpeas in the other. Voila! Half the cleanup time. If you want even more convenience, put them in to cook before you go to bed. You'll get up to cooked beans you can either freeze until you're read to use, or drain and put away for later that evening. I have no idea why I hadn't thought of this before, but I'm sharing now. Has anyone else been doing this all along?
When I need to get the sliding glass door streak free and don't have half an hour to spend doing it, this is what I use. I also use one on the glass shower doors. Again, not sure why this didn't come to mind before this year. All I know is it's saving me major stress now. So if you are one of those folks out there feeling irritated with glass door cleaning, give it a whirl.
The toaster oven
For years I resisted these, considering them a total waste of money. What was I thinking? Toasters are a complete pain in the tush and can only be used for one thing. Toast. If you want to upgrade to even a bagel, you need an entirely different machine. Screw. That. This thing rocks and I can cook anything from salmon fillets, to English muffin lunch pizzas and shrimp toast. The toaster oven also takes your basic lunch sandwich to the next level by giving you something freshly toasted instead of soggy and squashed. Chicken pesto with tomato and cheese and horseradish BLT sandwiches are two of our favorites to toast up. Not only can we jazz up a boring work at home lunch with minimal extra effort, the toaster oven uses way less energy than a traditional oven for things that just need a quick broil. They also don't heat the house up obnoxiously during the summer.
Well, that's my news flash folks. I've been waiting until I had the third brainstorm and the double sided crock pot epiphany I had this week put it over the top. Hope this helps. Please feel free to share any of your awesome kitchen hacks below.