Summer Kitchen Hacks
Summer time and the livin's easy, am I right? But often time we can get too caught up on the little things in the kitchen that holds us back, or frustrate us to no end. Today I wanted to share with you some kitchen hacks that not only save me time in the kitchen on these summer days (because let's be honest, I would much rather go lay in my inflatable pool than stand in the kitchen all day!), but also punch some great flavor for summer time treats and meal time. Check out the hacks below and let me know what you think!
This is by far the easiest and least messy way to cut watermelon. Make sure you have a sharp kitchen knife, large cutting board and a good space to work. First cut off the ends of the watermelon so you can stand it up. Next cut down the watermelon removing the just the rind. Continue this process until all the rind is removed. (Notice how much less juice and watermelon you lose using this method!) Flip the watermelon over and remove the remaining rind. Slice as desired!
Everyone hates a watery beverage, especially in the summer when you are just outside enjoying the heat, the last thing you want is that Arnold Palmer or Margarita to be watered down from the ice. Prep ahead and take your favorite drink and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then when you are ready for a refreshing drink, pop a few in the glass and no more watered down drinks. Here are a few of my favorite combos:
Freeze lemonade - add to sweetened ice tea
Freeze margarita mix - add to alcoholic margarita
Freeze watermelon juice - add it to soda water or tonic
Freeze pureed peaches and/or strawberries - add to white wine for a quick sangria
Freeze cold brew - add it to your iced coffee with a splash of milk
Saving Fresh Herbs
Summer to me means fresh foods and light flavors. One simple way of adding brightness to any dish is to add some fresh herbs to it. And the great thing about herbs is you can grow your own, no matter where you live. As long as you have a window with some light you too can have a little fresh herb garden. But what do you do when those herbs are growing so fast and you can't seem to use them fast enough? Or if you bought a bunch of herbs at the store and you don't want them to go bad in 3 days? Freeze them of course!
Often times I am cooking with olive oil and herbs so I like to preserve my herbs by freezing then in the oil. Make sure to use a high quality olive oil so you retain the flavors of both the herbs and oil. Not an olive oil fan? You can use butter or any other type of fat that you regularly cook with that freezes.
Things you can freeze in oil:
The list goes on!
Chop up the herbs to your desired size. Place them in ice cube trays. You can even get a little wild and mix some herbs together. Rosemary & thyme, basil and parsley? Yum! Once you have the trays filled with the herbs top off each one with the oil of your choices. Freeze until solid. Once mine are frozen I always pull them out of the trays and store in bags (labeled of course, so I can remember what they are). When you are ready to cook, just pull out an herb bomb and toss it in the pan. Side note: If you have mint it can be frozen as well in water or on it's own.
These are just some of my favorite hacks for the summer! What are some of the ways you're saving time, money, or sanity in the kitchen this summer? Let me know in the comments below!