Megans Top 10 Kitchen Hacks

These are my favorite and most used kitchen tips when cooking at home or at work. I personally selected this list because I use these all the time.

1) Substituting applesauce for oil. Whether you're out of oil (like me) or just want to reduce fat in your favorite recipe. Applesauce works great in almost any dessert. Just use a 1 to 1 ratio ( for example use 1/4 cup applesauce instead of 1/4 cup oil).

2) Sour cream substitute. There's always the chance that a recipe I'm making calls for sour cream and I'm out, but if you have either greek yogurt or cottage cheese you're good to go. Cottage cheese works great to make sour cream, just blend 1 cup of cottage cheese with 1 Tbsp of lemon/ vinegar and BAM! -->Sour Cream!

3) Buttermilk substitute. I don't know about you but I never buy buttermilk. I always buy it for a recipe only to end up throwing it away because I don't use it all. Instead use sour milk, just mix 1 cup milk with 1 Tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar. Let it sit on the counter for 5 minutes and use as needed.

4) Clean your cutting board. Its always a good idea to give your cutting board a good deep clean and salt with lemon juice works great. Sprinkle coarse salt over the board, then slice a lemon in half and use it to rub the salt into the board. Its smells great and disinfects the board.

5) Hack a box cake mix. Sometimes we just don't have the time or ambition to make a homemade cake. A box mix is so easy and if you swap a few ingredients it will still taste as good as homemade. If the box calls for water use milk instead, this will help make the cake more dense. When adding eggs always add 2 extra eggs on top of what the box calls for. The extra egg will make it more rich tasting. Instead of oil use melted butter which has more flavor. 

6) Cake flour. If you want to impress family and make a homemade cake but have no cake flour have no fear. Don't waste your money buying it at the store, make your own. For every 1 cup flour remove 2 Tbsp flour and replace with 2 Tbsp cornstarch. Then give it a good sift and use in your recipe. 

7) Egg freshness. Not sure if your eggs are good to eat? Use the water test method. Place eggs in a bowl of water, if the egg lays on its side at the bottom then its still fresh. If the egg stands upright but still touches the bottom then its still OK but should be used soon. If the egg floats to the top, its to old to eat. This works because over time air passes through the shell into the egg. The more air in the egg means its more buoyant and therefore older. 

8) Cold remedies. Fight cold and flu season with homemade remedies, some ingredients you probably already have. Just make a hot cup of your favorite tea and add honey and lemon. Lemon is high in vitamin C and will boost your immune system. Honey is a natural cough suppressant and will sooth a sore throat. Also if you have ginger add to settle a upset stomach. 

9) Cough Drops. instead of buying cough drops just make your own. There are tons of recipes online to make great tasting cough drops. Makes a great gift for boyfriend/girlfriend to get them over their cold faster and back to business. (wink 💋 wink)

10) No candy thermometer no problem. If you ever need to make fudge or hard candy but have no candy thermometer just use the cup method. Just pour a spoon full of hot mixture into a cup of cold water. If its at the soft ball stage (235F/118C) the mixture will form into a soft flexible ball. If its at the hard ball stage (250F/125C) it will form a hard ball (duh Megan). The ball will be firm and hold its shape.

I hope something on this list is helpful and made your day.😊