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a big dinner party or just a busy weeknight? Check out these time
saving kitchen tips plus a recipe for an easy and fresh Layered
all the years I have spent cooking and baking at home (I have been
“concocting” all sorts of things in the kitchen since I was a
small child), not to mention all the years of experience from working
in professional kitchens, you would think that when I get in the
kitchen to test a new recipe it is a breeze. But the fact is, that
recipe testing, even with an clear idea and lots of experience, not
to mention the added time it takes to style and photograph the plate of food; it still takes me lots of time to make sure the final recipe is just
right! That is why I am always looking for tips and shortcuts to save
time in the kitchen! Not that I don’t love testing and developing
recipes, and have fun taking photos, but all those dirty dishes….
know that you all aren’t having to spend hours testing and
photographing a recipe; but I am sure most of you, who are
busy working, raising kids, etc., don’t have much time to
spend in the kitchen either. That is why I decided to put together a
list of some of my best time saving tips and tricks.
Saving Kitchen Hacks:
Once: There are certain fruits and vegetables I cook with or we
snack on frequently throughout the week. However, to save time
during the week, I often spend about an hour one night a week
(usually Sunday, when I have more time in the kitchen), and will
take time prepping these veggies for use during the week. I will
chop 2 to 3 onions, celery, carrots, melons, pineapple, etc. all at
one time and place them in individual plastic storage containers and
store them in the fridge. These chopped veggies/fruit will stay
fresh for about 4-6 days and because they are pre-chopped, all I
have to do on a busy night is pull them out and immediately add them
to the food I am cooking, with no extra work needed! Note, not all
fruits and veggies can be chopped in advance. Firmer vegetables will
stay fresh longest, other vegetables, like eggplant, zucchini, etc.
are best prepared the day of or just one day in advance.
are many kitchen gadgets on the market these days. Some of these
tools seem fun, but only a few are necessary.
- Slow Cookers-
simply require dumping ingredients into the slow cooker, several hours ahead of time, and allow the food to cook unattended.
and fine zesters- I use my cheese grater and zester all the time
to save time (and cut down on dirty dishes) in the kitchen! No
time to chop or mince, use a grater to grate onions right into a
hot skillet and zester to quickly “mince” garlic, ginger,
sheers- Use kitchen sheers to quickly cut green onions, bacon,
fresh herbs and even break down whole chickens.
the prep: While there are certain steps that cannot be skipped when
getting dinner ready, other things are simply not necessary. Skip
peeling potatoes (and other veggies)! Simply scrub/wash thoroughly
and cook with the skin on (rustic mashed potatoes are so in!). Other
fruits and vegetables that don’t need to be peeled before using:
cucumbers, beets, apples, carrots and eggplant.
organized: While it might take some time up front, a clean and
organized pantry and fridge will save time and money! Quickly grab
all the ingredients you need at one time and get straight to work!
as you go: My biggest pet peeve when prepping for dinner, is having
a clean knife and cutting board. Since I am usually photographing
and recipe testing all the food I am making, it is really important
to me that foods don’t contaminate each others’ taste and
appearance. That is why I was happy to discover Clorox Green Works Pump ‘N Clean, while shopping at my local Target. This new product
is made with plant and mineral-based ingredients, with no
harsh chemical residue; making it safe to quickly wipe down cutting
boards or knives as you cook. This is not only convenient for me as
I test recipes, but on other days when I want to get in and out of
the kitchen and don’t want to have a ton of dirty dishes to clean! I simply use a clean sponge, the Clorox Green Works Pump ‘N Clean,
to clean off ONE cutting board as I chop and prep multiple fruits
and vegetables (Note: The Clorox Green Works Pump ‘N Clean should not be used with raw fish or meat.). Not only that, but Clorox Green Works is an entire
line of natural cleaning products that help me clean my kitchen as
my food cooks, making sure I can sit down to dinner when it is
Layered Greek Dip is super easy to whip up and is light and refreshing;
making it the perfect summer party dip! It is LOADED with all sorts
of popular Greek ingredients, like feta cheese, kalamata olives and
hummus! Just grab some pita chips, dunk and enjoy!
shared some of my time saving kitchen tips and now I want to hear
yours! Please share your best tips in the comments below!
Heather H. of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Time: 20 minutes Serves: 10
easy layered dip full of classic Greek flavors!
(8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
cup plain Greek yogurt
lemons, juiced and zested
tablespoon white wine vinegar
cloves garlic, minced
tablespoons fresh dill, minced
teaspoon each salt and black pepper
½ cups roasted garlic hummus (store bought or homemade)
cup tomatoes, diced
cup cucumber, peeled and diced
cup kalamata olives, diced
green onions, diced
tablespoon capers (optional)
cup crumbled feta cheese
a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with a paddle
attachment, beat cream cheese until creamy. Add yogurt, lemon juice
and zest, white wine vinegar, garlic, dill, salt and black pepper; mix well. Spoon yogurt/cream cheese mixture into a 5-6 quart
glass serving dish. Using a rubber spatula, spread cream cheese
mixture into an even layer.
cream cheese layer with hummus. Using a rubber spatula, spread hummus
mixture into an even layer. Top hummus evenly with chopped tomatoes,
cucumber, olives and green onions, alternating layers. Top vegetables
with capers and feta cheese. Serve immediately, garnished with a
sprig of dill; or cover and refrigerate for up to 1-2 days.
time in the kitchen and head to Target pick up the full line of GreenWorks products (available on the natural cleaning aisle at Target stores). Since the full line of Green Works products are only
available at Target, take advantage of the current Target Cartwheel offer (via the Target Cartwheel app), to save 10% on all varieties of
Green Works products (including the Pump ‘N Clean) from June 14-July 11.
For more information about all of these convenient and effective,
natural, plant based cleaning products, check out Green Works online
and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.