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Hacks Restaurants

7 Food Delivery Hacks That Will Come Through In The Clutch

Food delivery has taken the country by storm without question, but it comes with plenty of tradeoffs. On the one hand, there’s a lot that being in the restaurant has to offer, including the freshness of the food, that you lose out on. However, being at home and getting the food to come straight to you also provides its conveniences.

By looking at what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to delivery, it’s possible to mitigate the cons and transform the food delivery experience into the jack-of-all-trades we can lifehack it to be. From using our stovetops to saving on water for dishes, there’s plenty of small changes we can make when ordering in that’ll take the experience up to a whole new level.

Here’s a few quick hacks that you can easily pull off the next time you’re ordering delivery.

Reboil Your Broths

When ordering pho or ramen, you want that broth to be piping hot to get the maximum enjoyment out of it. Since it usually arrives at your door slightly cooled down, reheating is the best option here. Microwaves can be pretty uneven with bringing every part of your container to temperature, so bringing it up to a boil on your stove is the way to go. Your tastebuds and stomach will be thanking you.

The Perfectly Timed Delivery

Photo: Lok Shesa // Wikimedia Commons CC 4.0

It may take a while to master this, but if you can time your delivery order so it arrives at home the same time you do, there’s no need to wait. It requires knowing how long your commute home is and how long the delivery will take, but that extra attention to detail will be worth the result.

Keep Rice On Deck

Photo: Aaron Goodwin // Flickr CC 2.0

One of the biggest gripes with delivery is the extra charge all of that rice can stack on. Why pay a huge markup for the starch when you’ve got bags of it in your apartment? Whether you make a couple of cups in the rice cooker or have a microwaveable pouch on standby, it’ll help save a bit of money in the long run.

Take Advantage Of Your Toaster Oven/Air Fryer

Nothing’s worse than when the fries, fried chicken, or other crispy foods show up having lost their crunch. A quick blast in a toaster oven or air fryer, however, is all they need to be revitalized and to enjoy that eruptive texture.

Buying Your Favorite Mains In Bulk

If you’re skipping the rice deliveries as mentioned above, why just get a single order of orange chicken or spicy wings? Stock up on a few, and you won’t have to get delivery so much, reducing those additional fee costs. A few orders at a time means you can save some in the fridge and appropriately reheat them to get your favorite meals on repeat at a better overall price.

Know Who’s Got The Best Deals

Every food delivery app has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to know when to use which for each situation. Chief amongst that is keeping tabs on deals and discounts, which can be ordered via coupon or code. Grubhub and Doordash are your spots for coupons, while Postmates and Ubereats tend to have some helpful codes dropping weekly.

Any Container Can Be A Plate, Too

Dishwashing can always be a chore with delivery, but remember that the serving vessels also make for great plates, too. Even a standard vertical takeout box can be broken down into a functional bowl if you know how to hack it right. Check the above video for clutch a step-by-step guide.

Categories
Hacks

How To Transform Foods Into Easy Homemade Air Fresheners

Photo: Agnes Kantaruk // Shutterstock

Ditch the store-bought products and use a homemade air freshener to get rid of stinky smells.

There are lots of smells welcome in my home, like a slice of homemade apple pie or a bouquet of freshly picked flowers on the kitchen table. But stinky odors like garbage, burnt popcorn and more can fill the house up as well. For stubborn, unpleasant scents that stick around, make a homemade air freshener to clear the air.

1. Pomander Balls

I gift pomander balls during the holiday season, but they’re more than a sweet homemade gesture. The all-natural air fresheners can easily be made by piercing citrus fruits with a handful of cloves, and rolling the final product in a spice or two, like cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Hang pomander balls in a closet to ward off any stale air or pesky smells.

2. Essential Oils

Essential oils are natural deodorizers. Aside from filling up a diffuser with your favorite scent to freshen up your home, there are other places that can benefit from the sweet smelling oils. Cover a wooden clothespin with a few drops of essential oils, then clip it to the car air vent to bring about a fresher, more pleasing scent in your vehicle.

Psst… You can cook with essential oils, too.

3. Baking Soda

There are so many ways to clean with baking soda that it’s hard to keep track. It’s perfect for masking odors, too. You can create a baking soda air freshener spray by combining 1 tbsp. baking soda with water in a small spray bottle. The baking soda might not have a perfume-like smell, but it’ll absorb the unwanted odors and make them disappear completely.

4. Coffee

Whether you brew coffee on your own or frequent your favorite coffee shop, there’s no denying the benefits of daily coffee drinking. Aside from giving us a daily boost, coffee also works as a natural homemade air freshener. If a room is super smelly, place bowls of freshly ground coffee around the area—be sure to place the bowls strategically, like on top of a floor vent so that the aroma travels faster throughout the room. The scent of the coffee grounds will block out any bad-smelling odors.

5. Vinegar

There are few things worse than the smell of a bathroom-related incident, or any other similar restroom odor. Vinegar is a loaded liquid that will not only eliminate these types of scents, but also keep the air as clean as possible. Place vinegar in a cup or bowl, allowing it to sit for a few hours in the contaminated area. The acetic acid will disinfect the air and get rid of the bacteria while taking away any foul smells that try to stick around. You can also clean everything with vinegar.

To really make your house smell amazing, you can also bake a fresh batch of cookies!

Related Links:


Article by Taylor Murphy of Taste of Home. View the original article here.

Categories
Design Hacks

31 Clever Ways To Use A Lemon [INFOGRAPHIC]

Ah, the majestic lemon. The citrus fruit has been around for millennia, used to keep foods fresh and alcoholic beverages garnished.

While the perfect way to accompany most dishes, the mighty lemon goes beyond a simple garnish. In fact, there’s actually a ton of different ways you can use the lemon in your day-to-day life.

OnStride created a pretty nifty infographic that showcases 31 different uses for the bright-yellow fruit. Utilities highlighted include cleaning cutting boards, shining copper, killing weeds, and keeping your avocados fresh.

Check out the beautifully illustrated infographic below to see all the ways to make the most out of that lemon just chilling in your fridge.

If you end up trying all 31 of these unique uses, finish your day by squeezing a few leftover lemons and making a nice cold glass of lemonade for yourself.

Hey, you’ve earned it.

Courtesy of: OnStride Financial
Categories
Hacks Hit-Or-Miss

5 Food Items That Should NEVER Be Thrown In The Garbage Disposal

With the holiday season fully upon us, many people are prepping appetizers, side dishes, and tons of other food for the holidays. With that comes a large amount of food waste, including vegetable peels, egg shells, trimmed fat, and several other things. We tend to usually put them through the garbage disposal without thinking of the consequences. However, especially this time of year, that can spell doom for our drain and usually will result in a visit from the plumber – one that can cost hundreds of dollars.

Instead of having to worry about that money lost, take those food waste items and do something else with them instead. Here’s our guide on what to do with a few of those items.

Egg Shells

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Photo: Jerde

Egg shells are brittle and break up easily, but they will not do that while in your drain pipe. Throw them out in the trash if they’re completely broken up, or save them to make little decorations for the house instead. Painted eggshells can make for a great, cheap home decor item – just make sure to thoroughly clean them first.

Vegetable and Fruit Peels

stocksnap_5c5848c8f6 (1)

Photo: Stocksnap

These peels definitely won’t break up easily, and are some of the most common reasons your sink will get clogged if you just toss them down the drain. You can dehydrate the peels instead and grind them into usable flours (a great source of fiber and easy way to trick your kids into eating vegetables), turn them into chips, or compost them to keep your home garden nutrient-rich.

Citrus Rinds

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Photo: Mimi’s Kitchen

This is different from above because while citrus rinds will also easily clog up a sink, they have some more creative uses than just flour or compost. Chop them up into thin slices and make candied rinds instead for a sweet, waste-free holiday snack! Boiling them in a simple syrup, then tossing them in flavored sugar before cooling is the simplest way to make this cheap garnish/treat.

Animal Grease/Fat

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Photo: What Great Grandma Ate

This is one of the WORST things you can put down a sink, so please do not do it! When fat cools and solidifies, it’s almost impossible to get anything past it and will be a huge problem for your drain. Either put into a disposable container and let it cool before dumping it, or save the fat in your fridge to use as an alternative to oil, or to flavor everything from roasted potatoes to eggs.

Excess Flour/Starchy Items

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Photo: StockSnap

Starchy items like pasta and bread will do the same to your sink as the peels will, making it a pain to clean and a sticky mess in the end. Make sure to put these down the trash or compost them as well, or dehydrate them into flours just like the peels above.

Take a major load off of your holiday stress by keeping the above items out of the sink. Your sink (and wallet) will both be thanking you when the holiday season is over.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

5 Everyday Fruits We’ve Been Eating Wrong Our Entire Life

It’s a primal and discomforting thing to hear you’ve been inefficiently eating something your entire life.

Fruits rarely change, and for the most part, there’s no wrong way to eat something if it ends up getting into your body and nourishing you when it counts. But for those looking to be the advantageous and excellent human they hopped out the womb to be, we’ve compiled 5 groundbreaking food hacks that’ll keep you eating fruits like a boss:

Like to eat your cherries already pitted? To get rid of those seeds, all you need is a glass bottle and some chopsticks (or anything strong enough to puncture the cherry):

 

How to eat an apple correctly:

 

How to get the seeds out of your pomegranate in seconds instead of hours:

 

We’ve been peeling bananas from the wrong end:

 

How to shuck those strawberries of those pesky leaves without using a knife and saving precious strawberry flesh:

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Five Simple Hacks That Bring Your Takeout Leftovers Back To Life

grub-hub-leftover-sandwich

It’s Friday night and you ordered way too much Chicken Tikka Masala from that neighborhood Indian place you love. You stick the leftovers in the fridge, feeling the anticipation building for tomorrow’s awesome lunch, but start to wonder how to make tomorrow’s meal taste as good as it did tonight. You could just throw your delicious chicken in the microwave like a conformist, or you can take a couple extra minutes to really do those leftovers justice.

While still tasty, oftentimes our leftovers get can get a little boring, which is a bummer because there’s potential for them to be so much more than ‘salvageable.’

That’s where our chef and food artist buddy, Clifford Endo Gullibert, or Foodinese, comes in to save the day. Chefs have to deal with leftovers too, and luckily Foodinese was willing to share some of his secrets with GrubHub.

With easy ways to turn your leftovers like chicken wings into savory buffalo chicken sandwiches, these takeout hacks will leave you feeling like the Steph Curry of leftovers:

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Leftover Wings –> Coleslaw and Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Not only can you easily debone your wings for a chicken sandwich, but you can turn those veggie sticks that are often overlooked into a coleslaw compliment. Gullibert said the coleslaw is his favorite leftovers hack because it’s “Straightforward, quick and delicious.”

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Leftover Cheesesteak -> Philly Cheesesteak Egg Rolls

If wonton wrappers aren’t usually on your grocery list, these mouth-watering cheesesteak egg rolls will definitely change that. Hell, you should take any leftover meat and use this same egg roll method.

 

Leftover Fries –> French Fry Waffle

Day old French fries are the worst. They get soggy and stale, but we never have the heart to throw them out. Here’s a way to bring them back to life and turn them into a savory breakfast WAFFLE. Foodinese is no stranger to interesting French fry creations, just look as his French Fry Crust Pizza.

 

Leftover Spaghetti –> Spaghetti Bun Meatball Burger

If you thought the ramen burger was insane, you’re going to flip when you turn your leftover spaghetti into a burger. Those leftover noodles can easily be transformed into a bun, then you just sandwich the meatball in the middle and you’ve got yourself a burger.

 

Leftover Tikka Masala –> Chicken Tikka Burrito

Chicken Tikka Masala is still delicious the day after, so think about how ridiculously good it’d be in burrito form. Bring home some of that naan and make yourself a burrito, player.

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There you have it. You no longer have to be a slave to the microwave. Next time you have leftovers sitting in the fridge, you’ll know how to take care of them and yourself.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

17 Restaurant Workers Reveal Their Personal Food Hacks and Tips

Kitchen-Hacks-Tray

What separates an idiot from a cook? Timing. Are you about to cut those ghost peppers without slathering olive oil on your hands? Oh dear. Found on AskReddit, the following question was posed to the professionals — chefs, sous chefs, line cooks: What tricks and conventions do you use everyday that amateur home cooks can benefit from?

The answers came readily. Longtime Reddit users, who had never posted before, felt compelled to share their bits of knowledge from the kitchen. So tune in below for hacks and wisdom from the professionals

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Freeze Tomato Juice into Savory Ice Cubes

If you’re cutting a lot of tomatoes, use a cutting board with a trough. Collect the juice that weeps out and pour into an ice cube tray. Freeze ’em for when you need them to add some tomato flavor sauces, soups, etc. This works for pretty much any fruits and vegetables that weep when cutting. You paid for that juice, so you might as well use it, and its usually highly flavorful.

 

Sprinkle Chopped Garlic with Salt

When chopping garlic, dice it up really finely with your knife, then sprinkle some salt on it and use the flat of your knife to grind the salt into the garlic. This helps to further mince the garlic, as well as to season it and bring out the flavour more. Remember this means you need less salt in your dish.

 

How to Slice an Onion Without Cutting Your Fingers Off

There is a far easier (safer?) way to dice onion. Start by cutting the onion in half, from root to top. The then cut 1/2 inch off the top, and peel. Then, instead of cutting horizontally through the onion as you did in step two, cut vertically. Position your knife near one edge, and plunge the tip into the onion near the roots (but don’t cut through them), and cut all the way through to the top. Continue across the onion until you reach the other side. Then rotate 90 degrees, and cut vertically across your onion from top to root. No precarious knife skills needed, and a fast dice every time. I would do a handy graphic, but I’m on redistributed mobile.

 

How to Make Epic Mashed Potatoes

Next time you want to make mashed potatoes bake WHOLE potatoes on a bed of salt on a baking sheet.

Poke a few holes and cook until you can easily pierce them with a knife. Peel them (it should be very easy) and SAVE THE SKINS.

In a pot, fry the skins in some butter for about 2 minutes over medium heat. Add about 1/2 cup of milk and let it get warm with the potato skins still in it.

Strain the milk through a strainer, add it to your cooked potatoes, add salt and paper and whip to your preferred consistency.

It’s a little more work than normal but I promise it will be the best potatoes you’ve ever had. Also, you can save the salt for future uses – no need to throw it out.

bacon-bake

Picthx Paleo Spirit

NEVER Fry Bacon

Never fry bacon, bake it in the oven on a baking pan. Less splatter, less raw ends and crumbly middles, less work.

edit: about 400-420 degrees F works best.

 

Coat Your Hands in Olive Oil Before Touching Habenero

When handling habanero or other extremely hot peppers, I coat my hands in a teaspoon of olive oil before finely dicing the peppers. Get the oil thoroughly under and around fingernails. After handing natures napalm with oily hands I find that the hot stuff washes off far more easily with some dish detergent.

 

Pineapple + Soy Milk = Pineapple Soy Cream

Organic chemistry will blow your mind.

Put pineapple chunks in soy milk. Wait for a couple of hours. The proteins in the soy milk will solidify: you now have delicious pineapple flavored soy cream.

 

“Respect the Alliums”

Culinary School Grad/Line Cook(Kitchen Supervisor) here.

First and foremost would be having a good handle on how to care and use a french knife properly. My biggest complaint when it comes to home cooking is most people have no respect for the most valuable tool in our arsenal.

Having a basic understand of flavor composition is also very handy. Do yourself a favor and find a website or book ( In my case, Culinary Artistry by Andrew Dorenburg and Karen Page). Having the understanding of what flavors work and what drinks pair well with foods is a godsend if you’re looking to impress. It helps me immensely when looking to whip up something new or when I’m sorting through leftovers to make a soup.

Respect the Alliums. That’s your garlic, onion, and leeks. There is a reason that they are the basis for so many cultural foods, THEY’RE FANTASTIC. Nuff Said.

Buy yourself some non-iodized salt and a pepper cracker.

Take special care to prepare your cooking equipment. If it be pregreasing pans or using an onion piquette on a grill. The better you care for equipment, the better it takes care of you.

I know its been said before, but cook with a plan and MISE EN PLACE!

Most importantly, you have to have the ability to have fun and enjoy creating dishes. Don’t be afraid of failure because thats the process of learning to cook. I can’t begin to count the amount of people who are afraid to cook because “They suck”.

cast-iron

Picthx what2cook

Before You Cook Anything, Get a Cast Iron Pan

It’s been touched on but I’ll go into a little more detail.

Buy cast iron, used from an antique store, if possible. Not the expensive enameled stuff but, rather, the old-school raw black stuff. If you can’t get used, the Lodge Logic pieces from Amazon are an amazing value.

With these pans you can use any utensil you want, can go easy on the soapy scrubbing, and your food will turn out great with little effort. If you burn something in them, it’s almost a good thing. They work on the stove; they work in the oven. They are the original non-stick. They’re vastly cheaper than all those shitty aluminum or anodized sets that burn your food.

To cite Bourdain: “… if you have any doubt about which will break first, the pan or your head, then the pan isn’t heavy enough.”

Cast iron. The end.

 

Know the 4 Golden Flavors

Have a very good sense of flavor. This can be classified into: 1. The meaty one – Egg: Meat, fish, mushrooms, daichi, cheese, soya, onion etc. 2. The seasoning – ie, basic tastes – sweet, salt, capsin, sour. 3. The fresh parts – lettuce, cucumber etc. 4. Spices – ginger, garlic, lemongrass, anything else.

A good dish is something that has a balance of these 4 flavors, therefore, when you list down ingredients, try to classify them into these 4 categories. When thinking of a new creative dish, try to think in your head how these classifications could combine.

 

Life-Changer

Surprised this hasn’t been mentioned… Changed my life. HEAT THE PLATES.

Easiest tip you’ll ever get – helps amateurs and pros alike. Helps scrambled eggs and filet alike.

 

Taste Everything, Prepare Everything, Try Everything

Former Executive Chef, Culinary School Grad, Catering Chef and Private Chef here. This is my first reddit post. I have been lurking for a couple of years, but never felt compelled to post anything until now.

1) Always taste. Taste everything, everytime you add any new ingredient. Taste everystep, taste before you serve it. Just taste!

2) Never used canned items, ever. If you can’t get fresh, use frozen. But never use canned items.

3) Learn to use a knife. Ideally, learn to use a French chef’s knife, but if Asian is more your style, just make sure you learn to use it properly. Any chef worthy of the title can do anything that a kitchen gadget can with a knife or whisk.

4) Taste new ingredients. You know that item int he grocery store that you are afraid to try? The one that you know nothing about? Buy it, try it. The only way to learn new ingredients is to use them. Try it raw then try it cooked. Learn the flavor, the texture, etc.

5) For best quality meals, use fresh and local ingredients. The fresher the ingredient, the better the result. You should also try to cook seasonally. I only use tomatoes when they are in season. When you buy ingredients in season, they are cheaper and taste much better.

6) Pick up a good book to teach you techniques, etc. I would recommend On Cooking by Sarah R. Labensky and Alan M. Hause or How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.

7) If you are worried about cooking from scratch, then start from a box, then add something. You’d be surprised at how much a little onion, garlic or herbs will increase the taste of a pre-made dish. Once you get comfortable with adding your own flavours to something, it becomes easier to make something of your very own from scratch.

8) Always write a recipe for something when you try something new. If it turns out great, it’s a good thing to have something to remember how you did it.

9) MISE EN PLACE! The term just means “everything in its place”. This simply means to have all ingredients measured out, all utensils you need, etc. Basically, everything you need to complete the recipe, dinner, whatever. Get it ready before you begin to cook. More often than not, a dish is burned because somebody didn’t have everything ready before they started cooking.

10) Experiment. If you don’t know how to cook something, try it. Don’t be afraid. We have all made horrible dishes before we learned how to do it right. Want to try a new flavour combination? Do it. You never know what flavours will work out.

11) You should also buy a good knife if you can. It doesn’t have to be expensive (I prefer Kasumi or Shun). Victorinox is a great brand that is very inexpensive. Great quality, keeps a sharp edge and the grips are very good.

 

Two Words: Mayo Crust

Thin shmear of mayo on a steak + hot pan = rare steak with crust.

 

Recycle Leftovers

Don’t let anything go to waste. Carrot tops, onion stem ends, and other vegetal “garbage” can be accumulated in a Ziploc bag in the freezer to be used in stocks. Likewise, chicken bones can be collected from plates after meals for the same purpose.

Homemade stock is not only infinitely cheaper than store-bought. It adds a depth of flavour to soups, stews and sauces that you just can’t buy. The secret ingredient really is love.

 

$3 TONGS FTW

Former sous, can’t stress this enough, for the love of God, don’t buy anything for your kitchen at a box store, go to a restaurant supply store. It’s less expensive and made to last a long number of 12 hour days in tough conditions it can surely handle your dozen uses a week. Decent saute pan will run you $20 and by all means get multiple pairs of these, they are like $3 a piece

 

Buy a Good Knife

Learn to use a knife properly. Go out and spend 50 bucks on a strong french knife, watch videos on how to cut properly. You’ll save a ton of time on making food and it will seem like less of a chore because the prepping part isn’t a huge hassle. Once yuo get the hang of it you’ll be watching tv while you chop your food up.

 

What Separates an Idiot from a Cook

Former Italian caterer here. For parties, or even a normal dinner for two, the most important thing to know isn’t a recipe. You can look up a recipe. Any idiot can follow directions, but a real cook knows how to time things correctly.

Practice cooking and time management. Know how long it takes to cook a chicken. Know how long it takes to steam vegetables. That way, when your chicken comes out, you’re not waiting another half hour for rice to be done, or having it dry out in a steam table or something.

Similarly, clean as you go. I can’t stress this enough. When I see people staring at the pot of boiling pasta while the dishes pile up, I don’t understand what they’re doing. If you have downtime that isn’t necessary, start cleaning! Then it won’t seem so bad when you’re done.

 

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Watch a Guy Peel a Tub of Potatoes in Under 60 Seconds

Potatoes

Raise your hand if you hate peeling potatoes. It makes cooking up fresh mashed potatoes in a jiffy basically impossible. Amiright? But thanks to Leo Morten Lund and his handy Facebook video demonstration, it’s now possible to peel a bunch of these suckers in under a minute.

All you need is a large bucket, a motorized scrubbing device that looks like a toilet brush (totally clean, of course), a hose and potatoes. Place the pre-peeled potatoes in the bucket, and while you start covering them with water, get the scrubby device spinning among the tubers. Eventually, the whole thing will start a mini whirl pool, and the bristles peel the skin right off! WHAT!

Check out this magical hack below: