in the kitchen

Kitchen Tips: Hack Alert!

Cooking with cast iron

Grab a mug of something warm – this is a hacks alert! Kitchen tips for saving in the kitchen are my favorite. Follow these 7 tips for quick and easy hacks. They’re good for saving resources, space, and eating healthy at home. These hacks are savers in the kitchen.

7 Tips for Saving in the Kitchen

  1. Add white beans to soup as a thickener – here’s how to use beans as a gluten free soup thickener. This adds protein and fiber as well as creaminess. Make a healthier version of mac and cheese by using white beans to thicken it. Here’s a recipe for mac and cheese.
  2. After roasting vegetables – here’s how to oven roast vegetables to make soup – or making garden fresh gazpacho, add 1 cup of white beans to the processor and pulse until smooth. Either vegetable soup is now a substantial meal.
  3. Use canning/mason glass jars to make and store homemade salad dressing in. After making a paste of garlic and salt – make the paste in a mortar and pestle  –  add olive oil and vinegar – and any other ingredients – and shake. It’s easy to pour and easy to store in the refrigerator.
  4. Keep vegetable scraps – onion skins, carrot tops/bottoms, celery tops/bottoms, herb stalks – in a plastic bag in the freezer and make veggie broth out of what would have gone into the compost. After oven roasting a chicken – here’s how to oven roast a chicken – stash chicken bones into the freezer bag and make ‘bone broth’ the same way. Here’s how to make chicken broth/stock.
  5. Make a vow to never blanch again! Tomato skins, peach skins – once they’re roasted or in a pie – they’re soft and tasty. Skip the extra step and save time. Here’s how to oven roast tomatoes.
  6. Store cast iron in the oven. After cooking with cast iron and cleaning it, give it a wipe with oil and store it in the oven. Next time the oven gets turned on, the cast iron gets a mini-seasoning session. Here’s how to season cast iron.
  7. After cooking bacon, save the grease in a small cup and keep it in your freezer. The next time you’re cooking and a recipe calls for pork or meat, skip it. Instead, add 1 Tablespoon of the saved bacon grease to a pan and cook something – onions, vegetables, or garlic. Your home will smell delicious and your family will think they’re eating meat but they’re not! Flavoring with bacon instead of eating it – is a great trick.

How to oven roast tomatoes

When I can save in the kitchen – time, resources, recipe steps – I do it! This keeps me cooking and keeps things simple. Using resources wisely is less wasteful and saves money. Wins all around!

What would you add to this list of kitchen hacks? What’s your favorite “saver” when cooking?

Go Gingham related links:

Reusing glass jars and how to get them ready for re-use
Fruit flies be gone – with lids from glass jars
How to organize those recipes and cookbooks – but no burning books!
Organizing recipes and set-up binders for the collection – you’ll be so glad once you do


14 thoughts on “Kitchen Tips: Hack Alert!

  1. I really don’t have any hacks to add because I’m not skilled/experienced in the kitchen–which is why I so appreciate this post. Pinning for future reference. Love having all of these tips in one place.


  2. Pour leftover coffee into ice cube trays, freeze, then store in a jar in the freezer. Use in iced coffee to avoid watered-down drinks.


    1. Heidi, I love this idea! We have ice cube trays and use them for making ice but I like the idea of using them for other foods as well. I often hear people say they freeze pesto in ice cube trays but that would never be enough pesto for us!
      Thanks, Heidi!!


  3. I like your idea for storing cast iron in the oven. I’d never have thought of that.

    I also save the wrappings from butter in a baggie in the fridge – when I need to grease a pan for baking, I take one out and use it on the pan. The butter that sticks to the wrapper works nicely. No waste!


    1. Heidi ~ Brilliant with the butter wrappers. I’m going to do that. Honestly, those have been licked around here before they get tossed but saving them and using them on a pan is much more civilized! 🙂
      Thanks, Heidi.


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