If there’s one thing I’ve learned from cooking, it’s that even the best of chefs take shortcuts. Whether it’s a faster way of preparing a meal or an alternative step, here are seven ways to make your life in the kitchen easier.

  • Water Droplet in a Pan
    New to cooking? You need to try this. Instead of placing your food on a cold pan and having it cook unevenly, place a drop of water on your pan and if the drop of water forms two beads, you’re ready to go!
  • Prep, Marinate & Freeze
    If you are someone who likes to meal prep or is short on time when it comes to dinner, try marinating your meats the night before and freezing them. This does all the preparation for you ahead of time, and when you are ready to cook your meat, defrost and you are set!
  • Freeze your bananas
    Do not let your ripe bananas go to waste! My favorite thing to do with my bananas is chop them and freeze them for later use. Whether it be a smoothie or banana bread there are endless uses for your ripe bananas that exclude the trash can.
  • Melon Baller Seed Removal
    Squash season is never ending and so are the loose seeds all over my kitchen. By purchasing a melon baller, you can easily remove seeds from any food item while saving yourself from making a huge mess.
  • Coffee Ice cubes
    For all my slow iced coffee drinkers, you need this one. If you hate watery coffee you should start freezing coffee into ice cubes. This way your coffee stays cold, and never loses its powerful, delicious flavor. You can also create milk ice cubes if you want to balance out the flavor once things start to melt.
  • Dental floss in the kitchen
    You absolutely must keep some unwaxed unflavored dental floss in the kitchen. It comes in handy for cutting things like cakes and cheeses even better than a knife does. Plus, you can scrape stuff off your countertops with it and even use it to truss a chicken. Try it. You will thank me later
  • The pancake bag
    Never ever ever mix pancake batter in anything but a plastic bag!. Preferably a Ziploc. Anybody who’s ever made pancakes knows the mess it can cause when trying to transfer batter from one receptacle onto a griddle or a pan using a spoon. How about mixing up all your batter ingredients in a Ziploc bag, zipping it closed and, pastry-chef style, cut a hole in the corner of the bag and squeeze the batter out directly into the pan. Literally no muss, no fuss.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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