Triptik's Profile

Display Name: Triptik
Member Since: 1/8/14

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It might help to find a bin that fits your space and uses up most of the depth of the fridge, then use it as if it were a drawer - pull it out to quickly see/access the stuff at the back.

Tips for Food-Loving Roommates Sharing Kitchen Space? Good Questions
7/23/14 09:44 AM

If you prefer plastic but want cheap, there are freezer 'Reditainer' deli containers that work great, in 8, 16, and 32-ounce sizes. The 16-ounce size runs about $15 for 36 containers on Amazon. Not as cute, but a heck of a lot easier to give away ;)

3 Reusable Storage Containers for Your Homemade Ice Cream Product Roundup
7/10/14 01:40 PM

Cooking pasta in a frying pan while the sauce is cooking in the big pot.

What Was Your Game-Changer of a Cooking Discovery? Reader Intelligence Request
6/23/14 02:32 PM

Mmm. I love quesadillas. Tortillas freeze beautifully, too. I thaw them on a warm skillet while I prep the filling. You can put almost anything in quesadillas, too, so long as it tastes good with cheese ;)

For me, the key to good late-week meals is to prepare parts of the meal ahead of time, especially on weekends when I have more energy for it.

Tacos are another great mid-week, easy meal. I make a big batch of seasoned meat all at one time, then freeze it in single-serving packets. At dinner time, thaw and heat the meat in the microwave, warm the tortillas in the skillet, chop up a roma tomato and some lettuce, and throw it all together with some shredded cheese. Dinner in about 10 minutes.

Stir fries can be really fast if you have pre-chopped ingredients. I tend to stick to stuff that stores fairly well once it's chopped up - bell peppers, carrots, chicken, etc - and things that I can get pre-chopped/frozen, like broccoli, corn, etc. Then dinner is a matter of heating up a pan and adding things in the right order so everything gets cooked through.

Noodles and thin pastas (spaghetti, linguine, etc) cook pretty fast, too, if you have a sauce pre-made. Tomato-based sauces (like bolognese and its ilk) made with dried herbs often improve by sitting in the fridge for a few days, so they're great for mid-week meals.

What Are Some Quick and Easy Weeknight Meals? Good Questions
6/16/14 04:26 PM

My secret to surviving repeated moves: plastic shoe boxes.

I started using those plastic shoe boxes, the kind with lids, to organize pretty much everything in the house. Stick a label on the end, and line them up on shelves. Then, when it's time to move, that whole closet is packed up by simply stacking my little plastic boxes in a big paper box and taping it shut. Unpacking on the other end was a matter of cutting open the big box and lining the little boxes up on the shelf.

For example, I might have a cup of pens on the desk, but extra pens, pencils, erasers, and other odds and ends were in a box in the closet labeled "Office Supplies", along with extra rolls of tape, boxes of staples, etc.

I had a box that was just batteries (sorted into smaller plastic jars according to size), a box that was just audio-video cables (each cable in its own zip-top sandwich bag to prevent tangling) and a box that was all the CDs of software I'd collected over the years. I even got to where I'd created kit boxes - a kit for fixing clothes, a kit for repairing jewelery.

And on and on and on. It was like having a filing system for all my stuff.

Smart Tips for People Who Move Frequently
6/12/14 05:05 PM

I love frozen garlic. I haven't seen this stuff in the stores, so I make my own using a small food processor and a stack of ice cube trays.

Why You Should Buy Frozen Garlic
5/23/14 12:08 PM

All those custom containers are sure pretty, but the idea of refilling the containers every time I ran out of something is just... yeah, not going to happen.

I set aside a shallow drawer for spices: drop in a piece of non-skid liner and just line up the bottles the spices came in. Easy, and keeps them dark and cool.

Organizing Your Spices: 20 Spice Storage Setups and Solutions Tips & Reader Projects from The Kitchn
5/21/14 09:54 AM

Growing up, we always soaked ham in 7-up or Sprite to pull out some of the salt and to sweeten the ham before cooking.

What Can I Do With Leftover Soda (Besides Drink It)? Good Questions
5/13/14 09:50 PM

I actually do use a glass vase. It's not quite as tall as the one in the picture, but it does come within three or four inches of the top of the utensils. I just use it for stove-top utensils - so, not whisks and such, just spoons and spatulas.

I'm a little gentle dropping utensils into it, just so I don't crack it, but I've been using it for a year and a half and it looks fine. I don't cook with much grease or oil, and it's well out of my workspace for cutting and mixing and other prep tasks, so it just gets dusty. A quick rinse solves that.

Would You Use a Glass Vase to Hold Kitchen Tools? Kitchen Organization
4/16/14 03:48 PM

I used large mason jars for a while, but found them really awkward. Even the wide-mouth jars have mouths that are really too small for making good use of scoops. And I always got to look forward to using a canning funnel to divide a new bag of flour between jars - oh, what fun!

I was soooo happy when I was able to go back to my old Tupperware boxes.

If you're determined to stay away from plastic, I'd look for square or rectangular bins rather than jars or canisters.

Affordable, Non-Plastic Containers for Storing Flour & Sugar? Good Questions
4/15/14 04:37 PM

Things like cheese and crackers travel well. Hard cheeses (like cheddar) can go without refrigeration for quite a while; they get soft and a bit oily rather than spoiling. Same with hard-boiled eggs and salami. A small cooler helps keep the cheese at my preferred texture; I just wouldn't freak out about the precise temperature.

A lot of whole fruits are fine at room temp for days. Apples, cherries, that kind of thing. Also carrots. Plus, it's obvious when they're not good any more, so you're unlikely to make yourself sick unwittingly.

I love using cereal as travel food, especially home-made clumpy granola or those Frosted Mini Wheats. And baked goods in general - breads, cookies, muffins.

Typically, I'll stop for one good meal a day (usually supper, when I'm off the road for the day and don't feel hurried) and use my travel food for the rest, just kind of grazing on whatever sounds good.

What Are Some Easy, Healthy Meals I Can Make and Eat on a Road Trip? Good Questions
4/11/14 11:19 AM

Wow. Y'all have a lot of pots ;) I have three: large sauce pot, small sauce pot, and fryer (my most-used pan, which I turn to for everything from pan-frying chicken to grilling sandwiches to boiling pasta). But then, I'm cooking for just a couple of people, not a tribe ;oP

Seriously, some of the best advice I've heard is to buy pots one at a time, as you find you need them. Look at the way *you* cook, and get the right tools for *you*.

I'm Buying New Pots & Pans. Which Material Is Best? Good Questions
4/11/14 10:32 AM

I find cast iron to be too heavy to cook with comfortably, and the seasoning process is a PIA.

I've used both aluminum and stainless pans without any trouble - just stay away from the cheap stuff. Even Target-grade pans work fine, though, if you get one with a nice thick bottom. Some have copper cores which supposedly helps them heat evenly.

I love a non-stick surface for my skillet, but chose plain stainless for the rest of my pots after stirring the non-stick finish off the bottom of my (quite cheap) starter set that I got in college.

I'm Buying New Pots & Pans. Which Material Is Best? Good Questions
4/10/14 02:22 PM

Oatmeal chocolate cake!

What Can I Make with Steel-Cut Oats Other Than Oatmeal? Good Questions
3/25/14 09:11 AM

What's worked for me for years is to pack a sweet little something in my lunch, just one serving, so I can't over-indulge. One cookie, or a mini-muffin, or a small handful of m&ms, or a three-bite brownie, or a Reeses cup. Just enough to be a treat.

I also find that a glass of Sprite Zero with just a splash of good orange juice (Simply Orange with Tangerine is my fave) can take care of some of my sugar cravings without adding many calories.

Cure My Cooking Problem! I Really Want Something Sweet After Lunch The Cooking Cure Spring 2014
3/14/14 09:53 AM

I love Frosted Mini Wheats as a snack.

My other favorite is Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. Yum!

What's Your Favorite Breakfast Cereal? (And I Don't Mean Oatmeal.)
3/5/14 11:04 AM

That Bill Cosby bit was great ;)

My mother figured that chocolate cake couldn't be any worse for us than some of the breakfast cereals out there (Cinnamon Toast Crunch? come on!). Cake, pies, muffins, pancakes, and donuts all fell into the same category of "occasional breakfast treats but don't you dare expect to eat this every day".

Why Doughnuts Are the Sneakiest Breakfast Item of All Time
3/4/14 01:52 PM

We use a very small bit of cheese - cheddar or whatever is on hand. Press the pill into it and use heat and pressure from your hands to soften the cheese and mold it around the pill. Mine swallow it in one go, without hesitation.

I've also been known to grind pills up and mix them with a small portion of "special" food - usually canned, but sometimes leftovers out of the fridge. Depending on the medication, this may or may not be a good idea - some rely on coatings and such to delay the release of the active ingredients or to protect it until it gets far enough into the digestive tract to be absorbed properly.

Grain-Free, Allergy Sensitive Pill Pocket Recipe for My Cat? Good Questions
2/27/14 04:09 PM

Wow, I learned to make that green stuff ("Watergate Salad") from my grandmother, and never knew it had a proper name ;) It made regular appearances on holiday tables throughout my childhood.

10 Recipes That Defined the 1970s Recipes of the Decade
2/25/14 10:50 AM

I have had to clean things out of the sprayer arms. I once found a bit of plastic string (like from clothing tags) stuck in the sprayer arm. No wonder it wasn't cleaning!

I found that dishes came out noticeably cleaner if I cut the amount of soap in half (soap film was making everything kind of foggy). Switching brands helped, too.

But the biggest improvement came when I quit trying to use the so-called "Smart Wash" feature and just started running everything as pots and pans.

10 Tips to Help the Dishwasher Run Better Cleaning Tips from The Kitchn
2/24/14 02:33 PM