I've been a chef for a long time. I've tested thousands of recipes and prepared thousands more. Cooking demonstrations and recipe development are some of my absolute favorite activities, and of course I've picked up my share of lessons along the way.
So why haven't I shared my favorite strategies with you yet?
I can't believe I hadn't thought of this sooner.
Today I want to start a new series: Kitchen Hacks. In this series, I'll share the tips and tricks I've learned while spending years in kitchens all across the United States. These will be fun tidbits for cooking demonstrations, recipe inspiration, email blasts, handouts, presentations, activities -- however you'd like to use them! They may even come in handy in your own kitchen.
Kitchen Hack: Bake Your Lemons
Lemons baked in the oven with your meal will yield a lot more flavor and juice than regular lemons. Give them a squeeze after baking and I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised! Generally, roasted lemons give about double the juice as hand-squeezed raw lemons. Baking also gives the lemons a new depth of flavor that goes especially well with chicken or fish dishes. Roasted lemons can even help elevate the flavors of pasta with vegetables and tossed salads. What can I say? The juice from these lemons makes a tasty one-ingredient sauce!
To make baked lemons at home, toss a lemon or two in an oven-safe dish and bake for 10-30 minutes (depending on oven temperature) along with whatever else you are baking for dinner. When the lemon is soft and golden in places, take it out, slice it in have, and squeeze the juice over your food.
Kitchen Hack: Use Silicone Oven Mitts
I've been burned more times than I care to count. It turns out that not all oven mitts are created equal. Since they're so important to kitchen safety -- and actually enjoying your time spent cooking -- I've invested a lot of effort in researching and testing various kinds of oven mitts. After exhaustive testing, a clear winner emerged: silicone oven mitts.
Silicone oven mitts are easy to keep clean and are wildly effective at burn prevention. The ones I use now are even non-slip! I pinned them to my kitchen equipment board and you can see the link here!
And no, those links aren't sponsored at all -- my boards are just a collection of things that I personally love.
For a fun way to put these kitchen hacks to good use, don't miss the Lemon Salmon Dinner I've uploaded for this post. This dinner features a squeeze of baked lemon, and the oven mitts will make it easier to prepare and present the dish!
For additional kitchen hacks, be sure to visit the member-exclusive post Kitchen Hacks: Bean Edition. It's got great tips and more printable nutrition education materials!
And finally, here are some of the most popular resources from the Nutrition Education Store!
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.