1. Shred chicken using your Kitchen-Aid stand-up mixer or a hand held mixer. For years I shredded chicken using two forks. I hated doing it and it hurt my hands. One day I ran across the idea of shredding chicken with my Kitchen-Aid. I didn’t believe there was any way it would work but I tried it, just for kicks. Not only did it work, it worked GREAT! There was singing and dancing in my kitchen and since then I’ve been trying to spread the word. So toss your forks and use your mixer!!!
And in case you were wondering, you can use a food processor but it doesn’t work as well and you have to be really careful or you’ll end up with a chicken spread!
2. Keep a grocery list on the refrigerator and immediately write down anything you need to buy at the store. I’m really good about writing things on my list as soon as I notice they’re low. I don’t like to run out of things. So if it’s an item I buy a lot, I write it down as soon as soon as I open a new container. If it’s one I don’t buy as much, I write it down when it’s at the halfway point.
3. Wear an apron. It’s a pain until you get used to it, but then it’s second nature. Just like wearing a seatbelt when you drive becomes a habit, wearing an apron will, too. Before I started wearing an apron every time I cooked, I ruined my clothes or went out in public with food on my clothes (usually flour or chocolate). Now I wear my apron 99% of the time and rarely ruin any clothes or go out in public wearing food!
4. Clean as you go. I make big messes when I cook – usually because I’m cooking three or four things at a time. The only time I don’t clean as I go is if the cooking process is too fast. Cleaning as you go is an especially important strategy if you have a small kitchen, minimal counter space or few pans and utensils.
5. Don’t be afraid to try new things. I’m notorious for trying new recipes and techniques. It’s fun. Sometimes I discover something amazing and it becomes a family favorite. Sometimes I make something once and don’t need to make it again – I just wanted to try it. And other times my efforts flop. Sometimes it’s my fault and sometimes it’s just not a great recipe. But don’t be afraid to try new things – just not when you’re stressed or having company!
Those are my top kitchen tips. What are yours?