Minced Garlic. When I first started cooking, I was afraid of garlic. I don’t know why – I just was. So instead of using garlic, I used garlic powder as a substitute (1/8 tsp. garlic
powder = 1 clove garlic). After I gained more experience, I tried fresh garlic again but it was just too much trouble. Then I discovered (thanks to Melissa Tiepelman!) minced garlic sold in the produce section at the grocery store. The 32 oz. jar is just that – minced garlic. It costs $5 or $6 dollars and lasts about 6 or 7 months at my house. The jar says ½ teaspoon equals one clove of garlic but I always use one teaspoon for one clove. This stuff is a lifesaver! I wouldn’t be without it.
Instant Dry Yeast. Of course, I have yeast at my house all the time because I make a lot of bread but I don’t buy the little packets or the small jars they sell at the grocery store. As much yeast as I use, those are not cost effective. I use yeast purchased at Sam’s Club or Costco. The yeast costs around $6 and contains two packages of one pound each. I open the yeast, pour it in a Tupperware container and store it in the refrigerator. Most recipes call for “one package of yeast” which is 2-1/4 teaspoons (I usually just use one tablespoon).
Wondra Quick-Mixing Flour. This is something new I discovered as a result of watching Alton Brown’s Good Eats show on Food Network. The container of Wondra costs about $2 or $3 and lasts quite a while. If you’ve ever had lumps in your gravy or in your white sauce, this flour will solve that problem. I was skeptical that it would make a difference but it did. Now I keep it in my pantry as a staple.
These are three of my favorite kitchen products. What are some of yours? I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.