Thought Leader Series: 12 Kitchen Hacks to Use to Be a Pro in the Kitchen

Lorena Brockman is a blogger for JennsBlahBlahBlog.com and has notable know-how in blogging, food, cooking, and has been deemed "Greatest Auntie Ever" by many. To learn more about Lorena, visit her company's blog at JennsBlahBlahBlog.com. Keeping tomatoes fresh by...

Kitchen hacks

Lorena Brockman is a blogger for JennsBlahBlahBlog.com and has notable know-how in blogging, food, cooking, and has been deemed "Greatest Auntie Ever" by many. To learn more about Lorena, visit her company's blog at JennsBlahBlahBlog.com.

Keeping tomatoes fresh by storing them with the vine down is only one tip your grandma may have taught you in the kitchen. Over time, cooks, bakers, and "sauteers" have come up with numerous ways to make working in the kitchen easier.

Here are 11 kitchen hacks that will help make you a pro in your kitchen.

Let's Talk Potatoes

1. When storing potatoes, toss in an apple to avoid spuds from growing eyes. It will help keep your potatoes fresh longer.

Kitchen hacks

2. After you peel or chop up potatoes, store them in water until ready to use. This will keep them crisp and stop them from turning that gross brown color.

3. When boiling potatoes, pasta - or anything, for that matter - place a wooden spoon over the pot. This will stop the boiling liquid from spilling over and making a huge mess.

Hard-Baked Eggs

4. When you want some hard-boiled eggs, it could be better to bake them. It reduces the sulfur (smell) and the consistency is creamier than boiling.

Keeping Those Bananas Yummy

5. When you buy bananas, don't worry about eating them in the next day or two. If you wrap the tops with plastic wrap, it adds a few days to their ripeness.

6. If your bananas do turn too brown to eat, freeze them. They will come in handy the next time you want to make some banana nut bread or muffins.

Foodie Freezer Tips

7. When you use wine to cook, be it Chablis or chardonnay, pour some in an ice tray and freeze. When your recipe calls for a splash of wine, toss a cube in to cook in.

8. Gather your favorite fresh herbs. Cover them with olive oil in an ice tray and freeze. They are a great way to add flavor to sauces, soups...any dish!

Time for Dessert

9. Keep unflavored dental floss or fishing line available. They come in handy when cutting a cake or pie for the perfect slice.

Dealing with a Messy Microwave

Kitchen hacks
Cleaning up food splatter is a breeze with this hack.

10. With many meals, there are leftovers for consumption later. Heating them in the microwave can cause a mess. To take care of leftover-food splatter, nuke a moist sponge for about 45 to 60 seconds to loosen all the stuck-on food for easy cleaning. (It's a great way to disinfect your sponges afterward, too.)

Hard-to-Open Jars?

11. If you are having a hard time opening a jar, try rubber bands. Wrap a rubber band around the jar until tight and then use the extra grip to pop that top.

The kitchen is the center of the home's action. Dinner, homework, gatherings, and - of course - cooking. When there is so much to do in the kitchen, it's a great advantage if you can find an easier way to do something. Opening jars with rubber bands and slicing cake with dental floss are only a couple of hacks that make life a little easier in the kitchen.

Register with Cilantro and check out all the great cookware, bakeware, knives, and other gadgets that can make your kitchen duties easier, too!