09 January 2015

DIY hacks to eat and drink by

I live in a house where lifehacker.com is often quoted, particularly when I am "doing it wrong".  But I will grudgingly admit that this is a pretty great website, and all of the following FOOD HACKS come from them:

What's the difference between cooking oils, and how should you use them? Click here for a chart.

Become a grill master with this infographic that covers meats, fruits, and veggies.

This brilliant chart offers tons of cooking and baking substitutes for ingredients you don't normally keep around.

"How to create 36 world cuisines with three spices" sounds to good to be true, but I'm going to give this chart a try!

How long should you keep that apple on the counter? This chart gives a pretty believable shelf life for a lot of common foods.

Do you have a close relationship with Chef Mic?  Then perhaps you'll enjoy the multitude of microwave hacks the nerds at lifehacker came up with (what a surprise!).

This chart is a nice primer of cooking methods so that you can follow Top Chef a little better.

Trying to live up to that New Year's resolution of eating more salads, but already bored as hell?  Here's a handy little guide to flavor pairings to switch things up.

DRINKS are pretty simple to begin with, so I'm not sure you can go as far with hackery in this category unless you spend a whole lot more money than I do on your bar, anyway. But here are a couple of tricks I've learned over the years:

Triple sec is the working woman's cointreau and/or simple syrup.  Yes, it will be orangey, but if you can handle that flavor in your drink, you can always sub it in for simple syrup when you're too lazy or impatient to make any (which describes my state of cocktail-making often).

No Rose's Lime for your gimlet?  Triple Sec to the rescue again: use two parts regular lime juice to one part Triple Sec to add up to your desired amount of Rose's.

You can make any flavor of vodka you want, cheaply and much more deliciously, by infusing it yourself.  I wrote about it long ago, but it is still a staple in my kitchen; revisit the recipes here.

You will almost never fail in your cocktail making endeavor if you just remember this simple ratio: 2:1:1
2 oz. of base liquor (tequila, gin, vodka...), 1 oz. triple sec or other sweetening liquor, 1 oz. juice (but make it half an ounce to start with it's lime or lemon). There, no you can improv drinks to your heart's delight!