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75 Quick & Easy Secrets from the Test Kitchen

Annoying Tasks Made Easy

Pit olives: Roll olives between a cloth under the palm of your hand; this will loosen the pit, and you will be able to pop it right out.

Prep gingerroot: Scrape thin skin off with the side of a spoon before grating, slicing, or chopping.

Peel roasted beets: Pull on clean rubber kitchen gloves; as you peel, beet skins will stick to gloves, leaving hands stain free.

Pry out pits: Use the tip of a vegetable peeler to remove cherry pits

Clean sandy greens: Fill a large bowl or the sink with water, then swish greens around with your hands. The grit should sink to the bottom; lift greens out of bowl.

Peel hard-cooked eggs: Add a little oil to the water when cooking so shells slip off.

Grill onions: Cut into 1/2-inch slices; stick several toothpicks through to keep them intact.

Peel tomatoes: Make an X in the bottom, place in boiling water for 1 minute, then remove to ice water; skins will slip off.

Prep grill: Before heating, coat rack with spray to keep food from sticking.

Soften butter: Instead of waiting for butter to soften at room temperature, microwave on a plate for 15 to 30 seconds.

Clean leeks: Cut off root end, slice in half lengthwise. Place under cool running water to rinse out any sand.

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