On this episode of Taylor’s Table we talked about kitchen hacks for cleaning surfaces that need a little more elbow grease. Our recipe of the day is steamed broccoli which may seem boring to some but to me it’s a great addition to ANY meal. If you need to add some cheese, go for it! Or saute some onions and garlic and add it all together.
Trim the Broccoli and Cut It into Florets
Choose a Steaming Method
In a Skillet
This method is fantastic for people who don’t own any specialty equipment.
- Fill your skillet with about 1/2-inch of water and bring the water to a boil. Make sure you don’t use more water, otherwise the broccoli will boil rather than steam, making for soggy results.
- Add your broccoli to the skillet and cover it with a lid.
- Cook until the broccoli reaches your desired level of tenderness, about 3 to 5 minutes. Test out your broccoli with a fork: the tines should just be able to go into the stems of the broccoli, but it shouldn’t be limp or have a brownish hue.
- Drain the broccoli and season with salt and pepper.
In a Steamer Basket
Presenting the most classic way to steam broccoli: in a steamer basket. If you don’t own one, you can use a metal colander instead — as long as it fits inside one of your pans. The step-by-step is below, but if you’d like a complete recipe, check out Food Network’s recipe for Steamed Broccoli.
- Pour about an inch of water into a skillet or wok and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Put the broccoli florets in a steamer basket and season with salt.
- Set the steamer basket over boiling water and cook until the broccoli is crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the florets.
- Remove the steaming basket from the skillet.
In the Microwave
The microwave is a fast, smart way to steam broccoli. The only downside is that you have to open it up frequently.
- Add your freshly washed broccoli florets to a microwave-safe bowl. Don’t dry them off because you’ll want some water clinging onto them. It’ll drip into the bottom of the bowl; if you don’t see any there, add several tablespoons. This water will turn into steam.
- Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe plate.
- Microwave the broccoli on high heat, checking every 30 seconds for doneness. All in all, this should take about 3 minutes, although cook time depends on the size of your florets.
- Remove the broccoli from the bowl and season with salt and pepper.
In the Instant Pot
Surprise, electric pressure cookers can steam gorgeous crisp-tender broccoli in 10 minutes. All you need is a steamer basket insert.
- Place 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot. Add the broccoli to the steamer basket and place that in the pot too.
- Close the lid and select the steam setting for 0 minutes, which means the veggies will be done as soon as the Instant Pot comes to pressure. All in all, it’ll take about 10 minutes for it to pressurize and naturally release.
- Remove the broccoli from the steamer basket insert and season with salt and pepper
Here’s some ways to clean the kitchen without having to wear your arms out!
Rejuvenate old baking sheets using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda
The dynamic duo of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can restore more than just your sinks and tub. It can make even your most battered baking sheets look brand new again. Simply sprinkle your sheet with baking soda followed by a few sprays of hydrogen peroxide, then finish with another layer of baking soda. Come back in a few hours to wipe your restored baking sheets clean.
Clean your oven while you sleep
Forget auto-clean. This high-temp oven setting is known to set off the fire alarm and can leave your kitchen in a smelly funk. Instead, fill up a spray bottle with a homemade solution of 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup white vinegar, and 1/2 cup baking soda. When the oven is cool, remove the grates and coat the inside with the solution, making sure to avoid the heating elements. Close the door and head to bed, letting the solution work its magic for up to 12 hours. When you wake up, clean the oven with soapy water and dry using a plush cloth.
Wash your oven rack
Powder detergent isn’t just for laundry. Bring back the original shine of your oven racks without scrubbing (and potentially scratching!) by soaking it in a bathtub filled with powder washing detergent. Let it sit for at least four hours before removing and rinsing with clean water.
Wipe down your range hood with oil
Your range hood is a grease magnet, and as dust latches on over time, the surface gets harder to clean with ordinary sprays. One of the best kitchen stove cleaning hacks is to use vegetable oil. Just add a few drops to a cloth or paper towel, wipe the surface down, and grime is gone
Cut a Corner Off Your Sponge – You know that sponge you use to clean the dishes with? And the other sponge you use to wipe down the walls? Keep track of which one is which with this smart trick: Just cut off the corner of the sponge you use for the dirty work.
Garbage stinks. It’s a fact of life. But here’s a trick to make it a little less smelly — or rather, smelly in a good way. Take a cotton ball, soak it in essential oil, and drop it in your bin (underneath the liner or the bag). It’s an easy and inexpensive odor-fighter that helps keep your trash from getting too pungent.
This tip was a game-changer for one of our writers. The idea is simple: Set a timer and work until the buzzer goes off. You may finish the dishes early and, at the very least, you’ll know exactly how long you have to subject yourself to some mundane task