Person squeezing olive oil into wok filled with shallots

May Cooking Hacks

illustrated fork holding piece of lettuce

As a team, we cook and eat A LOT and we love to talk about food. Here is this month's edition of the things and hacks we're loving.

May Cooking Tips and Hacks

Andrew, co-founder and CEO:
Heat up your pan before you add your Graza!!

Grace, brand marketing:
Dim your lights, turn on a playlist (not a podcast! Too distracting if you're following a new recipe) and hide your countertop clutter from yourself. This keeps cooking as breezy, fun, and messy as I want it to be.
* Studies show visual clutter subtly distracts us and can reduce enthusiasm - I am living proof! I move things on my counters to my dining room table temporarily.

Get big-ass stainless steel mixing bowls - I mean huge. Set them out when you're making big meals or will be doing lots of chopping, peeling. One will be your trash bowl. One will be your compost bowl. This saves you from running back and forth to the trash can or compost bin - and makes clean-up way easier. Stainless steel bowls are lightweight, too - I dislike nothing more than using pots and pans I know will be cumbersome to clean up later.
* I'm all about cleaning as I go, and reducing work for my future self. Once I'm enjoying a meal, the last thing I want to do is think about the clean-up.
* I use 8 quarts, but if storage space is tight, or you want something smaller, 5 quarts is roomy enough. I bought mine off Amazon nine years ago. I expect I'll have them for decades.

Decide to stop doing the part of the cooking you dislike. For me, that's cooking chicken breast. I burn it and overcook it, no matter what. And I have tried everything. I finally decided that I'd rather have juicy chicken that isn't perfectly browned, than crispy perfect breasts. So now, I toss a bunch onto a sheet of foil covered in oil and pop them into the oven together. I save myself the painful occasional grease splatter, the risk of undercooking, and if I really want, I can crank up the broiler at the end to finish them off.
* That sheet of foil is super important if you, like me, hate clean up. I am a Nordicware loyalist - you can buy them here.

Kendall, head of social:
SPORKS. They make life so much easier. You can taste your sauce and make sure your pasta is good to go with one utensil. Plus, they are super cute. We are normalizing them again.
Find Kendall’s favorite spork combo here.

Allen, co-founder and COO:
The only thing I've "cooked" recently are turkey sandwiches (ed: Allen has a one month old baby), but a couple of damn good hacks for it:

Keep your sliced bread in the freezer: stays out of the way, stays fresh, and toasts just as quickly.

Pesto Mayo: just mix some pesto and some mayo.

I know this is now a tiktok trend, but I've been doing this forever: toss your sandwich lettuce with mayo/mustard/oil/vinegar/salt/pepper etc.. in a bowl like a salad BEFORE putting on your sandwich. Game changer.  

Jasmine, marketing coordinator:
Put your sticky condiments like honey in a squeeze bottle! My life is miles better since transferring my honey and never having to deal with the sticky tops and spooning out honey. Better yet, reuse a Graza bottle ;)

I read somewhere recently that spaghetti carbonara is basically an Italian BEC and I am deeply embodying it as a breakfast food. Breakfast foods are foods that make you happy in the morning, live your life to the fullest.

USE A SCALE TO MEASURE FOR BAKING. Less dishes = more happy.

Header photo by Lili Davis.