4 Popular Cooking Tips I Refuse to Follow
Spoiler alert: Not everything you read on the Internet is true.
I hope the second half of this sentence does not come as a shock to you, but you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Especially if it feels like a direct contradiction to you living your truth. There are a number of borderline cliche tidbits of Internet wisdom regarding how to live a better food life—filled with more joy, more efficiency, and more satisfaction—that I find to be downright crummy advice. That’s not to say the same advice nuggets I find to be crummy for my life won’t be legitimately helpful for yours. No, not every popular assertion on “smart” home cooking that one would commonly find on food blogs and other culinary content outlets (#TryMyRecipes) is irrelevant or inherently useless, but the ubiquity of many of these “hacks” and “pro-tips” is starting to make them feel more like gospel truth than friendly recommendations. All of that is simply to say—it’s A-OK to question, and even reject, widely accepted cooking advice if it doesn’t seem to work for you. Just remember, as well as Google may think it know you, at the end of the day, you know you and how you do best.
If you come across a suggestion for how to save time or calories or whatever else you might want to save in the kitchen, and it immediately strikes your culinary sensibilities as offensive or hilarious… save yourself some time/disappointment, and don’t force it onto your routine just because a super cutsie lifestyle blogger who snaps idyllic photos swears by it. If you’re on the fence, give the tip/trick a try once—you may be surprised by how well something seemingly doofy turns out to work in your life. Here are 4 commonly held truths of the Internet that I wish I’d never bothered with or stopped bothering with after one try (sometimes, I’m a slow learner). Snaps for you if these tips are mainstays in your arsenal of kitchen wisdom, however, I will never waste another second trying to make the following work for me:
Roasting a Big Batch of Veggies
Unpopular opinion: I hate this favorite meal prep/batch cooking strategy. I 100% get the thought behind it—roast a sheet panful of your favorite vegetables at the beginning of the week, then have them to eat off of (as is, mixed into salads, etc.) over the coming days. But here’s my thing: Roasted veggies are wonderful (so swoon-worthily crisped around the edges and caramelized!) the night you make them; they are not that at all after a night in the refrigerator. They’re actually rather not wonderful, and limp, and sadly soggy or dry (depending on the veggie). Look, if I have leftovers from the night before, of course I’m going to eat them, but intentionally ensuring that I have enough leftovers to last throughout the week has proven to be a not-so-good idea for me. I sincerely do not enjoy recycled/reheated roasted vegetables, and I’m probably not going to make great use of them.
However, after rejecting this conventional wisdom, I’ve adopted a different take on making sure there are ready-to-eat vegetables in my fridge/life. On Sunday, I take a little time to go ahead and chop up fresh veggies for easy snacking and salad making. I’ll cut veggies like cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, radishes, etc. into a couple of different shapes—sticks and thicker pieces specifically for snacking purposes, and then generally thinner/smaller pieces for throwing together salads—and stash them in separate containers. If I’m feeling wild, I’ll go ahead and whip up some hummus and an easy vinaigrette while I’m at it. This makes getting fresh vegetables into my daily meals exponentially easier during the week.
Know what happens when I throw ripening bananas into the freezer for later use? I end up with a freezer full of bananas. And that’s about it. I don’t use them to make "nice cream;" I just reach right past them for the pint of Talenti Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup I actually want to eat.
Watch: How to Make 3 Nice Creams
Replacing Sour Cream with Yogurt
There was a chapter of my life during which I did this, and tried really hard to convince myself I liked it. But I don’t. Sour cream is amazing. Yogurt is amazing in its own right, but not on top of bowl of chili. I fully understand that it’s a viable sub if you’re in a pinch or trying to cut down on fat, but to say “it’s just as good,” well, I heartily disagree. Sorry, but Greek yogurt isn’t comparable sour cream’s rich, silky goodness. It’s just not.
Plus, at this point, I’m one of those monsters that knows better, but still opts for sweetened, flavored yogurt anyway. (There’s a large tub of honey-blueberry in my fridge as we speak.) I do this simply because it’s what I like for breakfast… and the only reason I regularly buy yogurt is the fact that I eat it just about every single morning for breakfast. I wake up and I want my sweet-a$$ yogurt with fruit on it, end of story. I’m not going to buy a separate tub of plain yogurt just in case I need it as a not-as-good substitute for sour cream. I’d rather just pick up a small container of sour cream on the way home if I’m trying to have tacos or something.
Freezing Leftover Wine in Ice Cube Trays
While I do enjoy the idea of having little frozen wine blocks to toss into the pan when making a sauce or stew, unfortunately, I don’t know what leftover wine is.