These are some of my favorite go-to items for making cooking easier, because not everything that goes on in the kitchen needs to be a long drawn out ordeal.
Store bought, packaged goodness that takes time off the overall cooking experience - not to mention reduces mess. Which, let's face it, is the main reason I love these items. I hate to scrub down my kitchen and anything I can do to reduce the number of things I dirty the better.
First up: Dorot Garlic Cubes:
One cube = one clove garlic crushed. Holla! I have a garlic braid from my other hometown, B'ham - but I don't want to remove a bulb yet (it's just so dang pretty). Not to mention I still haven't found the perfect garlic mincer yet and I have grown VERY tired of crushing and chopping garlic by hand (not to mention the fact that my fingers smelled like garlic FOREVER). I found Dorot at Trader Joe's and almost wept in the freezer isle I was so happy to see a solution to my smelly garlic fingers.
Gourmet Garden Ginger (say that five times fast):
The other day I was bemoaning to Stephanapolis that I have so many recipes that call for ginger but I hated buying hunks of the stuff because I never knew what I was supposed to look for, or how much I needed to buy. Holy, freakishly long sentence, Batman! And then there's the fact that most of the local grocery stores don't carry ginger (it's a specialty item). Frustration abounds. Enter this tube of awesomeness. Life saver. I see many more ginger infused meals in my future.
Words cannot describe the feelings I have for this tube of tomatoey goodness. Double concentrated tomato paste perfect for those recipes that call for a tablespoon or two of paste (really, how irritating are those recipes to make when all you have is a can of paste). Perfect of any occasion - kind of like a LBD only not really, so nevermind.
Do you have any favorite kitchen short-cuts that you use when you cook?