How To Clean A Foreman Grill: The Easiest Tip You’ll Find!

Last night, I posted this picture on Instagram with the caption: Kids have an engineering class after school, soccer practice, homework….LOVE my Foreman Grill on busy week nights! 

If you have a Foreman Grill, you know how hard they can be to clean. This tip is the easiest one you'll find -- and it works every time!

I love that you can grill everything at once and that I can even grill different things for my picky eaters. A friend of mine replied: I have a love/hate relationship with that thing… I HATE CLEANING IT!!!!

Well Alexi and to everybody else who hates cleaning their Foreman Grill, I’m about to change the way you feel about it!

Now you may be thinking “Hey! You have the 5 Serving Foreman Grill that has the removable plates!” I do. I can unclip them and pop them in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. But I didn’t always have this one – I used to have the Classic Foreman Grill on which the plates don’t come off. It really was a bitch to clean. I’ll tell you something, I like the Classic grill better. It seems to get hotter and cook foods better. The drawback is that it’s smaller. If I had to chose again though, I’d pick the Classic.

If you have a Foreman Grill, you know how hard they can be to clean. This tip is the easiest one you'll find -- and it works every time!

How To Clean A Foreman Grill: The Best Tip EVER!

This tip is a game changer.

1. Once you’re done cooking, unplug the grill.
2. Get 3-4 paper towels wet with hot water. Wring them out.
3. Lay the paper towels out flat on top of the bottom grill plates.
4. Close the lid for a half an hour or so. Or if you are lazy (ahem, I mean busy) you can leave them overnight. That’s my style.
5. Open the lid, use the paper towels to wipe off the gooey mess. Done! Okay, not completely done. You still have to wash them so they’re clean and ready to use again, but there will be no scrubbing or mess!

See how easy that was? That’s the way I used to do it on my old grill, and I did it last night to show you all how great the tip works.

Another tip I found for cleaning a Foreman Grill is to cover the grill plates with aluminum foil before you use them. There’s pictures to show that it works, although the blogger mentions that you won’t get any grill marks when you do it this way.

I love kitchen tips! These are some of my favorite kitchen tips and tricks. Don’t miss my tips on how to keep berries from molding – it’s so easy you’ll be surprised you didn’t already know about it!

You’ll find even more on one of my favorite Pinterest boards:
Follow Natalie Hoage – Mommy of a Monster’s board Kitchen Tips & Tricks on Pinterest.

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Mommy of a Monster and Twins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and/or other affiliate sites.

Baked Asparagus Recipe: It’s Kid Approved Delicious!

This baked asparagus recipe is simple to make, delicious, and kid approved! And it pulls double duty - make it two different ways with one recipe! Prep it the same way, wrap in bacon, and grill for a completely different taste!

Asparagus. You either love it or hate it; there’s no in between. Jason and I love it, while the kids aren’t as big of fans. So I’m always trying to come up with ways to make it taste good so they’ll eat it. And I finally nailed it with this baked asparagus recipe!

Instead of just putting olive oil and salt and pepper on it, I started playing with different flavors. I know that the kids love my Best Broccoli Ever recipe (it’s one of the top 3 most viewed recipes here on my blog and one of my most pinned ones on Pinterest) because it’s got garlic and lemon and cheese, so I decided to do baked asparagus the same way.

This baked asparagus recipe is simple to make, delicious, and kid approved! And it pulls double duty - make it two different ways with one recipe! Prep it the same way, wrap in bacon, and grill for a completely different taste!

Baked Asparagus

Roasted Asparagus Recipe (Kid Approved!)
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Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed (the thinner the spears, the better!)
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced (if you don't have fresh, you can use the dried)
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Course sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the asparagus on a foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, garlic, cheese, salt, and pepper. Using a spatula, mix the spears around to coat with all the ingredients. Arrange the asparagus in a single layer.
  3. Bake until just tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
http://mommyofamonster.com/baked-asparagus-recipe/

A note and a tip…

TIP: Do you know where to cut the asparagus spear when you are trimming them? It’s simple. Take a spear and bend it. It will break at exactly the spot where the tough stalk that nobody wants to eat meets the tender spear! You can either do this to each spear, or to save time, just do it to one and then line all the rest of them up on a cutting board and use that one spear as a guide to chop all the rest.

Note: The reason I say 1 – 2 tablespoons and salt and pepper to taste is because it just depends on how much flavor your family likes. If your family loves garlic, add more! Pepper is the devil to my kids, so I add less pepper. I add more lemon juice because they love it. Make the recipe to suit your family’s tastes.

This baked asparagus is super simple to make and takes no time at all to prep and cook, so it’s the perfect side dish on busy weeknights. And it’s kid approved!

But this recipe does double duty. Instead of baked asparagus, why not grill them? Over the weekend, the weather was amazing so we grilled baby back ribs for dinner at my sister’s house. I made grilled asparagus. I followed the instructions for the baked asparagus, but once I got them all prepped, I wrapped them in bacon and scewered them instead!

This grilled asparagus recipe is simple to make, delicious, and kid approved! And it pulls double duty - make it two different ways with one recipe! You can bake it for a completely different taste!

We grilled them for about 20 minutes, and then put the lemon juice on them at the end. They were delicious!

This grilled asparagus recipe is simple to make, delicious, and kid approved! And it pulls double duty - make it two different ways with one recipe! You can bake it for a completely different taste!

How do you like your asparagus cooked? The next time I make this asparagus, I’m adding cooked bacon. I also can’t wait to try this recipe for baked asparagus with balsamic butter sauce…YUM! I’m always looking for new ways to make it so if you have a recipe you love, please share!

For more recipes you can check out all my recipes here and follow me on Pinterest.

Visit Natalie Hoage – Mommy of a Monster’s profile on Pinterest.

An Easy Chicken Pasta Recipe Made FAST!

Last week, I shared a recipe for Chicken Pesto Pizza that was a huge hit and that the kids have been asking for every night. So I decided to come up with a recipe that was similar to the pizza that I could make a big batch of, and then freeze it so I have it available when the kids ask for it. I do that a lot with pasta. This easy chicken pasta is made really quickly because I take a shortcut on the chicken. I bought already cooked chicken.

Love chicken pasta? This recipe for easy chicken pasta will knock your socks off! It's full of flavor with chicken, bacon, spinach & more. It's a family favorite!

Let’s make some easy chicken pasta!

Easy Chicken Pasta

Quick & Easy Chicken Pasta
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb pasta of your choice
  • 3 tablespoons of jarred pesto (or make your own!)
  • 1 lb cooked chicken (or uncooked - just cut it into chunks and cook. It will take less than 10 minutes)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces turkey bacon, cooked and chopped (you can find pre-cooked bacon in the deli aisle)
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups low-fat Alfredo sauce
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Chopped basil to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the pasta as instructed on the box.
  2. Heat the pesto over medium heat in a nonstick skillet; add the chicken, garlic, and bacon and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the spinach to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, or until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the sundried tomatoes and Alfredo sauce and stir until mixture is coated. Cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked pasta and stir until well blended. Sprinkle with fresh basil, if desired.
http://mommyofamonster.com/an-easy-chicken-pasta-recipe-made-quickly-with-foster-farms-saute-ready/

Super easy to make and delicious! It’s rich and creamy, and is good even without the pasta!

Love chicken pasta? This recipe for easy chicken pasta will knock your socks off! It's full of flavor with chicken, bacon, spinach & more. It's a family favorite!

Looking for more chicken recipes? You’ll find them here on my blog and on my Chicken Pinterest board. Got an easy chicken recipe to share? Please do! I’m always looking for new ones.

How To Soften Butter Quickly: 6 Different Ways To Do It

I do a lot of baking and cooking, and when I do, I usually use a lot of butter. Now with most cooking, it’s not an issue to pull a stick out of the fridge and quickly melt it. But when I bake, I always forget to pull butter out of the fridge so that it can soften. Sticking it in the microwave usually softens it too much, which will affect whatever your baking. So I’ve been trying to figure out how to soften butter quickly, in the easiest way possible.

How do you know when butter is softened? It’s softened and ready to use when it you can easily squish it between your thumb and forefinger.

If you're wondering how to soften butter quickly, look no further! I've got 6 different ways to do it that don't take much time at all.

How To Soften Butter Quickly

Cut It Into Chunks –  Cutting the butter into chunks will help it soften much more quickly than leaving it as a whole stick. Get the butter out first, before gathering all of the other ingredients and equipment you need, and cut it into thin chunks. I even slice it and then cut each chunk in half. It takes just a few seconds, and by the time I’ve gotten everything all together, it’s usually softened. Tip: Leave it next to the preheating oven or stove and it will soften even more quickly!

If you're wondering how to soften butter quickly, look no further! I've got 6 different ways to do it that don't take much time at all.

Now if you’re a gadget girl, you might want to check out the Butter ‘N Slice Container. It even has teaspoon, tablespoon and ounce measurements tp make it super easy get the exact the amount you need…which of course is important in baking!

Grate It – Yep, use a cheese grater. This is super easy to do and works fantastically, especially when you need to cut in the butter, like for shortbread or a crumble topping. Not only does grating it speed up the softening, it helps keep the butter from clumping up, too.

If you're wondering how to soften butter quickly, look no further! I've got 6 different ways to do it that don't take much time at all.

 

If you’re a gadget girl like me, you might want to get this Butter Knife that grates, slices, and curls!

Don’t Put It In The Fridge In The First Place – No really, if you go through as much butter as we do (the kids want toast almost every morning), leave your butter out of the fridge. We go through a stick of butter every couple of days, so there’s no chance of it going rancid.

If you're wondering how to soften butter quickly, look no further! I've got 6 different ways to do it that don't take much time at all.

But if you don’t use butter as often, you can get a Butter Keeper that allows you to safely leave butter out of the fridge. A butter keeper uses water to seal out all air which keeps the butter soft for up to 30 days, without refrigeration.

Use A Warm Glass – I haven’t tried this one but it seems like it would work really well. But it also seems like more work than the other methods I’ve mentioned. Check out how to soften butter quickly by using a warm glass.

Pound It – I haven’t tried this one out either because it sounds like way too much trouble. Put the butter in a ziplock bag and use a rolling pin or meat pounder to flatten the butter out. Seems like it would be hard and messy to get it out of the ziplock bag, but some people swear by it.

Others say to but it into the blender or your KitchenAid stand mixer  but that seems pretty messy too, unless you’re using the mixer to make your recipe!

Microwave It – As a last resort, you can stick it in the microwave, but you really have to pay attention and make sure it doesn’t melt! Put the butter on a dish (take it out of its wrapper if it’s a foil wrapper) and stick it in the microwave. Heat it on High for 4-5 seconds, and then flip it over. Repeat a few times until its softenend.

See? It’s easy to soften butter quickly! You’ll find even more kitchen tips & tricks here. And now that you’re thinking about baking, check out my Breads and Muffins recipes! I’ve also got lots of baking recipes on my Desserts & Sweet Treats Pinterest board.

How do you soften butter quickly? What other tricks can I add to the list?

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Tips For How To Cut An Onion Without Crying

I cut onions daily, so I do a lot of crying. Or, I did a lot of crying. I tried several of the methods out that friends have recommended or that I’ve read about, and I wanted to share with you some of the tips on how to cut an onion without crying.

How To Cut An Onion Without Crying

Tried and true tips for how to cut an onion without crying. I've tried lots of different ways, and these are the top 5 that work for me. Includes links to other kitchen tips & tricks.Breathe In And Out Of Your Mouth – How to cut an onion without crying? Don’t breathe through your nose. I know it sounds weird, but this one works…if you can remember to keep breathing the whole time through your mouth instead of your nose.

Turn On Your Oven’s Vent – Turn on the vent, put your cutting board and onion on top of the stove, and cut the onions there. No tears at all! The vent sucks up all of the onion fumes. You might feel a bit of stinging, but there won’t be any tears.

Put The Onion In The Freezer – Put the onion in the freezer for no more than 15 minutes. Then peel and cut it as normal with no tears. But set your timer so you don’t forget the onion – if you leave it in there too long it’ll be harder to peel and cut through. It also may not taste very onion-y.

Wear Goggles – If you don’t mind looking like a complete goofball, you can wear goggles while you chop. Do you know they actually make onion cutting goggles? I’m not kidding. But save your $20 and try some of these other tips. Or buy a mini chopper (you’ll read about that in a sec) instead. You can use it for more than just cutting onions.

Don’t Do It Buy Hand – When all else fails, don’t cut up onions by hand. There are lots of easy to use choppers out there that you can use that require little clean up. I love both my one-touch mini chopper and my Vidalia Chopper. Both do the job WAY faster than I can. You can also just buy the pre-cut onions in your grocery store’s produce department or frozen section.

And here’s a tip for after you finish: Wash your hands in warm, soapy water immediately. If you don’t and then you touch your eyes or rub your nose, you’re gonna cry.

All of these methods (with the exception of the googles, which actually got great reviews on Amazon) have worked for me. You may have your own tips for how to cut on onion without crying to share, and I’d love to hear them!

For more kitchen tips and tricks to save you time and money like this one on how to cut an onion without crying, check out these: how to keep berries from molding, how to cook pasta fast, how to regrow celery, garlic, and green onions, how to hard boil eggs without boiling waterhow to oven fry sausage and bacon, how to soften hard bread, and even more tips here. You can also visit my Kitchen Tips & Tricks board on Pinterest.

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Mommy of a Monster and Twins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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