5 Simple Cooking Shortcuts

Simple Cooking Shortcuts VectorCentral

Preparing a healthy meal for my family is one of the most important things I can do as a mother. With so many different things competing for my attention in the day, I’m always looking for a shortcut to save a little extra time in the kitchen. These are 5 of my favorite cooking shortcuts!

Cutting Large Fruit into Nice Sized Pieces

There is nothing as appetizing as a fruit salad that is filled with perfectly slices pieces of fresh fruit. However, cutting fruit so nicely is not always as easy or as quick as it sounds.

Pears are always slightly funny shaped and how can you possibly manage to cut and orange without mashing it? And where in the world do you even begin on a whole pineapple?!? Well, get ready to make a perfect looking and quick fruit salad with the help of one simple tool, an apple slicer!

Short Cut

  1. Use a cutting board and stand the pear upright on the cutting board.
  2. Aim the apple slicer directly over the pear with the circular center area of the apple slicer directly over the pear. Gently push the apple slicer all the way down to the bottom of the pear. This will create long instant pear slices without using a knife!
  3. For smaller slicers, lay the pear on its side.
  4. Take a knife and cut slim circular slices across the length of the pear.
  5. Take 3 or 4 of the circular slices and pile them on top of each other.
  6. Take the apple slicer directly above your circular slices and down directly to the cutting board.
  7. This will instantly create smaller, square sized pear slices for your fruit salad!

Waiting for Your Avocado to Ripen

Maybe you have your heart set on making fresh guacamole or maybe you just want to eat ripe avocado slices on a crispy piece of toast. Isn’t it the worst when you reach for an avocado and it’s rock hard?

Waiting for an avocado to ripen can be the most annoying process, taking anywhere from a day to up to a week. Who wants to wait a few weeks for a simple avocado?! Well, don’t you worry- we can help you ripen those avocados faster!


  1. Wrap the avocado in a piece of aluminum foil.
  2. Place the wrapped avocado in a casserole dish then into a 200 ̊F oven for about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the avocado from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
  4. Once the avocado has cooled, unwrap it from the foil and enjoy a nice ripe avocado!

Peeling Fruit

Some of the best fruits are also the ones that are hardest to eat! I love a nice ripe mango but absolutely hate peeling them.

If you feel the same way, then this little trick will definitely help you! Easily peel a mango, a kiwi or even an avocado all with a simple glass from your kitchen!


  1. Cut the kiwi in half vertically. Your kiwi slices should be long and thin. (Do the same for the avocado or cut the mango vertically, avoiding the pit in the center of the fruit).
  2. Press the bottom of the fruit on the edge of a clean glass, right where the skin of the fruit meets the flesh.
  3. Press down on the fruit so that the flesh goes into the glass and all that remains in your hand is the peel! Why didn’t anyone teach me this trick sooner?!

Dangerous Vegetable Cutting

We have all been there, you are chopping vegetables and at the last second, the vegetable moves and you instantly slice your finger. But what can you do? Accept that chopping large vegetables can be dangerous? No way!

We have a creative solution to safely slice vegetables that will prevent you from cutting your fingers ever again and it’s called a hair pick. You read that right, a simple hair pick. It’s the key to getting evenly sliced vegetables without harming your hands! Just make sure you purchase a brand new, sturdy hair pick with stainless steel prongs and keep it clean!


  1. Make onion rings by peeling an onion then stabbing a hair pick into the whole onion. Use a knife to cut in between the prongs of the hair pick. The hair pick will keep your onion secure in between each slice.
  2. To create diced onions, cut the onion in half, then place one-half face down and stick the hair pick in the center. Take your knife and make slices across each hair pick.
  3. Keep the hair pick in the tomatoes and turn it around to its side. Take a knife and slice from the edge of the onion all the way up to the hair pick in the center. This creates nice small diced pieces.
  4. You can use the hair pick to cut many different vegetables.
  5. Press a hair pick into a tomato to hold it in place on the cutting board then use a sharp knife to cut in between the prongs of the hair pick. The hair pick will securely hold the tomatoes together after each slice. You now have perfectly even slices of tomato!
  6. Slice a cucumber the same way. Press the hair pick through the cucumber on a cutting board and then slice in between each pick. The cucumber won’t be able to roll away and you will have nice even slices!

My sauce won’t stick to my pasta

You made a nice batch of homemade pasta sauce and cook some delicious pasta to go with it. Then, when you go to eat your beautiful meal, the sauce is sliding right off your pasta! Now you are eating plain pasta and have a big bowl of sauce left at the end! Why won’t the sauce stick to the pasta like it is supposed to?


  1. After you cook and drain your pasta, return it to the stock pot it was cooked in and toss in a little bit of your pasta sauce.
  2. Adding a little pasta sauce to the freshly cooked pasta will make the pasta not clump together and let some of the sauce immediately absorb into the pasta.
  3. Resist the urge to add olive oil to the pasta after you drain it. While this will help the pasta not clump together, it also makes the pasta greasy and your sauce will slide right off.
Hi, I live in Cardiff, South Wales and I am the co-owner of Vectorcentral.com. My interests are...internet marketing, music and staying sane in business.