Rather than throwing away one or two overripe bananas, love ‘em tender until you have enough fruit to make banana bread. Place overripe bananas in a zipper-lock bag and freeze them. As necessary, add more bananas to the bag. When you are ready to make bread, thaw the bananas on the counter until softened.
Fans of natural peanut butter (without sugar or other stabilizers) know that the butter often separates into a dense, solid mass beneath a layer of oil that has risen to the surface. Before spreading, the oil and solids have to be reblended. A spoon makes a mess of everything. Try this instead: Turn the sealed jar upside down and allow the oil to rise again to the top. As the oil passes through the nut butter, the solids will absorb some oil and become soft enough to spread. Flip the jar right-side up, and the nut butter will be ready to use.
Elvis was right: Everything’s better with bacon. Bacon grease lends a prized flavor to many dishes, especially Southern ones. Instead of keeping a bulky jar in the refrigerator, we like to store bacon drippings in the freezer. Collect the drippings in a bowl and melt them in the microwave. Let the solids settle at the bottom of the bowl. Pour the fat through a fine-mesh sieve, keeping the solids in the bowl. (The solids can burn when the fat is reheated and are best discarded.) Then pour the strained fat into an ice cube tray and freeze. When frozen, pop out the cubes and transfer them to a zipper-lock bag to prevent freezer burn. Each cube will be approximately 1 heaping tablespoon.
Like these? See more quick tips at Cook's Illustrated.