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If you’re like many Americans, you’ve spent a good part of the past year improving your kitchen skills.  You have the right to be proud if you’ve mastered sourdough, learned to flip an omelet or turned out a high-top souffle.

These nine easy hacks from professional cooks can help you up your kitchen game even more.

  • Remove Eggshells –  Dab your finger in water before trying to fish out an eggshell dropped into the yolk. Water acts like a magnet and the shell will stick to your finger so you don’t need to chase it around the bowl.
  • Ripen Fruit Faster – Put rock-hard peaches and avocados in a paper bag and close it with a paperclip. Concentrated ethylene gas will ripen them twice as fast.
  • Burnt Cookies – Shave off the evidence on the outside of the burnt cookie with your trusty microplane and no one ever needs to know you left them inside the oven a little bit too long.
  • Measure Sticky Stuff – Ingredients like honey, molasses or peanut butter may seem tough to measure due to their consistency. Add a quick spritz of non-stick spray in the cup or spoon before you measure and every bit of it will slip right out.
  • Makeshift Funnel – Use a regular piece of printing paper or snip off a corner of an envelope and open it to form a cone.
  • Nuke Herbs to Dry Them – Congrats if you’re growing your own oregano and basil. If you can’t use the fresh herbs fast enough, nuke some in the microwave for a minute or so to dry them for future use.
  • Core Berries With a Straw – Ditch the paring knife and instead push a straw through each berry from the bottom out. This will remove the core and leave the berry intact.
  • Get More Lemon Juice – To get every last drop of juice from a lemon, microwave it for 7 – 10 seconds, then roll it back and forth on the kitchen counter a few times before halving and squeezing.
  • Reduce Salt – Toss in a few wedges of raw potato or apple to a recipe where you used a little too much salt Simmer for 10 minutes or so, then remove before serving.