Household Tips |
Time Savers | Money Savers
For a low fat/low calorie dessert, make sandwiches
out of graham crackers and non or low fat frozen yogurt.
Prepare a platter in advance, hide them in the freezer
and surprise the family they'll never know it's healthy!
Dip a new broom in hot salt water before using. This
will toughen the bristles and make it last longer.
Sprinkle some pumpkin pie spice inside your Jack
O'Lantern to give the air a spice aroma!
If you have a problem opening jars: Try using latex
dishwashing gloves. They give a no-slip grip that makes
opening jars easy.
A solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda to 1 quart
warm water will remove most "off" odors from plastic
storage containers. Simply give them a thorough dip in
the soda solution, rinse with fresh water, and dry.
Fresh fish freeze well in a milk carton filled with
At your next party, chill your canned and bottled
beverages by putting in top load washer and covering
with ice. After you have removed all the drinks just
spin out the water.
Create your own colored sugar by placing granulated
sugar in a plastic bag. Add a few drops of your favorite
food coloring and shake to blend. Pour out into a plate
and let dry, then use.
Try using raw spaghetti instead of toothpicks when
securing stuffed chicken breasts and meats. It works
great and it's edible!
When baking and you need to "cut in" the butter, an
easy way is to keep the sticks of butter in the freezer.
When needed, use a cheese grater to grate the butter
into fine pieces.
To get snowy white potatoes, add a teaspoon of
vinegar or fresh lemon juice to the boiling water
When making potato salad, add the dressing to warm
potatoes for the best flavor. Once cooled, the potatoes
will not absorb the dressing as well.
Slide a strand of unwaxed dental floss--one end
wrapped around the forefingers of each hand--under fresh
cookies to unstick them from a cookie sheet. Floss also
makes a clean cut through a cake for layering. No more
For extra smooth, well-mixed oil and vinegar salad
dressing: Combine all ingredients in a screw top jar,
add an ice cube and shake then discard what's left of
the ice cube.
If you put onions in the freezer 15 minutes before
you chop them, you'll reduce the spray of vaporized
onion oils - which means your eyes won't tear when you
cut the onions.
To prevent cream whipped ahead of time from separating,
add one quarter teaspoon of gelatin to each cup of cream
A jar lid or a couple of marbles in the bottom half
of a double-boiler will rattle when the water gets low
and warn you to add more before the pan scorches or
When mincing garlic, sprinkle on a little salt so the
pieces won't stick to your knife or cutting board.
If your cake recipe calls for nuts, heat them first in
the oven, then dust with flour before adding to the
batter to keep them from settling to the bottom of the
Noodles, spaghetti and other starches won't boil over if
you rub the inside of the pot with vegetable oil.
Brown gravy in a hurry with a bit of instant coffee
straight from the jar... no bitter taste, either.
For a juicer hamburger add cold water to the beef
before grilling (1/2 cup to 1 pound of meat).
To keep cauliflower white while cooking - add a little
milk to the water.
Let raw potatoes stand in cold water for at least half
an hour before frying to improve the crispness of
Use a gentle touch when shaping ground beef patties.
Over handling will result in a firm, compact texture
after cooking. Don't press or flatten with spatula
Never heat pesto sauce the basil will turn black and
Butter pie pastry scraps: sprinkle with cinnamon and
sugar, and bake like cookies.
When slicing a hard boiled egg, try wetting the knife
just before cutting. If that doesn't do the trick, try
applying a bit of cooking spray to the edge.
Microwave a lemon for 15 seconds and double the juice
you get before squeezing.
Microwave garlic cloves for 15 seconds and the skins
slip right off.
A Perfect Pastry Crust? In your favorite recipe,
substitute a 4:1 ratio of lard: butter.
It's important to let a roast beef, pork, lamb or
poultry, sit a little while before carving. That allows
the juices to retreat back into the meat. If you carve a
roast too soon, much of its goodness will spill out onto
the carving board.
Do not use metal bowls when mixing salads. Use
wooden, glass or china.
Sausage patties rolled in flour before frying won't
crack open during cooking.
Two drops of yellow food coloring added to boiling
noodles will make them look homemade.
When separating eggs, break them into a funnel. The
whites will go through leaving the yolk intact in the
When tossing a salad with a basic vinaigrette, always
make the vinaigrette at least 1/2 hour ahead of time and
let the mixture sit to allow the flavors to marry. Pour
the vinaigrette down the side of the bowl, not directly
on the greens, for a more evenly dressed salad.
For the perfect boiled egg, cover eggs with cold water
and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a full boil.
Remove the pan from the heat and cover. Let the eggs sit
for 8-9 minutes. Drain the water and place the eggs in
ice water to cool to stop the cooking process.
When braising meat, cook it at a low temperature for a
long time to keep the meat tender and have it retain all
When cooking any kind of strawberry dessert, add a
splash of aged Balsamic vinegar to the recipe to enhance
the flavor of the strawberries.
To hull strawberries, use a sturdy plastic straw.
Push it up through the bottom of the strawberry and
through the top. It does a great job quickly and neatly.
The berries look excellent if you want to leave them
For a different flavor and less fat, use chicken stock
instead of butter or milk when whipping up mashed
Use greased muffin tins as molds when baking stuffed
Making noodles is easy by adding an egg to a package of
pie crust mix. Mix; roll out, cut, and let dry.
Keep a small plastic bag in your can of vegetable
shortening. When it comes time to grease a pan, just
slip your hand in the bag, scoop out what you need and
spread it on the pan.
Use a 1-1/2 inch natural bristle paintbrush dipped in
melted margarine or oil to grease muffin tins, cookie
sheets or cake and bread pans. It's much faster than
using a skimpy pastry brush.
To slice meat into thin strips, as for Chinese dishes
- partially freeze and it will slice easily.
A roast with the bone in will cook faster than a
boneless roast - the bone carries the heat to the inside
of the roast quicker.
To hasten the cooking of foods in a double boiler,
add salt to the water in the outer boiler.
No "curly" bacon for breakfast when you dip it into
cold water before frying.
A dampened paper towel or terry cloth brushed downward
on a cob of corn will remove every strand of corn silk.
When working with dough, don't flour your hands; coat
them with olive oil to prevent sticking.
Poke a hole in the middle of the hamburger patties while
shaping them. The burgers will cook faster and the holes
will disappear when done.
A high quality hard boiled egg slicer makes easy work
of slicing mushrooms for sauces or salads; it will also
slice strawberries and peeled kiwi fruits perfectly.
To make deviled eggs with no mess put eggs yolks from
hard boiled eggs in a plastic sandwich bag. Add
remaining ingredients, close bag and mix. When finished
cut small tip off corner of bag and squeeze into
hollowed egg white, then simply throw away the bag.
Fresh ginger will last longer by storing it in a pot of
Dried out coconut can be revitalized by sprinkling with
milk and letting it stand for about ten minutes.
Don't have a roasting pan? Make a rack out of vegetables
like celery, carrots and onion and place your chicken,
turkey or roast on top. The excess fat drips away from
the meat and your pan drippings will be more flavorful.
Rescue stale or soggy chips and crackers: Preheat the
oven to 300F. Spread the chips or crackers in a single
layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes.
Allow to cool, then seal in a plastic bag or container.
The best way to store fresh celery is to wrap it in
aluminum foil and put it in the refrigerator it will
keep for weeks.
To make your own corn meal mix: combine 1 cup corn meal,
1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 4
teaspoons baking powder. You can store it in a tightly
covered container for up to 6 months.
Buy mushrooms before they "open." When stems and caps
are attached snugly, mushrooms are truly fresh.
Lettuce keeps better if you store in refrigerator
without washing first so that the leaves are dry. Wash
the day you are going to use.
Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar
cone to prevent ice cream drips.
To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag
with the potatoes.
Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice
cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.
Ground spices really should be replaced every 6
months or so! Unless you know you will use them up
fairly quickly, buy a bottle in partnership with a
friend and split the contents. You'll each benefit from
Instead of the water your recipe calls for, try juices,
bullion, or water you've cooked vegetables in. Instead
of milk, try buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. It can
add a whole new flavor and improve nutrition.
When browning ground meat, brown several pounds and
drain. Divide evenly in freezer containers and freeze.
Unthaw in microwave for quick fixing next time.
Marshmallows won't dry out when frozen.
Fresh eggs shells are rough and chalky; old eggs are
smooth and shiny.
Add a little lemon and lime to tuna to add zest and
flavor to tuna sandwiches. Use cucumbers soaked in
vinegar and pepper in sandwich instead of tomatoes. Use
mustard instead of mayo to cut the fat and add a tang.
Steak Sauce With A Kick: Deglaze your frying pan (after
searing your New York steaks) with brandy. Add two
tablespoons of butter, a little white wine and a splash
of Grand Marnier. Serve over steaks - you'll never use
steak sauce again.
Sunlight doesn't ripen tomatoes, warmth does. Store
tomatoes with stems pointed down and they will stay
Place green fruits in a perforated plastic bag. The
holes will allow air to circulate while retaining the
ethylene gas that fruits produce during ripening.
For fluffier, whiter rice, add one teaspoon of lemon
juice per quart of water. To add extra flavor and
nutrition to rice, cook it in liquid reserved from
Cheese won't harden if you butter the exposed edges
Make your own celery flakes. Just cut and wash the
leaves from the celery stalks; place them in the oven on
low heat or in the hot sun until thoroughly dry. Crumble
and store in an air-tight container.
When picking a melon, smell it for freshness and
ripeness. Check to see that the fruit is heavy in weight
and that the spot on the end where it has been plucked
from the vine is soft.
Save all kinds of leftover bread, bagels, baguettes,
sandwich loaves, rolls, crackers, biscuits, and buzz to
very fine crumbs in the food processor. Freeze in
self-sealing plastic bags and use for stuffings and
To keep milk past it's expiration date add salt. A pinch
of salt in a gallon will do it. The salt slows the rate
of bacteria growth.