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Tips & Hints

 
 
  • A copper scouring pad in your humidifier will prevent lime buildup.
   
 
  • A tsp. or 2 of vinegar can help keep eggs from cracking while boiling.
   
 
  • Add 1/4 tsp. Soda to Cranberries while cooking them and they will not require as much sugar.
   
 
  • Add 1/4 tsp. of baking powder per quart of potatoes while mashing them and they will be fluffy, smooth, and more tasty.
   
 
  • Add about 7 drops of lemon juice to 2 cups of whipping cream. It will make the cream beat up firm in about half the time.
   
 
  • Adding a pinch of sugar to the water when boiling corn on the cob helps bring out the corn's natural sweetness.
   
 
  • Adding lemon juice to gravy that is too greasy, will make the grease disappear and add flavor to your gravy. A small amount of baking soda will also work.
   
 
  • Bring Lemons to room temperature and roll them under your palm on top of the kitchen counter before squeezing to get the most juice from them.
   
 
  • Brushing beaten egg whites over a pie crust before baking gives it a beautiful glossy finish.
   
 
  • Chunks of charcoal placed in the refrigerator will help absorb any bad odors.
   
 
  • Cindy writes that when she makes deviled eggs - she hates a mess, so she puts the cooled hard boiled egg yolks, mayo, mustard, salt, pepper and onion into a ziplock plastic bag. Mush it altogether in ther, snip the corner of the bag and fill your egg white halves. Then just pitch the bag. Hope you like this idea - it works for her!
   
 
  • Cream that is whipped ahead of time, will not separate if you add a touch of dissolved unflavored gelatin (1/4 tsp. per cup of cream).
   
 
  • Do Not use Iodized Salt in making pickles, it causes them to become soft.
   
 
  • During winter months when the kitchen is cold, it can be a slow process or nearly impossible to get yeast breads to rise. Try placing the dough in an oven-safe container and setting it in the oven on warm (200 degrees F) for 2-3 minutes. Don't let it bake, just enough to warm the bowl. It can really speed the rising process.
   
 
  • Eleanor says she likes to make up a pan of buttered bread crumbs and store in refrigerator (you guessed it) in a glass jar. That way she uses up all the old bread plus she doesn't have to stop to make buttered crumbs whenever she needs them. She uses these crumbs for toppings on many different dishes.
   
 
  • Eleanor suggests storing your sour cream or cottage cheese upside down in your refrigerator to make it keep longer!
   
 
  • For a new taste in potato salad dressing, use onion soup mix instead of fresh onions or chives. Two Tablespoons are enough to season a family-sized salad. It's easy and saves the tears and fuss of chopping onions.
   
 
  • For burnt-on food in a skillet, just add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover the bottom of the skillet, bring to a boil on top of the stove for easier cleaning.
   
 
  • For hardened brown sugar: try keeping a bag of prunes with the top cut off laying on top of your container of brown sugar. The brown sugar never gets hard and when the prunes start drying out, just put them in a saucepan and cook for whatever time it takes for them to soften. Having been in with the sugar they are usually sweet enough without adding more sugar.
   
 
  • For the burnt-on food in skillet shake a little baking soda in along with the soap and water.
   
 
  • Gina writes to suggest - when hard boiling eggs, boil the water and slowly put the eggs into the water so they dont crack or break open, let the water come to a harsh boil and then put the cover onto the pot. Take the pot off the heat and let the eggs sit in the water for 20-30 minutes and the eggs should be hard-boiled!
   
 
  • Green peppers may be frozen without blanching in an airtight container for later use in hot dishes or casseroles.
   
 
  • Have just a small amount of leftover wine? Don't throw it away, try freezing it into cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.
   
 
  • If the refrigerator is stale or full of bad odors, crumble up newspapers and fill the fridge. Let it run for a day or two. Remove the newspapers and discard them. You may need to repeat this procedure, but it does work very well. It also works on a stale cooler.
   
 
  • If you accidently over-salt a recipe while its still cooking, put in a peeled potato to help absorb some of the excess salt.
   
 
  • Jennifer says that if you get gum in your hair try freezing it with an ice cube. It should glide right off!
   
 
  • Jennifer suggests storing your brown sugar in plastic containers such as a coffee creamer container and says you'll never have to soften your brown sugar again!
   
 
  • Jennifer suggests that if you want extra fudgy brownies, try adding 1/4 cup corn syrup!
   
 
  • One reader said her all-time favorite hint is to store things in glass jars. When she buys buttermilk, she brings it home and puts it in a glass jar. It keeps for months that way. In fact any leftovers she has she keeps in a glass jar. She suggested storing onions in a glass jar leaving the root intact and they should keep for weeks. Another use is to clean and skin grapefruit and keep the sections in a glass jar. They keep for weeks and you don't have the mess each time you want some.
   
 
  • Placing a slice of apple in hardened brown sugar helps to soften it again.
   
 
  • Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice it and rub the raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.
   
 
  • Put a little butter in a kettle of potatoes to keep them from boiling over.
   
 
  • Remove the burnt taste from scorched milk by putting the pan in cold water and adding a pinch of salt to the milk.
   
 
  • Salted cold water will cool a hot dish more rapidly than plain cold water.
   
 
  • Spraying tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before putting in a tomato-based sauce will help prevent stains to the tupperware.
   
 
  • Steve writes to us and suggests...for a great way to proof dough take a large bowl of water and put it in the microwave for a few minutes until the oven gets warm and moist. Take the bowl out and put in the dough. Its a nice warm, moist environment. You can leave the dough in there for however long you need to while it rises!
   
 
  • Stuffing a miniature marshmellow into the bottom of a sugar cone will help prevent ice cream drips.
   
 
  • To allow salt to pour easily, put a few uncooked grains of rice in your shakers to absorb moisture.
   
 
  • To clean a thermos bottle, fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka-Seltzer tablets and let soak for an hour or more, if needed.
   
 
  • To cook hamburgers in a hurry, poke a hole in the center when shaping. The centers will cook more quickly and when the hamburgers are done, the holes are gone.
   
 
  • To cut very fresh bread and cake without crumbling, use a thin-bladed knife heated in hot water and then dried.
   
 
  • To determine whether an egg is fresh or not, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh. If it rises to the surface, throw it away.
   
 
  • To freshen a microwave, combine 1 cup water, the juice of 1/2 lemon and the rind, and 5-6 cloves. Microwave on high for 5 minutes.
   
 
  • To help prevent hard-boiled eggs from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling them.
   
 
  • To keep Confectioner's sugar frostings moist, add a dash of baking powder.
   
 
  • To keep your potatoes from budding out, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
   
 
  • To maintain the flavor of freshly ground coffee, store it in the refrigerator.
   
 
  • To prevent Rice Krispie bars from sticking to your fingers, run your hands under cold water before pressing them into the pan.
   
 
  • To remove a stain from inside a glass vase, fill it with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets.
   
 
  • To remove gum from hair, rub it with peanut butter or cooking oil. This will release it.
   
 
  • To remove paint from hands, use lard.
   
 
  • To toast blanched almonds, arrange the nuts in one layer on a shallow pan and bake in a moderate oven until golden, stirring often.
   
 
  • To wipe crayon marks off a wall, apply toothpaste and let set about 15 minutes, and wipe off with a damp cloth.
   
 
  • Try freezing half and half or other cream in an ice cube tray and then store the cubes in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. Then when you make something like a soup or sauce, you can just take out a cube or two. This works great if you live alone too and never need a big batch of anything. These cubes can be used to add flavor to anything!
   
 
  • Try using milk instead of water when making pie crusts to make a more tender crust and to have it brown nicely.
   
 
  • Use a meat baster to squeeze your pancake batter onto the hot griddle for perfect-shaped pancakes every time.
   
 
  • Wash hands in cold water and rub with salt to get rid of onion odor.
   
 
  • When instructed in a cake recipe to flour the baking pan, try using a little of the dry cake mix instead of flour for a no-white-mess on the outside of the cake.
   
 
  • Wrapping celery in aluminum foil when storing it in the refrigerator will help to keep it fresher for weeks.
   
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