1. Save single-serving size yogurt containers that have sealing lids. Wash well and use to make large ice "cubes" for large jugs and thermoses. You can even make the ice "cubes" out of the drink that you plan to use them in (tea, lemon-aid, fruit juice, etc.) to avoid diluting your drink too much. Small size margarine containers would also work for this.
2. Keep a plastic sandwich bag in your tin of vegetable shortening. When you need to grease something, just slip your hand in the bag and do the job up in a hurry with little mess. :-)
3. Use leftover pizza or spaghetti sauce for mini pizzas. Simply spread some on an English muffin, top with cheese and a few other little goodies if desired and heat in the oven or microwave till the cheese is hot and bubbly. (This is a good use for leftover English muffins too.) The leftover sauce can be frozen in single serving sizes by freezing it in ice cube trays and then removing to store in a sealed plastic bag for quick use. Thaw before using.
4. If you have juice that you are not using from cooking meat (beef, pork, poultry) pour it into a jar or dish and refrigerate it till the fat becomes solid. Remove the fat then freeze then juice for future use in soups or as a gravy base.
5. Give bread a shiny crust by brushing it with vinegar a few minutes before the bread will be done.
6. If two glass items (jars, glasses, bowls) are stuck together try placing the bottom item in a dish of warm water and then pouring cool water into the top item. (Note: I don't know that it would be safe to have the water too hot and too cold as glass can break from quick, extreme temperature change.)
7. If a plastic container in left with an odor from something that was stored in it, try coating the inside with some lemon juice and letting it soak for 20 or 30 minutes before rinsing.
8. Keep potato slices fresh for up to 24 hours by placing them in a glass of cold water with 2 vitamin C tablets. (No word on whether this effects the taste.)
9. If someone in your family has trouble seeing how much salt they are getting on their food, try mixing salt and pepper half and half in one shaker. That way they can see by the pepper how much they're getting.
10. Cool freshly baked cake on a wet towel. Added to quicker cooling, the cake is less likely to stick to the pan.
11. Use a meat baster to "squeeze" your pancake batter onto the hot griddle perfect shaped pancakes every time.
12. To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
13. To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling.
14. Run your hands under cold water before pressing Rice Krispies treats in the pan. The marshmallow won't stick to your fingers.
15. To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature & roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing. (Note: Rolling even helps with cold lemons. I usually don't remember to remove them ahead of time.)
16. To easily remove burnt-on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stovetop -- skillet will be much easier to clean. (Another thing that helps is to pour water into the pan as soon as you remove the food and leave it on the hot burner for a few minutes.)
17. Spray your plastic storage containers with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces -- no more stains.
18. If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato -- it absorbs the excess salt for an instant "fix me up."
19. Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator -- it will keep for weeks.
20. Brush beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.
21. Place a slice of apple in hardened brown sugar to soften it back up.
22. When boiling corn on the cob, add a little sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness.
23. To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh -- if it rises to the surface, throw it away.
24. If you have a problem opening jars: Try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.
25. Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.
26. How do you boil your eggs? I always bring my water and eggs to a rolling boil and then let them boil for 10-20 minutes and then put them in cold water. I found out last week that I was boiling my eggs all wrong. Do you ever have a gray/green color around the yolk of your boiled eggs..well, this is because they were boiled too long. Here's how to correctly and efficiently (less electricity) to boil the perfect egg. Bring your water and eggs to a rolling boil and then remove pan from burner and cover eggs for 10 minutes. Then put the eggs in cool water. Ta-Da! Peels great, too! Try it...it works! Robin :~)
graphics by Mary E. Stephens