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Dove 06-21-2005 02:56 PM

Tips for the Home and Kitchen...
How about adding a new forum like " Tips for The Home and Kitchen"

Edit: Alix here. Lets try to only post the tips here, if you use one and like it please send a PM, some Reputation points or a Profile note to the poster. Thanks!

Dove 06-21-2005 09:08 PM

How to core a strawberry with a straw
Things like:

Poke a plastic straw through the pointed end of a Strawberry to core and take the green top off..:smile:

Dove 07-01-2005 02:46 PM

Tips on confectioner's sugar, baking potatoes, and bugs
To color and flavor confectioners' sugar frosting, add a bit of
unsweetened powdered drink mix. Orange and lemon are especially
tasty. Mix in until you get the desired color and flavor. The results
are delicious!

Potatoes soaked in salted water 20 minutes before baking will bake
more rapidly

To keep ants away put either flour, coffee grounds or pepper in cement
Put a fabric softener sheet through your belt loop to keep mosquitoes
away from you
Don't have any wasp spray? Spray wasps and bees and hornets with
cooking oil spray. It immobilizes them and they eventually die
It is said that if you rub baby oil on your exposes skin like lotion -
you won't get bitten by mosquitoes
To keep weevils out of your dry food, place a bay leaf in each

crewsk 07-01-2005 03:15 PM

Skin-So-Soft and rubbing alcohol keeps mosquitos away
Marge, I don't know about baby oil but I do know that if you mix equal parts Skin So Soft & rubbing alcohol in a bottle, shake it well & rub it onto skin it will protect you from mosquito bites. I got that tip from a cousin who was used it while in the Marines. Also, when you give your dog a bath, in the final rinse, add a capful or 2 of Skin So Soft to the water & it helps repel ticks, fleas, & mosquitos. Don't do this for cats though!! BTW, great idea!!:smile:

PA Baker 07-01-2005 04:20 PM

Keep a double-crust pie from spilling over with straws
To keep a double-crust pie from cooking over, place cut pieces of drinking straws in each vent hole in the top crust. I usually cut a straw into thirds or quarters. Believe it or not, the straw only melts to the top of the crust--it doesn't melt onto it or in the pie at all! Once you pull the pie out of the oven and it cools for a few minutes, the straw pieces can easily lift right out!

jkath 07-01-2005 07:40 PM

Hairspray kills spiders
Spiders breathe through their skin, so if you spray them with a firm holding hair spray, it will kill them. This way, the fumes aren't as toxic to your family and pets as regular bug spray, and you aren't squishing them with your shoes!

middie 07-01-2005 08:29 PM

Hairspray Also...
removes ink stains. spray it on the stain a.s.a.p. and wash in cold water.

luvs 07-02-2005 01:26 PM

to remove ink:
if you get pen ink on your skin or a smooth surface, rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or alcohol swabs will remove it in seconds.

PA Baker 07-02-2005 02:31 PM

To remove fruit juice stains from clothing
Carefully pour boiling water over the stain, allowing it to slowly drip through the fabric into the sink. Continue to do so until stain disappears.

kitchenelf 07-02-2005 04:18 PM

The new Oxyclean wipes
I will have to say that they have saved the day for me and several other people in restaurants. Soy sauce comes right out of white pants and dries perfectly clean. Red wine comes out of shirts, etc. These things are GREAT to carry with you. If I don't use all of one I put it back in the foil packet and fold it up tight.

Dove 07-05-2005 09:27 PM

Freezer Storage Times

Recommended maximum storage times for foods sealed and/or wrapped well
then frozen and held at 0 degrees F:

Bacon, Hot Dogs 1/2 to 1 months
Beef Roasts and Steaks 6 to 12 months
Beef Stew 2 to 4 months
Biscuits and Muffins, baked 1 months
Bread, Pita and Tortillas 4 months
Butter, Margarine 6 to 9 months
Cheesecake 1 months
Chicken, whole 12 months
Chicken 9 months
Citrus Fruit 4 to 6 months
Clams 3 months
Cold Cuts 1 months
Cookies, baked 6 to 8 months
Egg Substitutes 12 months
Fatty Fish 3 months
Fresh Herbs 2 to 4 months
Frosted Cake, baked 2 to 3 months
Frozen Dinners 3 to 6 months
Fruit Pies 4 to 6 months
Fruits, except citrus 12 months
Ground Beef 3 to 4 months
Ham 1 to 2 months
Ice Cream 1 to 2 months
Lamb Roasts and Chops 6 to 9 months
Lean Fish 6 months
Liver 4 months
Lobster 2 months
Milk 1 months
Pasta, fresh and homemade 2 months
Pecan Pie 6 months
Pizza 6 months
Pork Roasts and Chops 3 to 6 months
Pork Sausage 4 to 6 months
Quiche, baked 1 months
Quick Breads 1 1/2 to 2 months
Rice, cooked 6 to 8 months
Sandwiches 1 to 2 months
Scallops 3 to 4 months
Shrimp 3 months
Soups 2 to 4 months
Turkey Parts 6 months
Turkey, whole 12 months
Unbaked Cookie Dough 6 months
Veal Roasts and Cutlets 6 to 9 months
Vegetables 8 to 12 months
Waffles 1 to 2 months

Information courtesy of The Reynolds Kitchens

Andy M. 07-07-2005 12:12 PM


Originally Posted by tancowgirl2000
Has anyone ever heard of putting a bounce fabric sheet in a pot that has been burnt? I was told it worked however I tried it and there wasn't much improvement.....what am I doing wrong??

Cover the burned on food in the pot with ammonia. Cover it and leave it outdoors overnight. (the smell of the ammonia will be very strong indoors) Next morning, it should clean up pretty easily.

luvs 07-07-2005 02:52 PM

wrap a lemon half in a little square of cheesecloth before squeezing to keep the seeds out of the juice.

an extra toothbrush in the kitchen is great for cleaning box graters.

a nail brush scrubs out a colander very nicely.

kitchenelf 07-07-2005 07:53 PM

Grilling Asparagus

Originally Posted by tancowgirl2000
MIL just thru up and thru the roaster away......what a woman!

YES - the other sounds better :rofl:

Buy some longer skewers and pierce the asparagus through the sides until there is about 6 or so on the skewer - when ready to turn turn the whole thing over - no more dropping in the fire!!!! Soak skewers for about 30 minutes in water first.

cats 07-09-2005 05:59 AM

Regarding the Avon Skin so Soft stuff, we buy the Skin so Soft soap to use when camping. It seems to really help to keep mosquitoes off, except when they are really busy little buggers, and then we also use Avon's bug repellant, with sunscreen, which works great.

Secondly, regarding the freezer times for foods, I have to disagree with the safe freezer storage for bacon, i.e, 1/2 to 1 month. I have kept frozen bacon, double wrapped, in the freezer for easily up to 6 mos. and have never had any type of problem. It's a pork product, like chops, and if they can safely stay frozen for the 3-6 month length of time, why should not bacon stay safe?

One of my favorite kitchen clean up tips is to use lighter fluid on a cotton ball to easily (unbelievably so) remove any grease spatters on appliances. For example, if you have any grease spattering on microwave door above your stove or the pad area gets greasy, it will wipe clean in a flash with lighter fluid, just don't use near heat or flame. Also great for removing black skuff marks off floors and sticky residue from product labels on bottles/jars, etc.

lindatooo 07-09-2005 11:02 AM

I keep a chopstick in my sugar and flour bins - very handy for leveling off the measuring cup.

This is a great thread!

KAYLINDA 08-01-2005 11:51 PM

A paper plate makes a great funnel for many dry ingredients! Just bend at one end to fit the hole..and it's large at the other for pouring!

Chopstix 08-02-2005 08:30 AM

Can't twist open a jar cover made of tin? Tie a rubber band twice around the rim of the cover and try again. Or, place one rubber glove between the cover and your hand then twist open.

This is a tip for eating shrimp: Ever have trouble getting all the tail meat off a cooked shrimp served with tail shell on? Use spoon's edge to pin down the tail at the point where the meat inside connects to the tail. Then fork the exposed meat down (half-inch away from the tail shell) and pull meat away.

middie 08-05-2005 08:42 PM

Safety Pins
my boss just told me this.
she said get alot of safety pins
and pin all pairs of socks together
when you throw them in the washer.

not a bad idea actually

kadesma 08-05-2005 09:53 PM

burned on food

Originally Posted by Andy M.
Cover the burned on food in the pot with ammonia. Cover it and leave it outdoors overnight. (the smell of the ammonia will be very strong indoors) Next morning, it should clean up pretty easily.

You can also pour white or any vinegar in a burnt pan with stuck on residue add some water, and bring to a boil, let it go checking every few minutes to see what has loosened up...
after about 15 min, everything usually comes off with a scouring pad and just a little elbow grease.:lol:

kadesma 08-05-2005 09:58 PM

pet hair
Pet hair on sofa, chairs, on you???? Put on one of those rubber gloves you use to wash dishes and that protects your hands, lightly moisten it and run it over the chair or sofa,,PET HAIR on glove:lol: Same thing with your cloths!

Dove 08-11-2005 12:51 PM

Dairy Sell-By Dates Are Flexible

According to Sharon Maasdam a home economist for The Oregonian in
Portland. if the sell-by date on your milk jug is today's date and
there's still half
a gallon left, you don't need to throw it away. Milk should keep about a
week after the date on the container. Dairy products in general often
beyond their sell-by dates, but only if the products are properly stored.

If your dairy products are spoiling before the date on the containers,
refrigerator may be too warm. The ideal refrigerator temperature is 40
degrees or lower. You can test it by placing an appliance or refrigerator
thermometer in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes or so, then
the refrigerator setting.

When a dairy product develops an off-flavor, throw it out. Do not use
it in
baked products and other recipes, because you'll be able to taste the
spoiled flavor.

To ensure the longest shelf life of your dairy products, follow these

Dairy products should be among the last items you add to your cart at the
grocery store.

Milk's shelf life will be shortened by a long ride home in a hot car.
will also lose freshness if it sits on the dinner table for an hour or so.

Some refrigerators have handy in-the-door storage shelves for gallon
but milk doesn't stay cold enough there. Instead, keep it on an interior

Buttermilk tastes best if used by the sell-by date on the carton,
it usually keeps two weeks past that if refrigerated properly.

Beyond that, it can become too bitter to drink. Actual spoilage can
as off-odors or as a grayish liquid on top. It can be frozen; use
within a
month or two for best quality.

Sour cream maintains good eating quality for two to three weeks after the
sell-by date. As long as it looks and tastes all right, it's safe to eat.
Sour cream should be discarded if you see mold spots, pink or green
scum, or cloudy liquid on top. Freezing is not recommended because it

Cream stays fresh for about one week after the sell-by date. Whipped
can be frozen in dollops on wax paper and then packed in a container.
Unwhipped cream also can be frozen, but the volume will be less when

Cottage cheese keeps about five days after the sell-by date. Taste is an
indicator of freshness. Do not use if mold appears. Cottage cheese
grainy if frozen, but it's not noticeable if mixed in a dish such as

Butter that has been opened will have the best flavor if it's stored in a
covered dish and refrigerated in the butter compartment. Both opened and
unopened butter may be kept on the refrigerator shelf for a month
after the
sell-by date. Flavor is an indication when it no longer is usable: It
develop a strong, rancid taste. To freeze, wrap in foil or place in
bags. Butter keeps well four to six months at 0 degrees or lower.

Brick cream cheese should be eaten by the "best when used by" date on
the package for best flavor. Once opened, don't use it if mold appears
or it has
a sour flavor. It can be frozen up to two months, but plan to use it for
cooking, instead of as a spread, because the texture becomes crumbly.

Whipped cream cheese can be frozen up to six months. Soft cream cheese
does not freeze well.

Although packages still say "once opened use within seven days," research
has found the flavor is still good up to 15 days. That change soon
will be
stated on cartons.

jpmcgrew 08-13-2005 07:07 PM

:smile: A burnt pan boil a little water and add baking soda boil about 20 minutes and it will lift the burnt stuff.

Also I would like to fine alternate uses for kitchen gadgets and appliances such as a waffle maker to make grilled cheese or panini sandwich and so on.

kitchenelf 08-15-2005 10:49 AM

Deglazing with water for burned pans
Also, when things are burned onto a pan I will, while it's still hot, deglaze the pan with water - it works like a charm!!!! Even my stovetop grill pans.

Haggis 08-15-2005 05:42 PM

Similar to my tip I always have a kettle of boiling water ready when I make a caramel. Soon as the caramel is out of the pan I pour the water in to keep the residue liquid, otherwise its a pain in the behind to get it off.

Same for flans and creme caramels after you unmould them.

jpmcgrew 08-15-2005 07:55 PM

:smile: Hi,Dove

Heres my 2 cents on dairy keep milk on the bottom shelf its colder on the bottom as cold air sinks also if you buy ultra pasteurized it also lasts longer however it does not seem to last as long in really humid places.Lasts a long time where I live as we average about 20% humidity and I think organic ultra pasteurized milk lasts even longer.Its more expensive but if you dont use it much it saves money because it keeps so long.

luvs 09-18-2005 06:16 AM

does anyone know what else a bottle of nail polish remover might could be used for? i have this big bottle and while i paint my nails, i don't paint them often enough to faint from the fumes.:lol:

ps8 10-29-2005 10:52 AM

helpful household hint...
Yall probably already know about this, but I only figured it out a few months back.

If you use dryer sheets instead of liquid fabric softener, save the used sheets. When cleaning the dryer vent, instead of using fingers alone, use a used dryer sheet to get the task done much more quickly and better than ever. It also keeps more of the lint from going into the air, it seems.

mish 10-29-2005 11:04 AM

Here's one:

If you have a bunch of candles to light, don't burn your fingers with a match. Light the end of a piece of dry spaghetti. It really works. Try it. :smile:

KAYLINDA 10-29-2005 12:28 PM


Originally Posted by middie
my boss just told me this.
she said get alot of safety pins
and pin all pairs of socks together
when you throw them in the washer.

not a bad idea actually

Middie, after all these years...I just started throwing that extra sock back in the laundry. The next washing there is still only 1 sock left over instead of two....can you figure?

paxpuella 02-21-2006 12:44 PM

Clothes dryer tip
My mom sent me an email about this one.

The heating unit went out on my dryer! The guy that fixes things went in to the dryer pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. We always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes. He told us that he wanted to show us something. He took the filter over to the sink, ran hot water over it. Now, the lint filter is made of a mesh material - I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. WELL...the hot water just sat on top of the mesh!!! It didn't go through it at all ! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that's what burns out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. This is also what causes dryer units to catch fire & potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (& to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out & wash it with hot soapy water & an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that???!!!! Learn something new everyday! I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that. So, I thought I'd share!

Note: I went to my dryer & tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran thru a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water &a nylon brush &I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn't any puddling at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about!

I have to say, this is true about the mesh liner. I first took it out and ran water over it and sure enough, the water just stood on top. I washed it in hot, soapy dishwater, then all of the water ran through. I most always use a dryer sheet because of all the static cling, especially in the winter time. Not so much in summer and so I don't use them as often. We have lived here about 4 years now and we bought our washer/dryer set from the people who moved out. It was only a year old when we got the set.

Hope this helps someone else. :smile:

(edited for spelling)

expatgirl 04-04-2006 03:56 AM

Hi! Been sifting through all the threads--what a great idea---I love anything that solves a problem. So here I go:

Itchy mosquito bites: take a corner of a washcloth and heat it with the hottest water that YOU can stand and apply the edge to the bite and press for as long you can------usual result is that you'll never be troubled again by that bite--NOT to be advocated for people with diabetes, circulatory problems, or skin diseases---- just normal, healthy though itchy skin

Skin So Soft on my skin is a marinade for my local Houston mosquitos (fact--Houston was built over a swamp)---the only thing that works for me is to use Deep Woods Off--Not regular Off--Deep Woods--the green can

Bay leaves---- Abosolute agreement with earlier post---GREAT for keeping wee beasties out of your meal and grain based products---got that idea from my dear old grannie born in 1900---so when I open up flours, rice, etc, in goes a bay leaf. If you don't mind them I also spread them around my pantry shelves.

Funnels--cut off the tops of your 1 or 2 liter plastic soft drink bottles with a knife and you'll have great funnels to go with you paper plate ones

Cat lovers---if you have cats that love catnip (mine go into catniption fits over it) take those mateless socks (discussed earlier) and put in some catnip and stuff into the toe end then tie into a knot. If the sock is extra long then just cut off the extra cuff. The socks are light enough for them to bat around and carry in their mouths. You'll love watching them trip out. Be sure to give the catnip sock a few pounds so as to release the essential oils.

Rubber drawliners--what can I say--I use them for anything that I don't want to slip and slide---place under small carpets, under mixing bowls if using a beater, cutting boards, lined my pantry spice rack on the door so that if the door slammed spices would not go a tottering, used it on an exercise bike where my derriere kept slipping. I go to the dollar stores and just load up.

Dry spaghetti---one strand is all you need to use to see if cakes are done

Thanks for all the tips!!!

Trip 05-10-2006 12:35 PM

To remove garlic or onion smell from your hands after you chop or mince just rub your hands against the stainless steel in your sink, my other fave is chewing gum while chopping onions keeps you from crying....

SizzlininIN 05-10-2006 03:24 PM

-Those lonesome socks......use them for dusting.....they'll fit your hand perfectly.

-Use a unused paintbrush to dust your pleated lamp shades or figurines that have little knicks and crannies.

-Use your kitchen shears (scissors) to cut up your bacon vs using a knife

-To butter your corn on the cob smear butter on a slice of bread and twist the bread around the corn.

-When camping put rice in your salt and it will keep out the moisture.

Trip 05-11-2006 02:59 PM

viniger on a itchy bug bite relieves some of the itch
dryer sheet in pocket keeps black flies away (my grandmother says)
magic eraser takes everything off of walls, just don't rub too much or lose your paint.

Dove 05-11-2006 03:57 PM

Next time you boil eggs, add beet juice or food coloring. This was you can tell if they are fresh eggs or hardboiled.

KAYLINDA 05-11-2006 09:40 PM

I haven't tried this...but a girl that sells candles says to clean your "decorative" candles with a piece of old panty hose to remove dust and get them to shine again. Old hose makes a good dust rag too...especially does well on "black" stuff...that the dust shows on so easily.

Seven S 09-03-2006 12:51 PM

one of the coolest tips i discovered is that the best way to peel the skin off ginger is with a spoon as the knife or peeler takes too much flesh off.... just hold the curved front tip of the spoon upside down (meaning concave side towards ginger not towards you) against the ginger and choke up on the handle, use as you would for tourneeing, skin comes right off and doesnt cut into the ginger - kinda hard to explain but really easy to do

letscook 09-04-2006 07:20 AM

every time i wash my apron and if grandkids are here cooking 3 aprons to wash - they all get tangle up and wrapped around everything.
fold each string up and put a rubber band around it to hold it and throw in the wash -- no more tangles

I wrap it around 4 fingers and pull it off and then put the band on.

expatgirl 09-05-2006 09:11 AM

Making houseplants shine!!!!!!!! If you like houseplants and want to make them especially attractive mix a little mayo with water and then take a sponge or paintbrush( not dripping) and dip it into the mixture and then brush or wipe on the upper layer of the the leaves--not only will it take off dulling dust but it will give the leaves a lustrous glow. Do not apply on the undersides of leaves----this is where their air holes are and the mixture will clog them up.

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