Pancakes & Waffles

Whenever I make pancakes or waffles I always add a small amount of vanilla extract to the batter. About a 1/2 tsp or so, not to much so as to overpower them. It gives them a little sweetness and adds to the over all flavor.

Fresh Peppers All Winter

During the summer when peppers are on sale and there are endless quantities, pick up a large number of them at your local produce store. Dice them up to your desired size and lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the freezer. This is what you call flash freezing. Once they are frozen, only a few hours, transfer into a large freezer bag or container and keep in freezer for handy access all winter long. They won’t stick together and they are ready to add to stir-fry or any other recipe any time you wish.

Creative Use For Pizza Boxes

Pizza boxes are very cumbersome and are always in the way until the trash goes out. Here is a creative way to use them. If you have kids, nephews, neighbors, or grandkids you can keep them busy with just a pizza box and some paint.

Flip the box inside out, so that the brown side is showing. (Remove all crumbs and left over cheese ;) Bend it so that is resembles a tent and tape the two ends to a table or sidewalk (if you don’t want the mess inside.) Don a smock and set one kid on each side. Give paint brush, stand back, and let the artistic juices flow.

I work as a pre-school teacher and the messier kids are…the happier they are!! Have Fun!!

Shiny Windows

When washing windows or mirrors use Windex to wash and after you have wiped them down take a crumpled piece or newspaper (any kind will work) and wipe the window with it. Those stubborn streaks will disappear leaving a nice and shiny window.

Peeling Peaches

My grandmother of 93 recently came upon a new trick for peeling peaches. When you are peeling a large quantity of peaches it can be quite time consuming.

Boil some water and place the peaches in the water for about 30 seconds (depending on the size and ripeness). The peach skin will slip right off and leave you with a nice juicy peach. This method is great when making pies, jams, or canning them whole.

Stubborn Carpet Indentations

Have you ever moved a large piece of furniture only to find that it has left indentations in your carpet that won’t budge? I recently moved and even after 6 months of vacuuming over the same stubborn indent it would not budge.

Heres a hint – place ice cubes end to end over the whole indent and allow them to melt completely. When they have melted, scrub with an old toothbrush or cleaning brush with circular motions. This will take them right away. It sounds crazy but it really does work.

Carving a Roast

When carving a roast, don’t carve right away. Let the meat “rest” for 15 or so minutes. This will make for easier carving. Also carve against the grain.

Tough Stains

Baking soda is often used for many different things other than baking and cooking. When you do a lot of cooking, appliances in the kitchen get spotted with water or grease stains. Apply a small amount of dry baking soda to a soft cloth and rub where your stains are, leaving your appliances nice and shiny.

Apply a bit of water or liquid soap making a soft scrub for those stubborn stains.

Bleach in the kitchen

Did you know that over 4 billion germs live in the average dish cloth? The kitchen itself is a place where germs love to hang out. When I was first married we didn’t have a dishwasher (and we still don’t) and trying to keep the dishcloths smelling fresh and clean was difficult. No matter how much soap or how well I soaked them they still smelled terrible. My mom told me to just use a small amount of bleach in the dish water every time I washed dishes. That was the key, no longer did they smell and in the process I cut the germs that normally inhabit dishcloths down significantly. Especially in these winter months when colds run rampant, bleach can kill many of those disease causing germs.