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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: MaryW
Date: 03-24-2003, 05:42 PM (1 of 8)
I got these from

Easy Flour Clean-Up

Sprinkle a little salt on your dish cloth before wiping
up flour making rinsed cloth free of flour residue.

Homemade Air Freshener

Use a regular pump spray mister with 4 cups
of water in it, add 4 teaspoons of baking soda
and spray the odors away.

Small Ideas For Big Savings On Family Meals

You can save a tremendous amount of both time
and money by making "freezer meals." You can
usually make two or three meals' worth of food in
about the same time it takes you to make one,
saving on both the cost of ingredients and
preparation time.

For example, try making three lasagnas instead of
one. Then eat one that night, putting the other two
in the freezer for later in the month.

As far as eating out is concerned, you need to think
creatively. In most places in the U.S., lunch runs
one-half to two-thirds of the price of dinner at the
same restaurant. So consider scheduling a date for
lunch instead of dinner (or maybe a very early
dinner, squeezing in before 5 pm, when lunch-hour
rates still apply).

Another trick, which will work with some
restaurants, is to contact the headquarters of your
favorite chain restaurants and let them know you'd
be interested in serving as a "mystery shopper" or

This refers to someone engaged by management to
go in and eat at their restaurant for the purpose of
giving them a customer's-eye-view of the food and
service. You have to write a little report afterward
but you get to eat for free (often with friends or
family) and might even get a small payment on top
of that.

Don't Waste Cheese!

Don't waste cheese by leaving it behind on
your grater. Before you grate your cheese,
spray the grater with a cooking oil like
Pam. Be sure and spray both sides. The
cheese won't stick!
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: sewingrandma
Date: 03-25-2003, 01:50 AM (2 of 8)
Mary, when I make an extra pan of lasagna I always line the pan with foil, layer the ingredients then freeze it. Once it is frozen I slip the lasagna out so that I have the use of my pan when I need it. When I'm ready to cook the frozen lasagna it fits into the pan and ready to go into the oven. I'm all for making things easy and quick. I am the original I hate to cook, cook. Since the kids have grown I find that I cook less and less.
User: sewingrandma
Member since: 03-06-2003
Total posts: 432
From: plrlegal
Date: 03-25-2003, 10:11 AM (3 of 8)
Brockie you and I must be the reason they invented "carry out". :bluewink:

User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: MaryW
Date: 03-27-2003, 05:26 PM (4 of 8)
Testing Baking Powder

To check the potency of baking powder that may
have been sitting in the cupboard for too long, mix
2 teaspoons of the baking powder into a cup of water.
If there is an immediate reaction of foaming and fizzing,
the baking powder is okay to use. If the reaction is at
all delayed or weak, throw it away and buy a fresh can.

Sweet'N Low Substitution Chart

1/4 cup granulated sugar = 6 packets
1/3 cup granulated sugar=8 packets
1/2 cup granulated sugar=12 packets
1 cup granulated sugar=24 packets

Storing Leftovers

Store leftovers such as rice, spaghetti, cooked vegetables or
small pieces of boned chicken in a zip-top plastic bag. To
reheat, loosen the seal on the bag, place it in the microwave
and zap on medium until the contents are as hot as you want
them. Flexing the package with your hand during the microwaving
will distribute the heat better, and is easier than trying to stick a
spoon in the package to stir it up.

Stop Fruit Slices From Browning

While peeling apples, pears or peaches, place the
slices in slightly salted water. They will then retain
their natural color. This also enriches the flavor.

these are also from Practical Kitchen, I like her ideas.
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: MaryW
Date: 03-31-2003, 10:44 AM (5 of 8)
Make a Little Oil Go a Long Way

If you choose to use oil in stir-frying or sautéing, cut
the amount needed by preheating the skillet. A little oil
goes farther that way.

The food also absorbs less oil, than it would if you
started cooking with cold oil.

Keeping Rice Fluffy

If dinner must wait, you can keep cooked rice hot
and fluffy by laying a slice of dry bread on top, then
clapping on the lid.

Saving Money While Using Your Refrigerator

By keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold, it
unnecessarily wastes electricity. The recommended
temperature is 38 to 40 degrees for the fresh food
compartment of the refrigerator. The recommended
temperature for the freezer compartment is 5 degrees.
If you have a separate freezer for long-term food
storage, it should kept at 0 to -5 degrees. Make sure
your refrigerator door seal is airtight. Test it by closing
the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is
half in and half out. If you can pull the paper out easily,
the latch may need to be adjusted or the seals need
to be replaced.

Cleaning Stained Cups

Rubbing with salt will remove
stubborn tea or coffee stains from cups.
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: plrlegal
Date: 03-31-2003, 05:22 PM (6 of 8)
If you have old baking soda, don't throw it away, use it to clean stainless steel sinks.

User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: MaryW
Date: 04-15-2003, 07:12 AM (7 of 8)
Ice Cream Ideas

With ice cream in your freezer and a little imagination,
you can have a fast, tasty dessert. Layer ice cream in
a fancy footed dish with simple ingredients from your
cupboard. Some suggestions:

Commercial ice cream sauces - Obvious, but popular.

Fruit syrups - The kind meant for pancakes. How about
raspberry syrup on chocolate ice cream?

Crushed cookies - Like Mint Milanos or Oreos

Granola or your favorite cereal

Fresh or canned fruit - If you're feeling ambitious,
spice it with cinnamon and warm it little.

Jams or preserves - Try strawberry preserves on
strawberry ice cream for double strawberry flavor.

Frozen juice concentrate - Defrosted orange juice
concentrate with vanilla ice cream tastes like a

Liqueurs - Adults only. Hazelnut liqueur is great
with coffee ice cream.

Other stuff - Nuts, shredded coconut, whipped
cream and a maraschino cherry.

No Time To Soak Beans?

Beans for baking should soak overnight. If you
don't have that much time you can do this: Add
1 teaspoon of baking powder to 1 pound of beans,
cover them with warm water and cook at a medium
heat until they are soft, but not mushy - about 40
minutes. Add more water if necessary while they
cook. Then drain off the water and bake as usual.

Extinguishing Grease Fires

Salt tossed on a grease fire on the stove or in
the oven will smother flames. Never use water;
it will only spatter the burning grease.

Freshen A Garbage Disposal

Sprinkle baking soda in it along with a few drops
dish-washing liquid. Scrub with a brush (a new toilet
brush works great), getting under the rubber gasket
and all around the inside. Then turn on water and the
disposal and flush thoroughly. For a fresh citrus scent,
throw in a few cut-up lemons or limes and run them
through, too, using lots of water.

Tips compliments of
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: MaryW
Date: 04-30-2003, 06:56 PM (8 of 8)
Freshening Stale Rolls

To freshen stale rolls, seal in a paper
bag, sprinkle the bag with water, and
heat 10 to 15 minutes at 350*F (180*C).

Get Rid Of Fish or Spoiled Food Smells

Place a bowl of white vinegar on a kitchen
counter for a few hours. The odor will
disappear for good.

Cleaning Flower Vases

To remove deposits caused by flowers and water,
rub with salt; if you cannot reach the deposits to
rub them, put a strong salt solution in the vase and
shake, then wash the vase with soap and water.


Soap. Regular cleaning with plain soap and hot water
will kill some bacteria. Keep things dry. Mold, mildew,
and bacteria cannot live without moisture.
Borax has long been recognized for its disinfectant
and deodorizing properties. Mix 1/2 cup Borax into
1 gallon hot water and clean with this solution.

Isopropyl Alcohol*. This is an excellent disinfectant.
Sponge and allow to dry. (It must dry to do its job.)
Use in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves.
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
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