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Wednesday, April 17 , 2013

When You Need Unsalted Nuts

When a recipe calls for unsalted nuts but the ones you have are salted, cook the salted nuts in boiling water for two minutes. Then drain them and spread them out on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake them in a 200°F oven until they're dry…no more than five minutes.

And—voila! You now have unsalted nuts and can continue on with your recipe.

Money saver: You might even want to buy salted nuts sometimes and then "unsalt" them on purpose. Salted nuts often are far less expensive than the raw, unsalted nuts found in the baking-supply section of your market. Check the snack section of your market and compare.

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Tuesday, April 16 , 2013

Dripping Faucet? Dental Floss to the Rescue

Drip, drip, drip…do you have a relentlessly dripping faucet? Dental floss to the rescue!

No, dental floss will not stop a faucet from leaking, but it will stop the mind-numbing noise until the plumber arrives. Here's how…

Cut a piece of floss long enough to tie around the spout of the faucet, and let it hang down into the drain. You may have to use tape to position the floss so that the drip is touching the floss, enabling each drop to slide down the length of the floss into the drain, eliminating the annoying noise it makes when it falls freely.

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Monday, April 15 , 2013

Nutmeg Helps You Fall Asleep

Not a fan of warm milk before bedtime? For gentle help getting to sleep, try nutmeg, which can work as a sedative. Grate a tablespoon of whole nutmeg, and steep it in a half-cup of just-boiled water for 10 minutes. Strain, if you'd like, or let the solids settle on the bottom. Drink this tea 30 minutes before bedtime.



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Friday, April 12 , 2013

Vinegar Pimple Prevention

To prevent acne, moisten a cotton ball with some unfiltered apple cider vinegar (available at health-food stores) and dab it on. Do this after a shower or washing your face with mild soap or another gentle cleanser. Be careful not to get any of the vinegar in your eyes!

Excessive cleansing can destroy your skin's acid mantle—the oily layer on the skin's surface that protects the skin from bacteria and other environmental impurities. Vinegar helps restore the skin's natural pH balance, while it acts as an astringent to help tighten your skin's connective tissues. In just a few days, your complexion should look healthier.

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Thursday, April 11 , 2013

Hairbrush Trick to Ease Indigestion

If you've overdone it at the buffet table, here's a trick to ease the discomfort: Take a wire hairbrush or a metal comb, and start brushing or combing the backs of your hands. Brush gently but firmly enough to feel some tingly pressure (though not so hard as to injure your skin, of course). After three or four minutes, you should notice relief from that sluggish feeling you get after eating a big, heavy meal.

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Wednesday, April 10 , 2013

Licorice Cure for Allergies

Achoo! Are you dreading allergy season? Licorice root (the herb, not the candy) can help build up an immunity to allergens. Add three ounces of cut licorice root (available at health-food stores) to one quart of water. Boil it for 10 minutes in an enamel or glass pot, then strain into a bottle.

To use: Take one tablespoon before each meal, every other day, until you've taken the licorice root water for six days. A good time to start this regimen is just as the tree buds are becoming leaves and you know the pollen is on its way.

Caution: Do not take licorice root if you have high blood pressure or kidney problems. Talk to your doctor if this is a concern for you.

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Tuesday, April 09 , 2013

Clean Your Mirrors with Wet Tea Bags

Wipe your bathroom (or bedroom or wherever) mirror with a used, wet bag of black tea, then dry it with a paper towel or newspaper. The tea's tannic acid will leave the mirror sparkling clean…with no harsh chemical smell for you to breathe in.

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Monday, April 08 , 2013

The Best Homemade Ice Pack

You can make a very useful, flexible ice pack with a towel. Dunk a hand towel in cold water, wring it out until it is damp, not dripping. Place the wet towel on aluminum foil in the freezer.

Before it freezes stiff (about a half-hour), take it out and shape it around the bruised or injured body part that needs a cold compress. This beats a frozen bag of peas for a sprained joint that aches in multiple areas.

Find more do-it-yourself help for daily aches and pains:

 

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Friday, April 05 , 2013

Easy Cleanup for That Ugly Microwave Spill

If there's a dry, caked-on spill on the bottom of your microwave, here's a way to clean it without leaving the chemical or "perfumey" smell of store-bought kitchen cleaner. Cover the dried-on food with a wet washcloth, then run the microwave on medium power for 20 seconds. When the heating ends, let the cloth sit for a minute or two before using it to wipe up the loosened mess.

If spattered food has cemented itself to the sidewalls or top of your microwave, try this trick to loosen it and sanitize. In a glass or ceramic microwave-safe bowl, mix one heaping tablespoon of baking soda with four ounces (scant one-half cup) of warm water. Put the bowl in the oven, and run it on high for two minutes. Notice that most of the liquid turns to steam and coats the interior of the oven, softening the spatters.

When it's finished, carefully remove the bowl and wipe down the oven with a clean cloth or paper towels.

 

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Thursday, April 04 , 2013

How to Get Smear-Free Eyeglasses

To avoid streaks and smears on your eyeglass lenses, clean them with a lint-free cloth and a touch of vodka or white vinegar. Both vodka and vinegar clean the specks and grime from eyeglass lenses better than plain old water—without corroding the frames, as commercial cleaners can.

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