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Wednesday, January 09 , 2013

Super Shine Your Flatware

If your stainless steel flatware is dull, streaky, or spotty from the dishwasher, pour a little baking soda on each utensil, add 1 or 2 drops of water and rub it shiny clean. Rinse and dry. You should be able to admire your upside-down reflection in a spoon.

Tags: baking soda
Tuesday, January 08 , 2013

Make Your Onion Sweeter

Let’s suppose you want to use a milder and sweeter-tasting onion in your salad, but all you have is a regular, strong yellow onion. Slice the yellow onion and soak it in cold water for 30 minutes, along with 1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar. The pungent acid will dissipate in the water, and the onion will have a milder, sweeter flavor.

Monday, January 07 , 2013

Freshen Up a Flat Bed Pillow

Put new life into an old, flattened-out feather or down pillow by letting it toss and knock around in a dryer (set on a low setting) for 10 minutes with 3 or 4 tennis balls and a fabric-softener dryer sheet.

Friday, January 04 , 2013

Real Men Wear Mittens

Some reminders if you’re heading out in the cold this weekend.

Mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves, so opt for mittens, no matter how old you are. Always wear a hat. Wear thin layers of clothing; they keep you warmer than one heavy layer. If you think that a good strong drink will warm you up, think again. NO! Alcohol dilates the blood vessels, which results in heat loss.

Thursday, January 03 , 2013

Sauerkraut Secret to Fighting Winter Colds

Here’s a kitchen cure that may surprise you—sauerkraut! Eat a portion (½ to 1 cup) of low-sodium sauerkraut every day. (You should be able to find a low-salt brand at your local health-food store or specialty market.) It’s rich in selenium, which helps strengthen the immune system.

Wednesday, January 02 , 2013

Reheat Your Roast Without Drying It Out

If you’ve cooked a good piece of beef over the holidays, you can reheat without drying it out. The idea is to moisturize the roast as it reheats. Start by wrapping washed lettuce leaves around the roast, and wrap aluminum foil around the whole thing—pinch it closed.

Heat the oven to 425° to 475°F and put the roast in for 2 to 10 minutes (depending on the size of the roast). By flash-heating it, you get the meat warm without overcooking it.

Tuesday, January 01 , 2013

Don’t Burn Those Glossy Pages!

If you plan to spend the day by the fireplace, be sure not to feed it any newspapers or magazines printed with colored ink. It can emit dangerous levels of lead that are especially harmful to children.

Monday, December 31 , 2012

A New Year’s Eve Toast--to You!

If you like to ring in the New Year with a bit of the bubbly, try these tips from the folks who invented champagne.

To open: Begin by slanting the champagne bottle at a 45° angle away from guests. With a thumb on the cork, untwist and loosen the wire muzzle. Grasp the cork firmly, twist the bottle slowly and let the pressure help push out the cork. Allow a light and merry pop.

To pour: Fill each flute about ⅓ of the way, and begin again at the first glass, doubling the amount so that each glass is appropriately ⅔ full. This technique allows the fizzing to subside and prevents the bubbly from bubbling over.

Whatever your drink of choice, may we offer a toast to our loyal readers and our good wishes for the year ahead!

Tags: champagne
Friday, December 28 , 2012

Pancakes in a Flash

If mornings are hectic and you want to make warm, filling pancakes for your family, try this time-saver. Prepare pancake batter the night before. Put the prepared batter in a squeeze bottle (clean out and reuse an empty ketchup or mustard bottle or find one in restaurant supply stores) and keep it in the refrigerator. The batter will be ready to use in the morning—just give it a good shake.

Thursday, December 27 , 2012

Your Personal Stress Relief Go-to Kit

If planning and enjoying the holidays has left you frazzled, take this advice from a therapist: Make your own stress relief kit. Gather your favorite, familiar objects, including an object for each of the senses: a smooth stone to touch, a sachet to smell, flavorful gum to taste, a beloved photo to look at and a mantra to read aloud. You will feel relaxed all over.

Tags: gum, mantra, sachet, stone