A few tips

I have found Pinterest to be a great place for handy tips and trick, not just recipes, crafts and well everything else you can think of.

I just wanted to take a minute to share with you a few of my favorite ones (some that I have used for years and some that I recently heard of and put to use)

This one from Good Ideas For You


Place a paper cup onto the business end of a drill to catch all the drywall drippings when making holes in the ceiling.  Is that smart or is that smart?  Since I have a lot in the way of renovation projects coming up I thought I would put this one to the test, and it was great.  I wear glasses when I do that sort of work, but I found that I didn’t need to wear goggles on top of them (which is a great look for me, let me tell you)  You may still want to for safety’s sake

This mom shared a tip that I have known for years but sometimes forget to practice resulting in “bubble burgers” when you get a lump of burger that is mostly round.

thumb printWhen patting out burgers, after you form them, stick your thumb in the middle and compress the meat a little more there.  It keeps it from puffing up into the dreaded bubble burger

The lovely folks over at snapguide showed me something fabulous that I never figured out on my own.  How to hang a sweater without making it look like you did.  ❤

sweater saver

They have an 8 picture guide on how to do it, but it couldn’t be more simple.  Place the hanger with the hook at the pit, fold the body over one half of the hanger, the sleeves over the other half and there you go.  The weight is distributed evenly enough that you won’t get the ugly shoulder bumps you get when hanging them the traditional way.  As I am short of drawer space, and have a minor addiction to sweaters, this is a life saver for me.

I don’t know who Liniweenie is, but the girl(?) has some great ideas, and gets bonus points for creative reuse ideas.  In my house, we are doing the low carb thing.  So we go through our share of no sugar added drink flavorer.  Mios are great to punch up a boring glass of water (after 10-15 glasses a day, they can get a bit monotonous) I have seen and tried the ones made by Crystal Light and a few store brands.  They all have worked for this little travel container.

reuse is greatYou pull off the label,  pop off the top and you have a cool little travel container for salad dressing, soy sauce, any kind of condiment that is more or less liquidy works.  One person said they use theirs for lotion!  I love that.

A Cherry on Top shares a neat little tidbit on how to sharpen dull punches.

SharpYup – just punch a piece of tin foil a few times and you should be good to go.  (The same trick works for scissors) That part I had known, but she adds an extra hint.  Do the same with some wax paper to kind of lube up the punch so your embellishments don’t stick to it.  Clever!

I love Lifehacker!  They have so many cool ideas on there.  This tip is for grilled cheese for a group.

baked cheeseSo, it is more a baked cheese than a grilled cheese, but it is really an awesome idea.  I have done this when we had some friends over and needed to make more that 2 grilled cheeses. I think I ended up doing 6 at once.  You want to start by preheating your oven (I did 325 f) with 2 jelly roll pans in the oven to get nice and warm.  You butter the bread and assemble your grilled cheese, and place them on one pan and place the other on top of the sandwiches.  Then you just cook them until the bread gets crispy and the cheese is warm and gooey (Mine took about 12 minutes).  One thing I did was placed a large heavy skillet on top to mush the sandwiches down and ensure really good contact with both pans, you don’t have to go that route, but if you do, make sure your skillet is oven safe (no plastic handles) and be careful when removing it from the oven.

The next tip came from a dead end pin, so I don’t know who to credit for this (sorry!) but it is so brilliant I have to share.  At the end of the morning (or afternoon, or evening) pot of coffee, if there is any left, here is what you do with it.

iced coffee cubesMake ice cubes.  That way, when you have iced coffee, rather than having to make double strength coffee to keep it from getting watered down, you just use your left over coffee that you froze into cubes.  I also often make pot roasts or pork loins with a bit of brewed coffee (it makes them really tender) so I just toss in a handful before I turn on the crock pot.  I have been playing around with the whole Once A Month Cooking and for those I just toss a handful of cubes into the bags of food that still have to be cooked in the crock pot before freezing them.

My guy loves this one.  He thinks ketchup can solve most of the worlds problems.  Stuckihouse shared this fun little tip. Ketchup to the rescue!

ketchup to the rescueFreeze small ketchup packets for tiny ice packs for little ones or just small boo-boos.  Plus, when the ouch is gone, toss it back into the freezer and you can use them again.  I keep mine in a small ziptop baggy just in case they get used on a knocked toe or something like that.  Who wants feet grime in the freezer (and with kids you never know where they ended up before getting dropped back in the freezer)

The Gardeners Eden shares a tip about saving herbs.  I have the blackest thumb, so I buy fresh herbs in bunches and don’t grow my own, but I still have some left over before I use them all up.  I have historically just laid them on a jellyroll pan in the freezer and then transfered them to a container until I used them up.  This tip changes that idea up a bit.  (And I don’t have to clean out my freezer to fit the big pan in there – YAY!!)

HerbsThey added cleaned herb to ice cube trays and added oil (for frying) broth (for stews/soups) or a bit of butter (for doing herbed butters) all for use in the winter when the fresh herbs aren’t in abundance.  Once they have frozen pop them in a bag or container for longer term storage and label each one, just in case.  I have done the oil method and also used a bit of low sodium vegetable broth.  (I feel it is better to use something certified vegan rather than a mix of beef/chicken/seafood/veggie, in case I end up using them in a dish where our veggie friends join us, I don’t have to worry about if it is ok to use or not.)

No picture for the last hint.  It is one that I have done for years now – I know I ran across a pin for it at some point, but I didn’t repin so I don’t know where it lead.  I store my knives in the block upside down.  I have heard people rail on about how unsafe it is, but the handle makes it quite obvious that the blade is up.  If you can’t tell by looking at it, maybe you should not be handling them to begin with.  But I find that it makes things much easier.  I don’t know if it actual helps to not dull the knife, but it does keep the block from giving off splinters and getting pretty well marred on the inside.  So, use your own judgment, but in my house it works best for us.