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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Helpful Hints


My Mom sent me these. Seems quite legit, so enjoy!

1. Reheat Pizza

Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set
Heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy.

No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really
Works.

2. Easy Deviled Eggs

Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all
Broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up
Mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg.
Just throw bag away when done---easy clean up.

3. Expanding Frosting

When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with
Your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to
Frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar
And calories per serving.

4. Reheating refrigerated bread

To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place
Them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will
Keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

5. Newspaper weeds away

Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Put
Layers of wet

Newspapers around the plants, overlapping as you go. Cover with mulch
And forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic
They will not get through wet newspapers.


6 Broken Glass

Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you
Can't see easily.

7. No More Mosquitoes

Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.


8. Squirrel Away!

To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with
Cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the
Squirrels won't come near it.

9. Flexible vacuum

To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty
Paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent
Or flattened to get in narrow openings.

10. Reducing Static Cling

Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a
Clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when
Wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and -- tada! -- static
Is gone.

11. Measuring Cups

Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot
Water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your
Ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right
Out.

12. Foggy Windshield?

Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the
Glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser!
Works better than a cloth!

13. Reopening envelope

If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something
Inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or
Two. Viola! It unseals easily.

14. Conditioner

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's a lot cheaper than
Shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great
Way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried
It in your hair...

15. Goodbye Fruit Flies

To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it 1/2" with
Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid, mix well. You
Will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

16. Get Rid of Ants

Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it
"home", can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so,
Especially if it rains, but it works &you don't have the worry about
Pets or small children being harmed!

17. INFO ABOUT CLOTHES DRYERS

The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things
Around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and
He went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean.
(I always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes.)
He told us that he wanted to show us something; he took the filter over
To the sink, ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh
Material -- I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like.
WELL....the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through
It at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over the mesh and that's what burns out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free - that nice fragrance too! You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box; well, this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to catch fire and potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot, soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that ! ? ! Learn something new every day! I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that. So, I thought I'd share! Note: I went to my dryer &tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush. I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn't any puddling at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about!

Of course, using your old jewel cases, you know CD/DVD cases to take your bagel sandwich is just ingenius. Well, if nothing else, it's just cute, huh?

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Worlds Greatest Margarita

The Worlds Greatest Margarita (courtesy of Vilis Ozols)

For best results use a standard blender.

1-1/2 cups good Tequila! Life is too short to drink cheap tequila! Jose Cuervo Gold is the minimum standard. My personal favorite is Jose Cuervo 1800. And, face it, the margarita will be incrementally better if you jump up to a higher-end brand (besides the better the tequila, the less severe the hangover!). Experimenting with high-end tequilas will add subtle flavors and allow you to create your own signature margarita. My latest favorite is a brand called Cazadores recommended to me by Fernando Avelar whose family has a legacy of growing and harvesting the blue agave cactus for tequila in Mexico. Patron Silver Tequila has also been a very good mix.
1/2 cup Grand Marnier. This is as good as is gets. I do not float this on top but rather mix it in with the blender.
A great alternative is the Italian version of Grand Marnier called Gran Gala (it's less expensive and just as good).
1/3 bottle of beer. Yes, you did read that right, a 1/3 bottle of beer. The best results are with a standard bland American icon beer like Budweiser, Coors or Miller. Avoid micro-brews with lots of character as this will leave an aftertaste to your margarita. Beer is one of the few food groups that are less acidic and so the addition of beer to this margarita will make a mellow tasting, smooth drinking formula. It also adds the barest hint of carbonation during mixing. This is one of the 'secret' ingredients and I have never had anyone guess that there was beer in their margarita.
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate. I've experimented with lime-aid, and all sorts of lemonades. You will have to do the same. I avoid the ones with the pulp. Sometimes you will have to add sugar if you've selected a sour brand.
A big long healthy squirt of Real Lemon. This is real lemon juice concentrate and adds the wonderful lemon tanginess a great margarita needs. You can squeeze an actual lemon, but then you're dealing with the pulp issue.
A big long healthy squirt of Real Lime. This is real lime juice concentrate and also adds the lime tartness for a subtle enhancement.
Water or Ice to fill up the blender. My preference is to add half ice and half water to fill up the blender to the top. This way you are not serving a frozen margarita but a very cold one with shards of crushed ice. The best margaritas are quite concentrated but then poured over a heaping full glass of ice that starts to dilute the power of the cocktail as it melts. Now, lately we've been serving these straight up or "perfect" in a margarita glass or (my personal favorite) a martini glass. Shake it up on the rocks and pour it in straight up. Some how this promotes more of a sipping approach (very fast sipping often, but still technically sipping)
Sugar to taste. As you are completing the mix portion in the blender, you may choose to add sugar to taste. By doing it in a blender you don't have to
worry about a granular texture in the drink.

From Chuck