It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, mostly because I had a brain block and couldn’t think of what to write. So, today I’m coming back to you with some of my favorite tips because when you find something that works, you should share the knowledge, right?
Parchment Paper is Amazing!
I first started using parchment paper several years ago when I roasted vegetables. THEN, I saw on Hallmark’s Home and Family Show (that is now off the air) the idea to line your pans with parchment paper when making bars. (That’s what we call them here in Minnesota, but I’ve heard they are called something different in other areas of the country, I just don’t know what that is.) This procedure was shown on television by lining the pan with two separate sheets of paper, one covering the length of the pan and the other covering the width. You’ll want to leave an inch or so of paper hanging over the edge of each side. Of course, on television, their sheets of parchment fit perfectly into the pan, so I suppose they had them cut to fit. That’s because they have people to do that for them. I’m of the persuasion that says, just line the bar pan by stuffing the parchment in and pressing it in around the bottom edges. The corners of your bar might not be perfectly square, but you’ll save a lot of parchment paper, and you’ll find the bars taste the same whether they are square or rounded.
After the bars have finished baking, let them cool completely, if you have that kind of control, and then lift the entire pan of bars out and onto a large cutting board. If you know of a way to cut them up perfectly even, do that. But even if you don’t, you’ll find they’re way easier to cut out of the pan.
I’ve discovered a few other ways to use parchment paper, also. You can line your cookie sheets with it. I find the cookies are just easier to get off the pan, and I think the bottoms are crisper (but that could just be in my imagination).
This next use for parchment paper I have just discovered. When freezing food, if you need to separate layers (like in a stack of hamburgers), use parchment paper between the layers. It releases from food items much more quickly than wax paper or aluminum foil.
I’ve also used parchment paper when I’m baking baby back ribs. Again, no sticking, AND clean-up is so much easier!
ONE CAUTION: Do NOT buy store-brand parchment paper. It’s horrible. Like so horrible that I had to put mine in a drawer for the grandkids to use for art projects.
Quickly Load Sparkling Water (or Soda/Pop) into the Refrigerator.
I found this tip online, and it has saved me loads of time (over a year or more – not just with one carton). OK, first, you’ll need to clear a spot in your refrigerator for the cans you want to move from the carton to your fridge.
Next, open each end of the carton with the cans in the upright position, keeping the cans in the carton.
Now, hold your carton closed with a hand on each end while you set it on the refrigerator shelf you’ve cleared for the cans.
Then, open the end of the carton closest to you, create a fist with your hand, and push the cans out the other end. Voila! There they are, all lined up and ready to go. Cool, huh?
Oil spots be gone!
I seem to manage to drip salad dressing or sauce on my shirts on a semi-regular basis. But, they are easy to get out with Dawn dish soap. Before I throw them in the hamper, I pre-spot them with a little bit of Dawn and then wash them as I normally would, and 99% of the time, the spots are gone when I pull them out of the dryer. If they aren’t, I’ll try re-treating them, and occasionally that’ll work. As I said, this isn’t 100% effective, but it’s pretty incredible!
Let me know if you try any of these tips. And, if you’ve got some of your own, please send them my way.