You know what makes me smile and feel smart at the same time? When I know how to perform some random act that makes it easier to accomplish little things around the house. Or on a trip. Or in any area of life. Enjoy some of my favorites:
Grape ice. Frozen grapes work like ice cubes to chill white wine without watering it down.
Speedy re-heat. When reheating something dense in the microwave–like pasta, potatoes or a casserole, make a well in the middle of the food. It will heat up more quickly.
Quick release trash bag. To avoid suction, which causes resistance, when removing bags from a trash can, drill holes in the bottom of the container.
No more rubbery pizza. To keep the crust from getting rubbery when reheating pizza in the microwave, place a glass with a small amount of water next to the food.
Quick fix for computer flip-out feet. Use binder clips to replace the little flip-out feet on the back side of a computer keyboard. To do this, remove the metal wings from two clips and replace the feet by squeezing those wings into place on the keyboard.
Icy cold in a flash. Wrap a wet paper towel around a beverage bottle and place it in the freezer. Wait 15 minutes and the bottle and its contents will be almost completely ice cold.
No-drip ice pack. For do-it-yourself ice packs that don’t drip, saturate a sponge with water, place it in a zip-type freezer bag and freeze. Useable straight from the freezer.
Car paint saver. Cut a pool “noodle” in half length-wise and adhere it to the wall of your garage. This will protect your car door from slamming against the garage wall and head off dings in the paint.
No more unpopped kernels. After popping microwave popcorn, separate the opening of the bag just enough for the un-popped kernels to fall out. Shake upside down over a trash can.
Photo flashcards. When planning a trip to a country where you don’t speak the language, print out pictures of places you need to go: hotel, train station or airport, tourist attractions, restroom, etc. Use these images to communicate your needs.
De-kerneling corn technique. Electric knives work well for removing the kernels from corn on the cob. Rest the cooked cob on the hole of a Bundt cake pan while using your knife, and all the kernels will fall neatly in the pan.
Pistachio on pistachio. Use a pistachio shell to open a pistachio. Insert a used pistachio shell onto the opening of a whole pistachio. Twist to pry it open.
Neat trick for ice cream. For easier serving, cut ice cream with a knife. If serving ice cream from a round container, cut down the middle of the full container from top to bottom. Lay the ice cream on its flat side, peel off the container and slice.
Cats be gone! Keep cats out of your kids’ sandbox by pouring distilled white vinegar around the box each month. To keep them out of your garden, sprinkle plain black pepper throughout.