New Uses for Food
Ice Cream Cones as Cupcake Holders
Bake your cupcakes directly in the ice cream cones. Fill 24 flat-bottom cones two-thirds full with cake batter. Place the cones in a high-sided 9-by-13-inch baking pan and bake in two batches at 325° F for 30 minutes. Let cool, then frost with two 16-ounce cans of frosting. You can have your cake and eat its holder, too.
Lemon as Browning Preventer
Tissue Paper as Cupcake Wrapper
This frilly tissue paper wrap makes a birthday treat even sweeter. Cut a circle and gently gather it around the bottom of the cupcake, securing with a rubber band.
To-Go Container as Paint Palette
Even a starving artist eats takeout sometimes. Use the plastic top from a to-go container as a palette for mixing colors; when you’re finished, just toss.
Tic Tac Box as Spice Holder
Pack small amounts of your favorite spice (red pepper flakes, anyone?) in old Tic Tac boxes, to season food on-the-go.
Gift Box as Sugar Holder
More lovely to look at than the branded box from the store, but it still slides easily into the pantry for storage.
Wrapping Paper as Placemat
Turn rectangles of giftwrap into placemats you don’t mind getting dirty. You can even write guests’ names on the edges to designate seats.
Wrapping Paper as Tray Liner
Turn an old tray into a special serving piece with a single scrap of pretty paper. Use double-sided tape to keep it secure.
Cork as Heat Protector
For a heat protector, slip a cork or two under a lid's handle and you'll always have something safe to grab.
Salt as Homemade Drain Cleaner
Get a slow-moving drain flowing again and pour a solution of ½ cup of salt for every quart of hot water down the pipe.
Rubber Bands as Sandwich Labels
Distinguishing chicken salad from tuna is no picnic. Next time you’re packing sandwiches, stretch a thick rubber band around each one and label it with a permanent marker. Divvying up lunch will be a snap.
Cornstarch as Makeup Protector
Balance the oiliness of moisturizing makeup. Brush on a thin layer as a finishing touch.
Chopstick as Brewing Tool
For mess-free tea, tie a bunch of bags to a chopstick and rest it across the pitcher’s rim (use 2 bags per cup of boiling water). Brew for about 4 minutes, then lift and discard the bags.
Salt as Stain Remover
Remove coffee and tea stains from the insides of cups by rubbing with a salted citrus peel.
Cereal Bag as Crumb Maker
These durable bags can take a beating. Fill one up and give it a whack with a rolling pin to make crumbs out of crackers, cornflakes, or candy. Remember to twist the top closed to prevent flyaways.
How to Clean Stainless Steel Without Any Chemicals At All
Both durable and shiny, stainless steel is the ideal material for kitchens and bathroom. But as anyone who's owned stainless steel kitchen appliances knows, the name is somewhat of a misnomer. The material is prone to fingerprints, streaks, and water stains. The name "stainless" was originally used to describe the metal's ability to withstand heat and humidity without corroding. Although this material is tough, harsh abrasives can scratch it or make it rust, so it's important to learn how to clean stainless steel the right way. Follow the steps below to get your stainless steel shiny and have it live up to its name.
What You'll Need:
- Soft cloth
- Mild dish soap
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
Follow These Steps:
1. Check the manual: Before you clean a stainless steel appliance, it's a smart idea to check the manufacturer's recommendations. Lost the manual? Don't worry, you may be able to find it online. It's important to check the directions for your specific appliance, because there are numerous grades of stainless steel that may be more or less durable, and some appliances are treated with a clear-coat finish, which can be stripped by certain cleaning products.
2. Go with the grain: Just like wood, stainless steel has a grain. Check out the striations on the surface of your appliance, and wipe in that direction, beginning at the top and working your way down.
3. The quick clean: In most cases, wiping down the stainless steel appliance with a clean cloth dipped in hot water should do the trick. But for more stubborn stains, add a drop of dish soap to the water and use the sudsy solution to wipe the surface. Rinse with water and dry thoroughly.
4. The steam clean: To sterilize stainless steel, you can also use a steam cleaner with a nozzle attachment. The steam will disinfect the surface, which can then be wiped dry with a soft cloth. Because stainless steel can scratch easily, avoid using a brush attachment or any stiff cleaning tools.
5. Try vinegar: For stubborn grease spots or water scaling, wet a soft cloth with a diluted solution of 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Wipe the entire surface from top to bottom, but never let vinegar sit on the surface. Follow with a complete rinse and dry.
6. Baking soda scrub: Burned or caked-on messes on stainless steel pots and pans or countertops typically need a bit more attention. Make a soft paste out of baking soda and water and apply to the stain, allowing it to sit for about 20 minutes. Then, scrub the area with a cloth dampened in a solution of water and dish soap. It’s important to use a soft cloth and work parallel with the grain to avoid scratches. Be sure to fully rinse and dry.
Muffin Tin as Large Ice Cube Tray
The cold, hard truth: Small ice cubes melt fast, leaving a pitcher of lemonade watery. To make long-lasting jumbo cubes, use a muffin tin. Pop them out by running the back of the tin under hot water for 30 seconds.
Ashtray as Condiment Holder
Fill that (clean!) old ashtray with soy sauce instead. The notches make a handy resting spot for chopsticks between bites of spicy tuna.
Salt as Iron Cleaner
Eliminate sticky residue from an iron. Run the hot iron (no steam) over plain paper sprinkled with salt.
Olive Oil as Cat Food Supplement
Prevent hair balls. Add ⅛ to 1¼ teaspoon to your cat’s food for easy digestion.
Olive Oil as Sap Remover
If dragging and decking out fresh spruce leaves you with sticky digits, pour a tablespoon of oil onto a cloth, then rub until clean. Bonus: The oil is a great moisturizer for dry winter skin.
Soda Bottle as Pasta Measurer
Said good-bye to soda? Fill the mouth of a dry 20-ounce bottle with uncooked spaghetti; the opening holds enough for a hearty single serving.
Baby Food Jar as Easter Egg Decorating Aid
Design Rothkoesque Easter eggs. Fill a jar with dye, then dip half the egg in and let dry. Dip again, but only one-third of the egg. Repeat with both ends of the egg until you have stripes in varying shades.
Need a quick refresher on how to dye Easter eggs? Watch this quick video to learn how to hard-boil an egg, then check out these homemade Easter egg dye recipes.
Melon Baller as Jar Scoop
Scoop and strain from a narrow-mouth jar at the same time by using a melon baller. Works especially well for foods like capers and pimento. Submitted by: KimEH1
Cereal Box as Drawer Organizer
If you're the flaky type, cereal boxes (including the single-serving minis) can corral desk-drawer chaos. Slice off the tops and the bottoms and fill them with loose odds and ends.
Cocktail Shaker as Egg Scrambler
Whip up fluffy omelets by adding eggs, milk, and seasonings together in a cocktail mixer. Give it a few shakes and it's ready for the skillet. Submitted by: suziegirl
Binder Clip as Chip Clip
Secure half-eaten bags of potato chips with a binder clip for an easy way to keep your favorite snack fresh and crunchy.
Paper Doily as Cupcake Holder
These cute patterns on cupcake liners are there one minute, gone the next—they virtually disappear in the oven. For a pretty touch, trim off the patterned edge of a large (12-inch) doily and wrap it around the cupcake liner. Seal with clear tape.
Plastic Easter Eggs as DIY Maracas
Fill emptied plastic eggs with puffed rice cereal and silver-ball cake decorations to make impromptu maracas for kids.
Paper Doily as Candy Cone
Form a cone with a small (5-inch) doily, secure with tape, and fill with candy and treats. The lacy server is a sweet upgrade for the next time you gather the ladies (think bridal shower) or girls (birthday party, sleepover, extra-special playdate).
Beans as Candle Anchor
Pretty and functional. Fill a hurricane vase with beans before adding a pillar candle to help keep the candle steady and minimize mess (the beans will catch the wax).
Dental Floss as DIY Popcorn Garland
String a popcorn garland for the holidays (after a pit-stop in the medicine cabinet).
Drink Holder as Fruit Protector
Rough commute? Slide a drink cooler over an apple to keep it from bruising in your lunch tote.
Paper Doily as a Cake Decoration
You baked the cake. Now you’re expected to frost it, too? Take a break from the sticky stuff and use a doily to stencil on a pretty sugar topping. Press a doily flat on top of a round cake and, using a fine-mesh sieve, sprinkle confectioners’ sugar liberally over the surface. Use two hands to carefully remove the doily post-dusting.
Marshmallow as Candle Holder
Mini marshmallows may be too small for s’mores, but they’re a sweet way to catch wayward candle drips before they hit cakes and cupcakes—because it’s not so festive to find wax in your icing.
Straw as Ketchup Unclogger
Insert a straw until it reaches the bottom of the glass bottle. Shake the bottle, then pour, leaving the straw inside. The airflow provided by the straw breaks the condiment-stopping vacuum.
Eggshell as Seedling Planter
Using a pin, poke a hole in the bottom of an empty eggshell half, put it in an egg carton (for stability), and fill with soil and seeds. Once your seedling appears, plant the whole thing in the ground. The eggshell will disintegrate and nourish the soil.
Coffee Beans as Pie Weights
When prebaking a piecrust, use beans to keep it from puffing up or shrinking into the pie plate: Line the bottom and sides of the cold dough with foil and fill to the brim with beans.
Baking Soda as Silver Polish
To polish silver: Wash items, then place on aluminum foil in the bottom of a pot. Add a baking-soda solution (¼ cup soda, a few teaspoons salt, 1 quart boiling water) and cover for a few seconds. The result? A chemical reaction that gets the black off the gravy boat.
Baking Soda as Hair Cleanser
If daily use of mousse or gel is weighing down your locks, add a pinch or two of baking soda to your shampoo once a week to remove product buildup. Getting squeaky-clean strands is a piece of cake.
Banana Peel as Rose Fertilizer
Just flatten a banana peel and bury it under one inch of soil at the base of a rosebush. The peel’s potassium feeds the plant and helps it resist disease. Consider it a nutritional boost for you and your buds.
Bubble Wrap as Produce Protection
Use bubble wrap to save fruit and vegetables from bumps and bruises. Cut a piece to fit into the bottom of the refrigerator drawer as a pillow for your produce. Say goodbye to squished squashes or mushy mangoes.
Business Card Holder as Sugar Packet Carrier
Use a business card case to make packets of your favorite sweetener portable. You'll always have coffee your way―without a purse full of powder from torn packets.
Cake Stand as Appetizer Server
To cut down on waiting time for hors d’oeuvres, stack a small cake stand on top of a larger one to increase your surface area for canapés or crudités and free up precious table space.
Can as Biscuit Cutter
Most biscuit cutters make overly wide biscuits, anyway―more beret than top hat. Use a tomato-paste can to achieve the proper size. First, scoop out the paste and freeze it in Tupperware or a storage bag. Then remove both the top and the bottom with a can opener and wash the interior. To prevent sticking, dip the can in flour before each cut.
Candy Canes as Cupcake Decorations
Remove the cellophane wrapping from the canes and form hearts by placing them hook to hook and tail to tail on a nonstick baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F for 2 to 4 minutes (depending on the canes’ size) or until they stick together when you pinch the ends lightly. Cool thoroughly and remove with a spatula. If you want to make flat hearts with psychedelic stripes, bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Candy Corn as Cookie Mix-In
Chop leftover chocolate candy or candy corn and use in place of chocolate chips for cookie recipes.
Citrus Peels as Bowls
Serve sorbet in a memorable way. After juicing (or eating) grapefruit, orange, lemon, or lime halves, scoop out and freeze the peels. Cut a small slice off the bottom to create a level surface (without creating a hole), then fill with ice cream.
Citrus Peel as Firestarter
Kick-start a fire with citrus peels. Leave orange or lemon peels on the counter for several days to dry out. Then use the pretty pieces as kindling in your fire pit or bonfire for a fragrant flame starter.
Coaster as Drip Catcher
Catch the sticky stuff from bottles and jars in cupboards. No more shelves that require a full wipe-down after every spoonful of honey, slather of jam, or glug of olive oil.
Coffee Filter as Yogurt Strainer
For a dip that doesn't taste watered down, strain your yogurt before using it. Secure a paper coffee filter over the mouth of a deep cup or jar with a rubber band then pour in some yogurt. Any liquid in the yogurt will drain through the filter.
Cola as Ham Marinade
For sweet, juicy ham without the goopy stove-top glaze, pour a 20-ounce bottle of regular cola over a 10-pound precooked ham and roast for 2 1/2 hours at 350° F, basting every 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, cut a hatch diamond pattern into the top, rub with a tablespoon of dry mustard, stud the centers of the diamonds with whole cloves, and pat with 1 cup brown sugar and 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs. Return to oven for 35 minutes.
Swap Conversation Hearts for Chalk
If you can’t find the real deal for your message center or that game of tic-tac-toe, these candies will do the sweet talking for you. (Hang on to them until summer, when the driveway is just begging for a masterpiece by your TOO CUTE toddler.)
Corn Flakes as Bread Crumb Substitute
For a new twist on a serial dinner favorite, add a layer of crunch to plain old mac-and-cheese. Top your child’s bowl with a sprinkling of flakes (even the bits at the bottom of the bag work). It’s easier and more kid-friendly than toasted bread crumbs.
Dice as Vegetable Counter
Decide how many more bites of dinner your child has to eat before being excused. Let your child roll so he’s the one controlling his fate. You'll end up with a more peas-ful family meal.
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Dish Towel as Rice Steamer
Steam perfect rice. Once the rice is tender, remove the pan from the heat, place a folded towel over the saucepan, replace the lid, and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes. The towel will absorb the excess moisture for great rice with no mush.
Plastic Easter Eggs as Snack Containers
Give Easter eggs a year-round use (and save on resealable bags) by filling them with snacks like crackers or Cheerios.
Egg Slicer as Mushroom Chopper
Cut mushrooms into neat slivers, all without a cutting board to clean.