Nifty Trick: Cutting Board

I love having a wood cutting board. My mother had one, grandmother had one, and now, I have one. It brings back memories of helping in the kitchen when I use one, so I don’t want to get rid of it. I only use mine for vegetables though, since I’m worried the meat juices will permeate in the wood (I have a Microban one for meat). However, if I cut an onion or garlic on mine, even if it’s waxed really well, the odor permeates into the board and it will not come off.

I finally found a way to kill the odor, completely. Simply baking soda and fresh lemon juice.

Cutting Board Trick
Wet your cutting board, generously sprinkle baking soda on it, and then, squeeze the juice of one lemon on top of the baking soda. It will be reminiscent of the volcanoes you made in 5th grade science class and fizz up. Using your hands, just blend the mixture into a paste and cover the board with it. Allow it to fully dry and then rinse off the paste. Voila! Instantly neutral smelling cutting board!

If you have any nifty tricks to share in the kitchen, feel free to comment. I might even feature yours in a future nifty trick post!

Nifty Trick: Ice Cream

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve softened ice cream, only to need to refreeze it. Sadly, you know what happens. The edges of the ice cream become a hardened, freezer burnt nasty mess.

After watching an Alton Brown show about making ice cream, I noticed that he used saran wrap to cover the top of the ice cream to seal away air from getting to the ice cream. It works WONDERS..

Nifty Trick: Ice Cream

You can also use this on store-bought ice cream. I love this nifty trick!

Nifty Trick: Tomato Paste

I’m going to start featuring some nifty tricks that I’ve learned in the kitchen to save money and time.

One of the things with cooking is a lot of recipes call for a little bit of this, when the smallest can isn’t so little. I feel horrible wasting food, so I try to save food, even if it’s, in this case, a few ounces of tomato paste.

I know there are tubes of tomato paste out there, but why spend $3 on a small tube when you can buy a small can for less than 50 cents!

A recipe I made for crawfish pie called for 1 tbsp. of tomato paste, so I had a lot of paste leftover, which I know I would eventually use for other recipes.

So, I took the rest of the can, and scooped out tablespoon portions on top of an inside-out freezer bag.

tomatopaste

After you do that, pop the bag in the freezer for a couple of hours so the tablespoon shapes set, and then flip the bag inside out again (so it is able to zip) and freeze until you need them! Nifty, right?

If you have some nifty tricks to share, please feel free to comment and share! I might even feature your nifty trick!! :)

Shipping some baked goodies

I really enjoy baking. It’s one of those things that gives me instant gratification, especially when it is done correctly. :)

For a wedding shower gift, I received this KitchenAid Mixer from my grandma. So, I needed a reason/excuse to break it in. My friend in Dallas jokingly told me to make her some awareness cookies…I wasn’t joking when I said YES!

So, using some methods I learned in cake decorating classes, I made her 2 dozen cookies with a few extras for DH to munch on. I can’t make sugar cookies without him wanting some!

Here comes the hard part, or so I think: shipping these from Baton Rouge to Dallas. Cookies aren’t the most delicate, but you can’t exactly throw them around! I found some ideas months ago on The Hyper Homemaker (the blog no longer exists, so I can’t link) to help me with shipping these.  So, I bought a huge roll of bubble wrap and went to work!

First, I put 5-6 layers of bubble wrap at the bottom of the box. Then, I rolled small sections of bubble wrap along the walls of the box to cushion the cookies going in.

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Then, I laid cookies down in the box to where it all fit snugly. This worked out to 6 cookies for me.

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I repeated this four times until all the cookies were in the box. I put 5-6 more layers of bubble wrap on top in the end and taped it in. I gave it a test shake and didn’t hear a thing. So, I think these bad boys will be safe! Just in case, though, I wrote “FRAGILE” all over the box.

I hope she enjoys them and they make them to Dallas in one piece!