Best one-pot pasta salad
Anne Hayes of Garner shared her recipe for an easy, customizable, one-pot pasta salad. “This recipe has saved the day for me on many occasions, and my grown family now has invented several different versions.” To make Almost-Instant Pasta Salad, you will need:
2 quarts water
1 pound pasta (penne, macaroni, ditalini or any small pasta you choose)
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1 bag frozen Italian vegetables
1/2 to 1 cup Italian salad dressing (or the dressing of your choice)
1/2 to 1 cup cooked chicken
Empty frozen vegetables into colander. When pasta has reached your desired state of doneness, drain pasta on top of frozen vegetables. Stir gently so all of the frozen vegetables get mixed with hot pasta. Drain completely.
Pour salad dressing over the hot, drained mixture. Add chicken and mix gently again. Let cool.
Any of the ingredients may be increased or decreased, according to the tastes of your family.
Best way to brighten deviled eggs
You’ve heard of dyeing Easter eggs. But what about dyeing deviled egg whites? Yes, it can me done. Spruce up ordinary deviled eggs for your Easter meal with this colorful tip picked up from the Real Mom Kitchen blog. Boil eggs, halve and remove the yolks as your normally would to prepare deviled eggs. To dye the egg whites, you will need:
▪ Hard-boiled eggs
▪ Food coloring
▪ 1 teaspoon vinegar for each color you are using
1 Gather one glass or mug for each color you wish to use. Fill them 2/3 full with cold water.
2 Add 3 drops of food coloring and 1 teaspoon of vinegar to each mug or cup.
3 Place egg whites in the mugs and let sit until desired color is reached. (Make sure the whites are fully submerged. It could take as much as one hour to achieve the color you desire.)
4 Remove whites from dye and drain on a plate lined with a paper towels.
5 Pipe or spoon the prepared yolk mix into the colored egg whites.
Thanks to http://nando.com/12j for the wonderful idea.
Best scarf stash
Tuck winter scarves away in organized fashion with this tip from the Budget Decorator blog. Buy an inexpensive set of shower curtain rings and attach them to the bottom bar of a sturdy clothes hanger. Slip a scarf through each ring and pull so that they drape comfortably from the hanger.
Check out this and other organizing hacks at http://nando.com/12k.
Best way to corral kids’ playing cards
If your children’s wayward game cards are all over the place, there’s an inexpensive way to corral cards securely until your next game night. Buy a hinged soap holder like those sold for travel. Stow each set of cards in a separate box. Close and store neatly out of sight. These boxes are also a great place to stash flash cards or hold crayons.
Check this tip out at http://nando.com/12i.
Best reuse of egg cartons
Beth Lisk of Morrisville found a great way to repurpose foam egg cartons.
“I use the cup side of foam egg cartons as jewelry organizers. I put one pair of earrings or one necklace in each egg cup. Only use the foam type, not paper type cartons, since the paper types seem to tarnish silver items faster. I cut off the tops, or you can leave them on for stacking. I can stack the cartons in a drawer to save space.”
Best reuse idea
We love discovering new uses for old things. If you’ve found a way to repurpose a household or garden item, tell us about it. Please send ideas to topdrawer@newsobserver. com. Be sure to include your name, street address and city. Put “best new use” in the subject line. If your tip is published, you will be entered in the quarterly gift card drawing.
▪ Winner of the first-quarter gift card is Barbara Humiston of Pinehurst, N.C.
Best of the tube
Elbow Room: Momma Mac, as she’s called, has an official church and congregation. But feeding the masses is her specialty, and it’s getting harder to do in her cramped kitchen. Designer/contractor Chip Wade steps in with a plan to make the small space more functional, while providing the counter space, storage and seating area that Momma Mac needs. See how the plan unfolds at 8 p.m. Monday on “Elbow Room.”
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