Best for decluttering
Oliver White and Linda Satterfield of Raleigh wrote in to share a decluttering tip that keeps their kitchen and bathrooms orderly. “We take all the seldom-used items out of the drawers and put them in plastic “shoe” boxes in our appliance closet. Cookie cutters, Cuisinart blades, corn holders, melon ballers, nut crackers, potato masher, skewers, extra do-dads, etc. We use bright index cards for the label (taped to the inside of the box).
“We use this same box system in the linen closet for medicine, as well as the garage for nails, screws, tape, etc.”
Best for grilling
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Michael Foley of Fuquay-Varina shared a simple marinade for steak: “This recipe was handed down to me from my mother. It is at least 50 years old. The results are amazing. Very easy.”
You will need:
Steaks of your choosing
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt (regular salt works, too)
3/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
3/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Mix together and pour over meat. Marinate for one to two hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Best of the best
It has been my pleasure to write Top Drawer these last eight years and to bring you the best of home and garden tips. Thank you for sharing your recipes, wisdom and tips. Thanks most for reading.
As the column draws to a close today, I thought I’d recap some of my all-time favorite tips.
▪ Revive limp celery with a cold soak in ice water. A few minutes is all it takes for once-limp stalks to stiffen and return to their prior crispness.
▪ Repurpose a muffin tin into a place holder for taco or potato bar fixings. Use each well to hold toppings such as cheese, lettuce, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, guacamole, salsa, olives, etc. Best yet, you’ll only have one pan to clean instead of multiple bowls.
▪ Clean baked-on messes off casserole dishes with one simple trick. Place a laundry softener sheet in the dish and fill it with warm water. Let it sit overnight. In the morning, dump the water in the sink and use the softener sheet to remove any remaining bits of food. They will lift out effortlessly. Works like a charm.
▪ Use balled-up aluminum foil, which acts as an abrasive, to scrub and clean grill grates after each meal.
▪ Freshen up a stale powder room by placing a few drops of essential oil onto the cardboard tube of your toilet paper roll. Your bathroom will smell amazing until the roll is complete and you begin again.
▪ Mix 12 ounces of warm white vinegar (heated in the microwave) with 12 ounces of regular blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. Pour the solution into a cheap 24-ounce spray bottle or one of those refillable dish wand scrubbers with a handle. Use the solution to clean away soap scum and grime on shower walls, glass doors, faucet handles, counters, fixtures and more. Rinse and wipe the solution to reveal a gorgeous shine and pleasant scent.
▪ Remove small drips of blood from sheets and clothing by saturating the spot with hydrogen peroxide. It’s best to do this while the stain is still fresh. The peroxide will fizz and bubble as it works to break up and lift the stain away.
▪ Keep sheet sets organized and together by putting the folded sheets inside the set’s pillowcase.
Best tip for berries
Triangle markets are overflowing with juicy berries. As we have shared before, Thefrugalgirls.com offer these tips for extending the life of strawberries and other berries.
“Use one part white vinegar to 10 parts water. Soak the strawberries, leaves and all in the vinegar/water mixture for a few minutes. Then drain the strawberries in a colander until they are completely dry.
Then I place my strawberries in an uncovered bowl in the refrigerator. The vinegar/water mixture kills any mold spores on the strawberries and keeps them fresh longer. The vinegar does not affect the taste. This also works for all kinds of berries: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc. It really works!”
Read more at http://nando.com/as.
Best of the tube
Cramped Quarters: Vince and Jennifer’s home fit their family perfectly when they were a family of five. But the rooms are cramped and overflowing since their brood grew to nine. In need of a bedroom for their toddler and a space for their teens, Vince is desperate to find more space to grow. Jennifer, however, cannot fathom leaving their neighbors and community. Will designer Hilary be able to transform their current home to please Jennifer, or will Realtor David find all the hassle-free space Vince knows this family needs in a new home? “Love It or List It” airs at 5 p.m. Saturday.