Best for trash liners
Changing out room bags on trash day can be a time-consuming drag. Make the task a little easier by layering a half dozen open liners or so at one time. (In my home, the kids replace the liners with grocery store plastic bags.) “When it’s time to take out the trash, you’ll have more liners ready to rock,” explains a tip on the Home Hacks blog. “As an added bonus, the additional liners can also catch any trash goop if you happen to use a bag with a rip or tear!” Check out this time-saving tip and more at: homehacks.com/category/organization.
Best for storing plastic bags
Store grocery and other plastic bags in an empty tissue box and keep the box under the kitchen or bathroom cabinet. The bags will be organized and readily accessible for tasks such as lining trash cans or carting items. When cooking, I like to use the bags to create a “garbage bowl.” Place the bag in a large bowl, fold the bag’s sides over the edge of the bowl and place it on the counter. I can then peel vegetables and let the scraps fall into the bowl and discard any waste generated while preparing meals.
When done, simply pull the bag up by its handles, tie it and toss it in the garbage. It makes cleanup a breeze.
Best way to chop herbs
Make your pizza cutter pull double duty and turn it into a handy, dandy tool for cutting herbs. Simply run the blade back and forth at angles through basil, thyme, parsley and more. You’ll save time and money on buying another drawer-hogging tool. Thanks to Pinterest for the idea.
Best Super Bowl recipe
My friend Mitzi Marullo loves to entertain and cook. Her recipe for baked chicken wings has become a favorite at bunco celebrations and a personal hit for my family at home. If you want to make it yourself, you will need:
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
10 chicken wings
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine olive oil, garlic, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large zip-top bag. Add wings. Seal and shake to combine. You can make this dish ahead and let marinate, if you wish. Arrange chicken wings on a baking dish. Cook wings in the preheated oven for 1 hour. They should be crisp and cooked through. (I like to turn them about halfway through.)
Best for keeping cereal fresh
Here’s a cheap alternative to expensive and bulky storage containers for keeping cereal fresh. After opening a new box of cereal, place the newly opened bag in a large, gallon-sized zip-top plastic bag. Push as much air out as you can and seal the outer bag. Place that bag back in your cereal box to keep it fresher longer.
Best new use
Faye Johnson of Raleigh wrote in to share a new use for plastic ice trays. “When I boil chicken for recipes, I strain the broth and pour into the ice trays and put (it) in freezer. When frozen, I pop out the cubes and put them into plastic bags. These broth cubes are great for seasoning when cooking vegetables or rice, instead of using oil or butter and salt. I freeze the leftovers from canned broth in the ice trays also.”
Seeking new uses for old things
We love learning new uses for old things. If you’ve got a great idea for repurposing an item around the home, we’d love to hear it. Please send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we print your idea, you’ll be entered in our quarterly drawing for a gift certificate. Be sure to include your name, street address and city. Put “best new use” in the subject line.
Seeking your best Super Bowl recipe
Touchdown! And we’re not just talking football. We want to help readers around the Triangle score at their Super Bowl gatherings next week. If you have a party recipe that you know will be a hit on game day, we’d love to share it. Please send the recipe with precise measurements to email@example.com. If we use it, you’ll be entered in our quarterly drawing for a gift certificate. Be sure to include your name, street address and city. Put “best Super Bowl recipe” in the subject line.
Best of the tube
Boarded up beauty: Set the DVR to catch an updated rehab of a centuries-old home. Nicole Curtis is on a mission to save vacant homes from the wrecking ball, and her latest project is taking on a boarded-up and previously condemned home from the late 1880s. The basement is full of structural issues, from rotten support beams and a crumbling concrete floor to the need for a new staircase that meets building code. Also on Curtis’ list is turning the tiny first floor bathroom into a spacious powder room. “Rehab Addict” airs at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
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