Home & Garden

Top Drawer: The best of everything for home and garden

Are you a master at meal-planning with minimal mess? Is there a go-to, one-pot dish your family loves at the end of a long day? If so, we’d love to share it with our readers.
Are you a master at meal-planning with minimal mess? Is there a go-to, one-pot dish your family loves at the end of a long day? If so, we’d love to share it with our readers. MCT

Best chores for kids

Have older kids pull their weight and learn life skills in the process with these age-appropriate chores from the Busy Kids Happy Mom website.

Age 7

▪ Use a vacuum cleaner.

▪ Use a broom and dustpan.

▪ Cook canned soup.

▪ Be familiar with cooking and measuring tools and how they are used.

▪ Pack own sack lunch.

▪ Strip bedsheets.

▪ Sort clothes for washing by color and fabric and check pockets.

Age 8

▪ Fold clothes neatly without wrinkles.

▪ Remake own bed with clean sheets.

▪ Water houseplants and lawn.

▪ Clean bathroom sink, toilet and tub.

Age 9

▪ Load and operate washing machine and dryer (clean lint trap and washer filter).

▪ Fold blankets neatly.

▪ Straighten and organize kitchen drawers.

▪ Dust all household furniture.

Age 10

▪ Bake a cake from a mix.

▪ Cook frozen and canned vegetables.

▪ Wipe down kitchen cupboards.

For household tips and a list of other age-appropriate chores, visit http://nando.com/z-.

Best new uses for waxed paper

The March edition of First for Women magazine offers up a variety of unconventional uses for wax paper. Some of our favorites:

Scuff marks: If winter boots have left a trail of grimy scuff marks on your floors, rub with wax paper. The oils in the wax will break down the deposits without scratching your floors. (Or tape the wax paper to the bottom of a Swiffer dry mop and mop over the marks.)

Wine cork: To recork a bottle of wine easily, cut out a 3-inch square of wax paper. Place over the bottle opening, then push the cork into the bottle. The wax will lubricate the cork so it will slide back into place. If the cork breaks apart when you pull it out again, the wax paper will catch any cork bits.

Metal faucets: To keep metal faucets sparkling for days, wipe them down with wax paper; the wax will add a water-repelling layer.

Holiday linens: Protect holiday and heirloom linens by wrapping them loosely in wax paper before packing them away. The paper protects them from moisture and light, the two elements that most commonly degrade fabrics.

Do you have repurposed use for a household item that our readers would find helpful? Please send examples to topdrawer@newsobserver.com. Put “Best new use” in the subject line.

Best closet organizing tips for spring

Stow your winter boots in a way that will help maintain their shape and save storage space. Take a pool noodle and place one end in the boot. Mark the noodle and cut it at or just below the top of the boot. Do the same for the other boot. Insert the cut noodles in the boots and store them upright in the closet until next season.

To save more space, hang jeans by their belt loop on a shower ring hooked over the closet rod.

Thanks to Today Home for the space-saving tips. You can see them at http://nando.com/-z.

Best one-pot meal

Anna Ball Hodge of Raleigh shared a recipe for a soup that she calls One-Pot Wonderful. This 1970s recipe was given to her by her friend Beverly Senna Shavlik, who was the wife of the late Ronnie Shavlik, an All-American center for the N.C. State Wolfpack men’s basketball team in the 1950s.

You will need:

1 pound ground beef

2 (16-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes

1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce

2 cups water

20 ounces frozen mixed vegetables (approximately)

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

2 teaspoons sugar

Directions:

In a large pot, brown meat. Drain fat. Add all ingredients back into the pot. Heat on medium to low heat for about 30 minutes.

“It’s even better the next day or after freezing,” Hodge says.

Seeking your one-pot meal recipes

Are you a master at meal-planning with minimal mess? Is there a go-to, one-pot dish your family loves at the end of a long day? If so, we’d love to share it with our readers. Please send your simple, seven-ingredient or less, one-pot recipes to topdrawer@newsobserver.com. If we use your recipe, you’ll be entered in our quarterly drawing for a Visa gift card. Don’t forget to include your name, street address and city. Put “best one-pot meal” in the subject line. Precise measurements are required.

Best of the tube

On HGTV

A grand return: Nicole’s newest home is 100 years old, and, not surprisingly, the living room needs work from top to bottom. Despite major setbacks, Nicole is up for the challenge. The outdated textured ceiling is ripped down for electrical and water line repair, while the ugly green walls are given an update. Nicole buffs the original hardwood floors to their former glory. “Rehab Addict” airs at noon Saturday.

Send news and photos to The News & Observer, P.O. Box 191, Raleigh, NC 27602; email topdrawer@newsobserver.com.

  Comments