- When picking sweet potatoes, choose the dark-skinned ones. They are known to be sweeter and more moist than the lighter-skinned variety.
- Instant mashed potatoes are a good thickener for stews and gravies.
- To make your own breadcrumbs, bake pieces of bread (ends, leftovers, or scraps) in an oven at 250 degrees until light brown. Then grind the pieces in a food processor. Add flavoring if desired (oregano, parsley, garlic salt).
- Don’t throw away leftover vegetables. They’re great on pizza, can be sautéed and put in an omelet and make wonderful additions to homemade soups and stews.
- Have trouble finding the end on a roll of plastic wrap? Place the roll in the freezer for 30 minutes and it will unroll easily.
Decorating for Dinner?
- When candles lose their new look and become dull, spray them with furniture polish and wipe well.
- Metal cookie cutters do double-duty as unique napkin holders for special dinners. Spray paint them to match your decor.
- When using candles on a dining room or kitchen table, make sure the candles are unscented. This way the scent won’t interfere with the food you’re serving.
Driving to Dinner?
- A long car trip can strain family harmony. Stop every few hours for a rest break. A snack and some exercise in a public park is a good way to let off steam.
- Have the kids come up with questions for family members you haven’t seen in awhile. Make a game out of it and name them reporters for the day. They pick the questions, interview the guests and then share the results after dinner.
- Next time you have guests spending the night, place a small basket near the bathroom sink, and fill it with small bottles of shampoo, mouthwash, lotion, a small tube of toothpaste, a toothbrush, a disposable razor, etc. If your guests forgot to pack any of these items, they will be grateful to have this special guest basket
Start A New Tradition
- Make a thankful box. Decorate a shoebox or other small box and cut a slit in its top. Every night or once a week, have everyone in the family write something they are thankful for and then place it in the box. Set a date for the reading and sharing of them all, maybe near Thanksgiving.
For more great tips, check out our Best Baking Tips.