It’s time for another installment of “One Good Thing By YOU” – a semi-regular featuring of good ideas from the amazing readers of this website!
More of your AWESOME ideas!
Here’s a timely tip to start us off………
First of all, cut the bottom of the pumpkin instead of the top. It interferes less with the design that way, which is important when you are carving really intricate patterns like we do. Instead of making your base perfectly round, make a triangle shaped notch at the back to make it easier to tell which way the pumpkin will sit on it. I live in the middle of the desert where it can still be around 90 degrees for Halloween, so we don’t cut our pumpkins until the day before. To prevent the fine intricate carving from withering up, we float the carved Jacks in a bathtub full of cold water until it is time to display them. A swimming pool would work too. Last but not least is my favorite part of all. Right before lighting the candles, liberally sprinkle the inside of each pumpkin with pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Don’t be stingy! The heat from the candles will warm the spices and pumpkin flesh up to create a heavenly pumpkin pie smell! Many trick-or-treaters and their parents ask where the wonderful smell is coming from.
Julia Child’s Popovers
My one good thing is Julia Child’s recipe for popovers. They are the EASIEST thing to make and they taste so yummy. You just need 1 cup flour, 1 cup room temp milk, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 eggs room temp, and 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted. I throw all the ingredients in a blender, fill every other hole in a muffin pan, bake at 425 for about 25 min and in less than 30 minutes I have a yummy popover! I wish I had more recipes that were this simple to make!
My one good thing is my all purpose seasoning. I use it on everything. I bought a big mason jar,
Poured in equal amounts of garlic powder, black pepper, salt, & onion powder. Mix and use on everything !
Homemade Shake and Bake
I use panko, cornmeal, homemade breadcrumbs or croutons, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasonings, paprika, salt, pepper, really anything that catches my eye. Then when it is time to use it I will add cheese to a small bowl and mix it with the shake and bake mix. I store it in a Tupperware container in the cupboard. Tastes better than the commercial stuff and I’m pretty assure it is better for me.
As I use it I add more ingredients so its constantly changing. Some times it may be spicier, sometimes more Italian, but always tasty.
Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread
Using a hot cast iron skillet for the BEST ever cornbread! When setting your oven temperature, place your cast iron skillet in the oven along with the amount of oil that is called for your recipe. After the oil is hot and the skillet is heated, removed skillet from oven and pour the heated oil into the batter, mixing and transferring the batter back into the skillet. Place in oven and bake for desired time. This greases your pan plus makes a crust like edge on your best ever corn bread!
My one GOOD thing is having a birthday tablecloth in the family. Buy a special tablecloth, that has Happy Birthday on it, balloons, cakes, confetti, etc. – whatever you can find. I prefer a nice cloth one. It can be formal, childish, tacky, whatever. We used it for every birthday celebration in the family. And for extended family, I would bring it to celebrations for grandparents, in-laws, nieces, etc. It becomes a tradition that folks remember. I also have a birthday plate that is used for the cake. Sometimes the birthday tablecloth will come into my office with me for co-workers as well.
Washing Machine Reminder
My one good thing is writing on your washer. Use a dry erase marker on the lid of your washing machine to jot down what can’t go in the dryer or which stains to check before moving it to the dryer. Then, just wipe it off when you put in the next load. If you can find one with a magnetic top, even better!
Cream Of ______ Soup Replacement
Lori Sue Johnson
One of my money savers (and major sodium reducers) while cooking is to replace that Cream of (mushroom, chicken, celery) soup with a white sauce. Melt a couple tbsp of oleo (or butter). Mix in a couple tbsp of flour to make a paste. Add a cup of milk and stir over heat until it thickens up. Then you can add whatever you like for a soup or soup substitute for casseroles.
Budgeting App and Website
Alice @ Earning My Two Cents
My One Good Thing would be my favorite budgeting app and website, Easy Envelope Budgeting Aid (www.eebacanhelp.com). It’s seriously the best. Really easy to use and totally free. Nope, I’m not advertising for them, it’s just an awesome product that makes my life easier. I have recommended it to friends and they love it too. The app shows you on your phone while you are out and about shopping just how much money you have left in certain categories. It helps me stay on budget and think twice about purchases that I actually can’t afford, which is crucial now since money is so tight in my house. Hope you guys also like the app!
That Clean House Smell
My one good thing is for that moment when you need your house to smell like you just spent hours cleaning it, but you don’t have hours. Fill one side of your sink with hot water (2 inches or so) then pour a little of the blue Pine Sol in with it. It leaves your house smelling refreshed and clean. When the smell fades, just add more hot water. ;)
Getting The FAT Out Of Ground Hamburger (3 different tips!)
My one good thing is getting all the fat out of ground hamburger .
After you cook the meat place in a collinder,next use the tool that you use to cut butter into the flour for pie pastry. Mix your hamburger with the tool the same way and look below and see a lot of fat pushed out.
When we cook ground hamburger, after it is cooked, we drain the fat, then add water and place it back on the stove to boil it. Then we drain it again, which removes even more fat, then we rinse it all with hot water. It gets almost ALL the fat out. Then we put the pan with the meat back on the stove and proceed with the recipe. (usually we’re just making tacos, so we add your homemade taco seasoning and water and simmer it for a little while).
And yet another version: Brown the hamburger, then drain in a colander. After it is thoroughly drained, Start the HOT water running in the sink! Start rinsing the hamburger. At the same time, squirt blue dawn in the sink. Dissolves the grease and doesn’t clog the pipes…either in your sink or your heart!
My best and favorite tip is for stain removal. I boil water in a big pot on the stove. When it comes to a boil, I turn off the heat, add some OxyClean (I used to use it from the store, but now I make my own, per your site), and add the garment. You can use a big soup pot and put in a few things or a large garment, or small pot for just a little garment. I let it soak until the water is cold, or overnight, and pour the whole thing into the next load of laundry I do. If this doesn’t get the stain out, nothing will. It will even get out stains that have been set by the dryer.
P.S. My kids call this ‘Shirt Soup’. :)
‘Lighten Up’ Creamy Salad Dressing
I love creamy salad dressings like Western, Thousand Island, but they are full of calories. When I make a salad I add in a big tablespoon of plain yogurt with a small amount of bottled dressing. The yogurt takes on the flavor of the dressing, my dressing is even creamier than all that dressing and I have eaten less calories and something that is good for me,
Omelet In A Bag
My tip would be to add all ingredients into a zip lock bag that you would put into an omelet – mushrooms, cheese, eggs, tomato, onion, the list is endless. Zip it up, put it into a pan of boiling water for 13 minutes. A PERFECT omelet. Caution: when opening, watch for steam.
Onion On A Bee Sting
If you get stung by a wasp or bee, scrape out the stinger and then reach for a slice of fresh onion. You may not smell pretty, but the pungent onion will neutralize the poison, take the sting right out of it and the bump will be minimal come the next day.
Don’t believe me?
By the age of 4 my son would scream onion when he got a bee sting. This saves so much pain, time and money on remedies that do little for the poison inside. TRY IT! It’s an old farmer’s trick!
Share Your Handwriting with Loved Ones
Write things down in your own handwriting. Recipes, cards, a journal, an index with a funny thing your dog did…anything, and keep them in a drawer or a box for your children and grandchildren to have when you’re gone. In this day and age of instant electronic everything (which I REALLY like, by the way!), we’re losing that warm, personal and very intimate sharing of handwritten thoughts, ideas, and expressions of love to serve as personal treasures. So don’t worry that your handwriting isn’t perfect. In fact, know that it IS a perfect expression of you and that when others see it, they know it is YOU and feel closer to you. Don’t let your self-conciousness about your handwriting result in denying those who love you this special touch.
That’s my one good thing.