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Separate bananas to slow their ripening

Jun 8, 2012 - By Carolyn B. Tyler

An Internet friend has provided me with some more of those "useful tips" to share with readers:

- Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

- Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold.

- Peppers with three bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.

- Peppers with four bumps on the bottom are firmer and stronger flavored.

- Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

- To make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

- Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if you want a stronger taste of garlic.

- Reheat leftover pizza in a non-stick skillet on top of the stove, on med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza.

- Easy deviled eggs: Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag, seal, mash, add remainder of ingredients, keep mashing, mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw the bag away.

- Expanding frosting: When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes for the same price. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

- Reheating refrigerated bread: To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

- Newspaper weeds away: Plant your plants in the ground; work the nutrients in your soil. Then wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go, cover with mulch, and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

- To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant; squirrels won't come near it.

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