oday's blog is going to be my answer to Hints From Heloise
. Chock full of recipe ideas, handy tips and knowledge that I've stumbled across over the years.
Since I collect older books and "women's" magazines (think Family Circle
, Good Housekeeping
and Woman's Day
), circa 50's-70's, I am a virtual fountain of useless knowledge when it comes to recipes, product advertising and kitsch in general. As some of you may remember, I bought some books a while back (*see blog entry: Retro Rummage Retrieval
" in the September 22 archives) at various rummage sales in the area. And, as you may remember I mentioned that you could count on hearing more about some of the books' contents at a later date. Well, now is later. Today, I pass that knowledge on to you, Grasshopper. Use it in good health.
First up are some helpful hints and information, some of which you may deem common sense, or if you're like me, smack your head (not too hard, I want you to remain conscious so you can finish reading all of today's blog entry) and say to yourself "Why didn't I think of that?!
Source: Questions Children Ask
• If you use a sprinkling-style watering can to pour the water into your fishbowl, when changing the water, you will get more air into the water.
Having been a goldfish owner for years, I found this information very interesting.
• The monkey wrench gets its' name from the man who first made one, Charles Monke. At first it was called the Monke wrench, but later became the monkey wrench.
Source: Heloise's Housekeeping Hints
• If you put sugar in a big kitchen salt shaker, it's easier to use.
I use this idea a lot, especially when I make cinnamon toast or oatmeal. It's also helpful when my parents come over, 'cause they drink coffee like it's going out of style. Salt shakers are SO inexpensive now, there's no reason not to try this.
• An empty tuna fish can, from which the top and bottom have been removed carefully, makes a wonderful gadget for poaching eggs. Place can-ring in skillet with water and drop egg in center.
And you thought anal retentiveness began with Martha Stewart
. Au contraire, mon frere! Here's one that I thought was so so kooky (this wasn't the only one), I had to include it. Don't get me wrong, I love my books, but who has this kind of time? Cut tinfoil about three inches wider than the thickness of the book. Then open the back of the book, and cover the pages of the book with it. Fold it inside the two book covers. Close the overlapping edges neatly as if it were a package. When you read the book, you can fold the foil neatly and use it as a bookmark.From Me:
• Don't have any WD-40
, but have a squeaky door? In a pinch, apply a tiny amount of liquid soap to the hinge. It'll stop the squeak!
• In need of some quickie, colorful magnets? Purchase a package of round magnets (roughly 3/4cm in diameter) at your local hardware store and hot glue one of them inside an old lid from your favorite two-liter drink. The lids come in all colors (I have red, lime green, yellow and orange on my fridge), depending on what you like to drink. Easy, inexpensive AND practical!
• And the piece de resistance: Ever get charly horses? Well, I do, every once in a blue moon. And let me tell ya, there must have been a blue moon out yesterday, 'cause I got one in my calf. Aaaiiggh! I used to be in excrutiating pain for what seemed like an eternity, UNTIL I started practicing this little remedy: Next time you get a charly horse, pinch (pretty hard, but don't get crazy) the area right beneath your nose. The top of that little indention between your nose and mouth. Keep doing this until the charly horse subsides (usually within seconds).
It may sound silly, but I swear to you it works. When my charly horse kicked in yesterday, I applied this method and saved myself a lot of rolling around, screaming and clutching my calf. Trust me, you'll thank me later!
Now for a few simple (my favorite kind) recipes. However, before I start, a bit of trivia you might find interesting. As you know there's a product named SPAM
. And you've probably heard of it's inferior cousin, Treet
. BUT, did you know there was once a version called BIF
? Lol! Seriously. I've included a scan of the original magazine ad.
Source: The Imagination Cookbook from Dorito Brand Tortilla Chips
• Turkey Cranberry NachosIngredients:
1 large bag of toasted corn Doritos
4 ounces sliced, smoked turkey
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese
1 can cranberry jellyDirections:
Spread each chip with cheese. Top with turkey. Bake at 350ºF for 5-10 minutes. When ready to serve top each nacho with a teaspoonful of cranberry jelly. Serve hot. Makes approximately 30 nachos.Comments:
Yes, these are as great as they sound. I made some once for a Halloween party and was nearly trampled to death.
Source: Family Circle
• Crusty SPAMbakeIngredients:
1/2 cup Kellogg's Corn Flakes
crushed into crumbs
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 12-ounce can of SPAM
2 tablespoons of prepared mustard
Combine corn flake crumbs, brown sugar and cloves. Cut SPAM
crosswise into eight slices. Spread both sides of slices with mustard, then coat generously with a flavor crust of corn flake crumbs mixture. Place SPAM
slices individually in a foil-lined shallow baking pan: do not crowd. Brush pineapple slices with butter. Bake in moderate oven (350ºF) 20 minutes. When serving place a SPAM
slice on each pineapple slice. Yield: 4 servings of 2 slices each.Comments:
One, I realize the recipe's name could be better, but trust me, the end product tastes great. And two, I realize some of you out there may not like SPAM
, some people don't. However, I have fond memories of being 'turned onto' SPAM
by my babysitter, Doshie. I made this for one of my friends who LOVES SPAM
and they flipped their lid.
Source: Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cook Book
• Fancy Ice-Cube Coolers
To make these fancy coolers, freeze a red or green cherry in each of the ice cubes in an ice-cube tray. Or, try a pineapple chunk, a lime slice, or a perfect strawberry. First, wait until the ice has started to form around the sides and bottoms of the cubes and then add the fruit of your choice. This keeps the fruit centered in the cubes. Use the ice-cube coolers when you serve your favorite beverage.Comments:
I like to put them in a Coke
or some lemonade or limeade. I sometimes even use the juice from the jar of cherries, instead of water! The cubes are really great for small get togethers and/or when you want to pamper yourself. "Pamper yourself." Geez, that sounded fruity. My apologies.From Me:
• For a heartier spaghetti sauce, grate a handful of pre-packaged frozen meatballs into a hot skillet and brown before adding your sauce.
• Here's a quick recipe for the dip I make for EVERY party I've had in the last 9 years. It' a HUGE hit. The one time I didn't make it, there was a revolt. Not pretty. I think I originally found the recipe on a package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 8 ounce pkg cream cheese
1 jar of picante sauce (You choose heat. I use Mild
, since when I used Hot
, people cried: 1
) Because the heat was so intense and 2
) Though the pain was intense, they couldn't stop eating the dip)
1 can of bean dipDirections:
Heat all three contents until smooth. Remove from heat and serve with tortilla chips. I use an old mini crock pot thingy from the 70's, when I make this dip, since it sits on a little hotplate-style base and keep the dip perpetually warm. However, I'm sure a pan would be just fine. Just don't scorch it.
• Things that taste nice, sprinkled on top of tomato soup:
- Blue corn chips
- Sour cream
- Garlic-flavored melba toast
- White cheddar popcorn and/or fresh air-popped popcorn (the microwave kind is too buttery)
- Shredded monterey jack cheese
- A handful of steamed rice
- Some freshly snipped chives