Who Knew?!

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Who knew there were so many great tips and tricks out there that can really make life easier? 

Over the years I’ve found exactly that!  And as I do my research for Live and Learn, I usually happen upon those little gems that either don’t quite fit with the topic or simply just never make it on-air.  That’s when I came up with Who Knew?  - a sort of collection of useful tips on a wide range of topics.  Here are just a few…

Who knew … that ketchup was a perfect copper polish that takes absolutely no elbow grease to get your pots and pans looking fresh again?

Who knew … that using non-stick spray (like PAM) can actually make your non-stick cookware LESS non-stick?  If you must use it, try to spray the food not the pan.  Or, invest in a oil mister instead.

Who knew … the simple secret to washing socks that keeps them separated and easier to sort?

Who knew … that wrapping paper and cupcake cups are a perfect party accessory?

Who knew … that the secret to a perfect fried egg (with a soft yolk) is a teaspoon of water?

Who knew … that you can slim down any salad dressing in one step – or just make it seem like you are using more without plopping on more calories?

Who knew … that there’s an easy homemade substitute if you need buttermilk for a recipe and just don’t keep it on hand?

Who knew … that one of the top chef tips for improving your cooking involves a meat thermometer?

Who knew… that microwaving a garlic clove for 10 seconds makes taking the skin off a breeze?

And who knew … that cornstarch and water can be fun for the kids and also be an instant science demonstration for school if you’re in a pinch for a project?  This one is for Lisa, she said her boys just love it – so wanted to share the secret!

And that’s just a few.

Here’s the scoop on the recipes:

The Perfect Fried Egg

(from Mad Hungry, by Lucinda Scala Quinn)
½ teaspoon unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water
salt and ground black pepper

Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the butter and swirl it to coat the skillet.  Immediately crack the egg into the skillet.  Add the water to the pan, reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook for 1 minute (or until done enough for your taste).  Remove the egg from the pan immediately.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Kid’s Muck
¾ cup cornstarch
1/3 cup water

Put water in a medium bowl.  Slowly add cornstarch to water.  DO NOT STIR!
Let it set for 2 -3  minutes.  Pick up a handful and squeeze it until it forms a ball.  Open your hand and it turns to liquid.

Buttermilk Substitute

Milk (just under one cup)
1 Tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice

Place a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup, add enough milk to bring the liquid up to the one-cup line.
Let set for 5 minutes.

Live and Learn!