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I have spent the last 2 hours reading your newsletter and wonderful recipes. I have already printed a whole bunch I want to try. I love them because they are using ingredients one has on hand. I love that and just wanted you to know how much we appreciate all your hard work in putting together this newsletter. Thank you very much.


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       Volume I - September 2, 2008

SMART Ideas!

Working smarter, Not Harder… That’s Our Motto!

by Alice Osborne

When ever you need to mix tuna for tuna salad, first put all ingredients in a 1 gallon sealable plastic bag, remove excess air, then I just blend ingredients by squeezing the bag. Then snip off 1 corner to squeeze out the amount needed for sandwiches, salads, and etc. This idea can be used with many other foods such as deviled eggs, seafood salad, meatloaf, seasoned ground beef for the grill and so on. This is extra nice to prepare foods on camp-outs, picnics, or carry dish for get-togethers (and a lot easier to transport). Enjoy the food and an EASY clean-up.

To remove tea stains from your cups, just put a small amount of bleach to the cup and then fill to the brim with water. Let the cups sit until the stains disappear. Doesn`t take long. Make sure the cups are well rinsed when clean.

Use a ball of aluminum foil to clean your grill. Make a ball as big as your fist and just rub away grease and grime.

To get rid of sticker residue, put some peanut butter on a cloth and rub the glue off. Amazing!

When we wash vegetables (especially leafy spinach or swiss chard) or fruit, we fill the kitchen sink with cold water and add baking soda. Move the vegetables around in the water and then let them soak for about 3 minutes. Then rinse. This procedure lets dirt sink to the bottom. Rinse again and all is ready to use. Fruit will look much brighter.

Here’s our “DUH!” for the day: Don't even try to make an angel food cake in the microwave. What a mess!

Use cheap plastic wrap to cover your counters while doing messy cooking or baking. When finished, peal the mess off, toss in trash, and voila! MINIMAL cleanup!

This shared by a camping friend: “I always hated it when I would climb into my camper and find that traveling to the campgrounds made the paper towel roll unwind. So here’s what to do: Rinse out a 2 liter bottle. Cut off the mouth and bottom section and slice down the center. It easily wraps around the towels and keeps them from unraveling during your trips. You can also use a bungee cord to hold the paper towel roll out of the way. Thread the bungee cord through the roll and hook both ends to wherever you hang it. Sheets tear off easily and never all over the place.”

Use a sandwich bag when buttering a dish or making rice crispy treats and the mess won't stick on your hands!

To make fruit salad in a bag: Add a can of fruit cocktail, a can of pineapple chunks (both cans of fruits not drained), a cup of coconut, a box of instant vanilla pudding, and a banana to a plastic bag and seal. Shake and squeeze the bag and serve (right from the bag, if camping). This is even better if chilled.

MORE plastic brilliance: When decorating cakes, put icing into a piece of saran wrap, wrap and twist the ends together. Cut one end off and insert into bag to pipe. This saves on clean up and mess. Also handy for when using several icing colors and you have only one piping bag! You can also stripe your plastic wrap and add different colors to your icing!

(If YOU have a smart idea, won't you share it? Life is so much easier and we accomplish so much more when we pool our resources. And after all, we're all in this together. So email or with YOUR Smart Ideas!)

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