1. Spice-Jar Spaghetti Measuring:
Judging the correct amount of spaghetti to cook for two people can be tricky, especially if you try to do so by eye. Save a clean empty spice jar (with a 1-inch diameter opening) and use it to measure out just the right amount for two servings. Simply double this amount when you want to measure spaghetti for four people.
2. Single Serving Whipped Cream:
Fresh whipped cream is an ideal topping for a mug of hot chocolate. For just one serving, however, it's too much hassle to drag out a hand mixer to whip the cream. Instead, use a hand-held milk frother. Just pour 2 tablespoons of cold heavy whipping cream into a mug, add a pinch of sugar and whirl until the cream holds soft peaks.
3. Rice at the Ready:
Whenever you make rice, prepare a double batch and freeze the leftovers for later use. Simply spread the hot rice out on a baking sheet to cool, breaking up any large clumps. Place the cooled rice in a large zipper bag and freeze until needed. Later, it can be reheated in the microwave and used to make fried rice or added to gumbos and stews.
4. Handy Temperature Guide:
In order to ensure your food is cooked to the proper temperature, create a reference card with a list of final meat temperatures. Enclose the card in a zipper bag to keep it clean along with a digital thermometer for easy access.
5. No More Fruit Flies:
Many fruits, such as bananas, are stored at room temperature. During the warmer months, however, fruit flies find ripening produce irresistible. Entice the pests by placing ¼ cup orange juice or honey in a small drinking glass then top it with a funnel, where they are unable to escape.
6. Hands-Free Seasoning:
Sprinkle a plate or other flat surface liberally with salt and pepper (or other seasonings), then lay the meat on the plate. Season the top side of the meat. Use tongs to transfer the meat to the stovetop or grill.
7. Disposable Ice Packs:
Fold a paper towel in thirds, saturate it with water then fit it inside the bottom of a storage container. Place the container in the freezer. When ready to pack a lunch, place the food in a zipper bag, set the bag in the frozen plastic container and put on the lid. The food will stay cool until lunchtime.