Tip of the Day: Solve a Gasoline Problem

Nothing stinks on your clothes like gasoline! To remove the odor, place the offending clothes in a bucket of cold water, and add a can of cola and a cup of baking soda. Soak overnight, then line dry outside if possible. If there is still any odor left, just wash as usual and it should be gone.

Tip of the Day: Make Your Own Cards

Show your friends you care and save money by making your own cards to send for birthdays or other occasions. Look through old magazines for funny photos (or shots of your friend’s celebrity crush) to use for the front. Or for something more complicated, visit Card-Making-World.com for ideas and free backgrounds and embellishments to download.

Tip of the Day: A Lighter Coat for Fried Foods

When making a batter for foods for deep-frying, try adding ½ teaspoon baking powder for every ½ cup flour. The coating will be lighter.

Tip of the Day: Stop Losing Socks

Use a mesh lingerie bag or pillowcase to launder each family member’s socks separately. It’s an easy way to keep them together, so they’ll be easier to sort later.

Tip of the Day: The Answer for Artificial Flowers

To clean silk flowers, try blowing off the dust with a hairdryer set on cool. You can also put the flowers in a paper bag, add some uncooked rice, and shake. The dirt will transfer to the rice.

Recipe of the Week: Cheesy Carrot Rutabaga Ring

courtesy of The Art of Natural Living
A reader of ours recently sent in a cry for help: "My neighbor just gave me some rutabagas from her yard and I have no idea what to do with them!" Luckily Inger from The Art of Natural Living shared her fabulous carrot and rutabaga recipe with us. Who knew rutabagas could be so delicious?

1 rutabaga, cubed (a scant 4 cups of 1/3” cubes—make up with extra carrots if short)
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds of carrots, cubed (a scant 4 cups of 1/3” cubes)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 2 Tablespoons dried)
Additional parsley for garnish (optional)

How to Make It:

1. Boil carrot and rutabaga cubes 15-20 minutes until tender.
2. Drain veggies and heat in saucepan to evaporate excess water.
3. Add salt, pepper, Parmesan, garlic, parsley   Toss to combine and adjust seasonings to taste.
4. Pack into greased ring mold.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes at 400.
5. To unmold, set a plate on top of the ring, then flip plate and mold over as a unit. Remove ring. (Not as hard as it sounds!) Place additional parsley in center of ring as garnish (optional).

Do you need some recipe inspiration? Let us know!

Tip of the Day: Become a Secret Shopper

SecretShopper.com is now looking for mystery shoppers across the US! Get up to $25, and sometimes free meals and products, to go shopping and visit restaurants.

Tip of the Day: Easy Tile Cleaning

The easiest way to clean ceramic tile is with rubbing alcohol. Just pour it straight on, and mop until it dries.

Tip of the Day: Stitching Sheer Wear

It’s fun to work with sheer materials for curtains and lingerie, but they can be very unwieldy when you’re using a sewing machine. If you sew them to paper (which you’ll rip off as soon as you’re done), they will stay smooth. Make sure to use needles made for lightweight fabric and fine thread.

Tip of the Day: Save the Planet (and your Clothes)

To conserve energy and make clothes last longer, line-dry them. Not only is air-drying less harsh, you’ll love the real smell of sun-dried linens. If you don’t have a clothes line, hang shirts and pants on hangers on tree limbs! Just make sure not to put brights in the sun, as they may fade.

Tip of the Day: Crack Goes the Ceiling

If you have a crack in your ceiling but you can’t quite afford to re-plaster yet, you can fake it with some readily available household supplies. Take one part white glue and one part baking soda, mix them together thoroughly, and then dab the paste onto the crack using your fingers, a Q-tip, or similar object. If your ceiling isn’t white, you can try mixing different food colorings into the paste until you get exactly the right shade.

Tip of the Day: Bust that Rust

If your shaving cream can is leaving rusty rings on the side of your tub or sink, perform this trick right after you purchase a new container: Coat the rim around the bottom of the can with clear nail polish, then let it dry. The nail polish will keep out water, making sure it doesn’t rust.

Tip of the Day: Visit a National Park for Free

Looking for a special way to celebrate Earth Day? Explore the wonder of America's natural terrain. The National Park Service is offering free admission from April 21-29, 2012!

Recipe of the Week: Italian Meatballs

photo courtesy of A Sweet Pea Chef
There are some things that just taste better homemade: no store-bought substitute nor restaurant-style replica will do. These Italian meatballs from Lacey the Sweet Pea Chef, for example, are the type of meal that makes you want to sit down with your family and enjoy a cozy evening together. Isn't it amazing how food can do that?

1 pound 85/15 ground beef
1 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup warm water
Vegetable oil
Olive oil

How to Make It:
1. Place the ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork.
2. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You can wet your hands with water to ease the process. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.
3. Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil.
4. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don’t crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels.

Do you have a great recipe to share? Let us know!

Tip of the Day: Say Cheese with Ease

When taking photos at night, sometimes the flash from your camera can leave an ugly glare on people’s faces (making sure they’ll never let you post the pics online!). Get rid of glare by taping a tiny piece of white coffee filter over the flash. The scene will still light up, but won’t be as harsh.

Tip of the Day: Extend Your Tax Deadline

It's Tax Day! If you still haven't done your taxes, you can always file for a 6-month extension by mailing in this form today! Just be aware that you may be charged interest if you owe money (rather than getting a refund).

DIY Solutions to the Six Worst Bug Problems

Pest control has sent all of us scrambling for bug spray at one point or another, or even hiring an exterminator like Orkin or Terminix. Termites, cockroaches, bed bugs, stink bugs, fleas, and ants are some of the most common unwanted visitors in our homes, but the good news is that there are some tried-and-true methods to kill insects that don’t involve toxic pesticides or poison.

Find out how to get rid of roaches, ants, stink bugs, termites, fleas, and bed bugs using all-natural remedies at the brand new WhoKnewTips.com!

Tip of the Day: Treat Potatoes Gingerly

It is best to purchase potatoes in bulk bins—not in bags, which make it hard to determine which are bruised. If you store fresh ginger with potatoes it will help keep them fresh longer. Half an apple stored with potatoes will stop the sprouting by absorbing moisture before the potato does.

Tip of the Day: When You Want a Stain to Last

If you allow wood to “weather” before you apply a stain, the stain will last years longer. It’s a case where patience pays off.

Tip of the Day: Bad Kitty

Unfortunately, cats rarely respond when you tell them “no.” So to make sure they have a reason to not repeat bad behavior, spray them in the face with water from a spray bottle when you catch them being bad.

Recipe of the Week: Chicken and Brown Rice Pilaf

Whenever we don't know what to do with all the food in our refrigerator, we turn to Kraft Recipes to come up with simple ways to turn ingredients into meals. This pilaf recipe sounds fancy but it's sure to please even the pickiest eater.


3 slices chopped bacon
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 pounds)
1 chopped onion
1 chopped red pepper
3/4 pound fresh sugar snap peas, cut diagonally in half
2 tablespoons water
3 cups hot cooked long-grain brown rice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

How to Make It:

1. Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 5 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings from skillet.

2. Add chicken to skillet; cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until golden brown on both sides and done (165 degrees F). Transfer chicken to plate; cover to keep warm. Add onions and peppers to skillet; cook and stir 3 minutes. Stir in peas and water; cover. Simmer 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in rice; transfer to serving plate.

3. Top with chicken, cheese, parsley and bacon.

Do you have a great recipe to share? Let us know!

Tip of the Day: Make the Most of Leftover Candy

What to do with all those leftover chocolate Easter bunnies? Chop them into small pieces, keep in a resealable container in the freezer, and use them for recipes that call for chocolate chips.

Tip of the Day: What to Do with Wet Umbrellas

Need a cover to store your wet umbrella in while you’re on the go? Look no further than the end of your driveway. The plastic bags newspapers come in are waterproof, and are the perfect size.

Tip of the Day: Re: Rebates

Find loads of items on sale near you that are free after a mail-in rebate. Just visit SalesCircular.com. Enter your zip code and you’ll be directed to a list of products by type—electronics, apparel, appliances, etc.—that are on sale in your area. Click on “Free after rebate” and get a list of items that you can get for free, from make-up to software.

Tip of the Day: DIY Hair Gel

 Make your own hair gel by combining 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin with 1 cup warm water. Keep it in a small jar in your refrigerator. Who knew?

Tip of the Day: Get Rid of Caked-On Spray

If your beauty routine includes spraying your entire ’do to keep it in place, you probably have a film of hair spray on your bathroom vanity and walls. Easily remove it with a solution of two parts water and one part liquid fabric softener. Wipe on with a damp cloth, then rub off with a clean one.

Tip of the Day: Free Card Games Online

Boss disabled your solitaire game at work? Try out IdiotsDelight.net, where you can choose from more than two dozen solitaire card games you can play online. Click on “Klondike” to play “regular” solitaire. Warning: you might get hooked!

Tip of the Day: Make a Garden Hose Last

Your garden hose will last twice as long if you store it coiled, rather than folded. Try coiling it around a bucket. Note that the hose will be easiest to work with when it’s not very cold or very hot outside.

Tip of the Day: Moving Marble

If you’re moving a large piece of marble, such as a tabletop, always transport it upright. If you carry it flat, it can crack under its own weight.

Recipe of the Week: Lobster Mac 'n' Cheese

photo courtesy of Nap Time is My Time

Lobster mac 'n' cheese? Yes please! Emily from Nap Time is My Time shows us how to make this easy, breezy recipe that brings a little class to a no-frills classic.

1 box of your favorite short pasta, such as shells or elbows
1/2 – 3/4 pound lobster meat
3/4 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 – 1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

How to Make It:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8" x 8" pan with non-stick spray or butter.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions for al dente.
3. While your pasta is cooking, combine the milk, sour cream, egg and butter in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
4. Drain your pasta but do not rinse. Rinsing the pasta will remove the starches that help your sauces stick.
5.  Return pasta to pot. Add butter and stir until butter is melted. Add shredded cheeses. Stir until combined.
6. Add your milk mixture to the cheesy macaroni pot. Stir until well combined.
7. Add half of your lobster to the pot. Stir well.  Transfer to baking dish. Top with remaining lobster and panko breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Tips from Emily:
1. Purchase the lobster from your seafood market already cooked.  It’s a bit of a splurge, but much tastier than imitation lobster meat.
2. Trader Joe’s sells Swiss and Gruyere shredded together in a bag for $4.99.  The cost for this is cheaper than buying the two individually and shredding it yourself.
3. If you want to cut down on fat,  use a fat-free version of either sour cream or milk, not both. Macaroni and cheese needs some fat to help it stick together.  Nothing is worse than runny or clumpy mac and cheese!

Do you have a great recipe to share? Let us know!

Tip of the Day: Egg A-peel

It's easier to peel hard-boiled eggs if you add a teaspoon of vinegar and a tablespoon of salt to the water they cook in. The vinegar will also keep them from cracking.

Tip of the Day: Free Target Beauty Bag

Living Richly on a Budget alerted us to this great deal! Click here to get a free sample of beauty supplies from Target now through May 26, 2012.

Tip of the Day: Life Savers to the Rescue

Life Savers are an excellent accent for your child’s birthday cake. Not only do kids enjoy sucking on them, but they are perfect for holding candles! Use the regular size (not the jumbo kind that come individually wrapped in bags), put them on top of the cake, and then insert the candle in the middle. The candy will hold the candle straighter and is easily disposed of if wax drips on it.

Tip of the Day: The Cheesecloth Stands Alone

After you’ve used a piece of cheesecloth, don’t throw it away. Throw it into a load of laundry, then use it as a dust rag. It will trap small particles in its weave, and won’t leave behind a bunch of lint.

Tip of the Day: Fireplace Finisher

Get your brick fireplace nice and clean with a simple household solution. Take 3 cups vinegar, 3 cups ammonia, and 3 cups borax, mix the ingredients thoroughly, and scrub the bricks clean. This will work for any bricks inside or outside your home.
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