Why Didn't I Know That?

Peppers eat themselves. ter-whenigrowup.blogspot.com

My husband is a master of useless facts....mostly about bands & music, but about other things as well. In trivia games, he is always sought after as a partner. I guess technically they are not useless facts then...just random facts.

I was thinking the other day about things that I have learned (a lot of them from him) and thought maybe I'd share. It's not like anyone ever sits down and tells you a bunch of random things that are actually helpful in everyday life. So here is one thing he taught me that I'd like to pass along.

Peanut Butter. When using peanut butter for a recipe -- first, make sure to use a liquid measuring cup -- if you need 1 cup for the recipe, fill with water to the 1 cup line), then add your 1 cup of peanut butter until the water level moves to the 2 cup line. Drain off the water and dump peanut butter into your mixing bowl. You'll notice how easy the clean up is, a little might stick to the side of the measuring cup, but not nearly what would have without the water. Easy.

Why was I like 35 before I ever knew this?

Here are some other ideas I have picked up over the years.

Storing fresh vegetables.
First rule is don't wash the veggies until right before you need to use them. They age faster if you do. Second, did you know that you are not supposed to seal certain vegetables when you store them in ziploc bags?
Why, because they eat themselves. 

Okay, that is not the technical term for it, I am sure there is one, but that's how I describe it. So veggies, like  peppers or lettuce, once you wash them---last a lot longer if you do not seal them into a ziploc. Use a ziploc, but leave it open so they can breathe. All I know is that they last a ton longer if you don't seal them up.

Here is how I store my romaine lettuce:

Rinse each leaf, air dry in a strainer or stack between sheets of paper towel. Once partially dry---put in a ziploc baggie with one slightly wet piece of paper towel. Do not seal the bag, do not overstuff the bag. Keep in your properly set refrigerator drawer (mine has settings for vegetables or fruit). This allows your lettuce to be ready to use anytime.

Avocados. Why did no one ever tell me that you choose the softest/ripest avocados you can at the store? Then instead of having to peel the hard outer part off them (like a potato) you simply take a spoon and scoop off a chunk of the outer green shell, leaving the soft green inside ready to spoon put and into your recipe. A ripe avocado requires no chopping or dicing, just a little smashing. So much easier!

Pampered Chef garlic press is the time saver of all time savers!
Don't peel and cut up the garlic clove, use the press (I am a little bit of a garlic press snob, so I say you should only use the Pampered Chef brand...the other brands do not work as well). Using your Pampered Chef garlic press, place an unpeeled clove inside the press. You can remove the flaky dry outer shell but you don't need to peel the down to the clove.  Squeeze, and you are done!

Easy peasy and a lot less hassle than peeling the clove, smashing and cutting it up.

Do you like good ranch dressing?
The easiest way to achieve this at home is to buy the Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch dry packet  from the store. Then mix up the buttermilk, mayonnaise and the packet of spices. It will last for 6 weeks in the refrigerator---well, that is if it doesn't get used up before then-- and I guarantee that it will taste better than anything out of a bottle.

What tricks can you share with me? I'd love to grow my list!