Simple, Helpful Kitchen Tips

(Family Features) So much of life happens in the kitchen – from hurried morning breakfasts to after school snacks with the kids – it’s likely to be the most travelled room of the home. Unfortunately, all this activity in one room can cause many messes and much required upkeep. By following a few simple steps, you can keep this important space tidy, clean and smelling great. Here are some simple tips to keep your kitchen clean and inviting: Add Some Citrus. Does your garbage disposal have an uninviting stench? Here’s one simple solution – use orange or lemon peels to freshen the drain or disposal. Simply run cool water from your faucet, turn on the disposal, throw in the peels and take in the fresh citrus scent. This is a perfect way to use old fruit that is no longer good enough to eat. Make Dishes Sparkle. Dirty plates, pots, pans, glasses and utensils pile up quickly in busy kitchens. Get dishes sparkling clean with a dish liquid that leaves your hands feeling touchably soft, such as Palmolive Soft Touch dish liquid. In a recent survey conducted by Kelton, 33 percent of those who wash dishes by hand said their … Continue reading →

Frankly Francine! Dinner Out Dilemma

 Dear Francine, I love my wife very much. We’ve been married for 35 years and recently we both retired. We enjoy meeting friends for lunch and do so several times per week. The women in the group like to shop and often insist on meeting for lunch at the local mall. I’ve talked to the men in the group and none of us enjoy the mall atmosphere. We would rather have our lunches at the golf course or the coffee shop by the car dealership. I’ve suggested to my wife that perhaps we can divide our time between locations so that everybody is able to relax and have a pleasant lunch. She told me that since we’re retired we should do things together and that I should find something to enjoy at the mall. This disagreement has caused hurt feelings to carry over into our evenings and I’d like to find a way to solve the problem. ~Not a Mall Walker Dear Mall Walker, The problem you describe is one that many couples have at the beginning of retirement. It seems that a portion of our culture dictates retired couples do everything together and spend their golden years hand in … Continue reading →

Frankly Francine! Exploding Margarine

Dear Francine, I have so many recipes that call for melted margarine. I’ve tried to melt the margarine as quickly as possible. But I haven’t found a good efficient way to have the butter melted when I need to add it to the recipe. The last time I tried to melt it in the microwave, it exploded all over the inside of the microwave oven. It took me an hour to clean that mess up. I went through an entire roll of paper towels in the process. Can you tell me what the best way to melt margarine or butter would be? Dynamite Cook   Dear Dynamite, You tested the heating properties of oil and the expansion qualities it has when heat is applied.  There are several ways you can melt butter that would be less messy. First thing you could do is place the butter in a small pan on the stove top burner. Heat it on low and wait patiently. The second method you could try involves the microwave and the defrost button. Set the defrost time for 20 seconds at a time and watch closely. The third and probably safest method is to let the butter set … Continue reading →