Take Ordinary Cupcakes from Drab to Fab!!!

I remember when my son was in school, I was often called upon to make cupcakes for his class.  I tried so many different ways to make them look really spectacular, sometimes even spending a fortune at the craft stores on those fancy toothpicks and edible toppers.

Here’s a simple and affordable idea that can help you take your ordinary cupcakes from drab to fab! Invest in an inexpensive pastry bag kit! The Wilton 12-Piece Cupcake Decorating Set is all you need.

This kit includes:

  • Star tips 1M and 4B
  • Round tip 2A
  • Drop flower tip 2D
  • 8 disposable bags
  • Instruction booklet

As you practice with the different tips, it gets easier to use them and you’ll be able to make your cupcakes look fabulous. Once you get the hang of using the pastry bag and tips, you can make fun designs, perfect for celebrations or everyday treats!


Simple Home Security Tip

Put your car keys and key fob beside your bed at night.  Tell your spouse, children, neighbors, parents and friends or anyone your run into to do the same.

If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your key fob. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.

This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It’s a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage.

If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won’t stick around. After a few seconds, all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won’t want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.

Great Household Tips – I love them all!

More wonderful tips from the Wilen Sisters.  I’ve used several over the years.

Avoid Stained Containers:
If you have stain-causing leftovers—such as tomato sauce, curry or chili—lightly mist the container with nonstick cooking spray before putting in the food. The lecithin in the spray acts as a repellent to stain-setting pigments

Tea For Tenderizing:
Here’s a simple way to make sure your pot roast is tender and juicy. Add 2 teabags (without the strings or tabs) of black Pekoe tea to the pot and cook as usual. Remove the teabags when the roast is done.

Keep The Holiday Silver Sparkling:
If you plan to use the sterling silver for holiday meals, here are three key things you need to know to make it glisten and preserve it’s beauty:

It’s preferable to hand wash silverware in hot sudsy water as soon as possible after use to prevent tarnish stains. Rinse well in clear warm water, dry thoroughly (do not let silver air-dry) and put it away.

Foods that contain sulfur, such as eggs, and some food acids, like those found in vinegar, mustard and salt, cause silverware to tarnish and/or corrode faster than alkaline foods. We’re not saying to avoid those foods. We’re stressing the need to wash the silver promptly after use.

If you do put silverware in the dishwasher, don’t wash it with stainless steel. Their interaction causes pitting on the stainless pieces and leaves black spots on the silver.

Egg Separator:
If you want to separate eggs, do it as soon as you take them out of the fridge. They’re easier to separate when they’re cold.

And here’s a clever way to do it. Buy a little funnel. Place the funnel in a glass, then crack the egg over it. The egg white will glide into the glass and the yolk will stay in the funnel.

The Best Dust Cloths:
In addition to (or instead of) buying a microfiber dust cloth, recycle old pairs of cotton socks or gloves and use them to dust. Old, cut-up cotton T-shirts and discarded shoulder pads also make good dust rags. Snagged pantyhose and used fabric-softener sheets are excellent lint-free dust collectors. And they’re all washable.

Fasten Your Bracelet With One Hand:
Do you ever struggle trying to fasten your bracelet when there’s no-one around to help? Well, instead of going around in circles, tape one end of the bracelet to your wrist. You can simply fasten and go!

Do Food Expiration Dates Really Mean Anything?

1) Expiration dates aren’t required
I assumed that there is a regulatory process involved with expiration dates-hard and fast rules. This is not the case. According to the USDA, there is “no uniform or universally accepted system used for food dating in the United States,” although some states do require it, and there are dating regulations when it comes to infant formula.

2) Different dates have different meanings
“Sell-by” “Best if used by” and “use-by” have similar, but slightly different meanings. “Sell-by” is geared more toward the retailer, indicating to them when they should rotate product off the shelves. “Best if used by” is an indicator of quality (the food will not be “bad” after that date) and “use-by” is the last day the manufacturer recommends using the product based on quality, not safety.

3) How long will my food last if it goes past the expiration date?
That depends on what it is and how it was handled. The USDA recommends using products that display the “use-by date” by that time. For sell-by dates that go past at home, you can continue to store the food for a short amount of time depending on what it is. Some common products are: ground meat and poultry (1-2 days past the date), beef (3-5 days past the date), eggs (3-5 weeks past the date).

4) Could food lose its nutritional value before it’s expired?
That depends on the food. Take orange juice, for example. One cup of OJ can offer a full day’s dose of vitamin C. But after it’s been open for a week, it loses all antioxidant benefits from exposure to air and light. (And that could happen even before it reaches its expiration date.)

5) Is food safe after it expires?
Expiration dates refer to quality, not safety. For example, if a refrigerated product was kept below 40 degrees and was well packaged and handled, it may look and smell a little funny, but would not necessarily be considered unsafe. If it was left out on a warm counter for hours or contaminated by something else, it may harbor harmful bacteria that could cause food-borne illness. (Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than 2 hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40° and 140°F, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.) For this same reason, you should never eat meat, poultry, eggs or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than 2 hours (1 hour in temperatures hotter than 90°F). But this could happen to any food and is not related to expiration dates.

By Hilary Meyer, Associate Food Editor, EatingWell Magazine

How long does Coronavirus (Covid 19) live on surfaces?

This information was found on the Webmd website.  This info is not an exact science they are still in the early stages of finding out more and more on this virus but it’s a good guide.

Different Kinds of Surfaces

Examples: doorknobs, jewelry, silverware
5 days

Examples: furniture, decking
4 days

Examples: milk containers and detergent bottles, subway and bus seats, backpacks, elevator buttons
2 to 3 daysStainless steel
Examples: refrigerators, pots and pans, sinks, some water bottles
2 to 3 daysCardboard
Examples: shipping boxes
24 hours

Examples: pennies, teakettles, cookware
4 hours

Examples: soda cans, tinfoil, water bottles
2 to 8 hours

Examples: drinking glasses, measuring cups, mirrors, windows
Up to 5 days

Examples: dishes, pottery, mugs
5 days

Examples: mail, newspaper
The length of time varies. Some strains of coronavirus live for only a few minutes on paper, while others live for up to 5 days.

Examples: takeout, produce
Coronavirus doesn’t seem to spread through food.

Coronavirus hasn’t been found in drinking water. If it does get into the water supply, your local water treatment plant filters and disinfects the water, which should kill any germs.

Examples: clothes, linens
There’s not much research about how long the virus lives on fabric, but it’s probably not as long as on hard surfaces.

One study tested the shoe soles of medical staff in a Chinese hospital intensive care unit (ICU) and found that half were positive for nucleic acids from the virus. But it’s not clear whether these pieces of the virus cause infection. The hospital’s general ward, which had people with milder cases, was less contaminated than the ICU.Skin and hair

There’s no research yet on exactly how long the virus can live on your skin or hair. Rhinoviruses, which cause colds, survive for hours. That’s why it’s important to wash or disinfect your hands, which are most likely to come into contact with contaminated surfaces.