Thursday, October 28, 2010

Uses for Coffee Filters


Coffee filters.... Who knew!   And you can buy 1,000 at the 'Dollar Tree' for almost nothing even the large ones!!

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers. 

2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome...  Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.

3.  Protect China by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.

4.  Filter broken cork from wine.  If you break the cork when opening a wine  bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5.  Protect a cast-iron skillet.  Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6.  Apply shoe polish.  Ball up a lint-free coffee filter. 

7.  Recycle frying oil.  After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter. 

8.  Weigh chopped foods.  Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a  kitchen scale.

9.  Hold tacos.  Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10.  Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot.  Line a plant  pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through  the drainage holes..

11.  Prevent a Popsicle from dripping.  Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter...

12.  Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows?  Use strips of coffee filters..

13.  Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them.  It soaks out all the grease. 

14.  Keep in the bathroom.  They make great "razor nick fixers."

15.   As a sewing backing.  Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliquéing soft fabrics.

16.  Put baking soda into a coffee filter, tie to make a small bag and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.

17.  Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.

18.  Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car.

19.  Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.

20.  Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies..  Saves on having extra bowls to wash..

21.  Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.

22.  Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.

23.  Use them to sprout seeds..  Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a plastic baggie until they sprout.

24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers.  Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in phone book..

25.  Use as a disposable "snack bowl" for popcorn, chips, etc. 

Toxic Pancakes!? What do expiration dates mean?

I have been meaning to start writing for days now. I have several pages in my documents file that have information that I want to write about. I have even started and stopped several times. Yet I continue to  be lured away by the next “shiney” that passes before me as I explore and travel through the various sites and blogs  I visit. Yes, adult ADD is alive and well in my world. Actually I just have a hunger for knowledge and tend to jump around looking for more information to back up what I might have read.I guess you could say that along with being a birth junkie, I am an information junkie.

I received an email from my mom today. Or maybe it was yesterday, possibly even a few days ago. I tend to open them when I am trying to avoid something else. You know how it is. There are dishes in the sink, dust on the living room tables, any number of things I should be doing, did I mention my blogs. At any rate, she tends to forward any email that she receives that fall into one of several categories.  
1)    Funny. Some of which have me ROTFLOL and I can’t help but pass them on myself. Others not so much, at least to me, and I have to wonder, “Really…MOM?”
2)       Political. We won’t even go there.  It wouldn’t be pretty. And besides this isn’t a political blog.
3)       Cute. As in “ahhhh, don’t you just want to squeeze them, kiss them, love them. Yeah, I pass some of those along too.
4)        Information that she feels is imperative for me to have. It might help me to get organized, perhaps just useful tips for coffee filters (BTW that one was great and you find it here in my blog). But the best ones are the ones that will potentially save my life. Mind you some of these are very good advice. Others well, let’s just say, I don’t always believe the reference to snopes. 

Anyways back to the one that made me think, “Hey here is a topic I could sink my teeth into.”  You see I am having several people over on Sunday, and I needed an excuse to avoid the above mentioned things. No, really, I had found a couple of cake mixes in the cupboards that are just a tad bit out of date.  Not by much, mind you. I have a wanna be pastry chef in my mists, ah but that is another topic. Did I mention adult ADD?
You might guess which one, as you have probably received this same alarming email. You know that one about the toxic pancake mix, ; the one where the mother  killed her son by forcing the pancakes down his throat. Okay it doesn’t actually say she forced him. There are a few versions of the story, including the one that holds the most weight as being true.  I mean, how could it not be true? It was in the Dear Abby column. And we all know that is like the gospel.

So I decided to have a little look about on the internet. Very interesting things, I did find. First off, my email had a link to So I checked. At the top of the page it does indeed say this is TRUE, but as I read further down, it also said “its inherent  warning is overblown.” I find it interesting that the email doesn’t point this out.It did however warn about any and all baking mixes: Cake, brownies, Bisquick, pancakes, did I miss any? No, that about covers the pictures at the bottom of the email page.

The snopes site does go on to say that there was a death, but that the boy had a very severe mold allergy.  Urban legends  says pretty much the same thing. Hmmm, so what does that all mean. Upon further investigation I found that other people who consumed the “killer pancakes” did not have any reaction at all. The truth of the matter is that, for most people, the worst that can happen is that the pancakes, or cake, brownies, etc. will be stale or not rise properly. There are a few people with severe allergies that should take precautions, but that applies to much in their lives.

If this was truly such a risk, I am sure that the manufactures of baking products would have HUGE warnings on them. After all, my blow dryer has a tag that says “DO NOT use in the shower”, my lawnmower sticker warns me not to put my hand on the blades while it is running, even my paper coffee mug from “unnamed” source says “caution! liquid is hot”. So it stands to reason that there would be a warning on my mixes, something like “WARNING!! This product may cause death if consumed after expiration date.”  After all we are a litigious people, always looking to be the victim of some greedy corporation.

I did check the Pillsbury, after a Google search directed me to questions posted there. Again, there was no mention of toxic risk. Another answer site with answers from various people had no mention of ill effects from using expired products, but did offer suggestions on what to do if you thought the cake mix needed a little uplift. 

The one that I found most useful, although obviously not recently updated, was from University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County. , on a page about Decoding Food Product Dates.  Although this particular page has not been updated recently, I found that the links I tried were working and had current information.  I am rubbing my hands together in delight as I realize I have hit pay dirt for my unending quest for information.  But for now, I guess I have delayed that kitchen clean-up long enough.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Getting Started

We are in the process of starting a new company designed to assist parents. We, being Sister of the Heart, Stacy and Cassie. We are hoping to drag our beloved Mama Duck into the mix. She is the oldest daughter of Stacy and the baby sitter extraordinaire to Cassie's sons.   She is an incredible writer and I am sure that you will be able to tell when she is writing as opposed to  Stacy (current poster). Please look around our site. Look for more posts in the coming days.