Make your own shoe-stretcher spray
There is a spray that is used with shoe stretchers. Do you know what is in that formula? — Carol W., email
You can use equal parts water and rubbing alcohol on the inside of the shoe where you want it stretched (using a cotton ball to apply it). Then use your shoe stretcher and a hair dryer to stretch the shoes. Repeat until you have the desired results.
I have saved two dozen Del Monte red grapefruit slices pint jars. I often give my jellies and pickles away, and I thought these jars would be great for that, but the labels just won’t come off. I have tried soaking, and they have been in the dishwasher several times, but I still cannot remove the labels. I called the company and a young man only suggested what I have already tried. Can you help me? — Donyta, email
Soak the jars in hot water. If there’s still some glue residue, use vinegar, nail polish remover, baby or vegetable oil and a plastic or green Scotch-Brite scrubbie to remove it. Label removal is easier if you score the label first. You might have luck with Goo Gone, WD-40 or Pledge furniture polish, too. Run them through your dishwasher afterward.
I sometimes forget to marinate. Is there anything wrong with just pouring marinade onto the meat/poultry and cooking it? — Pauline, Ohio
Marinade is pretty strong because it’s concentrated, so using too much directly can result in a flavor that is overpowering. If you’re short on time, you can brush the marinade onto the meat/poultry toward the end of the cooking process. The idea is to enhance the flavor of your meat, so soaking your meat in it overnight isn’t absolutely necessary.
We rarely drink hot chocolate, but happen to have tons of mix. What can I do with it besides make hot chocolate? — Dob, email
Give some to friends or family, or donate it. You can make chocolate pudding or a chocolate shake, or add it to coffee, pancake batter or oatmeal. You can use it in baked goods such as cakes and muffins, too. Here’s an easy microwave cake-in-a-mug recipe: howto.wired.com/wiki/Make_Cake_in_a_Mug.
I’m making a breakfast sausage casserole, but I grabbed the regular Jimmy Dean sausage instead of the sage flavor. I have some sage; how much do you think I should mix in with the sausage to flavor it? — S.S., California
I wouldn’t add more than 1 tablespoon of sage per pound.
Can I freeze leftover cooked rice? — Jennifer C., North Carolina
You can freeze cooked rice. Let it cool, then package it in freezer storage bags. Flatten the bag (leaving rice in a layer about 3/4-inch thick) and squeeze out any air, or you can even roll the rice into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. To reheat, microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until fully reheated, or use a frying pan or small saucepan. Add a bit of water if needed.