Hi Reena,
I want to know the best way to clean my drains. Thanks, Donna

Dear Donna,
In a jar combine 2 tbsp. cream of tartar, one quarter cup baking soda and 1 tsp. salt. Drop in the drain, chase with boiling water. Repeat as necessary. Or pour half cup salt down the drain, followed by boiling water or vinegar. Extra tip: Don’t toss flat cola into the garbage; instead pour it into drains to keep them fresh.

Dear Reena,
I would like to make chocolate decorations for cupcakes to serve at my daughter’s wedding. I am worried that the chocolate pieces may break after I shape it, how can I prevent this? Signed, Mother of the Bride

Dear Mother of the Bride,
Congratulations! What an exciting time for both you and your daughter. To make chocolate designs use a pencil to draw outline shapes on a sheet of parchment paper. Popular shapes include: flowers, leaves, vines, hearts, initials, lattice type shapes, stick figures, etc. Once you have completed the designs, melt chocolate in a double boiler and then pour it into a piping bag or a sealable bag. With a pair of scissors, cut a very tiny hole in the corner of the bag. Squeeze gently to release the chocolate. Trace your designs with the warm chocolate then let them harden at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Very carefully peel the chocolate design off of the parchment paper. Once you become proficient at this technique, try laying the parchment over a rolling pin or other cylindrical shape to form a curved design, which adds another dimension to your decorations.

Dear Reena,
I cooked a large amount of spaghetti in a pot and just before I served it, I noticed that it had turned into one big heap of pasta. What can I do to stop the noodles from clumping together? Megan

Dear Megan,
Always cook pasta in a large pot so that each noodle has room to move and groove. Once the noodles are cooked, pour hot water over them as you are straining them. This is very important because water washes away the gluten and keeps your noodles loose as a goose. When you pour noodles into a serving bowl, add a few drops of oil and mix, this is another prevention measure.

Help Reena,
Every time I crack an egg, little pieces of egg shell make their way inside the bowl. Is it me? Is it the egg? Or is it my technique? Thanks, Cindy

Dear Cindy,
Well it’s not you and it’s not the egg (unless you are getting your eggs from some rare bird that I’ve never heard of). That leaves your technique. Avoid cracking eggs on counter edges or bowl rims and instead get cracking directly on the counter surface. You will find that as the egg cracks the shells will not sneak their way into your bowl.

Food Disaster Contest!
Submit your food disaster story for a chance to win a copy of “Household Solutions 2 with Kitchen Secrets”. Deadline Feb. 1st, 2011. Winner will be notified by phone, so be sure to include your phone number with your entry. A few chosen entries will be printed.

Reena Nerbas is a highly popular professional speaker and the author of three national best sellers, “Household Solutions 1 with Substitutions”, “Household Solutions 2 with Kitchen Secrets” and “Household Solutions 3 with Green Alternatives”. Corporate and Christmas Workshops Available by calling: 204-320-2757.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming!

Check out my web site! www.householdsolutions.org

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