THANKSGIVING QUICK TIPS – As seen on 3TV/Phoenix (Good Morning Arizona) – Monday, November 25, 2019 at 8:45am

Quick Word Of Advice:

I just had an email from a woman who decorated pine cones she had gathered and then found bugs in the decorative container they were in.

If you are collecting your own pine cones for holiday decorations, you will need to de-bug them before you use them.  Bugs love to gather in them.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.  Use an old baking shield or cover one well with foil.  Lay the pine cones in a single layer and “cook” them for 45 minutes.  Now you can decorate with no bugs.

Quick Tips To Keep It Easy

  • Make sure you have disposable cooking pans on hand. Warehouse stores sell Steam Pans that equal a 9 x 13 pan very inexpensively.  Save the messy clean up by using these and tossing after your dinner.  Doing a buffet?  Cook and serve in the same pan.  Great for sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, and many other foods.
  • Make what you can ahead. Do your mashed potatoes and  on serving day put a crockpot liner in your crockpot, set them on low and let them warm, stirring occasionally. Toss the liner when you’re done.
  • Prepare your gravy earlier in the day and put in a thermos to keep it hot and ready to serve. You’ll have one less pan on the stove.
  • Prevent oven spills by placing a baking sheet under your dishes if they may overflow or bubble over.
  • If you have a cooking pan with stuck on food, fill with hot water and add a teaspoon of automatic dishwasher detergent or drop in a fabric softener sheet. Both will soften the grip of the food and allow you to dump the mess and wash easily.
  • Prepare for a smoking oven. Things run over, it starts to smoke and smell.  Stop it instantly by pouring a heavy coat of table salt over the mess.  Smoking and smell stops instantly and later, when the oven is cool, you can lift the mess off with a spatula.
  • Have several large bottles of club soda on hand. It is the OOPS – I can’t believe I spilled that spotter.  Pour it on the spills and the carbonation will bubble up spills so you can blot them up and the salts will keep things from staining.  Red wine spill…. pour white wine on it and blot, blot, blot.

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