Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What to Pay a Babysitter

Ever wonder what babysitters actually get paid these days? If you need to know what to pay your babysitter, check out this babysitting rates site. There is a rate calculator that I found helpful.

You can still choose to pay based on other criteria, but it gives you a great place to start!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mash Your Meat

The next time you brown up some ground meat, whip out your potato masher. It breaks up the meat into perfect tiny pieces.

In fact, leave the meat alone and allow it to caramelize for a few minutes in the pan. Don't worry it won't turn into one huge patty! After the meat gets a little color on it then start to break it up with the masher.

If you try it, I'd love to know what you think.

(This is a tip I picked up from Rachael Ray.)

Rubber Chicken

Rubber chicken? Meet the meat thermometer!

If a recipe calls for cooked chicken, most of us throw it in a pot of boiling water and ends up tasting more like rubber bands than meat, right?

Here's my solution. Wash the chicken, pat it dry then dress it with olive oil, salt and pepper. Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat and bake it on 350F until it reaches 165F. This takes around 30 minutes for most chicken breasts. (I recommend a digital meat thermometer that alerts you when the meat is done. I bought one like this on ebay.) After the meat cools, shred away. You will end up with no-fuss-tender-chicken you won't have to chew in the back of your mouth.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pasta Perfect

When you drain pasta please do not rinse the noodles! You are washing off many of the nutrients and the starchiness that allows the sauce to stick!

If you refrain from rinsing you can instead coat the pasta with a thin layer of sauce. For example, if you're fixing spaghetti, drain the noodles, return them to the pot and add a few tablespoons of the marinara sauce, stirring well to combine. This will keep the noodles from sticking to each other but will still allow the sauce to stick to the noodles.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Movie Rentals

I'm not sure how you rent movies but I've never been a bigger fan of the $1 kiosk than I am now!

First, go to and find the closest Red Box kiosk to your home. You can then see which titles are available at each redbox location.

(If you want to research each title, you can try one of our other favorite sites:

Next, reserve the title you want and then pay with a debit/credit card. When you go to pickup the movie you want you just swipe your card and voila, you have an inexpensive movie rental without the hassle!

How great is that?

Thanks, Brandon, for this tip!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Clean Cut Brownies

My friend Sabrina told me that if you cut your brownies with a plastic knife they will cut straight and won't goop-apart. It works!