Mary Hunt

Everyday Cheapskate readers have sent me some great kitchen tips to help out around the kitchen.

MESS-FREE BATTER. A spill-proof way to pour cupcake batter into muffin tins or pancake batter onto a griddle is to transfer it to a clean milk carton, using a funnel. The carton’s spout lets you pour with precision and provides an excellent container for storage in the refrigerator.

— Renee

COLD HANDS DON’T STICK. My tip doesn’t really save any money, but it sure makes me happy. When making Rice Krispies Treats, rinse your hands with cold water before pressing the treats into the pan. This will eliminate all that goo on your hands. And the treats stay in the pan, not on your hands.

— Robin

PERFECT BROWNIES. Tired of baking brownies in a 13-by-9-inch pan and having to cut them into equal squares, hoping they won’t fall apart? Instead, use a minimuffin pan, and you can avoid these problems. Simply spray the tins to make sure the brownies don’t stick. Fill the pans two-thirds with batter, and bake for approximately 12 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Cool, and enjoy!

— Betty

PASTRY BLENDER MASH-UP. I don’t have a potato masher and do not intend to get one any time soon. I do have a pastry blender, which I use for making pastries, but I also use it to mash bananas for banana bread, beans for black bean burgers and avocados for guacamole. It does a great job.

— Staci

PIZZA CUTTER MAGIC. I cut my kids’ pancakes into triangles or squares with a pizza cutter. I do this before the syrup goes on. It’s fast and easy, and it doesn’t tear the pancakes.

— Caroline

PICKLED EGGS. Whenever eggs go on sale, we buy several dozen and hard-cook them. Then, we drop the peeled eggs into jars of leftover pickle juice and keep them in the fridge. The pickled eggs are great shredded over potato salad or casseroles, atop green salad, as a quick and tasty egg salad (shredded with mayonnaise) or even eaten whole as a snack.

We keep dill pickle and sweet pickle juices separate, and put eggs in both of them. Sweet are great for egg salad. I especially like shredded dill eggs, cheddar cheese and pimiento-stuffed green olives (also shredded) mixed with mayonnaise (sometimes I thin it with wine or vodka) on party rye for cocktail parties. Once pickled, use within four weeks. This definitely adds an adult taste to this egg salad!

— Patty

Note: Be sure to peel the hard-boiled egg before placing it in pickle juice. Wait one week for egg to pickle. Then, use it within four weeks.

Mary Hunt writes this column for Creators Syndicate. Submit comments or tips or address questions on her website at She will answer questions of general interest via this column, but letters cannot be answered individually.

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