We know you probably don’t come to the Breakfast Shoppe for ALL of your meals (but it’d be okay if you did, we have take-out :)), so we thought we’d pass along some tips for those times when you do have to cook at home. When you are cooking a meal, there are many things that can go wrong and many simple, household solutions to issues that arise that you may not know. These simple hints that can make your time spent in the kitchen much easier.

Did you burn food, and now the whole house smells of the terrible burning odor? Well, don’t fret – there is a simple fix. Simply take a half of a cup of whole cloves and put them in a saucepan with two cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for twenty to thirty minutes. The house will now smell sweet due to this mixture.

Need to make guacamole and your avocados aren’t quite ready? Placing avocados and bananas in a closed tight paper bag will hasten the ripening, sometimes perfect even the next day.

Flare-ups on the grill can be worrisome and dangerous. For that reason, it is important to minimize the risk of flare-ups while grilling. Any excess fat on cuts of meat that you are about to cook should be removed. Also, if you bring food to room temperature before placing it on the grill, you’re more likely to cook it evenly.

Need to check your grill’s temperature, but you don’t have the feature on your grill? One simple test that you can perform is to hold your hand facing palms-down over the coals, roughly around where you will be cooking. You should count how long you can stand to keep your hand there as it will give you a rough estimation of the temperature. If you can only count to about two, the heat level is high, and it’s best for cooking meat. If you’re looking to grill vegetables, you should cook with a medium heat. If you can count to about four, the grill is the proper temperature. Be sure to keep it safe when you are performing this test.

Have hardened brown sugar? Place an apple slice or two into an airtight container or zipper seal bag with the brown sugar. The next day your brown sugar is soft again!

When baking cookies, it’s tough to get them to turn out exactly round. There is an easy solution, however: after creating the dough, place it into empty concentrated juice cans and put it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to bake, just slice off the end of the can and push the dough through, slicing off cookies as you go. They should be perfectly round!

Got a stubborn caked on mess in your microwave oven? Saturate a washcloth with water and “cook” on high for 2 minutes. The grime comes right off the bottom and the steam will have loosened the splattered areas.

Looking for the perfect, lump-free Thanksgiving gravy? Begin with exactly equal parts of flour and a softened or melted fat such as butter, lard, oil, etc. Slowly mix the flour (reminder: exactly equal parts of fat and flour) into fat over low heat. Increase heat and add broth a little at a time while whisking until desired consistency is met. Thin with broth if needed. The exact equal parts produces a gravy without any lumps and without any separate oil swimming on top or around.

Need to make your own croutons fast? There’s an easy way to do it, and you probably have all the ingredients in your house! Cut slices of bread into cubes that are three quarters of an inch. Place them on a baking tray and add cooking spray and garlic powder. Broil the tray for roughly three minutes, and there you go! Try adding different spices to suit your individual fancy.

Never have a can liner when you need one? Store extra kitchen trash liners under the current liner in use. When you take the trash out they will be right at your fingertips to replace.

Do you have a helpful household hint for us? Let us know by clicking the Contact Us button on our site ad we may use your tips in a future B.S. Blog