Renovation & Design

Make perfect caesar salad — every time

Question: I love the taste of restaurant caesar salad. When I make it at home, I never know how much salad dressing to add to the lettuce. If I add too much, the croutons become soggy. If I add too little, it lacks flavour. Any suggestions?


Answer: While there is no set standard measurement of dressing-to-lettuce ratio, the general guideline is one-half cup dressing for a single size head of romaine lettuce. Each leaf should have some dressing, but too much dressing will leave you with soggy croutons and lots of fat. When it comes to croutons, make sure that you add them just prior to serving. Another chef’s trick is to serve caesar salad in a wooden bowl. Remove the skin from a clove of garlic and rub the clove along the inside of the bowl. This adds flavour to the salad.


Question: Is there any way to clean cat urine off a silk duvet? I understand silk duvets are not to be washed or dry cleaned. Thank you for any help with this problem.


Answer: It is true that high heat and domestic washing machines can damage the beautiful and strong properties of silk fibers. For this reason, it is important to refer to the care label instructions. If the instructions direct you to dry clean the product, contact a variety of dry cleaners to locate a company experienced with caring for silk duvets.


Question: I have frosted glass in my pantry door. The one side is plain glass, but on the inside, it is frosted. I cannot seem to get normal, everyday; kid spills off the inside of the door (chocolate milk for instance). Any suggestions? David

Answer: I would apply a small amount of smooth peanut butter onto the chocolate milk, leave it for five minutes and scrape it off, with a plastic putty knife or a green abrasive pad (not an S.O.S pad). Then clean the glass in the usual manner with either my Squeaky-Clean Window Cleaner Recipe or a super-duper solution that works best for you!

Manitobans respond

Re: Removing butter tarts from the pan

The easiest removal of butter tarts and no mess cleanup are the Paperchef parchment baking cups. No mess. No losing half your muffins, amazing. — Agnes

Regarding removing butter tarts cleanly from the pan. I often use nonstick foil instead of regular foil and sticking is no problem and there is no added fat. — Mavis

Re: Ripening bananas

Hint: speed up soft bananas for baking. Put bananas in the freezer for at least 24 hours; remove and defrost in the microwave when required. You get soft bananas for baking, and extra moisture in your baked goods! Works great for delicious banana bread, in a Bundt pan. — Lynne

Soft Skin Solutions (try saying that five times, fast)

Bee Natural Hand Lotion Recipe: Into a double boiler melt 4 oz. sweet almond oil and 1 oz. beeswax. Remove from heat and add 2 oz. water and stir well. Add 10 drops Vitamin E and 10 drops of your favourite essential oil such as lavender. Stir until cool. Pour contents into jars or metal tins.

My facial skin seems much softer now that I use a banana mask once a week. Mash up a banana and spread it on your face. Leave for 10 mins. and rinse. — Jamie

Whipped Body Butter Recipe

In a pot over medium heat melt together a half cup coconut oil and one cup shea butter. Mix in half cup jojoba oil and add 20 drops of your favourite essential oil. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and place in the fridge for two hours. When solid, whip for 10 minutes, until it looks like whipped cream. Store in an airtight container and use as you would use lotion. — Amber

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

Have a great suggestion or tip? Please send an email. Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups. Check out her website:


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