Renovation & Design

Producing perfect pancakes easier than pie

Question: What are some tips for making great pancakes every time? Beth

Answer: The No. 1 rule is, don’t over-stir the batter. During cooking, when you see bubbles forming, that’s the sign that it’s time to flip (the pancake, not yourself). For a perfect-size pancake, use a 1/4-cup measuring cup so all the pancakes are uniform. Keep your heat low to medium so the pancake cooks slowly and does not burn. Grease the pan well so the pancake is easy to flip and does not stick to the pan. For a rich flavour add a little vanilla to the batter and substitute milk or water with buttermilk. Shake things up at home by pulling out your old forgotten family recipes for potato, apple, pumpkin, blueberry, or chocolate pancakes. Yum!

Question: Do you have a secret for making cauliflower taste better? My kid’s say it looks disgusting and they give me a hard time, every time I serve it. Regina

Answer: Grate the cauliflower florets, until the pieces are the size of grains of rice. Put the pieces in a pan with some olive or canola oil and seasoning and heat it on medium for a few minutes until cooked through. If your kids like rice, it’s worth a try. You can also make cauliflower pizza crust and cauliflower bread.

Question: Do you have any ideas for effective ways to control earwigs? Bart

Answer: Earwigs are not dangerous to people, but they do love to feast on flowers and all kinds of plants. While there is no 100 per cent satisfactory solution, you can make a trap to reduce numbers. Cut six-inch hose pieces and place them in the garden. Earwigs will relax inside the hoses. Shake them into a bucket of foamy water.

Question: Can you give me with a recipe for garlic spread that I can spread on Italian bread and bake? Howard

Answer: This recipe is so good and tastes like restaurant garlic bread! Into a bowl combine a half cup of softened butter (yummier than margarine), 1/4-cup grated Parmesan cheese, two cloves minced garlic, half a teaspoon of dried basil, half a teaspoon of dried oregano, half a teaspoon of dried parsley and sprinkle lightly with black pepper. Slice Italian bread in half lengthwise and spread both sides with butter mixture. Bake at 350 F until golden brown for about 12 minutes. Slice and serve.

Question: How do I clean the metal vent cover in the bathroom? It is full of dust, should I just wipe it? Denton

Answer: Remove the vent cover, carefully store the screws in a place where they will be easy to find. Place the cover in the dishwasher and wash along with dishes. Replace the cover and the screws.


Household hints 

•  After using chopsticks save them, they come in handy as stakes for plants.

•  Stop clothes from falling off hangers by sticking small felt furniture pads onto the hanger.

• To keep spiders or other nasty surprises out of shoes stored outside, place old stockings snugly over the top.

•  Head and Shoulders shampoo removes blood stains from bedsheets.

•  Wrap masking tape with the sticky side out around your hand and press it onto fabric to lift hair, lint, and fur.


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 at: Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website:



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