Renovation & Design

Wet and wobbly cheesecake good to go

Question: I am a fairly new baker and trying to bake a cake for my husband. What is the doneness test for homemade cheesecake? Carrie

Answer: If the internal temperature is 150 F, the cake is done. But…when it comes to cheesecake, avoid the typical toothpick piercing test, as you want to avoid making a hole in the cake. Also, if you insert a toothpick and it comes out dry, the cake is already overbaked. Instead, use your finger to lightly press the middle of the cake. If it feels firm, it is ready. If your finger sinks into the crust, the cake is underbaked. If you jiggle the cake and the centre is a little wet and wobbly, the cake is ready.

Question: Can you please give me some advice on how to clean my computer keyboard without buying a bunch of expensive cleaning products? Julie

Answer: Dip a soft toothbrush into white vinegar. Brush your keyboard with plain vinegar; no need to rinse.

Question: A year or two ago you printed a cinnamon bun recipe in the paper. It called for two cups of potato water, what is that? Thanks for your help! Gabe

Answer: I was referring to the water in which potatoes are cooked. The water with added starch makes excellent bread dough. When making potato water, wash, and peel three potatoes. Cut potatoes and add to a half pot of water. Boil for about 20 minutes (or until potatoes are soft). Drain the potato water into a measuring cup. Cool before using in dough recipe. Cooked potatoes or leftover mashed potatoes may also be used for potato bread recipes.

Question: How do I remove stains from toilet bowls? Mike

Answer: Make your toilet bowl sparkle by pouring a little shampoo or dish soap onto a pumice stone and gently, rubbing the inside of the toilet bowl, to remove stains. Or clean the toilet with a product called ‘Iron Out,’ use according to the directions on the bottle.

Spring Hints and Hacks

To clean dirty baking sheets, place a fabric softener sheet onto the pan with dish soap and hot water. Leave for a few hours and scrub with a non-abrasive cloth. Rollie

Remove pet hair from furniture using a window squeegee. Carolyn

The fastest way to clean plastic or vinyl shades to get rid of any bugs and dust is to use a can of compressed gas/air duster. I also use this method to clean my computer keyboard. With the little straw attached, cleaning is a breeze. Johnny

The fastest way to cut up a kiwi is to cut the kiwi in half, horizontally. Use a spoon to scoop out the insides. Kevin

Cut off the opening of a pop bottle. Wash and save as a measuring tool for pasta. To portion out spaghetti, fill the opening with raw noodles. One pop bottle opening equals one portion. Kevin

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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