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Ideas that Spark

Simple Spring Cleaning Tips

Here’s a spring spruce-up idea that doesn’t require an iota of elbow grease or organizin...

My house is stuffed to the rafters with flours, sugars, chocolate chips and every rich, fatty dairy product a recipe might possibly call for. And I can hardly contain my excitement. I’m a hardcore baker. Not a fancy baker … I prefer the homey stuff: chewy drop cookies; dense layer cakes slathered with gooey icing; eggy, buttery breads. Non-baking friends who pop by and spot whatever’s under my cake dome that day shake their head sometimes, wondering how I have time to do this stuff.

What’s my secret?

It’s really simple: Make your most crucial baking materials super-easy to access. First, haul that standing mixer out of whatever cabinet it’s hiding in and put it right out on the counter so it’s ready to go when you are. Then, toss your measuring spoons and cups right into the mixer bowl so you never have to go hunting for them. Finally, transfer your basic baking staples -- white sugar, brown sugar, flour, chocolate chips and icing sugar -- to big, wide-mouthed, airtight tubs, and keep them within easy reach.

No more fumbling with stiff paper bags and cardboard boxes, no more avalanches of flour as you try to pour what you need into a measuring cup. Just open, dip, scoop and smile at how smart you are. You can buy metal canisters with a lock-tight top at many houseware stores. Or just pick up big ol’ plastic containers at your local dollar store. Dump a different dry good into each and toss a chopstick from your last Chinese takeout order into every one of them. The next time you bake, dive in with your measuring cup, then level off the cup with your chopstick.



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Panama City Beach, FL
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