You might be tempted to reserve your silver flatware for special occasion use, but it can be used daily. If you do so, it will be less likely to tarnish and require special cleaning and polishing. Hand wash gently — never put silver in the dishwasher — and store in drawers lined with a tarnish-proof cloth for best results.

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Substitute cottage cheese for sour cream in dips by running it through a blender until smooth. It’s lower in calories and higher in protein than sour cream.

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If you eat one meal out in a restaurant each day, let it be lunch. The prices are typically lower, and the portions are not really smaller. It’ll keep you going all day, and you can have a lighter meal in the evening.

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Add to a pot of water a cinnamon stick, a handful of cloves, two slices of citrus and some cardamom pods. Put on a slow simmer, and your house will smell so good!

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Searing meat? Make sure you pat it dry using either paper towels or a kitchen cloth specifically for that purpose. Any moisture on the meat will cause it to steam cook.

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Make your own whipped butter for dinner rolls. Simply let butter come to room temperature, then whip in your electric mixer until it’s nice and fluffy. Chill, or drop by teaspoonful onto a cold cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze, and then arrange them on a plate for a nice presentation. They thaw quickly.

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