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2X4: Four Kitchen Tricks with a Brown Paper Bag

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Jessica
09.17.12

Did you know that there was a household superhero lurking behind that ordinary, brown paper bag? This lunchroom staple does a whole lot more than hold PB&Js! Here are four of our favorite brown bag uses:

photo: Williams-Sonoma

Cool Fresh-Baked Cookies. If you’ve baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies only to find that you’ve run out of wax paper, that’s okay! Instead of placing your hot cookies directly on your countertop where they’ll make a greasy mess, use brown paper bags! Tear the edges so they’re open, and then place them side-by-side until there is enough surface space to hold all of your cookies. If chocolate chip isn’t your cookie of choice, try these oatmeal raisin cookies from the Smitten Kitchen or these snicker doodle treats from SHAPE Magazine.

Prevent Wilted Lettuce. Let’s be real – it’s hard enough to eat healthy without finding wilted lettuce in the refrigerator when you go to make a salad! Keep your lettuce crisp and fresh by storing it in dry brown paper bags instead of plastic bags or food containers. The paper will absorb the condensation and stop your lettuce from wilting. Use that crisp, fresh lettuce to make these lamb lettuce wraps from Cooking Light. They’re quick, easy to make and healthy!

Remove Wax from Tablecloths. Candles can make a mundane dinner romantic or light up a room when the power goes out, but they can also make a serious mess. If you leave a candle lit for a little too long, you can fix the problem with a brown paper bag. To do this, place an opened paper bag on the wax spot and quickly run a warm iron over the area. (Don’t let it get too hot or it will burn the bag!) Greasy spots will start to appear on the bag. Move the bag and iron over a clean area until greasy spots stop appearing. When the grease is gone, you’ve absorbed all of the wax into the bag!

Keep Mushrooms Fresh. If you’re a fan of mushrooms, you know that moisture ruins them. To keep your mushrooms dry and tasting fresh, simply toss them in a brown paper bag. Any excess moisture that evaporates from the mushrooms seeps into the paper, so the mushrooms don’t dry out too quickly and don’t get soaked with moisture. Keep your mushrooms stored at room temperature, and they’ll be good for at least a few extra days. When you cook them, try this wild mushroom stroganoff recipe from fresh365.

 

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