Into a microwave safe bowl, add 1/2 cup of water. Cut a lemon in half, squeezing the juice into the water. Drop the two halves into the water. Place in the microwave, and heat on high for 3 minutes. Let it stand for another 5 minutes. Don’t be tempted to open the door. When the timer goes off, use a dry towel to clean up the mess. (For step-by-step images, click here.)

—Chris, Burnt Macaroni

To bring butter to room temperature quicker, cut it into tablespoons or cubes. The more surface area you expose, the faster it will reach the desired temperature. The same method holds true when melting butter over the stove or in the microwave.

I may be the last person on earth to figure this out—store your bananas away from everything with a shelf-life. They have a way of making other produce decay faster and making bread products taste faintly of banana (not the good kind of banana bread).

I’m always halving and doubling recipes which is easy until you get into the teaspoons and tablespoons. Once I committed these measurements to memory, I was golden.

Measurements to know by heart | The Fauxmartha

There are 3 teaspoons in 1 tablespoon. Half of a tablespoon is 1 1/2 teaspoons.

Measurements to know by heart | The Fauxmartha

There are 4 tablespoons in 1/4 cup. Half of a 1/4 cup is 2 tablespoons.

Skip the mess of deseeding pomegranates. Add two cut and stretched pom halves into ziplock bags before deseeding. Smack the peel of the pomegranate with the back of a wooden spoon, releasing just enough for your desired serving. Store in the fridge. Repeat as needed.

Music by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. Winter Song.

Start a freezer bag or container to keep leftover/overripe/extra veggies in your freezer. When the container gets full, fill a soup pot full of water, add the veggies, some fresh herbs and seasoning. Boil for about 1.5 hours, strain and you have homemade vegetable stock. Freeze or use within a week in your favorite soups and winter stews.

Alison, This Homemade Life