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.

Tis the season for peppermint. Need it crushed? Skip the round hockey puck peppermints and go for regular, or better yet, mini candy canes. They are easier to crush. Place in a freezer bag, fold over, and pound with a meat tenderizer.

To keep dirty dishes to a minimum when making pasta, I skip the colander. A chef’s knife held at the lip of the pot drains the water perfectly, especially when you’re making smaller quantities. I always reserve a bit of the starchy water as well to help the sauce adhere better to the noodles.

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