Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Easy Apple Peeling

By Reena Nerbas


Hello Reena,

My cheesecake filling will not stick to my homemade graham wafer crust. I do bake the cheesecake but not the crust before filling.  Any solutions? Thank you, Joyce

Hi Joyce,

Unfortunately you will need to start over. It sounds as though; either too many graham crumbs were added to the crust or not enough butter was added to the crumbs. Sugar substitutes will also change the consistency of cheesecake crust. Extra note: The top rated cheesecake recipes call for butter not margarine or any other butter substitute.

Stainless Steel Countertop

Dear Reena,

I have a question about my stainless steel countertop. It has developed a kind of film on it and I can’t seem to take it off or put the polish back onto it for any length of time. Do you have any suggestions? Sharon,

Dear Sharon,

This is common to stainless steel counters as they do tend to dull over time. You can make your own wonderful stainless steel cleaner: Into a spray bottle combine, 50/50 white vinegar and water, one drop dish soap and 4 drops lavender essential oil. Spray onto stainless steel and wipe with a soft cloth (test on an inconspicuous area first). Or clean stainless steel with washing soda and water, rinse with vinegar and polish with a small amount of olive oil.

Homemade Pancake Syrup

Dear Reena,

Do you have any suggestions for making a homemade substitute for store bought pancake syrup? Ana-Lise

Dear Ana-Lise,

Here is a suggestion for delicious Homemade Pancake Syrup. Into a pot whisk; half cup white sugar, one tbsp. cornstarch, quarter tsp. cinnamon, and one cup 100% apple juice. Heat until thick, remove from heat and stir in 2 tbsp. butter. Serve on waffles or pancakes.

Stains on Leather Car Seat

Hi Reena,

My husband is furious with me because I am responsible for white stains all over the leather front passenger seat of our new Nissan Rogue.  We have concluded that it is caused by sunscreen, which I apply to my face and arms every day. Even though it is rubbed in thoroughly, there must be some residue that remains, but I had no idea that this would happen when I climbed into our new car.  Our last car had leather upholstery as well, and this staining never occurred.  My purse is leather as are many other items that I handle on a daily basis and none of them have ever stained.  I would love to know why this has happened only in this car and if there is any way to remove the stains. We have tried soap and water and leather cleaner. I am afraid to make it worse. Thanks, Joanne

Dear Joanne,

Don’t despair; we’ve all been there in one way or another. Sunscreen products are greasy and sometimes colored with dye, this situation is not much different than if a stick of butter were placed onto the seat day after day, and so you need to treat the area as a grease stain. Some leather and other upholstery fabrics are pretreated to prevent formulas such as grease from penetrating, but it sounds as though the Nissan fabric may not be protected. To prevent future occurrences, protect fabric by spraying the upholstery with fabric guard and by using seat covers, wearing long pants or placing a towel under your legs and the back of the chair. To remove the stain; either bring the car to a detailer to clean or scrub the area with cornstarch and dish soap and rinse with water or scrub with Sunlight laundry soap bar. Unless the white stains are caused by bleach in the product, they should be removable. One other possibility: On hot days the sun warms the seats, but if there is sunblock on some areas the sun might have bleached those areas on the upholstery which is permanent (this is less likely if the windows are tinted but still possible).

Easy Tip of the Week!

  • I recently discovered a fast way to peel an apple! This trick works best with nicely shaped round apples. Use a drill and a three quarter inch spade bit. Spear the apple three quarters of the way onto the bit. Hold your regular potato peeler onto the apple at the end furthest away from the bit. Press the drill to start slowly, and as the apple turns on the bit, the peel is removed. Make sure to run the drill slowly and be careful not to stab your hand as you pierce each apple with the bit. Submitted By: Dan

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