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TALES FROM THE CLOSET

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Tales from the Closet brings you all the reading material you need to become and expert at organizing.

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ORGANIZING WEBSITES

Use the list of resources below when its time to organize your things. No matter how big or small the job is, you’ll find any one of these websites helpful.

Hoarders Help

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It's time to remove the emotional value from the items you never use and the ones that clutter up your home. Remove the clutter and get organizational advice.

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Quick Tips

Grill Vegetables the Right Way

Vegetables can be difficult to get right on the grill. But if done correctly, they will bring healthy and delicious dishes to your cookout. According to Cook’s Illustrated, asparagus should be grilled five to seven minutes with a single turn. Corn can be grilled for eight to 10 minutes with one layer of husk on, and eggplant and zucchini take about the same time when sliced into rounds or planks. Portobello mushrooms should be brushed with oil and grilled eight to ten minutes; skewered onions, 10 to 12 minutes. Pretreat your grates by brushing them with olive oil for the best results, and enjoy!

Good Grilling Requires Timing

Good grilling requires timing and patience. Once the coals are ready, it’s time to grill, Country Living says, so have condiments, plates, drinks and other necessities ready to go before you begin. Close the lid to make meats tender while cooking them thoroughly, and resist the urge to constantly turn, poke or prod items as they sear. Always keep raw meats and vegetables separate, and impart flavor by using glazes and hardwoods. Finally, use a thermometer to check temperatures and remove foods from the grill just shy of done; they will continue to cook while being plated and served.

Create a Budget-Friendly Cookout

Crafting a cookout but keeping an eye on the budget? First, don’t buy more food than you’ll really need — or buy with an eye toward repurposing the leftovers throughout the week. You can also pick less-expensive cuts to grill; for example, marinated skirt steak can give your cookout that south-of-the-border flair as the filling for delicious grilled steak fajitas. Finally, remember to check the local thrift for lightly-used grilling accessories such as tongs and oven mitts, and you’ll be able to save on supplies while helping fund veterans’ programs.

Cooking Out: Gas or Charcoal?

For summertime grilling, the age-old debate rages on: Which is better, gas or charcoal? Beginners and people who want to cook out frequently without having to tend coals should probably opt for a gas grill, even though they usually cost more to buy initially, Chowhound says. Charcoal grills allow for a wider range of temperatures, but can be difficult to control for the neophyte — and definitely require a more demanding cleanup regimen. But while gas is great for delicate foods such as vegetables and fish, only charcoal can impart the smoky flavor that says barbecue.

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