It never fails. Whenever I am with my mom or even on the phone with her, we end up talking about food. What we ate last, what we plan to eat next, and inevitably, what we plan to have for dessert.

My mom’s motto is “There is always room for ice cream.” She passed on her sweet tooth to me. I use any excuse I can to make desserts of my own.


In the fall, I bake up pumpkin mochi and pumpkin rolls. Soon after, it’s Christmas cookies. Now, even though Valentine’s Day has come and gone, I’m celebrating all month long. This year, I’m baking heart-shaped cookies and making chocolate dipped strawberries.

Needless to say, I have a bulk supply of sugar stocked in our kitchen. Luckily, there are many uses for sugar aside from baking. If you decide to stock up, too, consider some of these many uses for in-between baking sessions.

Scrub. After a long day of cleaning, whether it is your grill, oven or car, your hands can get so greasy that even soap can’t cut through it. Instead, try scrubbing with both soap and sugar. The sugar will act as an abrasive to help clean more thoroughly. Bonus: This works just as well with paint.

Fight insects. Mix one part sugar and one part baking soda. Place the mixture over areas you know roaches like to frequent. You can also use sugar for homemade fly tape. Mix equal parts sugar, honey and water. Bring to a boil and then cool. Dip strips of packing tape into the mixture and allow it to drip dry. Then hang up the strips just as you would store-bought flypaper.

Boost bouquets. Create your own preservative by mixing 1 quart of warm water with 3 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Add the water to a vase and then add your fresh cut flowers.

Remove grass stains.

Sugar can naturally break down chlorophyll, which causes the green stains on your clothing. Mix sugar with warm water to create a paste. Start with about half a cup of sugar and slowly add warm water until you reach a paste-like consistency. Apply it to the stain and let it sit for one to two hours. Then wash as usual.


Have a comment or question for Joanne? Send an email to