Working over a sheet of waxed paper, fill a measuring spoon with your desired spice, mounding the excess over the spoon. Using the flat edge of a spatula or knife, sweep off the excess onto the paper below, and then add the measured spice to your work bowl. To clean up, simply fold the waxed paper in half to slide the extra spice back into the bottle.
If the pages of your favorite cookbook get splattered in the kitchen, use this trick to keep them from sticking together. First blot the pages dry with paper towels, and then slip a piece of waxed paper between the pages before you close the book.
Once you’ve made a compound butter, place it on the waxed paper. Roll the butter into a long, narrow cylinder. Transfer the paper-wrapped cylinder to a zipper-lock bag and freeze it. When you need it, take the butter out of the freezer, unwrap it, and cut of rounds as you desire.
Like these? See more quick tips at Cook's Illustrated.