Some of our favorite tips to share on The Kitchn are those that are so simple and smart, they make you wonder, Why didn't I think of this sooner? This year some of our favorite surprising discoveries included the best ever trick for separating eggs, a hack that turns a $50 ice cream maker into a $300 model, and the easiest way to keep a cut apple fresh all day.

• 1 The Rubber Band Trick: How To Keep a Cut Apple Fresh in Your Lunchbox
• 2 How To Determine Whether an Avocado Is Perfectly Ripe Inside
• 3 Smart Tip: Turn Your $50 Ice Cream Maker Into a Quick-Churning $300 Model
• 4 Apartment Kitchen Disaster: How To Stop a Blaring Smoke Detector (And Keep It Off!)
• 5 Mold Chocolate in Any Shape Using a Common Baking Ingredient

• 6 Smart Tip: To Quickly Ripen an Avocado, Use a Banana
• 7 Smart Tip: The Fastest, Easiest Way to Shuck Corn Is With Your Microwave
• 8 Turn a Refrigerator Ice Dispenser Into a Candy Machine!
• 9 Grilling Tip: Check Your Propane Gas Level With a Cup of Water
• 10 Smart Tip: Use an Ironing Board for Extra Counter Space When You Need It

• 11 Quick Tip: Grate Ginger With a Fork
• 12 Why You Should Eat Your Cheetos With Chopsticks
• 13 Healthy & Hearty Breakfast Idea: Egg Baked in an Avocado
• 14 An Intriguing Use for Beeswax
• 15 The Best Trick Ever for Separating Eggs (not pictured)

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Welcome to The Kitchn's Best of 2012 roundup! From December 17 through January 1 we are rounding up some of our favorite (and your favorite) posts from the past year.

(Images: See linked posts for full image credits)