I have no plans to make this a cooking blog but here is another cooking tip I figured out all by my lonesome.
Whenever I make hot dishes I'm get nervous about the whole cooling time thing. I don't like to leave food sitting on the counter but I also don't want to heat up the whole refrigerator by putting the dish inside too soon. I also get frustrated that it seems to take forever for the dish to cool down enough to warrant putting in the refrigerator.
Then I went into Alton Brown mode and added a little science to it. Usually I would put the hot dish on the counter to cool. The problem with this is that counter-tops are made of wood or stone and these are both excellent insulators. Stove tops, on the other hand, are made of steel. Steel conducts heat very will so if I put the dish in the center of the stove-top (all burners off, of course), the steel surface conducts the heat away very quickly. If I have recently used the oven, I open the oven door so the heat inside dissipates quickly too. I have found that things cool about 3 to 4 times faster this way.
I also use this method sometimes to defrost meat. Normally, I defrost frozen meat in the fridge over the period of a day, but if I really have to defrost some meat fast, I drop it into a covered aluminum pan and put it on the center area of a cold stove-top, making sure the stove is completely cool. In about 30 minutes the meat is still very cold, but thawed. I cook it immediately.
So far it has kept the bacteria at bay and has reduced my energy consumption.