PiTweaks is a collection of tweaks (and cheats, some might say) that I use on my server to make vanilla minecraft more awesome.
Use the in-game Mod Options menu to choose which tweaks to enable. (For servers and for version 0.5.5 and before, edit config/pitweaks.cfg). Some of these are available on MC 1.11 as separate mods, and are linked accordingly.
* Faster Vanilla Furnaces - Vanilla has crafting and smelting recipes. It always seemed odd that crafting would happen as fast as you could click ingredients, but it takes a whole in-game day to smelt a stack. With this tweak, all vanilla furnaces cook and consume fuel at 20x the speed (configurable). A piece of coal still smelts 8 items, but now it burns out in 4 seconds instead of 80.
* Faster Brewing - Same as above, but this time with brewing recipes. Vanilla brewing stands take 20 seconds to brew a potion, but with this tweak you can set that to any amount, all the way down to 1 tick. Be careful if you set it too low; you might not have time to insert all the bottles before the brewing is done!
* Buoyant Boats - Minecraft 1.9 came with a lot of great improvements to boats: different colors, much better controls, and finally a fix for hitting those stupid lily pads! But apparently these improved boats are made of lead, because if you take them up the slightest incline, they drop to the bottom like a rock. This tweak makes boats float in flowing water, enabling you to again paddle them up a stream or incline. 1.12 only
* No Cumulative Anvil Cost - I like enchanting and repairing items using an anvil. But I hardly ever do it because it gets more and more expensive each time until eventually you can't repair the item anymore. Items in Minecraft keep a hidden tag called "RepairCost" that remembers how many times the item has been in an anvil and increases the XP required. This tweak clears that tag, so that you can repair an item unlimited times and the XP cost is always as if it was the first time the item ever touched an anvil.
* Apply enchanted books to any item in an anvil, ignoring item type and conflicting enchantments. Now you can finally put both Infinity and Mending on your favorite bow. Or Bane of Arthropods on a stack of dirt blocks. I don't judge. (New in version 1.1.0)
* No enchantment level cap on enchanted books. Got 128 books of Protection I hanging around your base? Combine them all into a book of Protection VIII (New in version 1.1.0)
* Uncap food and food saturation level - Ever hate how most of that porkchop gets wasted because you only needed a bar and a half of food to be full? This removes the cap of 10 bars on your food level. You still can't eat when you're full, but at least you're not wasting food. Great for high-value modded foods. Bonus tweak: Remove the limit that prevents saturation from going above food level. (New in version 1.1.0)
* 2x2 Stair and Slab Recipes - I love building with stairs and slabs, but it's always a pain to go back to a crafting table to make more. This tweak changes the crafting recipes for stairs and slabs to use the 2x2 crafting grid. Slabs are made with two blocks next to each other instead of 3. Stairs are now three blocks in an "L" shape. This tweak also adds recipes to convert stairs and slabs back into their original blocks. 1.12 only. 1.11 version here
* Spawn Requires Full Cube - Minecraft 1.2 introduced top-half slabs and upside-down stairs. Initially, mobs could not spawn on these blocks because they weren't full cubes, which made them a perfect building material for a floor. Later Minecraft was changed so that mobs could spawn on any block with a solid top, filling my factory with mobs. This tweak makes it so that mobs can no longer spawn on a slab, stair, hopper, or non-full block regardless of orientation. Added in 0.5.4
NOTE: If you load this mod into an existing world, you may need to break and re-place the affected blocks to get them to work.