DEAR HELOISE: Don’t throw out those fruit and pudding containers. They can be washed out and stored to use later when you serve chips, buffalo wings, etc., and you want containers to hold dipping sauces. If you have enough, you can have one for each guest.
— Anne J., Chillicothe, Ill.
DEAR HELOISE: I’ve found that I can make a meal of soup, salad and rolls. I just add noodles, rice or barley to thicken the soup and make it a little more hearty.
I always have pasta and rice in my pantry. With a small salad and some rolls, it’s a very filling meal.
— Roy H., Bowling Green, Ohio
Lemon on vegetables
DEAR HELOISE: I like a little squeeze of fresh lemon on vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, asparagus and Brussels sprouts. This gives these rather bland, ordinary vegetables a nice zip to their flavor and puts a little vitamin C in my diet.
— Renee, via email
DEAR HELOISE: I used to have a recipe of yours called Cherry Surprise, but I’ve misplaced it. Would you reprint it for us cherry-loving individuals?
— Brenda M., Bountiful, Utah
Brenda, I love this dessert. It’s light and tastes great.
Cream together 2 sticks butter or margarine and 2 cups sugar.
Beat 3 eggs and add to the above ingredients. Mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons almond extract and a pint of sour cream. Then add 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda and l/2 teaspoon salt; mix to blend. Last, stir in 1 cup chopped maraschino cherries and 1 1/2 cup nuts.
Bake in a greased and floured tube pan at 325 F for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
If you want icing for it, you can combine powdered sugar, cherry juice and a drop of vanilla extract. Mix well and spread on a cooled cake.
If you enjoy this recipe, you’ll love my pamphlet Heloise’s Cake Recipes. These easy-to-make desserts are a nice conclusion to any meal.
To get a copy, send $3, along with a long, stamped (70 cents), self-addressed envelope, to: Heloise/Cakes, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.
FYI: Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes or so on a wire rack before trying to take it out of the pan.
DEAR HELOISE: As mushroom lovers, my wife and I have some suggestions for anyone who also loves them:
Refrigerate them as soon as you bring them home.
Store in a paper bag. If kept dry, they should last four to five days.
Do not store in plastic.
Don’t clean them until you’re ready to use them.
Don’t soak mushrooms. They’ll absorb water, affecting the flavor.
— Gavin & Patty in Oregon
Dear Readers: Here is a trivia question that tests your “Food IQ” and might stump your friends.
In the late 1800s, while trying to make cheese with cream and whole milk, a dairyman came up with what popular, multipurpose dairy product we use today? Can you guess?
It was cream cheese!
Send a great tip to Heloise, PO Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org