HELOISE Homemade spice is nice for pumpkin pie
Dear Heloise: Do you know the proportions to mix your own pumpkin-pie spice mix and apple-pie spice mix? I thought it might be cheaper than buying the mix if I already have the ingredients. I make a lot of my own mixes and wonder if you have a pamphlet of mixes. Mary, Cedar Grove, N.C.
Pumpkin-pie spice can be made by combining 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon of allspice and 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg. This makes enough spice for one pumpkin pie.
As for apple-pie spice, usually cinnamon is the only spice in the recipe.
I do have a four-page pamphlet I call Seasonings, Sauces & amp; Substitutes that is full of recipes, including pumpkin-pie spice, several no-salt spices and various others. To receive a copy, send $3 and a self-addressed, stamped (60 cents), long envelope to: Heloise/SSS, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5001.
FYI: Did you know that properly stored ground spices have a shelf life of one to two years, while whole spices can last up to five years, and leafy herbs only six months to one year? Heloise
Dear Heloise: I love hard-boiled eggs -- I even color them with food coloring all year long.
Due to cholesterol, I cut the egg in half, take out the yolk and sprinkle just a smidgen of the yolk back on the egg white. Tastes great. Elsie K., Hazleton, Pa.
Dear Readers: Here is a tea-time hint to help brew a perfect pot of tea. Always bring the teapot to the kettle of boiling water, rather than the other way around. You want the water to be boiling when you pour it over the tea leaves or bags. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I have a great hint for your readers for a wonderful, tasty frosting for cookies.
Last year, I made a large batch of Christmas cookies, and I was out of food coloring. I looked in my cupboard for something to color the white butter frosting pink, and I found some red cinnamon candies.
I placed about 15 candies in a small pastry cup, added some boiling water and let stand for five minutes, then poured it in the frosting and proceeded to frost the cookies. The pink frosting tasted delightfully cinnamony, and I think they were the best Santa cookies I ever made. Shirley Weltzer, Webster, N.Y.
Great thinking -- you can also use a red, flavored gelatin. Just sprinkle and stir until you have the shade you need. Heloise
Dear Heloise: When I fry foods, I place recycled pie tins upside down over the remaining burners to lessen the cleanup. They can be tossed or, as I do, washed and used again. T. Mauro, Falcon, N.C.
Dear Heloise: When baking muffins for my children, I would always turn the muffin pan upside down to get the muffins out of the pan. Then I remembered my ice-cube tongs, and now I use them to lift the muffins out of the pan. No fuss, no mess. Muffin Mom, via e-mail
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