Dear Heloise: In my family, my reputation as a cook has never been very good. My oldest sister once said that I thought a cookbook was the biography of a South Seas explorer.
Egg-roll wrappers always intrigued me, but I was afraid to try to cook something as exotic as egg rolls. I finally bought a package, and while following the instructions on the back was astounded at the simplicity and the deliciousness of the results. I tried chopped leftover chicken with cheese added. Wonderful little pocketlike snacks! Then I tried egg and cheese for breakfast ... bite-size potato nuggets (sold in the frozen-food section -- Heloise) and eggs ... even chopped apples, cinnamon and brown sugar. But the very best was refried beans and shredded cheese with picante sauce. Judy Tolle, San Antonio
Yum! This is an easy way to make all kinds of tasty treats! I'm going to buy some and get cooking in the kitchen. Heloise
After a recent column about storing avocados, we received some comments from readers with their hints. Here goes:
ULynda and Pat from Texas said: "Here's a trick we learned from a Mexican-border fruit vendor. Use fresh (not pickled) jalapeno pepper (whole or slices) to fill the pit cavity, and wrap in plastic. Even after several days, the fruit is fresh -- and it doesn't pick up the pepper flavor!"
UVicki Berry of Escondido, Calif., said: "I leave the seed in the avocado that I don't use right away, put plastic wrap over it and put it in the fridge. I have kept avocados that way for three days -- they do not turn dark."
These are both interesting hints and ones that many people use, but the key is wrapping the avocados so that air can't get to the cut flesh, not really what is put in the pit. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I was speaking to a friend the other day about how I precook some vegetables, because she was talking about how long it takes to fry or saut & eacute; them. She suggested I send my hint to you.
I do onions, peppers and eggplant in the microwave with a little bit of water for a few minutes (depending on the quantity). They are soft and take less time to fry, and they don't burn before browning. Carol Reichel, West Long Branch, N.J.
Dear Heloise: I was making no-bake cookies -- the kind you drop out onto wax paper. Then I realized that I had no wax paper. I had a box of cold cereal that was almost empty, so I poured the cereal in a bowl and removed the wax- paper bag from the box. Perfect! It is much heavier than regular wax paper, and it's free. I have since used it for several things, like making pie dough or biscuits. Hope someone else can use this idea. Rebecca Jessee, via e-mail
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate