Dear Heloise: My family has always been fond of eggplant Parmesan, but I never enjoyed preparing it because of the necessity of frying the slices before covering them with the sauce.
One night, after a delightful dinner party at a friend's house, the hostess shared her method of preparation: Cut the eggplant into 1-inch slices and peel, then place the slices on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet or shallow baking pan. Lightly spray and season the slices, then put under the broiler in the oven for a few minutes until slightly browned. Turn over and brown the other side.
You do have to watch them carefully so they don't burn. But in a few moments, they are ready for the sauce, and there's no greasy frying pan to clean. Anita F. Eisenstein, Columbus
Anita, this is a less-hassle way and cuts down on fat calories as well. Thank you and your friend for sharing this quick and healthy hint. Heloise
Dear Heloise: My husband was fixing dinner for a family shindig the other night and ran out of time to make hollandaise sauce for the broccoli. So he warmed some ranch salad dressing and decorated the broccoli with it. It was wonderful. I told him I was going to tell you about it. Lena Sharp, via e-mail
Glad you did! I tried this, and it's tasty! I even used fat-free, and it was tasty to me. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I tried to glue something together on my kitchen counter with instant glue and was unsuccessful. I ruined the top of my kitchen counter. There are spots all over. I've tried everything I can think of. Can you help me? S.C. in New Jersey
Well, you are in quite a "sticky" situation. First, it depends on what type of surface your countertop is. Marble, granite and other specialty counters might require special care, and you should check with the manufacturer.
You can try the following on laminate countertops: Put a hot, wet cloth on the glue spots. Leave the cloth on for a while and replace it with another hot cloth when it cools. Keep repeating the process, checking to see if the glue has softened enough to be peeled off. If that method doesn't do the trick, you can purchase a solvent made especially to remove the quick-drying glue. This product might dull some counters, so be sure to test it in an out-of-the-way area before proceeding to the whole counter. Just stick to it and be persistent. Heloise
Dear Heloise: In regard to the recent hint about which of the two shakers salt should go in, many of us in the food business put salt in the shakers with the big holes, and pepper in the smaller-holed jars. The reasoning is that salt is cheaper; also, people use more of it. The companies that make salt and pepper, of course, would rather their respective products be in the larger-holed shakers. Betsy Harn, Hill City, S.D.
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate