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Keep these kitchen hints handy

By Heloise - Hints From Heloise | Feb 28, 2024

Dear Heloise: Sometimes we forget some of the kitchen hints we’ve learned over the years. Here are a few reminders:

— You can substitute beer for wine as the liquid in stews or soups, and you’ll discover a nice, rich sauce. But only use as much beer as the recipe calls for, and don’t forget the water that is often called for as well.

— If a recipe calls for champagne, use a fairly inexpensive brand. Or use wine instead and keep the champagne to celebrate a special occasion!

— Should the recipe call for wine, you can use nearly any kind, although a number of chefs prefer to use a good quality. They claim that it makes a superior dish, but you can be the judge. Personally, I can’t tell the difference.

— Many wines that are specifically advertised for cooking contain monosodium glutamate or salt, making them undrinkable. The rumor is that salt was added to wine to keep cooks from drinking it instead of adding it to the recipe. Use the real kind that is drinkable.

— Don’t have the red wine you need? Try using balsamic vinegar in its place.

— If you need to add sherry to soup, add it just before serving time. Use about 1 teaspoon of sherry per cup of soup.

— Tired of ordinary vegetables? Try steaming them in white wine or balsamic vinegar instead of water.

— Not all food benefits from cooking with wine. Acidic foods, like vinegar, citrus, tomatoes, asparagus, onions, pineapples and artichokes, may taste off if you use wine. — Misty H., New London, Connecticut




Dear Heloise: More women should really listen to their bodies in order to look and feel their best. One practice women often neglect is drinking enough water, which ends up dehydrating them. There is a simple test you can do right at home to see if you need to drink more water:

Pinch the skin on the back of either hand, and if the skin seems to stay up for a few seconds, you need more water in your system and lotion on your hands. Try to drink 8 glasses of water a day.

If you remember, squeeze the juice of one lemon into a glass of water in the morning before you brush your teeth. It will give you vitamin C and do wonders for your kidneys. — Susan I., Yuma, Arizona


Dear Heloise: As a makeup artist, I see far too many women who wear the wrong makeup. As our skin tones change with age, we need to change the colors that we wear.

If you wear a bright lipstick, you need to tone down the rest of your face to soften your appearance. Otherwise, you could look like you’re wearing a mask!

In the climate we live in today, we need sunscreen, and with most sunscreens, they need to be reapplied every two hours. If you have a problem with sunscreen flaking off during the day, try mixing your makeup base with sunscreen. You needn’t overdo it with sunscreen, but be sure you use it during the summer and winter. — Shannon F., Hollywood, California


Dear Heloise: I have enjoyed your hints and benefitted from them for many years. Here is my hint for an easy disposal of pizza boxes: I flatten the box, then cut it into four small pieces. The pieces hardly take up any room in the trash can. — P.J., via email


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