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Onions and pantyhose

Dear Heloise: I had several pairs of pantyhose, so I washed them, dried them and placed onions in the legs. After I place an onion in the pantyhose, I tie a tight knot to separate it from the next onion.

This lets air circulate around the onions and prevents rot from spreading from one onion to the next. When I want an onion, I just snip off the bottom onion because the knot at the bottom keeps the other onions from falling out. — Alice C., Ludlow, Vt.

SPRAY-ON OILS

Dear Heloise: What is the benefit of using a spray-on oil versus melted butter or margarine? — Riley F., Tipton, Okla.

Riley, spray-on oil and other non-stick sprays have several uses, but in the kitchen they keep food from sticking to the pan. There are fewer calories in a spray-on oil, and you will find oils with additional flavors such as butter or garlic to give foods new hints of flavor. Butter is higher in calories, sometimes does not prevent food from sticking and in some cases gives food a greasy taste.

Some people tend to spray too much of the non-stick spray when only a little will do the job. — Heloise

HEALTHIER DESSERTS

Dear Readers: I’m frequently asked how to make desserts and other foods healthier. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has some wonderful suggestions to reduce the amount of salt, sugar and fat, and here they are:

— When you’re making homemade bread, use some whole-wheat flour in your recipe, and less salt, sugar and fat.

— When making pudding from a mix, use low-fat milk.

— If you’re making an apple crisp topping, use rolled oats instead of flour, and you’ll increase your daily intake of fiber. Use half the amount of sugar and fat called for in the recipe.

— Making oatmeal-raisin cookies? Use less sugar and less fat, but increase the number of raisins to boost the flavor and sweetness.

— When making pies, try a heavy crumb topping made from oatmeal, and you’ll lower the calories a little and increase the fiber. Make your crust with whole-wheat flour. — Heloise

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