Dear Heloise: The special roasting pans for chicken that hold the chicken upright are a bit expensive. Instead, I use a simple fluted cake pan. I use a cooking spray inside the pan then set the chicken upright in the pan with the open center piece inside the chicken to hold it up. The juices collect in the ring and the chicken roasts evenly and is very tender – Rosemary W., Grimes, Iowa
Dear Heloise: So many times I find I need a quick appetizer when company drops by. I always have cream cheese on hand, and what I do is crush some nuts very fine and press the cream cheese into these chopped nuts. Then I take a flavored oil and lightly drizzle some over the cream cheese/nut combination. Serve with crackers; it makes a quick treat for guests. – Gloria Y., Hooper, Utah
Dear Heloise: My grandbabies love it when I have a cake waiting for them when they come for a visit. I think their favorite one was a strawberry gelatin cake, but I have lost the recipe. It was simple to make, as I remember, and it was a real hit with my little ones. Would you reprint that recipe for all of us who love to spoil our grandchildren? – Joan C., Mesa, Ariz.
Joan, of course I will. And here it is:
1 box frozen strawberries
Mix the cake mix and the gelatin together well. Add oil, water and eggs and heat until smooth. Add half of the strawberries and juice (keep the rest for icing).
Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or so. This makes three round layers.
1/2 box of strawberries (from above)
Mix well and spread on cooled cake.
Are you looking for a recipe your friends and family will all enjoy every time they come to visit? Then you’ll need my pamphlet “Heloise’s Cake Recipes.” It’s so easy to get a copy. Just go to www.Heloise.com, or send $3, along with a stamped (75 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Cake, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. – Heloise
Dear Heloise: My neighbor, who is an outstanding cook, taught me a little secret when making potato salad. After dicing the potatoes into cubes and cooking them, she ran them under cold water to cool them off. After that she squeezed lemon juice over the potatoes, not a lot, but just enough to add some flavor. She made the best potato salad I’ve ever eaten. Lots of flavor! – Mary Jane J., Maui, Hawaii
Dear Heloise: I used to use a spoon to stir pots of chili, spaghetti and soups. Not anymore. My sister-in-law always used a spatula, and it works much better. It can get foods out of corners and seems to be better at getting everything mixed together and evening out the various flavors. – Jack R., Durango, Colo.
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