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DEAR HELOISE: My son put three of my nonstick pans in the dishwasher three or four times while my husband and I were on a cruise. They're ruined. Can these pans be re-coated to make them nonstick pans again?

-- Susan M., Jonesboro

DEAR READER: I checked with a few manufacturers, who said placing a nonstick pan in the dishwasher is a "no-no." Once you do that (especially if you do it more than a couple of times), the pan is ruined and cannot be re-coated again. Nonstick pans need to be washed by hand with a gentle soap and a soft sponge. Don't use abrasive or caustic cleaners.

DEAR HELOISE: Please reprint your recipe for Baked Italian Chicken. My husband had this recipe before we married last year, but now he can't find it. I want to surprise him on his birthday by making this dish.

-- Carmela E.,

Wolcott, Conn.

DEAR READER: This is an easy and tasty recipe for any occasion:

Baked Italian Chicken

1 chicken, cut up or equivalent in parts

1 (8-ounce) bottle nonfat (or regular) Italian salad dressing

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced

4 medium potatoes, sliced (peeled or not) into bite-size pieces

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray. Place the chicken in the dish and cover with Italian dressing. Top with onions and potatoes. Bake for about 1 hour or until done.

FYI: Too often new cooks are afraid to adjust recipes. Playing with the recipe often yields something better than the original, so be creative.

DEAR HELOISE: I discovered that when I buy soft fruit (such as berries or fresh peaches), if I put it in a plastic bag and trap as much air in the bag as possible before closing it, I can cushion the fruit to prevent it from being damaged.

-- Georgia J.,

Casselberry, Fla.

DEAR HELOISE: One of my favorite hints is simple: When trying to open a bottle that's hard to open, I use a nutcracker to grip the cap and twist it off. Most grocery stores sell metal nutcrackers.

-- Shirley L., Virginia

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Heloise@Heloise.com

Food on 12/05/2018

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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