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DEAR HELOISE: Here is my hint to make peanut butter easier to thoroughly blend: Store the jars upside down, at room temperature, in a cabinet until you are ready to open them. This actually makes it easier to blend the oil into the peanut butter. After stirring, store the peanut butter in the refrigerator right side up.

-- Marjorie F.,

North Little Rock

DEAR HELOISE: This information is in regard to the silicone covers that you can put on pots and bowls. They make a wonderful vacuum seal on both, but be careful taking them off pans or pots when they're still hot because of the steam. The first time I used one on my frying pan and lifted it with my fingers, I got burned. Use a spatula or tongs to lift the cover.

-- Annie in Ohio

DEAR HELOISE: When a recipe calls for cutting dried fruit, it's easier to use scissors lightly coated with cooking spray. Just snip the fruit into small pieces with the scissors.

-- Holly Y., Red Oak, Iowa

DEAR HELOISE: Years ago, I made your Zesty Mint/Lemon Tea for company, and they loved it so much that they asked me to give them the recipe. I have lost the recipe. Could you reprint it for me?

-- Emma S.,

Oak Harbor, Wash.

DEAR READER: You'll need:

3 to 5 tea bags (regular size)

1 to 2 teaspoons finely cut fresh mint

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Honey, brown sugar or your favorite sweetener, to taste

Add hot water to the tea bags and the mint. Steep for 5 minutes, drain, then add the lemon juice and sweetener.

Here's a hint for chilly nights: Try heating up apple cider and steeping an orange-spiced tea bag in it.

DEAR HELOISE: I painted the inside of one of my kitchen cabinets with chalkboard paint, then with chalk wrote out the measurements used in cooking. Example: 16 ounces equals 1 pound, 4 quarts equals 1 gallon, and so on. This has helped my kids when they're cooking.

-- Emily M.,

Portsmouth, N.H.

DEAR READERS: It was a happy accident that tea bags were invented. Originally, samples of tea were sent in tea bags until someone got the brilliant idea to brew a cup of tea with the tea bag samples.

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

Food on 11/07/2018

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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