DEAR HELOISE: My family loves fresh pineapple, so I often buy a pineapple and cut it up for them. The one chore I disliked the most was cutting out the center core, but by accident I found a simple way to do that chore. I use a doughnut cutter. It's easy and quick for this task.
-- Lauren in Florida
DEAR HELOISE: Several recipes I have for baking say to flour the greased pan. It always caused a terrible mess. Then I had an idea. I took an empty plastic spice bottle, cleaned it and filled it with flour. Now I can sprinkle flour on my pans without the mess I used to have on my kitchen counter. The holes in the shaker cap are just the right size for sprinkling.
-- Esther in Iowa
DEAR HELOISE: I lost my shrimp spread recipe when we remodeled the kitchen. Would you please repeat that recipe?
-- Donna in Wisconsin
DEAR READER: Here it is. You'll need:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 ounces tiny cocktail shrimp, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons seafood cocktail sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (yellow, white or red)
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
Thoroughly mix the cream cheese and mayonnaise until well blended. Mash or chop the shrimp and add to the mixture; stir in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate until needed. It's best served at room temperature with crackers and veggies as a dip or spread on bread as a sandwich. Do not let it sit out for more than one hour.
DEAR HELOISE: I found that the bacon I buy has a firm plastic sheet under the bacon. I usually remove it from the package, wash it with soap and hot water, and use it as a cutting board. It's saves my countertop from being cut into.
-- Jason in Connecticut
DEAR READER: That's a clever use for the bacon backing, but make sure the paper is thoroughly clean to reduce cross-contamination.
DEAR HELOISE: Just a reminder to your readers to never place knives in the dishwasher with the pointed end facing upward. I cut myself on the arm with a knife I had left pointing up as I was reaching into the back of the dishwasher. I know I should wash knives by hand, but I don't.
-- Charles in Oregon
Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email
Food on 05/20/2020