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DEAR READERS: Oatmeal is a hearty, filling and delicious breakfast on a cold winter's morning, and it's loaded with fiber. Have you heard of steel-cut oatmeal and wondered what it is?

Oatmeal that is "steel cut" is larger in size. Because of this, steel-cut oatmeal typically takes longer to cook, but it has less sugar and sodium than processed oatmeal, and therefore fewer calories. Looking for a less sweet but nuttier and chewier oatmeal? Look at steel-cut oatmeal.

DEAR HELOISE: Here is my method for making hard-boiled eggs:

Put a pot of water on the stove and heat to a high simmer. At this point, place the number of eggs to be hard-boiled into the pot. The eggs can be right from the refrigerator, older or fresh.

After the water comes back to medium, let them simmer for 12 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water so they are cool enough to handle. Tap against the counter once, and the shells will peel off in two or three pieces -- every time.

-- Molly O., Connecticut

DEAR HELOISE: I wanted a cover for my queen-size bed, but I didn't want a dust ruffle. I bought a king-size cover, which came to the floor on all three sides.

-- Marian, via email

DEAR HELOISE: Is there any way I can shrink my favorite sweater? It was a mistake in washing and not laying it flat to dry. It now almost comes down to my knees.

-- Cynthia, via email

DEAR READER: Let's try. Wash the sweater again, in cold water, and then dry it in the clothes dryer on the lowest heat setting. Check on the sweater often -- every 10 minutes or so, as shrinking is not reversible.

This is a long shot; the fibers may be irretrievably stretched.

DEAR READERS: I often tout the benefits of vinegar as a cleaning solution, but did you know that it can benefit your hands, too?

Try patting on some apple-cider vinegar after gardening or after using abrasives, such as cement or harsh cleaners, or to remove the odor of fish, garlic or onions from your hands. Just "wash" them in apple-cider vinegar, and the odors vanish. FYI: Vinegar also can help to stop the itching of insect bites, and will help neutralize the venom from jellyfish stings.

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

Weekend on 11/29/2018

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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