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DEAR HELOISE: If you have a recipe that calls for nuts and you have someone in your family or a friend who cannot eat nuts, or you just don't have any nuts on hand, substitute a rice cereal, using the same amount as in the recipe.

Also, you can always substitute walnuts for pecans in a recipe. The taste will vary a little, but both make great pies.

-- Dawn P., Bryant

DEAR HELOISE: Celery gets rotten so fast that I used to throw a lot of it away. Now when I buy a new stalk, I wrap the whole thing in paper towels and put it back in the long bag it came in. It stays fresh.

-- Marion D.,

Harvey Cedars, N.J.

DEAR HELOISE: Would you reprint your Cinnamon Coffee recipe?

-- Giselle T., Ohio

DEAR READER: Here it is: Sprinkle a little ground cinnamon in your coffee cup, add some sweetener of your choice and then pour in the coffee. Add creamer or skim milk and stir well. You also can add some nutmeg or allspice. This is a very simple but tasty drink that so many people have enjoyed.

DEAR HELOISE: People don't read labels on the products they buy, and they really should. So many products will say "low fat," but what's their idea of low fat? Is it 5 grams, 10 grams or 22 grams of fat? How much sugar, corn syrup and other non-nutritional things are added? Anything that has hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil contains fat. If you're on a low-sodium diet or if you're diabetic, you definitely need to read labels.

-- Roger D.,

Bloomington, Ill.

DEAR HELOISE: My family loves curly sweet potato fries cooked in olive oil. It's a nice change of pace and is tasty with fish or chicken. The sweet potato fries are cooked just like regular fries.

-- Kathy M., Colorado

DEAR HELOISE: With cooler weather and football games arriving soon, a word to the wise: Make sure all meat products are in ice chests with plenty of ice to keep the meat cold, even if it's cooked hot dogs or a cooked ham. This was a lesson I learned last year when I thought cooked hot dogs did not need to be refrigerated. We had several people who had "intestinal distress" that we are certain came from unrefrigerated hot dogs.

-- Gail H., Kenosha, Wis.

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 09/12/2018

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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