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DEAR READERS: Bean curd (or coagulated soy milk) probably doesn't sound all that appetizing, but tofu? Cool, trendy, nutritious and, when prepped and seasoned, delicious.

Varying in firmness and texture, tofu is, in fact, made of bean curd; it is low in calories and is chock-full of nutrients like protein, calcium, B vitamins and iron. It's used by vegetarians as a substitute for meat.

It has a bland flavor and lends itself nicely to rich, spicy or even sweet recipes. If you have the chance, give tofu a try.

DEAR HELOISE: Isn't broth the same as stock?

-- Ida L. in Oregon

DEAR READER: Stock is the beginning point of soups, stews, sauces and, yes, broth. It's broth without the seasoning. Broth is salted and seasoned.

DEAR HELOISE: I find the best time to clean my stainless steel stovetop is after I've been using the oven.

I spray the stovetop with stainless steel cleaner, and the residual heat from the oven helps to loosen tough stains, making cleanup a lot quicker and easier.

-- Ellen in Pennsylvania

DEAR READER: Use the heat to your advantage. No specialty stainless cleaner on hand? Use 1 teaspoon of dishwashing detergent mixed with 1 quart of hot water. With a gloved hand and a microfiber towel, go to work on spills and splatters. Label this mixture and keep it, and all cleaners, out of chilren.

DEAR HELOISE: In this chilly season, I've found layering works wonders in keeping warm: A few thin layers of T-shirts, leggings and even thin blankets are more effective than one heavy shirt or comforter. And if I get too warm, I can always remove a layer or two.

-- Helen B. in Michigan

DEAR READER: Try knee-high stockings under socks for an extra layer of insulation for your feet, and this will work for the fellas.

DEAR HELOISE: After baking a chocolate cake recipe, I was about to dust the top with powdered sugar when I realized my sifter was broken, and my sieve was still wet from using it as a sifter. So I scrounged around and found a tea ball. I put powdered sugar in the ball, screwed the top back on and shook it over the cake. It worked perfectly.

-- Pam P., Billings, Mont.

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

Weekend on 02/07/2019

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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