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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

[email protected]

Food on 05/20/2020

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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