Dear Heloise: Just the thought of your recipe for BOOTLEGGER BEANS makes my mouth water. I lost that recipe in our last move to a new house. Would you please reprint it for me? -- Nora Y., Troy, Mich.

Nora, I've always loved this recipe, so here it is -- Bootlegger Beans a la Heloise:

3 strips bacon

1 small onion, chopped

1 (15-ounce) can pork and beans in tomato sauce.

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons ketchup

Fry the bacon in a medium pan over medium-high heat until almost crisp. Add the onion and continue frying until the onion starts to brown. Pour off almost all of the grease and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to mix well, cover and simmer until heated through. -- Heloise

SEND A GREAT HINT TO:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise@Heloise.com

SMART SHOPPER

Dear Heloise: A word to the wise: Don't buy convenience foods. Why? They usually are high in fat, sugar and salt. Often they're overpackaged, so you'll be adding to our landfill problems. If time is an issue, then prepare meals in advance and freeze them. -- Grace K., Duxbury, Vt.

GRILLED VEGETABLES

Dear Heloise: About two weeks ago, I had some grilled veggies at a friend's home and loved them. I'd like to try it, but don't know how long they should be cooked, or which vegetables I should grill. Can you help me with this one? -- Margo L., Greenwood, S.C.

Margo, here are a few hints to help you get started on your summer grilling:

Bell peppers: Cut into quarters, remove the seeds and grill, with the skin side down, about 12-15 minutes over the heat.

Corn on the cob: Soak the corn in the husks in cold water for 30 minutes. Peel back the husks, but do not remove. Do remove the corn silk. Pull the husks back over the cobs and cook about 15 minutes.

Mushrooms: Cut the stems level with the caps. Brush with olive oil, both sides, and cook until tender, about 2 minutes.

Potatoes: Baking or new potatoes are best for the grill. Slice between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Place the slices on foil squares, and dot with butter or drops of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and herbs such as chives, parsley and rosemary. Wrap in foil and cook on the grill until tender.

-- Heloise

WINE BOUQUET

Dear Heloise: What do people mean when they speak of a wine's "bouquet." -- Lillian B., Pine Bluff, Ark.

Lillian, about 80 percent of our sense of taste is based on our sense of smell. The aroma -- or the bouquet, as it's called -- of the wine tells you a lot about its quality. Generally, young wines have a fruity smell, while older wines have a more refined, subtle character. A "prickly" sensation in the nose after smelling the wine means excessive sulfur dioxide. -- Heloise

CHAMPAGNE

Dear Heloise: What is a magnum and a jeroboam of champagne? -- Dale G., Decatur, Ill.

Dale, a magnum is 2 quarts, which usually fills 10 glasses. A jeroboam of champagne is 4 quarts, which fills about 20 glasses. -- Heloise