Garden City Telegram

Dear Heloise: I went to a housewarming party recently and, like everyone else, I brought a gift. It was a fire extinguisher. I have two in my house, and on one occasion it really came in handy. However, the hostess was greatly offended that I would bring an extinguisher for her kitchen, and said so in an email! She asked if it was a comment on her cooking skills. She claims if she has a kitchen fire all she has to do is toss cornstarch on the flames. Isn't that a little dangerous? - Kelly A., Denver

Kelly, cornstarch and flour are combustible materials and could possibly cause an explosion. Some people panic and toss water on a grease fire, which causes the flames to spread. Baking soda can be used in place of an extinguisher on a small fire, but a fire extinguisher is really the best thing to use. I think your housewarming gift was a terrific idea! - Heloise


Dear Heloise: I used to have a recipe of yours that I liked, and my husband and kids keep asking me to make it again. It was your Italian chicken. It was one of the easiest and quickest dinners I know of and tasted delicious. Sadly, I don't know where the recipe is. Would you please reprint that one? - Sherry M., Mansfield, Ohio

Sherry, this so easy to make and was always a favorite at my place:

Baked Italian Chicken

1 chicken, cut up, or equivalent parts

1 (8-ounce) bottle nonfat or regular Italian salad dressing

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced

4 medium potatoes, sliced (peeled or not) into bite-size pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray. Place the chicken in the casserole dish and cover with the Italian dressing. Top with the onion and potatoes. Bake for about 1 hour or until done.

If you work a full-time job, this is one of the quickest and easiest meals to make. If you like meals like this one, you can go to www.Heloise.com to order a pamphlet, or send a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Heloise/All Time Favorite Recipes, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5001. - Heloise


Dear Readers: In some parts of the country, black beans are called by another name. Is it:

A) crow beans

B) dog beans

C) turtle beans

If you said "C" you'd be correct. Black beans (turtle beans) are dark, black and shiny and reminded some folks of a turtle's shell. Black beans are high in fiber, iron and plant protein, and have no cholesterol. - Heloise


Dear Heloise: My husband and I love shellfish and enjoy it for dinner frequently. However, he lets shellfish, such as crab or shrimp, sit on the kitchen counter for too long, in my opinion. Can't people get food poisoning this way? - Katie D., Pasco, Wash.

Katie, according to the CDC, shellfish - indeed, any fish - must be kept refrigerated until ready to cook. Even after it's cook it's still best to refrigerate leftovers immediately after a meal. - Heloise

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