HINTS FROM HELOISE

Garden City Telegram

Dear Heloise: We use onions a lot around my house, so when I shop for onions, I buy a big bag, peel and quarter them, then put them in a zippered freezer bag and freeze the whole bag. When I need an onion, I just reach in and get whatever I need. - Theresa V., Houlton, Maine

SOUTHWESTERN VEGGIE RICE

Dear Heloise: I recently was at a neighbor's house for dinner and she served the best rice I've ever tasted. She said it came from Heloise! It was your Southwestern Veggie Rice recipe. Would you reprint that recipe? I've got company coming in April and I'd love to serve that dish for them. - Rita D., Parksville, S.C.

Rita, this is one of my all time favorite rice recipes. You'll need:

3 tablespoon salad oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

10 ounces frozen or canned peas and carrots, thawed

1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded chopped tomatoes

2 chicken bouillon cubes

2 cups boiling water

1 1/2 cups rice

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt (season to taste)

Cook oil uncovered for 2 minutes on high in a 3-quart, microwave-safe casserole dish. Add onion, garlic and rice. Cook uncovered on high for 3 minutes until onion is limp and rice is opaque. Stir once.

Stir in cayenne and bouillon cubes that have been dissolved in the boiling water. Cover tightly and cook on high for 4 to 7 minutes, or until liquid begins to boil. Reduce power to medium and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Let stand covered for 5 minutes. Don't peek! Let it set to absorb the moisture. At the end of the standing time, stir in peas, carrots and tomatoes, and it's ready to serve.

If you like a little taste of the Southwest, you'll love my pamphlet "Heloise's Main Dishes and More." To get a copy, just go to www.Heloise.com, or send $3, along with a stamped (75 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Main Dishes, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5001. Treat your family and friends to some new dishes they'll love! - Heloise

CHEESE STORAGE

Dear Heloise: Want to keep mold from forming on cheese? Take a square of foil and lay flat. On top of that place a square of plastic wrap, then place the cheese on the plastic wrap and wrap tightly in this two-ply wrap and you'll keep your cheese in good condition for a long time. These two coverings work better together than individually to keep cheese fresh for weeks. - Roger H., Hanover, N.H.

GRIMY CARDS

Dear Heloise: My friends and I love to play cards and get together frequently for a few games. It seems like we were always throwing away a deck of cards because they got grimy from constant handling and use. 

Then I discovered a way to clean the cards. I put the cards in a plastic bag with a scoop or two of cornstarch or baking soda. I closed the bag and shook it for a couple of minutes, removed the cards and wiped them down. The grime was gone! - Karen C., Mishawaka, Ind.

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