Dear Heloise: I see broccolini more and more in stores and served in restaurants. What exactly is it?—Jay M. in Delaware
Broccolini is a hybrid of Chinese kale and broccoli, with long stalks and broccolilike florets on top. It actually looks more like a mix of asparagus and broccoli. Broccolini is more popular than ever. It has a sweet, subtle flavor, with a hint of pepper taste as well. You can eat it raw or by cooking it your preferred way (steamed, boiled, etc.). Now available year-round, it's definitely worth a taste!—Heloise
Dear Heloise: I read your column faithfully and really appreciate the hints, recipes and other information. I opened a can of kippered fish a couple of days ago, and the smell was very strong. It seems to linger in the house.
Is there some way to get rid of the odor?—Beverly S., Cheney, Wash.
Try boiling 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan on low heat. If you don't have time to stay in the kitchen watching over a cooking pot, try sitting a dish of vinegar on the kitchen counter overnight. This should help not only with fish odor, but with any cooking odor. There are so many uses for vinegar, and I have a pamphlet filled with some of my favorite hints and recipes using it, which you can order online at www.Heloise.com, or by sending $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (68 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. For fish odors on hands, wash with vinegar or lemon juice.—Heloise
Dear Heloise: I love hummus. With so many different flavors available, even those who think they don't like hummus are bound to find one they like.
My hint is to use hummus in place of mayonnaise as a condiment on sandwiches. It's delicious! Plus it's healthier and high in fiber and protein while having fewer calories, which makes it even better!—Susan K., Hazleton, Pa.
As Susan suggests, hummus adds wonderful flavor to hot or cold sandwiches. If you've considered it only a dip made from ground chickpeas that can be enjoyed with chips, pita bread or sliced vegetables, be sure to give it a try on your next sandwich.—Heloise
Dear Heloise: I love tomatoes on sandwiches. Sometimes I need to save a tomato that I've sliced one or two pieces from yet still have the majority left. I take the first slice, with the stem, and save it to place back on the cut part of the tomato. Then I wrap the entire tomato in plastic wrap, which keeps the tomato fresh until next time.—Debra Y. in Georgia
Dear Heloise: I save the plastic scoops from coffee cans to keep and use in my flour, sugar and other baking supplies. It's easier than grabbing a spoon every time.—Theresa D. in Ohio
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