Dear Heloise: A recipe for CHOCOLATE BROWNIES appeared in your column years ago. Unfortunately, I misplaced it. Could you please reprint it? -- Brenda H., via e-mail
Absolutely! Here is the recipe for Heloise’s brownies from a cake mix. These are more cakelike brownies, but they will do in a pinch and with things you usually have on hand. Grab the following ingredients:
3/4 cup water plus more as needed
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 (18.25 ounces) box devil’s-food cake mix
Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 13-by-9-inch pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the egg, water and nuts (if using). Add the cake mix and STIR WELL. The batter will be thick; however, if it is too thick, add only a teaspoonful of water at a time to help thin it. Just be sure NOT to overmix. Pour into the greased pan and smooth the top.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes for chewy brownies. If you like them more of a cake consistency, then bake them for a few minutes longer. You need to watch them and test for how “done” you like them. If you like desserts, especially cakes, then order my Heloise Cake Recipes pamphlet by sending $3 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Cakes, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Be sure to let the brownies cool before cutting, and use a plastic knife to cut them with little or no sticking! -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: Some time ago, I think you wrote NOT to put eggshells down the garbage disposal. Please tell me why, and don’t say, “Because I said so!” -- John in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Well, John, some experts suggest that a lot of eggshells can damage a disposal, but I personally don’t see how. The real point is that in large amounts, they also can clog the drains further down in the pipes! This is why you must run A LOT of water before, during and after a food item is put in the disposal. Instead of putting these shells down the sink, try using them as compost. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: When making cookies that call for oatmeal, what kind is the best to bake cookies with — the one-minute oatmeal, or the old-fashioned kind? I read your column every day and thank you for all the hints and advice. -- Sharon C. in Houston
You can use the one-minute oatmeal or regular when baking. Both have the same flavor; the only difference is in the appearance of the cookies. The quicker-cooking oatmeal has a finer texture, so the oatmeal will be blended into the cookie. When using regular oatmeal, you will be able to see the oats in the cookie. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: When making calamari, an easy solution for removing the tough inner membrane of a squid involves the use of tweezers. Easy to grab onto the membrane and then remove it. -- Araceli in San Antonio