Dear Heloise: Maybe I’m the only cook who doesn’t know the answer to this question, but I doubt it. I hope you will depart from your usual very helpful hints to give me some much-needed information. Recipes frequently list citrus zest, usually lemon or orange. I feel sure that there is some kind of special tool for obtaining this ingredient. A normal grater does not work well at all. Where would one go, and what exactly would one ask for? -- Jimmie S., Garland, Tex.
Jimmie, you are lucky, because there is a tool that is available to zest citrus fruits called a zester/peeler. You should be able to find one at any store where kitchen utensils are found. You also can find them online by simply typing in “zester” in the search box. Good luck. -- Heloise
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Dear Heloise: Many times slow cookers go unused because of the safety issue of not being there in case, when in use, something should boil over or worse. We place the slow cooker on the stove when cooking all day so that should anything go wrong, it will simply spill over onto the stovetop, which is able to handle it. -- Will J., Mission Viejo, Calif.
Dear Heloise: I enjoy cooking with my electric wok. The meals are quick and usually healthier for you (depending on what you are cooking). The cleaning wasn’t always easy, because I can’t submerge the wok in water to clean it. So, after I am done cooking and turn off the wok, I get a large cup of water and pour it into the wok. By the time I get ready to do the dishes, the wok is a snap to clean. Clean and easy in no time! -- Karen A., via e-mail
Dear Heloise: For people who are not fond of oatmeal or those who want a change, try using orange, pineapple, apple or other real fruit juice in place of the water when cooking. By doing so, you usually eliminate salt, water and sweetener. And definitely use cinnamon. I often add chopped nuts and/or whole fruit when cooking the cereal. Breakfast can be a real treat, and good for you. -- Elizabeth M., Billings, Mont.
Oatmeal is a favorite of mine! Sometimes I zing it up by adding cinnamon candy and a dash of nutmeg. Even cold, it’s a tasty treat. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I often make sandwiches for my lunch. Instead of using a clean plate, I make my sandwich on a paper towel. I then wrap the sandwich in the paper towel and place it in a plastic bag. This keeps me from getting a plate dirty, and I think it helps keep the bread from getting soggy. -- K.R., via e-mail
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