Hints From Heloise: Olive nut dip

February 13, 2013

Dear Heloise: I have lost your mother’s olive spread recipe. Could you please reprint it, since I cannot remember it by memory? -- Nora M. in Texas

Nora, here is one of the most-often-asked-for recipes: Heloise’s Olive Nut Dip or Sandwich Spread, which my mother made all the time! I’ve added some updates where I substitute low-fat versions of some ingredients. So, you can mix and match! Gather the following ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese (regular, low-fat or no-fat), softened

1/2 cup mayonnaise or no-fat mayo/no-fat sour cream

1 cup chopped or sliced green olives or salad olives

2 tablespoons of juice from the olive jar

Dash of ground pepper (more, if you like)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix the ingredients together and refrigerate an hour or longer. If you want to change it up, add hot sauce, jalapenos or any other spice you like. This is one of many family recipes included in my All-Time Favorite Recipes pamphlet. To receive one, send $5 and a stamped (66 cents), self-addressed, long envelope to: Heloise/Recipes, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Use this spread to make little finger sandwiches, or as a dip for fresh-cut vegetables. -- Heloise

PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS

Dear Readers: Whether you are a vegetarian or just looking for something new to try, portobello mushrooms are just the thing! These are the largest of all mushrooms and have a taste very much like meat. Many restaurants offer them as a sandwich or grilled like a hamburger. This is my favorite way to enjoy them.

Here are some mushroom hints: Store them in the refrigerator in the package they came in. If you buy them loose, then store them in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator.

Before using (not storing), gently get rid of dirt with a damp paper towel or soft brush. Don’t soak in water, but you can clean them in cool running water. Eat up, as these mushrooms are cholesterol-free and low in calories, fat and sodium. -- Heloise

BANANA HINT

Dear Heloise: My favorite way to store ripe bananas is to remove the skin, place in a freezer bag and freeze.

When you need a quick breakfast, put it in the blender with any liquid — juice, milk, etc. Add some yogurt and any other fruit or berries for a smoothie. This works better than adding ice to a smoothie, as it comes out much creamier. -- Regina in New Jersey

SNACK ATTACK

Dear Heloise: I often snack on potato chips. When I would like some but don’t want to get a plate dirty, I grab a coffee filter. I throw a handful of chips (or any snack) in there and use it as a temporary “bowl.” When done, I just toss the filter away. -- A Reader in Alaska

These filters are so inexpensive. I do the same thing with them, even with celery and carrot sticks. -- Heloise

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state.

, King Features Syndicate

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