Dear Heloise:

I used to have a recipe from you that I have since lost -- too many moves. I am looking for the recipe in which you make brownies from a cake mix.

I am sure that a lot of your fans would also love the recipe.

Cindy, via e-mail

Yummy! This is a fantastic recipe, and I'm happy to reprint it for you and others who love brownies:

1 egg

3/4 cup water plus more as needed

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1 (18.25-ounce) box devil's-food cake mix

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan.

Mix the egg, water and nuts in a large bowl. Add the dry cake mix; stir well.

If the batter needs more water, add a teaspoonful at a time; don't add too much, because the batter should be thick.

Be sure not to overmix.

Pour into the prepared pan, being sure to smooth the top evenly.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes for chewy brownies; if you like them drier, bake a few minutes longer.


Dear Heloise:

When I first use celery for salads or soups, instead of breaking off whole stalks, I cut off what I need from across the top of the whole bunch.

Then I rinse the remainder in cold water, shake off the excess, wrap it well in paper towels and place it back inside the plastic bag in which I brought it home from the store.

The new shorter length means it fits neatly now in my vegetable crisper tray and stays fresh and crisp for up to two weeks.

Pat Dillon, Nashville

Dear Heloise:

I had a tendency when using my double boiler to let it boil dry. What a hassle.

To keep this from happening, I place a couple of marbles in the bottom, and they start bouncing around like crazy when the water gets low, and I know to add more water.

Barbie in Texas

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