Dear Heloise: I have a question about when a recipe calls for wine as an ingredient. I need to know what to substitute. I don't think you can just leave it out, as I think it is supposed to be there as an acid. I can't find a substitute list for it in any of my cookbooks.

Susan E., Dayton, Ohio

Susan E.: Yes, there are substitutes. For red wine, try:

● Red wine vinegar.

● Grape, pomegranate or cranberry juice.

For white wine, try:

● White wine vinegar.

● Lemon juice.

Happy cooking!

Dear Heloise: I haven't seen your recipe for toffee cookies in a long time. Would you please reprint it? My wife and I loved the last batch we made.

Glen and Sadie F., Lexington, S.C.

Glen and Sadie F.: This is an all-time favorite of mine. You’ll need:

2 cups cake flour

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped nuts

Sift flour and measure. Add cream of tartar, baking soda and salt, and sift again. Measure brown sugar and pack it into the cup lightly. Mix the oil and sugar by creaming together. Add beaten egg and vanilla. Mix well. Blend in dry ingredients gradually, adding the nuts last. (If the batter seems thick, add ½ cup water.) Shape into a roll. Wrap in wax paper and chill. After chilling, remove from wax paper. Cut into thin slices. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

If you like this recipe, you’ll really enjoy the other baking and cleaning hints in my pamphlet Heloise’s Baking Soda Hints and Recipes. To get a copy, send $5, along with a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can order it online at FYI: Did you know that you can’t substitute baking powder for baking soda, but you can substitute baking soda and cream of tartar for baking powder. Simply mix ¼ teaspoon baking soda with ½ teaspoon cream of tartar.

Dear Heloise: My brother-in-law claims to be allergic to just about everything. He's coming for a visit, and I'm worried about what to serve and what NOT to serve for meals. What should I do? What should I make for dinners?

Chrissy T., Abilene, Texas

Chrissy T.: First, ask him what he can’t eat. Get a list of items you can’t serve, and it’ll make dinnertime a lot easier. The most common food allergy in adults is shellfish, followed by milk and peanuts.

Dear Heloise: There are any number of things that upset the gastrointestinal tract, but among the worst are some chemical food additives. They affect the bacteria in our system. This can lead to irritable bowel syndrome. Whenever possible, eat fresh foods and unprocessed foods.

Sandra L., Hartford, Mass.

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to

2019, King Features Syndicate