Dear Heloise: What are the differences among HEAVY CREAM, LIGHT CREAM AND WHIPPING CREAM? -- A Reader, via e-mail

There is a lot of difference! And it’s mostly fat and calories. Heavy cream has 36 percent to 40 percent butterfat, light cream has 18 percent to 30 percent butterfat (most often it contains 20 percent), and whipping cream has 30 percent butterfat.

Cream rises to the surface of whole milk and is labeled according to the butterfat content. Heavy cream, used in baked goods as filling or frosting, doubles in volume and holds its shape well when whipped. Light cream usually is added to coffee or other hot drinks in place of milk.

Whipping cream doesn’t whip quite as well (doesn’t make sense to me, since it’s called whipping cream!) or hold its shape as well, so it most often is used as a filling. -- Heloise

SEND A GREAT HINT TO:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 210-HELOISE

E-mail: Heloise@Heloise.com

ADDING BEANS

Dear Readers: When using canned beans in a recipe, do you drain and rinse the beans before adding them, or just drain them? The brine from a can of beans is a great way to add flavor to your dish. However, if you are watching your sodium intake, rinsing the beans after draining can cut the sodium. -- Heloise

PRECOOKING PEPPERONI

Dear Heloise: My family loves to have a pizza-and-game night once a week. In an effort to keep costs down, we started making our own pizza. It is a lot of fun mixing all types of different ingredients and never making the same pizza twice.

Pepperoni is one of our favorite toppings. Not liking how greasy the pepperoni is, especially after cooking, I came up with this hint. I place a single layer of pepperoni in the microwave, on paper towels, microwave for about 30 seconds and then put it on the pizza to cook. There still is some grease, but it seems like a lot less. -- Julie D., Colorado Springs, Colo.

STIRRING SOUP

Dear Heloise: I like to eat condensed soups, and I prepare them on the stovetop. This presents a problem in that you must constantly stir, especially with creamed soups. I eliminated the stirring and guesswork. I measure out the required amount of water and bring it to a rapid boil, then add the condensed soup and immediately turn off the heat. I stir to mix and wait a minute for the heat to saturate the mix before serving. -- Edward T., Berlin, Pa.

COOKING HINT

Dear Heloise: A lot of recipes call for you to place the lid on a pot, but with the lid slightly ajar for venting steam. I was having a particularly hard time doing this with one lid, until I took a binder clip and clipped it to the side of the pot. This allowed me to set the lid on top of it and keep the lid from falling down. -- Denise D., Fort Wayne, Ind.

Please use caution when removing the binder clip, because it may be hot! -- 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.

2012, King Features Syndicate