Dear Heloise: My husband and I are building our “dream home.” When it comes to our stove and ovens, we don’t know whether to go with gas or electric. Any suggestions?

Carrie T., Port Huron, Mich.

Carrie T.: This can be a difficult decision! Generally, you should pick what you are used to. If you have cooked only with gas, then electric may be a whole new learning curve. Here are a few things to consider:

Electric stoves usually are less expensive than gas.

Electric stoves/ovens:

● Smooth-top stoves are easy to clean, and the coil stoves are, too.

● Electric ovens are drier than gas ovens.

Gas stoves/ovens:

● Instant heat, both on and off.

● Both natural and propane gas are inexpensive and save money in the long run.

● Gas ovens are hotter at the top, and gas gives off moisture.

● Gas stoves are a little more difficult to clean because of the heavy iron grates.

If the cost of the appliance is a factor, electric is the way to go. If you cook and bake a lot, you may want to go with gas. Whichever you choose, remember, you most likely will be living with the appliance for a long time, so choose wisely.

Dear Heloise: You have, in the past, printed your recipe for Orange Coffee, which my entire family loves! I’ve served it to guests, who raved about it as well. Sadly, I’ve misplaced the recipe, so would you please reprint it?

Terrie N., New York

Terrie N.: Here it is:

Orange Coffee 

½ cup instant coffee granules  

¾ cup sugar

1 cup powdered milk or coffee creamer 

 ½ teaspoon dried orange peel (you can use fresh orange zest, but be sure to store the mixture in the fridge.)

Blend in a blender until powdered. Add 2 rounded teaspoons per 6 to 8 ounces of hot water.

For additional recipes and hints for coffee and tea, try my pamphlet Heloise’s Flavored Coffees and Teas. To order one, visit, or send a business-size, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope, along with $3, to: Heloise/HCS, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Don’t forget to make some sun tea this summer for a refreshing drink on a hot day.

Dear Heloise: My otherwise wonderful cardiologist has me on a low- to no-salt diet. I was shocked to discover how much salt there is in nearly everything we eat. I have some suggestions for your readers:

● Always read the ingredients labels! Salt content varies from one brand to the next.

● “Lite” or “low-cal” often means higher salt content.

● Fry in olive oil, not butter or margarine.

● The majority of soft drinks, energy drinks, cheese, lunchmeat and canned soups and vegetables have high amounts of sodium.

Ed Y., Villa Park, Calif.

Ed Y.: They do sell salt-free butter — you can use that!

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