Dear Heloise: I read your hint about adding rice, noodles or macaroni to “STRETCH” SOUP to make it more of a meal, and I had to pass along my suggestion. Cook the rice or pasta separately, then add it to the soup at serving time. This accomplishes several things. First, if you cook the rice or pasta along with the soup, it absorbs the liquid. You can keep adding water to the soup, but it will just get thicker and thicker.

Keeping the rice or pasta separate allows you to control the thickness and flavor of the soup.

Also, if you have little ones, adding cooled or cold pasta or rice will cool the soup quickly to a manageable temperature. Love your column! -- Chris in Monmouth, Maine

Good hints, Chris, and you’re right — this is a good way to control the amount of “soup,” too. Soup can be a delicious, quick dinner. Add salad and some bread, and your meal is complete. Want to try some of my favorite soup recipes? All you need to do is send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (65 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Soup, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Make a large batch of soup and either share with family who live nearby or with neighbors, or freeze to enjoy another night. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Is a “baby” pineapple really a baby (as in a pineapple that has been picked while small)? No! It is grown and picked as it is meant to be, which is about 4.5 inches high (not counting the leaves). Produced mainly in South Africa, these Queen Victoria pineapples are known for their sweet and tart quality and bold flavor.

What makes these pineapples unique? The entire pineapple flesh is edible, including the core. So, next time you want some pineapple, give this variety a taste! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I was planning to scramble a couple of eggs. When I opened the cupboard to get my skillet, I noticed my electric sandwich maker and thought I would give it a try.

I scrambled the eggs in a bowl, poured them into the base of the unit and closed the lid. In a short time, I opened it and was delighted to find four golden-brown triangular egg puffs. They were light and tasty, easy to remove, and looked terrific on the plate. -- Pete B. in La Habra, Calif.

Pete, I was doubtful but tested your hint in a waffle maker, and it worked! Fluffy, delicious eggs ready in about two minutes, and almost a waffle pattern. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Sometimes I would forget if I had salted or seasoned something I was cooking. Now I always salt/season first before I add the pepper. If I see pepper in my food, then I know it’s been salted/seasoned already. -- Glenda L., via e-mail

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

2012, King Features Syndicate