Dear Heloise: Is there an easy way to ROAST GARLIC without using (or buying) an actual garlic roaster? -- Jennifer C. in Florida
There sure is, Jennifer. Roasted garlic is so delicious! Peel each bulb’s skin layers. Leave the individual cloves “wrapped.” Cut about 1/2 inch off the top of the bulb, or until you see each little garlic clove.
Next, line either a muffin pan or a baking dish with aluminum foil, and place the garlic bulbs in it. Coat each with a dribble of olive oil. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 400 F for about 35 minutes. The cloves will get soft, and you will smell it! Watch out -- they may be hot! Remove each clove by squeezing it or using a small fork. Eat the garlic straight out of the skin, or add it to your favorite recipe! -- Heloise
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Dear Heloise: If I thaw food (for example, ground meat for dinner) and then I don’t make it that night, can I refreeze it? -- Wanda D., via e-mail
Good question, and the answer is yes, in most cases. The United States Department of Agriculture tells us it is safe to refreeze foods if they were properly defrosted in the refrigerator. If not properly defrosted, then be sure to cook it before refreezing.
Because there may be some water loss from the defrosting, the meat may not TASTE the same after refreezing, then thawing and cooking. However, it is STILL safe to eat. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I make a lot of pasta salads, with many different foods added to the pasta so it’s not always the same. Some people like bell peppers, olives, carrots, artichokes, tomatoes, etc.
My hint is that no matter what food you put in with the pasta, make sure to cut it in large-enough pieces that anyone can easily remove it. You also can do this when you make regular salads. I have many people thank me for making it easy for them to pick out the added foods they don’t like or want. -- Linda G. in Ohio
Dear Heloise: I have a cutting board that I use for carving meats that has an indentation all around it to catch the juices. I find that the juices still run over and cause a mess on the counter. So, I place a baking sheet with an edge under the cutting board, and I no longer need to worry if the juices run! -- Wendy T. in Delaware
Dear Heloise: I was given a bag of potato chips from a friend who was leaving the island. After I opened the bag and ate only a few, I sealed it and put it into the freezer. Now, every time I want chips, I open the bag, and they are as fresh as the first time I opened them. -- Susan in Marco Island, Fla.