Dear Heloise: My family loves portobello mushrooms. Since we are vegans, we eat them the same way you might dress a hamburger, or we grill them. One of my favorite ways to make them is to soak the mushroom caps in balsamic vinegar for 10 minutes, then grill for about three to five minutes on each side and serve with a little feta cheese crumbled over top.
Vicki A., Mesa, Ariz.
Dear Heloise: Please repeat your potato soup recipe. Now that the cooler weather is coming, we enjoy a hot bowl of soup in the evenings, and we're especially fond of potato soup.
Jenny in Spring Branch, Tex.
Dear Jenny: I’d love to. You’ll need:
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 tablespoon shortening or olive oil
1 cup water
2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
Cook potatoes, onion, oil (or shortening) and water in a large pot until potatoes are soft. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Serves 4.
Since you liked this potato soup recipe, you’ll love my pamphlet Heloise’s Spectacular Soups. To order a copy, send $5, along with a stamped (71 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, to: Heloise/Soups, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can order it online at www.Heloise.com. A tasty tip: Puree celery and onions in a blender and add to most soups for extra flavor and without extra calories.
Dear Heloise: We love natural honey, but it often gets "sugary" and solid. I've found that if I microwave the honey in its jar for a couple of minutes, it will return to its pourable state. Microwaving time varies with the amount of honey in the jar, so I start with small increments of zapping time. If the jar has a metal lid, be sure to remove it before microwaving.
Phyllis N., Quincy, Wash.
Dear Heloise: Can bananas be frozen? If they can be, are they edible after thawing?
Odette Y., Missoula, Mont.
Odette Y.: Yes, you can freeze bananas and use them when making banana bread or muffins. When they thaw out, they’re usually a bit too mushy to just peel and eat.
Dear Heloise: With Halloween approaching and kids soon to be at my front door, I'd like to give them something other than just candy. Any hints on what to hand out?
Elizabeth D., Warsaw, Ind.
Elizabeth D.: Yes. You can go to any dollar store and pick up small plastic toys to mix in with a little candy.