Dear Heloise: My mother and I would like to know if SALTED AND UNSALTED BUTTER have different cooking properties? Also, why would a recipe call for unsalted butter, but then require salt? -- Michelle and Janet C. in Washington
Very good question, and it is a little contradictory! Salted and unsalted butter don’t have any different cooking properties. They are the same, except that one has 1 / 4 to 1 / 2 teaspoon of salt per stick.
Each company may produce a little “different” butter. So, when added to a recipe, there is no way to tell how much salt is really in that butter. By starting a recipe with unsalted butter, you know that the recipe is starting with and ending with the proper amount of salt.
Dear Heloise: My family enjoys bacon for breakfast, but because of our busy schedules, we only have it on weekends. This leaves leftover bacon that I use the rest of the week as a topping for baked potatoes, added to salad or as a garnish for beans or asparagus. -- Janice R. in New Mexico
Here’s another use for the bacon: as a topping for potato soup or other cream-style soups. It’s tasty on spinach, too. The great thing about soup is that there are so many different ways to add flavors, use up leftovers and save money. My pamphlet Heloise’s Spectacular Soups has family and friend recipes, plus hints to help you save time when making soup. To order one, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Soups, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Top soup off with croutons as a garnish, or serve soup with breadsticks, crackers or any type of bread to make it a more well-rounded meal. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I love mini-bagels, but they are hard to get out of the toaster. My mom suggested wooden chopsticks, but they are hard to manage. Now I “stab” the bagel with a toothpick and pull it out safely. Works every time! -- Alex C., Colorado Springs, Colo.
Dear Heloise: Here is a hint to extend the life of sour cream and cottage cheese. Store the product upside down on a plate in the refrigerator. It lasts much longer. -- Betty D., via e-mail
Yep! Love the longtime Heloise hint. Be sure the lid is on tight, and sort of shake the container to move the contents down to cover the lid. Place in a bowl and put it in the refrigerator. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: As a single person, I use my toaster oven all the time. When I am heating up leftovers or cooking a new dish, I set my plate on top of the oven. As my food heats up, my plate also warms up and keeps the food heated as I eat. -- Tracy L. in California