Recipe For Cookies From A Cake Mix

Dear Heloise: You have a recipe for Cookies From Cake Mixes that I’ve always loved. Sadly, when we moved to a new house, I must have lost the recipe. Could you reprint it for me? — Ada F., Sparks, Nev.

Ada, it’s one of my favorite recipes, and it’s so easy to make. Here it is:

Heloise’s Cookies From Cake Mix

Choose any flavor of cake mix you’d like, and add up to 1/4 cup of nuts, raisins or chocolate chips, or any combination of these three ingredients.

1 (18.25-ounce) box of cake mix

2 eggs

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix ONLY the above ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto an UNGREASED baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. You must watch carefully, because they brown very quickly. Ovens vary, so stand by for the first batch.

— Heloise


Dear Heloise: Both my husband and I love fresh carrots from the garden. However, my husband is English, and he believes that carrots should be boiled until they are very soft, just as his mother fixed them when he was a boy. I think they lose most of their nutrients and are just plain unappetizing prepared that way. How should carrots be cooked? — Lucy R., Falmouth, Maine

Lucy, the way carrots are cooked depends in part on personal preference. Some people like carrots soft, but I like mine steamed. I cut up young carrots to about 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces, then I steam them for about five to six minutes. This way, they retain some of their crunchy texture, and there is less vitamin C loss. If you want a softer carrot, steam them for about 10 to 12 minutes. I also like carrots baked, because it brings out a nutty/smoky taste when they are roasted about 20 minutes. Try one of these methods and see how you and your husband like carrots cooked some way other than boiling. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I recently read a column about brown sugar and thought I’d mention maple sugar as a yummy substitute. It can be used in everything that may call for brown sugar, although you’d need to use a little less. I find it tastier. I also use maple syrup on occasion. — Jean L., via e-mail


Dear Heloise: When I buy a pound of bacon, I divide the package into three- or four-strip packages since I won’t be using it all at once. I wrap each group of strips in clear food wrap and place them in a long, narrow box. They take up so little space in the freezer and are nice and straight when I want to cook them. — J.P., Bedford, N.H.


Dear Heloise: I’ve always been told not to refreeze meat that has been frozen and thawed out. Why can’t I refreeze meat that’s been thawed? Is it dangerous? — Clint W., Auburn, Wash.

Clint, according to the University of Nebraska’s Institute of Agriculture, if food is thawed in a refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking it. However, the quality of the meat will change due to moisture lost in the thawing process. The institute recommends not refreezing meat left outside of a refrigerator for two hours or more. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: Please tell people not to give leftover chips at the bottom of the bag to birds! It may seem like a good idea, but the salt is not good for them. — Sheila M., via email

Shelia, I checked on this, and you’re right. Garden birds are unable to metabolize salt. In large quantities, it’s toxic for birds. Never add salt to bird food, and don’t put salt in a birdbath to keep it from freezing in winter. — Heloise