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Pies and Peels

Dear Heloise: To prevent a filled pie from BUBBLING OVER onto the oven, just roll out the bottom crust a little larger than the pie plate. Pour in the desired filling mixture. Now bring the edge up over the filling/mixture, but only the edges. It’s not as pretty as the crimped edge, but hey, no oven to clean!

Also, don’t throw out citrus peels. I put them where the neighbor’s cat goes to the bathroom. It really works. I save them by placing them in a plastic container and freezing until ready to use. No harm to the animal. — Sandy L., Barnesville, Ohio

RED VELVET CAKE

Dear Heloise: You have a recipe for a red velvet cake that was so easy to make and tasted delicious. Would you please reprint that recipe? I’ve misplaced my copy, and I want to make it for Valentine’s Day. — Carmela G., Brownsville, Texas

Carmela, here it is — one of my favorite cakes. You’ll need:

4 bottles (half-ounce size) red food coloring

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix food coloring with cocoa and set aside. Beat shortening with sugar; add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add food coloring mixture and vanilla. Alternately add flour, salt and buttermilk, beating well. Stir in vinegar and baking soda. Bake in 350 F oven for 30 minutes or until done. Makes one large loaf cake or one three-layer cake.

If you like this recipe and want to treat someone special to an unusual dessert, then you’ll love my pamphlet Heloise’s Cake Recipes. To get a copy, send $3, along with a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, to: Heloise/Cakes, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can order it online at www.Heloise.com. You’ll also find a couple of icing recipes for a red velvet cake and many more dessert ideas included in there. — Heloise

EGG SLICER

Dear Heloise: I’ve found an egg slicer does several things. I can cut up olives, mushrooms, strawberries and a few other items when I need to get that job done fast. — Cecil in Bay City, Mich.

CHEESE SLICING

Dear Heloise: While preparing for a party at a rental cabin, I found I had nothing to slice a block of cheese. I took out a long string of unwaxed dental floss and used it to slice the cheese. It worked perfectly! — Vivian in Oregon

TEA BALL

Dear Heloise: I’ve found some new ideas for a tea ball, such as placing a bay leaf in it and suspending it in soups and stews to get the flavor but not the herb. I can also use one as a scent diffuser by spraying a cotton ball with perfume and placing it inside the tea ball. Then I hang it in my car or my closet to add a nice scent to that area. — Mae V., Scottsbluff, Neb.

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