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HELOISE: Chopping onions? Try this method

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dear Heloise: I use a lot of chopped onions and have found a good way to dice, chop or slice. Cut the top off about 1/4 inch, but do not cut the root end. Turn the onion, cut side down, and make a vertical cut through the root, making two halves. Again, do not cut off the root end. Remove the onion skin back to the root end and break off. You now have half an onion that you can hold by the root end, and it will not fall apart while slicing or dicing.

Wick in Baton Rouge, La.

Dear Heloise: When storing guacamole, instead of placing a lid on the container, place plastic wrap onto the guacamole, removing all air. This will keep the guacamole from turning dark.

Jim in Texas

Great hint! Another helpful hint is to sprinkle a little lemon or lime juice or vinegar over the guacamole. If the top of the guacamole does turn brown, just scrape off the top layer — the other stuff is still good.


Dear Heloise: Love your column each day in the Texarkana (Texas) Gazette. Here are a couple of hints that some might find helpful:

Substitute graham crackers for vanilla wafers in puddings.

Substitute crushed pineapple for bananas in puddings.

Mary T., Texarkana, Texas

Dear Heloise: Like most people, our refrigerator hydrators have an assortment of leftover peppers, onions, tomatoes, etc. If they are not wrapped, they get soft and start to spoil. I now use the plastic carrier from the store-bought rotisserie chicken to house the leftover items. It’s sturdy and has air holes already punched through the top. Leftovers now stay fresher longer, and I even added one for fruit.

Gary, via email

Please be sure to wash well with soap and water first.


Dear Heloise: I was recently having corn on the cob for dinner. It was exceptionally covered with silk, and I was having trouble getting it off. I grabbed a coffee filter, folded it in fourths and ran it over the cob. The silk came right off.

Phylis in Ohio

Dear Heloise: I see unsalted butter and salt called for in the same recipe. Can I just use salted butter?

Lois K., via email

Yes, you probably can, especially if the amount of butter is not much compared with the whole recipe. The amount of salt in butter is minimal, so you should be OK. I say go for it, taste-test and see.


Dear Heloise: I’ve found that crackers and pretzels can be refreshed in the oven on low temperature. They taste great — sometimes better than “new.” And cookies can be refreshed with a few seconds in the microwave. In both cases, the food should be closely monitored.

Rita Loucks, Houston

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or email it to

King Features Syndicate