Of brown sugars, which one is best: light or dark?
Dear Heloise: I was making a family recipe, and it called for light brown sugar. I didn’t have any, so I used the dark brown I had on hand, and my recipe did not taste as good as it usually does. I thought light and dark brown sugars were interchangeable. What went wrong? — Jennifer A., Modesto, Calif.
Jennifer, both light and dark brown sugar contain molasses. Dark brown sugar has more molasses and will give the recipe a little more of a molasses taste. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: On the weekends I love to make homemade soup. What I’m looking for is a vegetable-beef recipe. A friend of mine told me that for homemade soup, you were the expert. So, got a recipe for some homemade veggie soup? — Harold R., Hendersonville, N.C.
Harold, I do have a delicious recipe for homemade vegetable-beef soup. It’s easy to make and tastes great on a chilly winter day. Here it is:
10 1/2 ounce unsalted chicken broth
1/2 cup water
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables for soup
16-ounce can tomatoes
1 cup beef, cooked and diced
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, crushed
Dash of pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
2 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) narrow-width noodles, uncooked
Heat broth and water. Add vegetables, tomatoes, meat and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add noodles; cook until noodles are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving. Makes about 4 cups of soup.
If easy-to-prepare meals that taste great appeal to you, then you need my pamphlet “Heloise’s Spectacular Soups.” To get a copy, go to www.Heloise.com, or just send $5, along with a stamped, self-addressed, long envelope to: Heloise/Soups, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.
Remember, leftover soup tastes even better the next day, so be sure to make plenty. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: I have decided to serve some caviar on Christmas Eve, but I’m not really sure I know what I’m doing. How should it be served? I don’t want to risk food poisoning, so what should I do? — Brianna L., Austin, Texas
Brianna, caviar needs special care because it is highly perishable. First, remove it from the refrigerator only about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Remove the lid but keep the caviar in the container it came in. Serve on a bed of crushed ice and use ONLY non-metal utensils. Here in the United States, caviar is most often served with toast points, which are small cracker-like triangles of thin, white, toasted bread or crackers.
An unopened can of caviar may be stored in the refrigerator for up to three to four weeks. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: Many people love Roquefort cheese in a salad, but my husband and I love it sprinkled over steak. I usually use a medium sprinkling of Roquefort while the steak is sizzling hot so that it sort of melts a little on the steak. It gives the meat a nice surprising flavor. — Beth W., Eugene, Ore.