2005-03-10 / Arts & Entertainment

Ask BETTY

Dear Betty,

I’ve started making some meals for the week ahead and would like to know the best way to freeze casseroles. Can you help?

Chattanooga, Tenn.

You’ve found one of the best ways to take the stress out of weeknight meals!

So that you don’t tie up all of your baking dishes in the freezer, line the dish with foil — leaving plenty of overhang on each side for wrapping the casserole — and spray lightly with cooking spray (or use nonstick foil.) Spoon in or layer the casserole. Wrap tightly and freeze.

When frozen solid, lift out the cas-serole. Label with the date and baking instructions, place in a plastic freezer bag and return to the freezer. When you’re ready to bake the casserole, remove the wrappings, place it in the original baking dish, thaw in the fridge or microwave, then bake.

Or bake the casserole, wrap airtight, label and freeze. Just thaw and reheat for a meal in minutes.

Dear Betty,

What’s a good way to cut brownies so they don’t tear or break?

Savannah, Ga.

Let me share a little secret with you — plastic. Plastic knife, that is. Be sure to cool your brownies completely, then use a plastic knife to cut them. You’ll be amazed at how clean and tidy the cuts are!

Betty Crocker

Want more ideas? www.BettyCrocker.com

Questions? 1-888-ASK BETTY

Timely Tips

BIGGER & BETTER - Buying in bulk is a great way to save money and save on extra trips to the store. When there’s extra trips, you always buy more than what you went for (I know I do). I run in for one thing, and end up picking us this and picking up that. Great bulk items are toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, laundry detergent, etc. Venetta S.

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FRESHEN LINEN CLOSET - In the linen closet, place cotton balls that have been sprayed with your favorite perfume. Once they are dry, place them in corners and on the shelves or even in your lingerie drawer. Sarah K.

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LAUNDRY BASKET MAGIC - Place a fabric softener sheet in the bottom of your laundry basket (remember to change it weekly). This will keep the basket from getting that stale odor and will also keep the room where you keep your dirty clothes smelling fresh. Jane D.

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MAIL CALL - Put a sealed envelope in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed. I do this, and it saves me from buying en-velopes all the time. I just place labels over the original address to reuse. Missy C.

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RECYCLE - Use empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to. Bob G.

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SLIP NO MORE - For icy door steps in freezing temperatures, get warm water and put dishwashing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won’t refreeze. (Wish I had known this for the last 40 years!) Gianna S.

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NAUGHTY KIDDIES - Crayon marks on walls? This workS wonderfully! Use a damp rag, dipped in baking soda. The marks come off with little effort. Lana F.

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MAKEUP REMOVAL - Wet face with warm water then spread a handful of whipped cream on your face. Rinse clean with warm water and blot dry. Also, to condition your hair, apply 1/2 cup whipped cream to your dry hair once a week. Leave on for 30 minutes, then rinse a few times before shampooing thoroughly. Rita A.

Share your special Timely Tip with our readers. Send it to Kate c/o DBR Media, Inc., P.O. Box 21, Hopewell Jct., NY 12533, or e-mail:deckert@dbrmedia.com

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