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Heloise discusses freezing cookies

Dear Heloise: What is the best way to freeze cookies? — Jo in Ohio

A lot depends on the cookies. If you’re freezing the cookies right after baking, make sure they are completely cooled before you freeze them. Store them in a single layer in a flat bottom container with wax paper between the layers. Label the container as well, with the date and type of cookie inside.

If your cookies have frosting, you might not like the results after freezing because chocolate, for example, can develop a “bloom” that looks like a white haze on the chocolate. Colors can run and moisture may collect on the icing. — Heloise

Homemade yogurt

Dear Heloise: I use cheesecloth to drain/strain my homemade Greek yogurt. Due to the virus scare, cheesecloth is not easily accessible. Can cheesecloth be washed and reused a time or two? — George R., Bridgewater, Vir.

Yes, you can hand-wash your cheesecloth. Rinse it first, then wash it with mild soap and water, then dry it.

However, there are other solutions. You can use a large, commercial coffee filter (usually found at a restaurant supply store, or you can order online). Line a colander with a double layer of the filters and strain your yogurt for 1 to 2 hours, then just throw away the coffee filter. It’s less messy than cheesecloth. Some people also find that a fine-mesh strainer also works well for them. — Heloise

Scallops

Dear Heloise: Little bits of sand in sea scallops can be really annoying. No matter how well I rinse them, there’s always a little crunch. Do you have any hints on how to get the grit out? — Judy, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

The best scallops come from “diver scallops” and are also considered environmentally friendly. The majority of scallops are caught by drag nets, which are pulled across the ocean floor. Diver scallops are gathered by the diver’s hands, which results in less sand in the scallops. But they may be hard to find, so if the scallops you purchased are a little gritty, try rinsing each one quickly by hand under cold water, then thoroughly pat dry before cooking. — Heloise

(Heloise is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. Send money-or time-saving hint to P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or E-Mail: Heloise@Heloise.com.)

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