2004-09-09 / Arts & Entertainment

Ask BETTY

Dear Betty,

How long will Bisquick keep and how should it be stored?

Wiggins, Miss.

On the package you’ll find a use-by date. This lets you know that the Bis-quick will be fresh and perform exceptionally well up until that date. After that date, the Bisquick is still safe to use, and you may notice no differences. Eventually the leavening in the Bisquick may deteriorate, and you may find that biscuits don’t rise as high or that pancakes aren’t quite as fluffy.

To keep Bisquick fresh, store it in an airtight container or plastic bag. Then place it in the refrigerator or freezer. If you freeze Bisquick, bring it to room temperature before using.

Dear Betty,

Can you help me come up with a couple of super-easy dinners that I can make when I’m short on time?

Fosston, Minn.

Your cupboard probably holds a secret ingredient for making easy, great-tasting meals any day of the week — Bisquick. It’s a tried-and-true favorite of cooks just like you who are short on time, but want to fix a homemade meal for their families.

Everyday meal making is even easier if you have some of these basic ingredients at your fingertips:

• Fresh or frozen chicken breasts and ground beef, and precooked ham

• Milk, cheese and eggs

• Assorted frozen vegetables and veggie blends

• Canned or fresh mushrooms

• Cream soups — mushroom, chicken, celery

• Seasoned salt, lemon pepper and other seasonings

• Green pepper, celery and onion

• Sloppy joe, pizza and spaghetti sauces

Combine them with Bisquick, and you’ve got scrumptious meals in just minutes. Look for even more ideas at www.bisquick.com.

• Stir together 2/3 cup Bisquick with 2 tablespoons water and 1 egg. Spread the mixture in an 8- or 9-inch square pan spritzed with nonstick cooking spray. Top with 1 1/4 cups Cheddar cheese. Cook 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves cut into 1/2-inch pieces in 2 teaspoons vegetable oil until the chicken is white on the outside. Combine with 1 1/4 cups chunky salsa and spread over the Bisquick crust. Bake at 400°F for 22 to 25 minutes. Top with 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese and bake 1 to 3 more minutes until the cheese melts.

• Make a batch of Bisquick pancakes and stir 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup each of chop-ped pepperoni, tomato and bell pepper, and 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning into the batter. Cook the pancakes and top with pizza sauce and grated Parmesan cheese.

Betty Crocker

Want more ideas? www.BettyCrocker.com

Questions? 1-888-ASK BETTY

Timely Tips

SUBSTITUTE - Why spend money on expensive cleaners when all you need is a tube of toothpaste? Try it to polish silver and gold, remove crayon marks from walls, remove ink spots from cloth, remove fruit punch “moustaches” from kids, deodorize smelly hands, remove scuffs from shoes, and fill holes in walls. Chris T.

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MONEY SAVER - You don’t have to spend much money to have a good time at your local Farmer’s Market. Most communities have them on Sat-urday or Sunday every week during the Spring, Summer and early Fall. You can buy some great vegetables for less than you pay at the grocery market, and usually there is something fun for the kids to do. Lisa M.

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PRICE CHECK - The next time that you go shopping, you may want to check the prices of what your shampoo and conditioner costs versus an All-in-One shampoo and conditioner. Depend-ing on the brands, you might be able to save some money buying the All-in-One. It’s also nice when traveling. You only have to find room for one instead of two. Toni C.

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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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