Make meatloaf in a mug
I have made cake in a mug and coffee cup scrambled eggs. Do you have any similar recipes? Love your column in the local newspaper. Keep up the good work. — Carolyn H., email
Try meatloaf in a mug. Scale down your usual meatloaf recipe by using only 1/4 lb. ground beef and use about 2 tablespoons of milk instead of egg to hold whatever you use to bind the meat (oatmeal, bread, crackers or bread crumbs, for example). Cook in the microwave until the meat is no longer pink, approximately five minutes. I recommend using a meat thermometer. Everyone likes their meatloaf differently, so if you’d like an exact recipe, please visit myrecipes.com/recipe/meatloaf-a-mug-10000001830704/. The recipe uses 1 lb. ground beef and makes four individual servings, which is nice. It calls for an egg and a splash of vegetable juice, too.
When you use dishwashing liquid for spots on clothes, do you use hot water? Also, can you use it on a spot that’s been on there for a long time? — Cathy, email
You can use Original blue Dawn dishwashing liquid, Dawn Power Dissolver (spray cleaner) or shampoo to remove grease stains. I have used it on old grease stains on my son’s cotton T-shirts with great results. I use warm or hot water if the fabric allows it.
I read your article in the paper about cupcakes and you mentioned attaching balloon ribbon to the liners to make the cupcakes look like a dozen balloons. Where would I find these directions? — Diane J., email
You can arrange your baked and frosted cupcakes to resemble a bunch of balloons. Place the cupcakes on a piece of posterboard, which serves as the background, too. Simply tape a 1-foot length of curling ribbon to the bottom of each cupcake liner. Then gather and tie all of the ribbons at the end using a wide ribbon and a separate bow, which makes it easier to untie and serve each guest. For large numbers of cupcakes, it’s not necessary to attach a piece of ribbon to each cupcake. You can simply add ribbon to a few toward the bottom and it will still look like a bunch of balloons.
I know a person who is selling three Wagner cast-iron skillets and a Dutch oven for $100. Is this a good deal, or should I look elsewhere? — Linda, West Virginia
It depends on what you want. Typically, if the cost for a used set is less than you would pay for brand new, it’s a decent deal. With patience and a bit of luck, you can piece together a great set of cast-iron pans from flea markets or garage and estate sales. It’s not impossible to find good deals on new cast-iron sets; in fact, Tractor Supply Company had a set on sale for $49.99 recently. Finding vintage Wagner ware is a bit more difficult. Not all cast iron is made equally, so take that into consideration before you make a purchase. There are a lot of cast-iron fans out there. I prefer stainless steel or my Le Creuset ware (enameled cast iron) and don’t think I’d use cast-iron skillets daily.
photo by Alancleaver_2000