Dear Heloise: If you like Brazil nuts but hate to crack them because it is hard to get out the meat from the shell, I have a solution. I put the Brazil nuts, still in their shells, in the freezer. I take out a handful and crack the frozen nut. They often come out whole or in large pieces. -- Maggie B., Laurel, Montana
Maggie, did you know that Brazil nuts are a very rich source of selenium and support both your thyroid and heart? They contain magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin E. Plus, they have healthy fats! -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: HELP! I bought a preowned home, and it's nice except that where I live I have hard water stains on my chrome faucets and bathroom fixtures. How do I remove this? -- Alan F., San Antonio, Texas
Alan, yes, those stains can ruin the look of your bathroom, but there is a simple solution to this problem. To get rid of soap buildup and hard-water stains, clean the sink and faucets with undiluted white vinegar. If some of the stains are stubborn, soak a paper towel with vinegar, then lay it on the stain for a while before adding some elbow grease to get the stains off.
My pamphlet "Heloise's Fantabulous Vinegar Hints and More" contains simple cleaning and recipe hints that will make your cleaning chores easier and less expensive. To get a copy, just go to www.Heloise.com, or send $5, along with a stamped (75 cents), self-addressed, long envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Why spend hours on household chores when your cleaning can be done in less time? -- Heloise
SUNDAY DINNER ALL WEEK
Dear Heloise: I like to make far more food than I know we'll eat, because I always freeze the leftovers. I usually prepare a huge dinner on Sunday using chili, stew or a homemade soup and freeze whatever is left. This allows my husband to thaw out a meal in the microwave and heat up a home-cooked meal instead of eating dinner at a fast-food place where the salt and fat content is high on those evenings when I have to work late or am out of town. -- Faith N., New Castle, Pennsylvania
Faith, that's a good idea, and I think most stews and chili tastes even better a day or two after it's made. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: My 8-year-old son loves carrots. If he asks for a treat to nibble on before dinner, he'll usually get out a carrot and eat it with gusto! I'm glad he'd rather have a carrot than candy, but I worry that his love of carrots might be due to some vitamin shortage. Is it safe to let him eat carrots all the time? -- Taylor M., Escondido, California
Taylor, if you have any health concerns about your son, I suggest having a doctor take a look at him. However, carrots have a slightly sweet taste, which might be the reason he likes them, and this might be a passing phase.
Half a cup of carrots contains about 25 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar along with vitamins A, K and C. -- Heloise