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Dear Heloise: What is OAT FLAVOR EXTRACT POWDER? What do you use it for? — Marty in Indiana

Marty, here's what I found: Oat extract powder is a cereal grain grown primarily for its seeds. In powder form, it's used in beauty products and to lower LDL cholesterol for those with coronary heart disease. While it's fit for human consumption as rolled oats, it is more commonly used to feed livestock. — Heloise

BUTTERMILK PECAN PRALINES

Dear Heloise: Got any recipes for pralines? My husband loves them, but I don't really know how to make them. — Amber F., Klamath Falls, Ore.

Yes, I have a terrific recipe for Buttermilk Pecan Pralines that is found in my book "In the Kitchen With Heloise." I use a 6- to 8-quart pot for this because the mixture foams to great heights while cooking.

Buttermilk Pecan Pralines

1 cup buttermilk

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon butter or margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups pecan halves

Pour the buttermilk into the very large pot, then stir in the sugar and baking soda until dissolved. Cook over medium heat, letting it bubble until it turns brownish in color and reaches the soft ball stage (about 235 F on a candy thermometer). While cooking, you will need to stir constantly so the mixture won't stick. At the soft ball stage, remove the pot from the stove and add the butter (or margarine), vanilla extract and pecans. Return to the stove and heat the mixture until it becomes glossy and starts to crystallize. On wax paper or a well-greased cookie sheet, quickly spoon out little patties. Let them cool, and store in an airtight container. If it's overcooked, it will be too sugary. If it's undercooked, it won't be firm, which is why a candy thermometer is needed. — Heloise

HERB STORAGE

Dear Heloise: Just a reminder that you should never store herbs next to your stove or oven. Why? Because the heat will destroy the flavor, or in some cases turn the herb bitter. — Alisha M., Tacoma, Wash.

CHAMPAGNE

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Dear Heloise: My husband and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, and we want to do it up in style with Champagne for our very closest friends. The question is, how much Champagne to order? Any hints on this one? — Connie K. in Honolulu

Connie, here is a list that might be of help to you:

Champagne portions per bottle:

• quart: 1/4 gallon equals 5 glasses

• magnum: 2 quarts equals 10 glasses

• jeroboam: 4 quarts equals 21 glasses

• rehoboam: 6 quarts equals 31 glasses

• methuselah: 8 quarts equals 41 glasses

Enjoy! — Heloise

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