Dear Heloise: Do you have any suggestions or recipes for an overabundance of cooked oatmeal cereal? Our church group makes breakfast every other month (pancakes, eggs, biscuits and gravy, fruit and oatmeal), and there is usually a pot of oatmeal left over. I hate to see this thrown out but have no ideas on how to transition this into something else. Please help.

 — Vickie D., Burke, Va.

Vickie, yes, cooked oatmeal can be used in place of uncooked in most recipes for cookies, muffins, breads, etc. You’ll need to first mix the dry ingredients, then add the oatmeal with the eggs, oil or shortening. You might have to adjust the liquid ingredients to get the right consistency.

— Heloise

Cutting boards

Dear Readers: For years we were told that plastic cutting boards are easier to clean and harbor less bacteria than wood cutting boards. Recent research has proven that both are safe to use if you follow a few safety precautions:

• Use two cutting boards: one for raw meat, poultry and fish; the second for vegetables, fruit and breads.

• Wash wooden and plastic cutting boards in hot, soapy water after use and dry thoroughly. Occasionally clean the surfaces of your cutting boards with a mixture of 1 gallon of water and 1 tablespoon of bleach. Then rinse and dry completely before storing them.

— Heloise

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