Calling all cooks and bakers: Terry DeGroot of Schnecksville can use your help with ''baking/cooking 101 questions.''

''When can butter be substituted for vegetable shortening?'' Terry asks. ''Do adjustments need to be made? Also, I'd like to use honey in baking, but am looking for the rules.

''What to do with the leftover parsley when I buy a bunch, but won't use the rest during its natural shelf life. Can I freeze it? Frozen parsley pesto?

''I'm always in a hurry and have the time only for bar cookies and cakes in a 13-by-9-inch pan. Can I take a cookie recipe and just put it in a large pan? Any recipe? Equivalents? Temperature change? How much longer to bake? Ditto for cakes: Can I pour the batter for two 8-by-9-inch pans into a 13-by-9-inch pan? Ditto for temperature changes and baking time.

''And, when I do have a little more time but cupcakes would be the way to go, how far will the batter for two 9-inch or two 8-inch pans go? Again for temperature and time. What about conversions for three-layer cakes? I just figured that I'm not the only one with questions.''

This week's column features cornstarch pudding recipes. Although the recipes look similar, they alter a bit from cooked to microwavable, from chocolate to vanilla. Helen Fichter of Fogelsville requested recipes using cornstarch pudding, which was on the back of the cornstarch box. Jack Kotch of Coopersburg also included recipes using cornstarch for a Lemon Meringue Pie and a microwave recipe for a creamy vanilla pudding from the back of the cornstarch box.

When you have a recipe to contribute, please provide your name, address and daytime phone number. Also give the full names of any cookbooks or magazines you use, as well as the author's name and publishing company, so that we can properly credit recipes that have come from printed sources.

Although we do not have room for every recipe that has been sent in, we want to thank all who have helped us this week, including: Dorothy Portz and Emily Leonhartsberger, both of Emmaus; June Hess of Bangor; Janice M. Wagner of Whitehall; Christine Cuningham and Marsha Molitorisz, both of Bethlehem; Audrey H. Brevik, Martha P. Lindenmuth and Ethelmae Marushak, all of Allentown; Gladys Barndt of Sellersville; Linda Wehr of Coplay; Sylvia C. Mondjack of Catasauqua; Elizabeth Phillips of South Whitehall Township; Kathleen Csordas, Natalie M. Winner of Telford, and Ann Marie Ruser of Quakertown.


Sylvia Griffith of Allentown is looking for a recipe for a cheesecake that uses ricotta cheese. She said she has a great cheesecake recipe but would like another.

Dorothy A. Ahner of Lehighton writes: ''A few years ago there was a recipe on the Jiffy pie crust mix box for quiche. I lost mine. Does anyone have that recipe?''

Mary Bobinta of Northampton is looking for a recipe for Norwegian flat bread made with rye flour.


Madelene Davis of Quakertown sent in a recipe for a quick version of Beef Orzo Soup.

Among the recipes sent in by Viola Rickert of Pennsburg is one for cornstarch custard. Viola said the custard also can be used for cream puffs and cream pies … Pauline Cope of Allentown sent in a vanilla pudding recipe (that can be adjusted for chocolate pudding). She said the recipe is from the Argo Cornstarch Box … and Barbara Paules of Allentown sent in a cornstarch pudding recipe, which also can be adjusted and changed to a chocolate pudding.

Susan Rutt of Allentown sent in a Rhubarb Bread recipe using buttermilk. She said it can be converted into a coffee cake.


1 lb. ground beef

1 large onion, chopped