Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Cooking Fish

By Reena Nerbas


Dear Reena,

I am having a dinner party, and would like to make cheesecake for dessert. Can you tell me if I can quadruple my cheesecake recipe and bake the cake in a large rectangle pan? Cherise

Dear Cherise,

Quadrupling the recipe is risky, chances are the cheesecake will brown on the sides and the center will remain under baked. You are better off using a round spring form pan and baking several cakes (one at a time). Here is another cheesecake tip: After baking cheesecakes, partially freeze them. Doing this will make cutting easier, and you will end up with professional looking slices.

Cooking Fish

Dear Reena,

I am trying to incorporate fish into our family diet, how do I determine how long to cook fish? Mark

Dear Mark,

Measure the thickest part of the fish and cook it for 6-8 mins. per half-inch in a 425-degree oven.

Baked on Grease

Dear Reena,

Do you have any suggestions for removing baked on grease from the sides and bottoms of frying pans without ruining the finish? D.

Dear D.,

To clean the outside of a frying pan, the easiest solution is to ventilate and apply oven cleaner. The down side to oven cleaner is that this method can actually void the warranty on your pan. Another option is to scrub the outside of the pan with Barkeepers Friend and a damp non-scratch pad. Leave for a few hours and scrub well.

Bathing in Baking Soda

Dear Reena,

Taking baths, according to the instructions on a box of baking soda is a relief to my often-itchy skin, especially from mosquito bites. However, I notice that my skin is getting whiter, and my freckles are fading. Is that a problem? Is it good to apply it to my head, and rinse with water after washing my hair to ease my itchy scalp? Or is it dangerous? Will it bleach my hair, which I do not want? Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Baking soda has a mountain of uses: deodorizing, soothing insect bites, reducing dandruff, drain deodorizer, teeth whitener, microwave cleaner, silver cleaner, as well as an effective and powerful scrub. Baking soda is a natural chemical compound and carries mild bleaching properties. Your hair has a good chance of lightening as you use baking soda for an extended period of time. I have not encountered any dangers of using baking soda for hair or skin, throughout years of research, however if you have any concerns, please consult your physician.

Feedback from Smart Contributor

Re: In Hawaii, a woman wearing a flower on the right side of her head signifies that she is available. A flower on the left signifies that she is single and a flower on the top center of her head means she is taken but still looking.

Dear Reena,

I think you got it wrong, it’s the opposite. According to my research: If you wear a flower behind your left ear, it means you are married, taken, have a significant other, or maybe you just don’t want anyone bothering you! If you wear a flower behind your right ear, it means you are single, available, and approachable. Submitted by: W.C.

Tip of the Week:

  • To prevent breading from falling off meat during frying, add half teaspoon of sugar to the batter.

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website: Ask a question or share a tip at

, , , ,