Q: A friend had a lovely dinner party last fall and served a shrimp-and-wild rice casserole with artichoke bottoms. I have looked everywhere, and cannot find artichoke bottoms. Could you help me, please? Ruthie Watts, email
A: Ruthie, I was having no luck locating your elusive artichoke bottoms, which was frustrating since I remember seeing them on store shelves in years past. Happily, the folks at Buford Highway Farmers Market, 5600 Buford Highway, Atlanta, 770-455-0770, offered to begin stocking them. You’ll now find Reese select artichoke bottoms on Aisle 7. Each 14-ounce can sells for $4.59.
Q: I love the Martha White honey cornbread mix with whole grains. What happened to it? I can’t find it any longer. Please, please help. My husband and I love this with a pot of stew on a cold day. Mary Flores, email
A: You’ll find Martha White sweet yellow honey cornbread mix with whole grains for 88 cents at Ingles Market, 5075 Peachtree Parkway, Norcross, 770-448-7876. Simply add milk and an egg to the mix, and it’s ready to bake.
Q: My daughter and her friends want to learn how to make flowers and decorations for cupcakes, not with frosting but the thicker stuff on wedding cakes and such. I thought this would be a fun activity for them, but I don’t bake and know nothing about it. I do think that it’s made with some sort of paste, but is it possible to find this already mixed? What can I get the girls so they can practice decorating without making a big mess in my kitchen? Thank you. Meg Johnson, Milton
A: Meg, it sounds as if your daughter and her friends might have plenty of fun with Wilton ready-to-use gum paste, which takes care of the mixing and mess part of the activity. This sugar-based paste can be rolled out very thin, then shaped into petals and various flowers, and you can color it, too. A 16-ounce bag of Wilton gum paste sells for $10.99 at Joann Fabrics and Crafts, 965 North Point Drive, Alpharetta, 770-475-5454. The store also stocks cutters and other accessories to make gum paste flowers.
Q: I spend a fair amount of money on my hair conditioner, and I hate wasting it when the bottle is nearly empty. I end up adding water to it, which is okay for the shampoo, but not satisfactory for conditioner, which I don’t want diluted. I’m trying to find a connector made to hook the bottles together so that I can pour the contents of the nearly empty bottle into the full one. I’m not sure if there’s a specific brand or name, but I can’t find anything like it. Maybe you will have better luck. Thank you. L. Baker, Atlanta
A: It sounds as if you’re looking for Lotion Saver bottle couplers that, as you described, connect bottles together, allowing you to squeeze every bit of conditioner out of your old bottle. The set comes in three sizes that allow you to connect two large bottles, a small bottle to a large bottle, and two small bottles together, which is ideal for travel size containers. You’ll find the set for $3.99 at The Container Store, 120 Perimeter Center W., Atlanta, 770-351-0065.