Dinner is as advertised in the paper

Dear Heloise: Whenever I’m at a loss as to what to make for dinner, I often turn to the restaurant ads in my local newspaper. Many of them list their weekly and daily specials, and even if I don’t make the exact same dishes, they provide “food for thought.” — El in Conyngham, Pa.

El, now that’s a creative idea! The ads provide variety and sometimes clever ideas, with combinations of different flavors and textures in foods. — Heloise

Storing herbs

Dear Heloise: What is the best way of storing seasonings after opening them so that they don’t lose their freshness by the time you go to use them again? I keep mine in my cabinet. — Joyce H., Corbin, Va.

Joyce, first, make certain you have the cap on tightly. Store someplace dark, away from dampness and heat. Many people store their seasonings near the stove, which can, over time, change the seasonings’ flavors and potency. — Heloise

Norwegian meatballs

Dear Heloise: I once had your recipe for Norwegian Meatballs, but I misplaced it. Would you please print that recipe so I can make it for my mother’s birthday party? She’s always loved them, and so do I. — Bianca P., Wilmington, Del.

Bianca, thank you for the compliment! Here it is:

Norwegian Meatballs

Season the ground meat with ginger and nutmeg to taste. Form into small meatballs and brown well in butter or margarine. Remove the meatballs from the pan and make a flour gravy from the drippings. Return the meatballs to the gravy and simmer until done. Serve with mashed or boiled potatoes. To make the gravy even more delicious, add a bit of sour cream to it at the very last moment before serving. — Heloise

Stuffed peppers

Dear Heloise: I had a difficult time keeping my stuffed peppers upright, so I put them in one of those fluted cake pans to cook. It worked great. — Elaine, via email

(Heloise is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. Send a hint to P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or E-Mail: Heloise@Heloise.com.)