Norwegian meatballs and other mealtime ideas

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.” I enjoy reading your column in the (Hazleton, Pa.) Standard-Speaker. — 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


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


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! The Norwegian Meatballs are always a favorite at family/friends gatherings. 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


Dear Heloise: I don’t remember what kinds of wine to serve with different meats. Please help me get it right, because I’m having guests over for dinner on Labor Day, and I’m afraid I’ll look like a country bumpkin. — Patty W., Beaver Crossing, Neb.

Patty, the following should help:

Beef: pinot noir, merlot, cabernet or shiraz

Pork: chardonnay

Chicken: sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, dry riesling, pinot grigio

Lamb: shiraz, merlot or cabernet sauvignon

Fish: chardonnay, pinot grigio, dry riesling

Pasta with red sauce: pinot noir, merlot, cabernet

Pasta with cream sauce: sauvignon blanc

— Heloise


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


Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.


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