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 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 th…

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This time of year, tender herbs grow like weeds in gardens and come cheap in markets. The only downside is needing to use them up before the plants go to seed or before grocery store bunches go slimy. The most obvious options are pesto and tabbouleh, but meatballs are my favorite way to fini…

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At this point in the summer, my cooking needs refreshing. Good thing the mint bursts its boundaries in the herb garden.

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When it’s super-hot outside, who wants to cook? In the heat of summer, dinner prep should be low-maintenance. Appetites are limp in high temperatures, and fresh salads filled with juicy ingredients are cool and nourishing. For a whole meal, salads can reach beyond the garden while remaining …

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Dear Heloise: My mother-in-law is coming for a visit, so I thought I’d make one of her favorite dishes, a Waldorf salad, but I don’t know what all goes into the salad. Do you have a recipe for it? — Millie S., Lima, Ohio

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Dear Heloise: I have a question about when a recipe calls for wine as an ingredient. I need to know what to substitute. I don’t think you can just leave it out, as I think it is supposed to be there as an acid. I can’t find a substitute list for it in any of my cookbooks. — Susan E., Dayton, Ohio

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A pan of dessert bars can have a loaves-and-fishes effect at any party: They’re nice cut into big bars, but they can be sliced smaller if extra friends show up. (If you try that with a pie, you’ll just end up with a mess on your hands.)