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Dear Heloise: CELERY gets rotten so fast that I used to throw a lot of it away. Now when I buy a new stalk, I wrap the whole thing in paper towels and put it back in the long, plastic bag it came in. It stays fresh to the end. — Marion D., Harvey Cedars, N.J.

CINNAMON COFFEE

Dear Heloise: Would you reprint your Cinnamon Coffee recipe? My mother loved it, and she's coming for a visit. — Giselle T., Fremont, Ohio

Giselle, here it is:

Sprinkle a little ground cinnamon in your coffee cup, add some sweetener of your choice and then pour in the coffee. Add creamer or skim milk and stir well. You also can add some nutmeg or allspice. This is a very simple but tasty drink that so many people have enjoyed. If you like this and would care to try some of the other recipes in my Heloise's Flavored Coffee and Teas pamphlet, just send a stamped (71 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, along with $3, to: Heloise/Coffee & Tea, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can order it online at www.Heloise.com. These recipes are great to add a little zip to everyday drinks. — Heloise

READ LABELS!

Dear Heloise: People don't read labels on the products they buy, and they really should. So many products will say "low fat," but what's their idea of low fat? Is it 5 grams, 10 grams or 22 grams of fat? How much sugar, corn syrup and other non-nutritional things are added? Anything that has hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil contains fat. If you're on a low-sodium diet or if you're diabetic, you definitely need to read labels. — Roger D., Bloomington, Ill.

NUT SUBSTITUTES

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Dear Heloise: If you have a recipe that calls for nuts and you have someone in your family or a friend who cannot eat nuts, or you just don't have any nuts on hand, substitute a rice cereal, using the same amount as in the recipe.

Also, you can always substitute walnuts for pecans in a recipe. The taste will vary a little, but both nuts make great pies. — Dawn P., Bryant, Ark.

TAILGATE PARTIES

Dear Heloise: With cooler weather and football games arriving very soon, just a word to the wise: Make sure all meat products are in ice chests with plenty of ice to keep the meat cold, even if it's cooked hot dogs or a cooked ham. This was a lesson I learned last year when I thought cooked hot dogs did not need to be refrigerated. We had several people who had "intestinal distress" that we are certain came from unrefrigerated hot dogs. — Gail H., Kenosha, Wis.

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