Dear Heloise: Why do many “family” restaurants give OVERSIZE PORTIONS? I would frequent places that offer percentage discounts in exchange for managed-portions-type meals. This could be an advertised allurement, with a win-win outcome. -- Donna in Indiana

Donna, one reason seems to be that bigger/larger is supposed to be better! How about just planning on taking half home? -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: My family and I love a hot bowl of soup when it is cold outside. We make a big pot and eat it for lunch on Day One, then dinner on Day Two by adding chicken or meat. -- A Reader, via e-mail

A quick recipe that is easy to whip up for busy families and helps use up any leftovers is my “Refrigerator Soup.”

Look in your refrigerator and pull out any leftovers you may have. Grab any vegetables and pieces of meat or chicken. If you have rice, add that, too. Cut meat and vegetables into bite-size pieces and throw it all in a saucepan. Add water and your choice of bouillon, either chicken or beef. Season to taste, and let simmer for a few minutes. A filling meal, and your family won’t even recognize the leftovers! I have compiled a pamphlet with many other spectacular soup recipes. If you would like to receive a copy, send $5, along with a long, self-addressed, stamped (65 cents) envelope, to: Heloise/Soups, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Accidentally added too much salt? Put a piece of potato in the pot and it will absorb the excess salt. Remove before serving. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Other uses for a single, stud-type, pierced earring:

* Use to decorate a package.

* Break off the back and glue to a hair ribbon or bow.

* Use as a scarf pin.

* Use several to make one-of-a-kind artwork.

* Use as a thumbtack.

-- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I threw a baby shower and was looking for centerpiece ideas, and decided to make mini “diaper cakes” (not a real cake — Heloise). I rolled up several diapers and rubber-banded them together to look like a cake tier and topped them with little animal cutouts to go with my theme. You can decorate them with whatever you want. When the shower is over, the guest of honor can then take the diapers home to use for the baby. -- Amber, via e-mail

Great idea! Readers, if you are having a hard time envisioning a diaper cake, head over to my Web site, www., for pictures! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Whenever someone in my house is on antibiotics, I make a chart on the side of the bottle. If the medicine needs to be taken twice a day, I have a square for Monday a.m. and p.m., and so on. I use permanent marker and check it off when taken. It helps me remember to take the pills and when they have been taken. -- A Reader in Virginia

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state.

2012, King Features Syndicate