Innovative approach to ThanksgivingThanksgiving is a time...

TIDBITS

November 07, 1993|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Staff Writer

Innovative approach to Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time of pleasures large and small, but planning and executing an enormous family meal is not generally considered among them. Wouldn't it be nice to simply turn it all over to professionals to plan the meal, cook the food, set the table and incorporate autumn colors and materials into decorations?

Alas, most of us can't afford to do that, and some wouldn't want to give it all up. But help is at hand, at a price that's not only reasonable, it's also beneficial.

Innovative Gourmet of Owings Mills and Flowers & Fancies of Baltimore have teamed up to offer a seminar on "Planning the Perfect Thanksgiving." Innovative Gourmet chef and co-owner Barry Fleischmann will demonstrate how to prepare and trim a turkey, and offer suggestions for side dishes to match the splendid bird. His partner Maria Fleischmann will offer suggestions on setting a festive table, and Stanton Wingrat of Flowers & Fancies will give tips on seasonal flower arranging.

The seminar takes place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 16 at Innovative Gourmet, 11 D & E Gwynns Mills Court in the Northwest Business Center, Ownings Mills. Cost is $20 per person, and all net proceeds will be donated to the Maryland Food Committee. Space is limited, so reservations are required. Participants will receive recipes and "official" Innovative Gourmet aprons. To register, or for more information, call Innovative Gourmet at (410) 363-1317. Chilly, the weather, often creates a companion desire for chili, the dish. Almost everyone has a favorite way to make chili, and the differences are regional, familial, and fiercely defended. Folks who are sure theirs is the best chili, however, might want to enter McCormick/Schilling's "Chili Your Way Recipe Contest," which the major spice company, based in Hunt Valley, says is the first national chili recipe competition. First prize is a trip for two to the 1994 Terlingua International Chili Championship, an annual chili cook-off held in Terlingua, Texas.

Recipes must be submitted by Dec. 10, 1993. For complete contest details, call (800) 632-5847.

Here's the recipe for a slightly unusual chili from McCormick:

Southwest white chili

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 cup chicken broth

1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies

1 19-ounce can white kidney beans (cannellini), undrained

SPICE BLEND:

1 teaspoon California-style garlic powder blend

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon cilantro leaves

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

GARNISH:

shredded Monterey Jack cheese

sliced green onions

Blend spices. Heat olive oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove chicken with slotted spoon, cover and keep warm.

Add chopped onion to saucepan and cook 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, green chilies and spice blend and simmer for 30 minutes.

Stir in cooked chicken and white kidney beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve garnished with cheese and onions. Got room in your pantry for just one more cooking device? Black & Decker has just introduced the Shellbaker, a counter-top item that turns refrigerated dough into edible containers for all sorts of meal-making ingredients: scrambled eggs and bacon, for instance, or chili with salsa, or ice cream and cookies for dessert. The device allows children to participate in meal preparation, because it's so simple to use. The Shellbaker package includes a measuring scoop, recipe suggestions and cooking guide. It's available where Black & Decker housewares are sold, at a suggested retail price of $62. Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas report that fortifying a diet with calcium appears to lower cholesterol levels. The practice appeared to lower both total cholesterol and "bad" LDL cholesterol in the blood of study participants. The study, however, included only a small group, 13 men, studied over a period of 10 days. However, it was enough for the principal researcher, Dr. Margo Denke, to suggest people on low-cholesterol diets might want to include calcium-fortified orange juice, 2 percent milk, yogurt and broccoli.

*Bribery doesn't work in persuading children to adopt new foods, at least not after the initial exposure, say researchers at Pennsylvania State University. What does work? Praise. "In the long run, letting children sample a new food on their own and then praising them for being a 'new-food-taster' appears more effective then rewarding them with little toys," says Dr. Helen Hendy, assistant professor of psychology at Penn's Schuylkill campus.

Tidbits welcomes interesting nuggets of food news -- new products, food-related news events, local cookbooks, mail-order finds, openings and closings of restaurants and food shops.

Send press releases to Tidbits, Attn.: Karol V. Menzie, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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