Cook up a winner this winterDon't let winter weather get...

TIDBITS

January 09, 1994|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Staff Writer

Cook up a winner this winter

Don't let winter weather get you down; even if it keeps you cooped up indoors, you could spend the time profitably cooking up a contest-winning recipe.

For instance, there is the Marvelous Marinade Recipe Contest, sponsored by DowBrands, makers of Ziploc storage bags. Prizes range from $5,000 for first to $50 for honorable mentions, plus merchandise.

Contest categories are main dishes, side dishes and appetizers, and recipes can include meat, fish, poultry, seafood or game. Whatever the dish, the recipe must call for marinating it in a Ziploc bag. Recipes must not have been published previously; entries must be received by March 1. To enter, neatly print or type recipe on 8 1/2 -by-11-inch sheets, sign each sheet, and send with your name, address, city, state, ZIP code and daytime phone number to Marvelous Marinade recipe Contest, 500 N. bTC Michigan Ave., Suite 200, Chicago, Ill. 60611. For a complete list of contest rules, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to that address.

There's also still time to enter the annual Delmarva Chicken Cooking Contest, which features $10,000 in prizes, including a seven-day Caribbean vacation for two. Recipes must be original and feature broiler-fryer chicken, whole or any parts. Entrants must be residents of one of the 12 Eastern states (including Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia) or the District of Columbia.

Entries must be postmarked by Feb. 1. Multiple entries are permitted, but recipe must be printed or typed on a separate sheet with name, address and phone number on each sheet. Send entries or write for more information to: DCCC Entry, R.D. 6, Box 47, Georgetown, Del. 19947-9622. Or call (302) 856-9037.

It's hard to quarrel with a cookbook that begins: "Go ahead. Eat dessert. Please."

Fortunately for everyone's waistlines, the book, "The New Dr. Cookie Cookbook," by Marvin A. Wayne and Stephen R. Yarnell (Quill/William Morrow and Co., $14), offers more than 160 low-fat recipes for cookies, cakes, breads and other treats.

The authors are full-time physicians (cardiology and emergency medicine) who are concerned about the effects of food on health, but who also believe that desserts are "warm and comforting," and "fun and celebratory," and perfectly appropriate ingredients in a balanced diet. Most of the recipes contain less than 30 percent of calories from fat.

Here's a sample, which has 220 calories, 3.3 grams of fat and 14 percent calories from fat per serving.

Frozen peppermint pie

Serves 12

1 1/2 tablespoons margarine

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal

18 2-inch candy canes (see note)

1/2 gallon non-fat frozen vanilla yogurt, softened

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

red food coloring (optional)

Wrap the removable bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with plastic wrap and then assemble the pan.

Melt the margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate chips, take the pan from the heat and stir until melted. Add the vanilla and stir again. Add the cereal and stir gently to coat the cereal.

Scrape the cereal mix into the springform pan and spread it over the bottom.

Coarsely chop 6 candy canes. Reserve the rest for garnish. Combine the softened frozen yogurt, peppermint extract, a few drops of food coloring, if desired, and the chopped candy canes. Spoon the yogurt over the crust and smooth it in the pan with the back of a spoon or spatula. Freeze the pie for at least 4 hours.

Remove the pie from the freezer about 5 minutes before serving. To serve, run a knife around the edges of the pan, release the springform pan, and lift the pie off the bottom of the springform pan with a metal spatula. Transfer to a plate and serve, garnished with the remaining candy canes.

Note: If tiny candy canes are not available, chop up peppermint candies to equal about a half-cup; use whole candies for garnish.

It's true: with the explosion of gourmet coffees, coffee drinks and coffee bars, Americans are drinking more coffee these days. A 1993 survey by the National Coffee Association shows consumption at its highest level in nine years, at 3.58 cups per person per day.

Fifty-one percent of coffee drinkers consume their coffee at breakfast time; 35 percent drink coffee between meals and 14 percent drink it with other meals. Seventy-two percent drink their coffee at home; 18 percent drink it at work.

There was no gender difference in coffee consumption, the survey found; but it seems that men are more likely to drink caffeinated coffee.

Baking better bread

If among your holiday gifts is a bread machine, you might be interested in a new product from Vitantonio Manufacturing Co.: It's a dough enhancer called Bread Machine Boost, developed by noted cookbook author and chef Lora Brody. The all-natural product is said to improve the rise, texture, crumb and crust of every loaf of bread, whether it's made by hand or in the machine. Ms. Brody developed the product while writing her latest book, "Bread Machine Baking, Perfect Every Time," with her mother Millie Apter. The product is simple to use: Just add a few teaspoons to the yeast and dry ingredients in the dough. It's said to be especially good for whole-grain breads and breads with nuts and seeds.

Boost comes in 10-ounce packages, enough for 20-30 loaves of bread, and suggested retail price is about $8. It's available at Williams-Sonoma stores and by mail order from Vitantonio; call (800) 732-4444 and ask for retail mail order.

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