Neat treat for MomEveryone knows that mothers simply adore...


May 01, 1994|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Sun Staff Writer

Neat treat for Mom

Everyone knows that mothers simply adore burned toast, runny eggs, weak coffee and partly spilled orange juice for breakfast -- that is, they do if it's Mother's Day and the family's youngest chefs have been at work in the kitchen.

However, there is a chance for youngsters to present Mom with a food gift, and leave the mess in someone else's kitchen: It's the annual Mother's Day brunch next Sunday at Windows restaurant in the Stouffer Harborplace Hotel, which features freshly baked, 6-inch-diameter "cookie cards" that kids can decorate with icing on the spot and present to Mom.

Besides the cookies, the brunch features a raw bar, salads, and dishes such as poached halibut with leek sauce. For kids, there's the "Jr. Buffet," with such favorites as french fries, macaroni and cheese, and pizza.

Brunch at Windows is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It costs $29.95 for adults and $11.95 for children under 12. (Dinner will be served from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., also with holiday specials.) For reservations, call (410) 685-VIEW. The struggles of TV talk-show host Oprah Winfrey to keep her weight down have made national headlines. Now, sleeker by some 60 pounds than she was last year, Ms. Winfrey is sharing her latest diet secret with the world. It's a 32-year-old New Jersey native named Rosie Daley, who was discovered at a California health spa where Ms. Winfrey was trying to lose weight. She now cooks for Ms. Winfrey and has written a book to explain her techniques.

Among the secrets Ms. Daley shares in "In the Kitchen with Rosie" (Alfred A. Knopf, $14.95) are vegetable cooking-oil spray, artful seasoning, steaming instead of frying or sauteing, use of vegetable purees for thickening, and use of nonfat yogurt and skim milk. Recipes are billed as low-fat, low-sugar and low-sodium. One of the recipes (roast chicken with seed bread stuffing) has 5.7 grams of fat, but most have 1.5 to 2 grams, and many have far less.

Here's a sample recipe, from the section called "Four Un-Fried Favorites." (It also includes un-fried chicken, un-fried catfish and un-fried crab cakes (remember, Ms. Winfrey got her TV start in Baltimore).

Un-fried French fries

Serves 4

5 large baking potatoes (about 2 3/4 pounds total)

light vegetable oil cooking spray

2 large egg whites

1 tablespoon Cajun spice

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice each potato lengthwise into 1/4 -inch ovals, then slice each oval lengthwise into matchsticks.

Coat a baking sheet with three sprays of vegetable oil.

Combine the egg whites and Cajun spice in a bowl. Add the matchstick potatoes and mix to coat. Pour the coated potatoes RTC onto the prepared baking sheet and spread them out in a single layer, leaving a little space between.

Place the baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the fries are crispy, turning them every 6 to 8 minutes with a spatula so they brown evenly. Serve

immediately. Here's a quick and easy dinner dish: Get out a package of pasta, put some water on to boil. Mince some garlic and chop an onion. Get out a skillet and saute garlic and onions in oil, throw in diced tomatoes and some Italian seasonings and heat through. Cook pasta and serve topped with sauce.

Still too much trouble? Now there's an even easier way to prepare the same dish. Choose pasta, cook according to package directions. Open a can of new Contadina Pasta Ready -- a combination of chunky tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and spices. Toss with pasta and serve.

That's all there is to it.

The Pasta Ready tomato sauces come in six varieties: olive oil and garlic, primavera, crushed red pepper, three cheeses, olive, and mushroom. The sauces, available at area supermarkets including Mars and Valu Food, come in 14-ounce cans, or about 3 1/2 servings. They can be tossed with pasta, or served over rice, or used to top fish or chicken before baking. They contain only 60 calories per serving and an average 3 grams of fat. (A word to the salt-sensitive: the sauces do have between 500 and 700 milligrams of sodium per serving, or 23-29 percent of the daily recommended limit.) Here's a menu for you: Persian rice, Navaho fry bread, African kettle-fried chicken, curried goat, jerk chicken, plantains, chicken mein, Thai shrimp egg rolls and chili dogs. All those items and more will be available at the fourth annual International Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor. There will also be entertainment -- a children's chorus, Peruvian song and dance, ethnic American songs and dances and a steel drum orchestra -- plus crafts and a full day of activities for children. Admission is free. The center is at 500 Main St., New Windsor, in Carroll County. For more information, call (410) 635-8715.

The Baltimore-based vegetarian Resource Group is sponsoring a summer vacation with workshops July 7-10 at the Wisp Hotel at Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland. The event, open to singles, couples and families, features vegetarian food (including outdoor barbecue). Programs include a puppet show, answers to nutrition questions from a nutritionist, and round-table discussions on topics such as "Living/Working with Non-Vegetarians." For more information, write the Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, Md. 21203. Or call (410) 366-VEGE.

Tidbits welcomes food news -- new products, food-related news events, local cookbooks, mail-order finds, openings and closings 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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