Tossing together a patriotic salad
The iceberg-wedge salad has been enjoying a resurgence of popularity. Here's a suggestion from the California radicchio growers for a variation on this classic that will make for a red, white and blue Fourth of July salad:
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 cup buttermilk, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons of white-wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper and a dash of hot pepper sauce.
Gently fold in 4 ounces of crumbled blue cheese. Place 1/2 cup chopped or shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce on each of 6 individual salad plates. Cut a 12-ounce head of radicchio into 6 wedges and place a wedge on each salad bed. Ladle dressing over each salad and garnish with scallions and parsley.
Outdoors and orderly
Even a Fourth of July barbecue requires some simple rules of etiquette. The International School of Protocol, a company that teaches folks how to behave themselves at the table, has these guidelines for a mannerly outdoor celebration:
It's perfectly acceptable to eat corn on the cob, chicken, burgers and other barbecue fare with your fingers, but never lick your fingers. Hosts should provide ample paper napkins or moist towelettes.
Loading your plate to capacity is uncouth. It is better to make multiple trips to the food table.
And even though barbecue foods such as corn on the cob might get stuck in your teeth, never use a toothpick in public. Instead, take your toothpick to the nearest restroom.
Getting what they want
Kids between the ages of 5 and 14 will control $10 billion worth of packaged food and beverage spending this year - about 78 percent of the grocery market, according to a new study by the U.S. Market for Kids Foods and Beverages.
"By establishing a link with children, food and beverage marketers are able to leverage an in-house `nag factor' that very often drives parents to purchase," according to MarketResearch.com, which published the report.
For more information, visit www.packagedfacts.com.
Creating a stir
Someone should have thought of this earlier - a battery-operated appliance that stirs pots automatically.
The StirChef fits into most saucepans and can stir constantly for almost five hours or 10 hours intermittently. The gadget works on four AA batteries and comes with three heat-resistant paddles that are dishwasher-safe.
StirChef is available at Bed Bath and Beyond stores and soon will be at Hecht's and Linens `N Things for a suggested retail price of $29.99. For more information, visit www.stirchef.com.
Boys and girls entering grades three to five can learn to cook Italian with chef Donna Crivello. The three classes are from 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Wednesday and next Friday at Roland Park Country School, 5204 Roland Ave. $150. For information call Kaleidoscope at 410-323-5500, Ext. 3045.
Learn to prepare summer foods such as grilled kebabs with instructors Maria Springer, Sandra Spanos and Ilene Spector 9:30 a.m. Tuesday or next Thursday at Pine Hill Farms, 3120 Benson Mill Road, Upperco. $50 includes full luncheon buffet. Call 410-833-1108 for reservations.