Cook's Notebook

COOK'S NOTEBOOK

April 19, 2006

WINE FESTIVAL -- The Highlandtown Wine Festival features a homemade wine competition, wine tasting and boccee tournament from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Our Lady of Pompei Convent Garden on Father Petti Lane, around the corner from Conkling and Claremont streets. $20 includes souvenir wineglass and five wine tastings. Call 410-534-2212 or visit highlandtown.com.

LOCAL FOODS --Chef John Shields will host a panel of food-industry professionals to discuss how to incorporate organic and local produce into restaurant menus at 10 a.m. Monday at Gertrude's restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore. Free. Call 410-366-5512.

ilovecheese.com

Site du Jour

This interactive site from the American Dairy Association helps you come up with harmonious wine, fruit and cheese combinations, sorts cheeses by taste and texture and offers recipes.

Kate Shatzkin

Kitchen tip

If you have a hard time unscrewing jar or bottle caps, just use an ordinary nutcracker to break the seal and turn the cap easily.

Marie Mayer, Bethlehem, Pa.

Know a helpful shortcut in the kitchen? Send it to Kate Shatzkin, Food Editor, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278 or e-mail it to food@baltsun.com.

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