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Briefs: Cookbook samples Texas tastes

| Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007

If you're into photos of Texas courthouses -- and recipes from prominent Texas citizens -- there's a new cookbook you'll want to pick up.

Described as a "culinary tribute to these monuments of justice and leadership," Dennis R. Mott's new "Texas Judicial Cookbook" (Ovation Books, $19.95) is a compilation of 59 recipes from current and former judges and state and county officials.

The book also includes recipes from some political dignitaries, including first lady Laura Bush (carrot muffins), Barbara Bush (clam chowder) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (chuck wagon chili and coconut pie).

Next to each recipe are what appear to be official personnel photos of most of the contributors, creating amusing juxtapositions of serious-faced judges (sometimes even with gavel) alongside recipes for blueberry streusel coffee cake.


Audubon Society seeks apple recipes

The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania is seeking apple recipes for a contest at the upcoming Applejamm festival. People are encouraged to submit their favorite apple recipes to the society.

Thee judges, led by Pittsburgh chef Chuck Kerber, will narrow down the recipe entries. Ten finalists will be notified on Sept. 27, and be asked to bring their creations to Applejamm, where the winner will be announced at 2 p.m. The top three winners will receive gift certificates to Whole Foods Market in East Liberty.

Recipes must be received no later than Sept. 26. To enter, send recipes with your name, phone number and e-mail address to rhandel@aswp.org. Entries also can be mailed to Apple Recipe Contest, Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, 614 Dorseyville Road, Pittsburgh, 15238.

Applejamm is a family-friendly autumn festival which takes places annually at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve, Fox Chapel.


Interlocking dishes corral messy items

The Pampered Chef now offers something to solve the messy dredging problem.

Here's the issue -- when preparing a food that is coated or battered during cooking (such as fried chicken), it often is dredged through several ingredients, flour, egg and breadcrumbs. This ensures a crisp coating that stays put during cooking.

These ingredients usually end up in shallow bowls lined up next to one another. Trouble is, bowls can't be set flush against one another, which means the counter can get covered in debris as you move your food from one bowl to the other.

A new product from The Pampered Chef fixes this. The Coating Trays and Tool kit ($19.50, available online) include three interlocking rectangular trays that snap together, allowing the easy movement of foods from one to the next without any mess.

The trays, which can be configured in various ways, are dishwasher and microwave safe (the latter is nice for use in chocolate-coated deserts, as the chocolate can be melted directly in the tray). They also come with tongs.

-- The Associated Press


Sno-Cone maker returns to the shelves

After about a decade off the shelves, the Snoopy sno-cone is back.

First introduced in 1979 as a fun (and sometimes frustrating) way for kids to turn ice cubes and sugar syrup into a flavorful summer treat, The Original Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine once again is on the market.

It looks and works just as you remember. Drop ice cubes into the chute at the peak of Snoopy's house, then use the Snoopy-topped plunger to push down the ice while cranking the shaver. Out come ice shavings ready to be packed into a cone and drenched in flavored syrup.

And yes, it's about as messy as you recall, tending to tip over during use and drip water everywhere. But who cares• Kids love cranking the machine and eating the ice. It's hard-to-beat fun on a hot summer afternoon.

Available at major retailers for $9.99 to $14.99.

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