Mighty mitts get rave reviews
A test kitchen has emphatically approved of the Kitchen-Safe cooking mitts from Niles, Ill.-based Wells Lamont. The oven mitt and larger barbecue mitt resist charring up to 485 F and won't catch fire if exposed to an open flame.
The "hot dots" covering the palm help to grip objects, and are heat resistant to 1,000 F. The gloves can be machine washed and dried. The oven mitt costs $10; the barbecue mitt is $13; they're sold in blue, natural and black at Bed Bath & Beyond stores.
Out of the wrapper, into the oven
Store-bought candy gets elevated into home-baked treats in "The Candy Bar Cookbook" (Longstreet Press, $17.95). Husband-and-wife team Alison Inches and Ric McKown (she's a candy lover and he's a baker) have come up with creative recipes in their salute to American candy.
The recipe names pretty much give you the idea: Snickers cheesecake, Heath Bar ice cream sandwiches, Whoppers chocolate pie and Chocolate Souffles with York Peppermint Patties Creme Anglaise. Historical information is in here, too.
Beef: It's what's a winner
The Kansas Beef Council is looking for the best beef recipes in the National Beef Cook-Off. The winner will receive $50,000. Recipes must include no more than six ingredients, take 30 minutes or less to make and must fall under one of four categories: Fresh Beef, Prepared Beef, Fresh Beef and Fresh Potato, and Prepared Beef and Prepared Potato. For more information, visit www.beefcookoff.org. Entries are due March 31.
Magazine checks out how America eats
Americans' favorite food tastes range from pizza, no surprise as most-reached-for takeout, to elegant asparagus at the top of the veggie pop charts, Bon Appetit magazine says.
The magazine's fourth annual reader survey asked about both at-home and eating-out habits. The results summarized in the March issue suggest some changes in tastes, along with staunch devotion to a lot of longtime favorites.
Ketchup has lost ground to Dijon mustard, vanilla is still first choice in ice cream flavors. About 85 percent say they shop at farmer's markets and over half of respondents eat a vegetarian entree once or twice a week now.
Craving a comfort food, it seems, men and Northeasterners more readily choose pasta. Women and Midwesterners prefer mashed potatoes, earning that food a high rating.
A clear winner with everyone, the magazine says, is Italian food as the cuisine of choice to make at home and it's almost as popular when eating out. Chocolate-chip reigns supreme among cookies.