Originally created 07/11/01

Small portions



Cool summer

Klondike is offering two new ways to cool off this summer. The company's line of ice cream bars has been expanded to include Oreo Cookie Sandwich bars and York Peppermint Pattie Ice Cream Bars.

The Oreo bar features vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two giant Oreo cookies. The peppermint bar is made with peppermint ice cream coated in semisweet chocolate. The new flavors come on the heels of last year's successful launch of the Heath Bar-flavored Klondike Bar.

Green-light grilling

Grilling makes mouthwatering food, but it can pose some health hazards, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.

Cancer researchers have found that grilling and broiling can produce some cancer-causing compounds but that there are ways to reduce the risks.

Safe grilling measures include grilling vegetables rather than meat, marinating meats, trimming the fat, precooking, preventing juices from dripping and burning, and flipping hamburgers often.

Detailed information is available in The Facts About Grilling. The free brochure is available by calling (800) 843-8114, Ext. 06, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Or visit the Web site at www.aicr.org.

Fun foods

The Sleepover Cookbook (Sterling, $9.95), by Hallie Warshaw, is written for children old enough to cook in the kitchen (though an adult should always be around to help or supervise). The recipes, which include hot taco dip, biscuit-bite pizza and brownie sundaes, will appeal to young cooks and are clearly written and easy to execute.

Wine market

Some wine merchants buy brands. The Trinchero family of Napa Valley builds them. Among the brands it has developed and nurtured are Sutter Home, M. Trinchero and Montevina.

Now the family has entered the fiercely competitive $7-$14 category with a line of wines named Trinity Oaks. Cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot and zinfandel are made from combinations of grapes from California's Central Coast, Lodi and the Sacramento Delta regions.

Once scorned by connoisseurs, Lodi and Delta grapes have improved markedly in quality over the past decade, the Trincheros say.

Made from half Central Coast grapes and half Lodi fruit, the 1998 merlot wine was fermented in stainless steel and aged in American oak. It's well balanced, medium weight and has tart cherry and blackberry aromas and plum and black-pepper flavors.

Pour it, lightly chilled perhaps, at a backyard meal that might include grilled lamb or pork or a mixture of grilled vegetables.

Flat breads

Tortillas are the big wrap stars. The tortilla is more popular in the United States than any other ethnic bread, including bagels and pitas. Tortillas come in a variety of sizes to accommodate a variety of tastes.

Tortillas are easiest to handle and roll best when warm. You can heat them in the microwave or in a hot skillet - all it takes is 15 to 20 seconds per side. Or wrap a stack of tortillas in foil and place in a 350-degree oven for 7 to 10 minutes.

In addition to tortillas, plenty of other breads are good for wrapping, including naan (a flat round Indian bread) and lavash, an Armenian flatbread. Look for these in specialty food shops and ethnic markets.

Also, consider crepes, lettuce or cabbage leaves, phyllo, egg roll wrappers or Vietnamese rice paper.

Food cops

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which is celebrating 30 years as a food-industry watchdog group, has the added job, it seems, of making us feel guilty about what we eat. These are the folks who came down hard on ethnic restaurants for the fat content in certain dishes, blasted movie theaters for making popcorn using coconut oil and lobbied for nutrition labels on processed foods.

The center's latest food victim is cheese. According to the group, the average American eats - get this - 30 pounds of cheese a year! That's up dramatically from 11 pounds each in 1970. The center says part-skim mozzarella is somewhat of a fraud because it saves only 1 gram of fat per ounce. The Web site - www.cspinet.org - recommends switching to reduced-fat cheese.

The group regularly nominates what it calls "Food Porn," examples of particularly decadent foods. This month it's Cheesecake Factory's Carrot Cake. A 6-inch-high slice weighs in at just about a pound and has 1,560 calories and 84 grams of fat, 23 of them saturated.