Originally created 03/19/03

Small portions



Berry nice

Now you can enjoy fruit in your Cheerios without stopping by your grocery's produce section.

General Mills has introduced Berry Burst Cheerios featuring freeze-dried fruit.

The new cereal comes in two flavors - strawberry and triple berry with strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. The suggested retail price is $3.69 for an 11-ounce box.

Hot new flavors

Bay leaf, lemon grass, sesame, chili peppers, mustard and wasabi are among the intense flavors expected to capture American palates in the coming year, according to a new report from McCormick & Co.

Fifteen cookbook authors and chefs who were surveyed for the 2003 McCormick Flavor Forecast say they believe Americans are continuing their search for bold, spicy flavors, ethnic dishes and organic food. Other flavors high on the list are turmeric, cinnamon, pepper, vanilla, coriander/cilantro and sea salt.

For more information, visit www.mccormick.com.

Retread bread

Wondering what to do with that stale loaf of bread? Make your own croutons - they are great in salads, soups or sprinkled on pasta. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes. On a baking sheet, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper to coat. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees until light golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring the bread cubes with a spoon once or twice to ensure even browning. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to three days.

Peel out

When preparing vegetables or fruit for a recipe, instead of peeling, seeding and chopping each piece, peel them all first. Then seed all and chop all. It's a way to cut down your prep time.