At least one local caterer is offering you a way to help the needy the next time you're in a party mood.
Chefs Expressions of Timonium is now offering its customers the chance to make a tax-deductible donation of any party leftovers to Second Helping, a group with the Maryland Food Committee that provides leftover food to more than 25 shelters and feeding programs.
Executive chef Erik Shaffer convinced owner Jerry Edwards to include a clause about Second Helping in every catering contract. Mr. Shaffer now sits on the board of directors of Second Helping and is trying to interest other chefs in the program.
And Mr. Edwards, president of the National Association of Catering Executives, will urge all its members to include the same clause in all their contracts.
Our thirst for new recipes seems unquenchable -- and booksellers couldn't be happier about it. In spite of economic woes, we still bought lots of cookbooks last year.
But a look at the list of top 10 sellers at Waldenbooks for 1991 shows some trends that reflect our money worries: We're going back to basic home cooking; we're still grabbing those books called "frugal"; and staying healthy is on our minds.
Here is the list:
1. "Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook," Meredith Publishing, ringbound edition, $19.95.
2. "The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas" by Jeff Smith, Morrow, $25.
3. "Betty Crocker's Cookbook -- 40th Anniversary", Prentice Hall, ringbound edition, $22.
4. "The Joy of Cooking" by Irma Van Starkloff Rombauer, Macmillan, $21.95.
5. "Justin Wilson's Homegrown Louisiana Cooking" by Justin Wilson, Macmillan, $19.95.
6. "The Frugal Gourmet On Our Immigrant Ancestors" by Jeff Smith, Morrow, $19.95.
L 7. "Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook," Morrow, $26.50.
8. "Cooking From Quilt Country" by Marcia Adams and Alexandra Avakian, Random House, $25.
9. "Betty Crocker Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook," Prentice Hall, $17.95.
10. "The American Heart Association Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook," Random House, $19.95.
A great avocado recipe could win you $5,000 in a contest sponsored by the California Avocado Commission and McCall's magazine.
They're seeking appetizers, salads, side dishes, desserts or sandwiches but -- and this is a quote -- "no guacamole please." Judging will be for originality, taste, appearance, ease of preparation, general appeal and availability of ingredients.
Three finalists will receive a two day, all-expense-paid trip to New York for the "Great Avocado Cook-Off." Two runners-up for the grand prize of $5,000 will each receive a $200 American Express "Be My Guest" restaurant certificate.
All entries must be original recipes that have not been submitted to or published in any other magazine. To enter, send the recipe along with a 3- by 5-inch piece of paper with name, address, zip code and telephone number to: McCall's California Avocado Recipe Contest, P.O. Box 2921, Grand Central Station, New York, N.Y. 10169. Entries must be received by March 31 and you must be 21 years or older to enter.
More details about the contest appear in the February issue of McCall's.