Find for food lovers
Looking for a special cookbook or a gift for a culinarily inclined friend? Check out the new Baltimore International Culinary College Bookstore, at 206 Water St. downtown. The store, which is open to the public, has many of the latest cookbooks, plus some single-topic books that are hard to find elsewhere: "The Banquet Business," by Arno Schmidt; "Escoffier: The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery," translated by H. L. Cracknell and R. J. Kaufmann; "The Professional Caterer," a four-volume set by Dennis Ruffel; and the beautiful "Restaurant Design," by Judi Radice, which would make a great gift for a true foodie.
Bookstore manager Shiva Mirsaeedi said she expects to be getting a lot more professional-category books in the near future. The shop, which has just under 12,000 square feet, also features items with the college logo, including T-shirts, umbrellas,
glasswear and teddy bears; it also has snacks and magazines. )) Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Do-it-yourself "cookie cards" are on the menu for children of all ages at Windows restaurant's Mother's Day brunch. The cookies will be baked in the restaurant's dessert shop, and can be personalized with chocolate frosting. Besides the regular brunch menu, there will be a "Jr. buffet" featuring pizza, hot dogs, french fries and macaroni and cheese.
The brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Windows in the Stouffer Harborplace Hotel, 202 E. Pratt St. Cost is $23.95 for adults and $11.95 for children. For reservations call (410) 685-VIEW.
Young diners fly free
And speaking of dining with children, Bob's Big Boy restaurants have a new program aimed at pleasing young folks who dine out. It's called the Flying Ace Club, it's free and it's available at most area Bob's Big Boy restaurants. Youngsters who sign up will receive a membership card, which entitles them to a free meal every Tuesday; a personalized birthday card with a free birthday meal; and the bimonthly Explorer newsletter, which features stories and games.
Participating restaurants will also have a special Flying Ace menu, with breakfast and lunch entrees under $2 and dinner entrees under $2.25. Dishes include the "Biplane" breakfast (two pancakes with syrup), the "Navigator" lunch (cheeseburger and fries) and "Loop-de-Loop" spaghetti with sauce. The menus also feature games and stories.
Baking on the rise
The number of people who still bake "from scratch," as opposed to stirring up a mix or popping something frozen in the toaster oven, is higher than you might think. According to a recent Consumer Panel survey by Better Homes and Gardens, 58.4 percent of respondents have baked something from scratch. The favored item -- 60 percent of bakers -- was brownies; more than half reported baking pizza from scratch, including the crust.
Among bakers, 26.3 percent had used a chemical-free flour, and 60 percent said they would pay a little more for flour if they knew it contained no chemicals.
The Better Homes and Gardens Consumer Panels consist of two groups of 500 subscribers each who are demographically representative of the 7.4 million BH&G; subscribers. The baking results were based on 403 completed questionnaires from one panel.