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Buying Maryland cookbook can help Maryland singers...


Buying Maryland cookbook can help Maryland singers go to 0) France

Even if you can't carry a tune or sing a note on key, you can still help Maryland voices be heard at an international music festival next summer in Europe.

Maryland Sings, a nonprofit group of 22 singers and four dancers recruited from Baltimore City and County schools and colleges, has been invited to participate in the 1994 Cole Porter Festival in Chamonix, France. The singers, under the direction of Bill Myers, perform works by Copeland, Gershwin and Foster and popular music from the '30s and '40s, among others.

To help raise money for the trip, friends and families of the group members contributed recipes that have been compiled in a book called "A Taste of . . . Maryland Sings." The book, edited by Debbie and Bruce Gneshin, whose daughter Corinne sings with the group, contains recipes for appetizers, main dishes and desserts. It is available for $10, plus $2 shipping and handling, from Maryland Sings Inc., P.O. Box 254, Owings Mills, Md. 21117, or call (410) 356-3523.

Here's a sample recipe:

Cream cheese pound cake

Serves 10-12

1/2 pound butter

8 ounces cream cheese

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups flour

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter, cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the baking powder and flour. Mix well. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan.

Bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Fans of "real" root beer can rejoice: Virgil's Home Brew Rootbeer is being imported from England in a 15-ounce corked bottle. The root beer is made with spring water, sassafras, licorice, anise, molasses and cane sugar. The bottles can be recycled; customers who collect 24 bottles can get concentrate and brew their own root beer.

Virgil's is available at the Mount Washington Cafe & Deli, at Sutton Place Gourmet, and at Eddie's of Roland Park. Retail price is under $3 per bottle.

Progresso has added pasta to its line of ready-to-eat soups, and the soups can be combined with other readily available items for quick one-dish meals. Varieties are tomato and pasta, pasta in chicken broth, lentil and pasta, tomato tortellini, vegetable and pasta, and hearty minestrone.

The soups are relatively low in fat (with 1 to 5 grams) and calories (from 80 to 50 per serving).

For a brochure of quick and easy recipes using the new soup varieties, call (800) 235-2253.

Here's a sample recipe:

Chicken pasta primavera

Serves 4

1 tablespoon butter

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cubed

1 can (19 ounces) Hearty Vegetable & Pasta Soup

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 boxes (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, prepared according to package directions

In medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add chicken cubes and cook until browned.

Stir soup and flour together. Add to chicken; cook until mixture begins to thicken. Stir in cheese and cook until desired thickness is reached. Serve over hot spinach.

If you're having friends over this holiday season, you may be planning to serve spring water and soda for people who don't drink alcohol, or who are "designated drivers." Chefs in Washington recently teamed up with AAA-Potomac to offer recipes for non-alcoholic party beverages in honor of National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. Here are some samples:

Paolo's orange-strawberry sparkler

Serves 1

1 ounce pureed frozen strawberries

3 ounces fresh-squeezed orange juice

Mix in a shaker with ice. Strain over ice in tall glass. Fill glass with sparkling water. Garnish with orange slice.

Holiday fruit punch

Serves 4

1/2 cup grapefruit juice

1 cup apple juice

1/4 cup orange juice

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

dash ground cloves

Mix all ingredients together and serve over ice or blend with 8 to 10 ice cubes for a frothy drink.


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