Borscht and more abound at the Russian Festival


If the menu includes borscht, potato pancakes, chicken Kiev and stuffed cabbage, the place must be Russia -- unless it's the annual Russian Festival at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church, 1723 Fairmount Ave., on Oct. 15-16. There will also be a Russian tea room, religious items and dancing by Moryana. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. For more information, call (410) 276-6171.

Baking for TV

You've heard of America's funniest videos -- now how about America's yummiest videos? Create an original baked goodie using M&Ms; Mini Chocolate Baking Bits and star in a three-minute video of the preparation, and you could win $10,000. Bakers ages 5 and up are eligible. For a copy of the rules, send request along with a stamped, self-addressed, business-sized envelope to M&Ms; Mini Chocolate Baking Bits Brighter Baking, FDR Station, P.O. Box 5111, New York, N.Y. 10150.

Here's a sample recipe for inspiration:

Double chocolate fantasy bars

Makes 32 bars.

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 12-ounce package (1 3/4 cups) semi-sweet chocolate baking bits

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 for glass pan). In a bowl, combine butter and cookie crumbs; press mixture into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the crumbs. Combine baking bits, coconut and nuts. Sprinkle mixture over condensed milk; press in lightly. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until set. Cool completely before cutting. Store in tightly covered container.

Meatless burgers

Data tracked by A. C. Nielson indicate that an increasing number of people are reducing the amount of meat in their diet or cutting it out altogether. So it's no surprise that Green Giant has entered the market with three varieties of all-vegetable burgers: Original, Italian style and Southwestern. There are four patties to a box; suggested retail price is $2.69. Harvest Burgers should be available at supermarkets this month.

The harbor will be hopping on Friday when the Absolut Tour for the CF Cure progressive gala makes its way from the Harborview Tower Dock to the Hyatt Regency to the Sheraton Inner Harbor for a night of music, dining and dancing to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. There will be hors d'oeuvres and a steel band at the dock; dinner, dancing with the group Nightlife and a silent auction at the Hyatt, and dessert and more dancing at the Sheraton. Cost is $150 per person. For tickets or more information, call the Maryland chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at (410) 771-9000.

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