June is high time for tea


It's official: June is National Iced Tea Month, according to the Tea Council of the U.S.A., and not a minute too soon, as Americans consume more iced tea than anyone else in the world -- that was 40 billion servings last year alone.

To keep consumer's tea taste buds titillated, Nestea is introducing Nestea Specialties, a line of gourmet bottled teas, with Earl Grey tea. Regular Nestea Pitcher Style bottled teas come in unsweetened, lightly sweetened and extra sweet. Nestea says folks in the Northeast prefer the lightly sweetened and extra sweetened teas, and also like diet iced tea. In the West and Midwest, tea drinkers like it straight up, without sweetener. Everybody likes it cold: 80 percent of the tea sold in the United States is iced tea.

Food for firefighters

Recipes from a number of Baltimore-area firefighters are included among more than 200 in the new "Firehouse Cooking, Food From North America's Bravest," by R. G. Adams (Penguin Books, $12.95 paperback). Recipes include appetizers, soups, salads, quick breads, main dishes and side dishes, beverages and desserts. Here's a sample from Baltimore County paramedic Paul Massarelli, who's at Station No. 6 in Dundalk:

Brunch Casserole

Serves 8 to 10

1 8-ounce can refrigerated ready-to-bake crescent rolls

1 pound mild breakfast sausage, chopped well

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

4 eggs, slightly beaten

3/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

salt to taste

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Unroll the crescent roll dough and completely line the bottom of a buttered 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

Press perforations with your fingers to seal completely.

In a medium frying pan, crumble the sausage, and cook over medium heat until well-browned, stirring occasionally.

Drain well on dry paper toweling.

Sprinkle the sausage meat evenly over the crescent roll dough.

Sprinkle the cheeses over the sausage.

In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, pepper and salt.

Pour mixture over the sausage and cheese.

Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, or until the egg is set.

Let stand on a wire rack 10 minutes before serving.

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