Sweet hearts for the holiday

Valentine's Day brings no shortage of heart-shaped cookies, cakes and candy. Dancing Deer, a woman-owned business working from inner-city Boston, decided if you can't beat them, join them.

This year the baking company offers a number of heart-shaped treats for the holiday, including a yummy ganache cake paired with chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies. Price is $19.95 plus shipping. Orders received by 2 p.m. today will make it to Baltimore by Friday, the company says. To order, visit or call 888-699-DEER.

Rather not wait? Dancing Deer toffees and sweetheart cookies are available at Eddie's of Roland Park, at 5113 Roland Ave. and 6213 N. Charles St.

Rice in a jiffy

If time is of the essence, then check out Uncle Ben's Ready Rice. The company has managed to cut the time for making rice down to 90 seconds with precooked grains in a microwaveable pouch. There's nothing to mix or boil. Just tear open the top of the pouch to vent, zap it in the microwave, and spoon the rice out onto the plate.

Ready Rice is available in long-grain and brown whole-grain varieties and also in roasted chicken; Spanish style; and long-grain and wild-rice flavors.

An 8.8-ounce pouch has a suggested retail price of $1.69.

A big selection of tiny messages

The approach of Valentine's Day means the release of the new Sweethearts Conversation Hearts. This year's 10 new messages draw on themes from fairy tales, including "3 wishes," "Ever After," "Magic" and "Charm Me."

The new sayings are among 100 messages that will be included on this year's candies. Some of the originals that appeared on the first hearts more than a century ago and are still used are "Be Mine," "Be Good," "Be True" and "Kiss Me."

The candies are made by New England Confectionary Co., based in Revere, Mass.

A nonstick pan you can stick with

If you appreciate the convenience of nonstick cookware but also like to brown your meat on the stove, then Calphalon has a pan for you.

The manufacturer has introduced Calphalon One, a line that combines the qualities of traditional metal pots and pans with the easy cleanup of nonstick cookware. The secret lies in an anodization process that allows the nonstick coating to penetrate into the pores of the metal. The pan lets cooks sear meats and fish and deglaze sauces with ease.

Prices range from $75 for an 8-inch omelet pan to $225 for an 11-inch skillet. The cookware is available individually and in sets at Williams-Sonoma stores.


* Learn to make one-pot dinners 6:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at Donna's, 5850 Waterloo Road, Columbia. $25. Call 410-659-5248, Ext. 112.

* The Carroll County Farm Museum is seeking entries for its annual design competition for the Maryland Wine Festival Poster. Maryland artists can submit their designs until 3 p.m. March 12. The prize is $1,000. Call 410-848-7775 or 410-876-2667 to receive rules and an entry form.

* Learn to make the five basic sauces from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at Chef's Expressions on 9526 Deereco Road, Timonium. $40. Call 410-561-CHEF.

* A class on soup-making will be held 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at For the Love of Food in Reisterstown. $40. Call 410-833-5579 for reservations.

* Enjoy a small-plates dinner 6:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Bicycle Restaurant. $72. Call the American Institute of Wine and Food / Baltimore Chapter, 410-244-0044, for reservations.

The Dish welcomes food news and notes. Send to The Dish,

Attn.: Liz Atwood, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278;

fax to 410-783-2519; e-mail

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