Banish the winter blahs with the smell of an oat-and-almond quick bread wafting through your kitchen.
This recipe, from the Almond Board, contains 253 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat, 29 grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of fiber and no cholesterol per serving.
To make, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 5-inch-by-9-inch glass loaf pan with corn oil. Combine 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 cup oat bran, 1/2 cup All-Bran cereal, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together 2 eggs and 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar. Beat in 1 1/4 cups plain or vanilla-flavored soy milk, 1/2 cup almond oil or corn oil, 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 2 teaspoons of almond or vanilla extract.
Add dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Fold in 3/4 cup almonds. Pour batter into pan and sprinkle with 1/4 cup sliced almonds and 1/4 cup oat bran. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until done. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan to cool on rack. Makes 14 servings.
No bristles in your brisket
No need to get bristles in your barbecue. William Bounds has introduced a silicone basting brush with a nonshedding bristle head.
The Sili Gourmet is stain-resistant, dishwasher-safe and heat-resistant to 500 degrees. It comes with a brushed stainless-steel handle and a loop for hanging.
The brush sells for $14.99. To order, call 800-473-0504.
* Learn to cook foods of France's Provence region at Donna's at Cross Keys 6 p.m. Saturday. Meal will be paired with regional wine. $65. Call 410-659-5248, Ext. 112, for reservations.
* Find out which wines are essential for your cellar 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow at Bin 604, 604 S. Exeter St. $45 in advance, $55 at the door. Call 410-576-0444.
* Learn to make hamantaschen 7 p.m. Tuesday at For the Love of Cooking in Pikesville. $45. Call 410-833-5579 for reservations.
* Taste strawberry wine 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Berrywine Planta-tions / Linganore Winecellars, 13601 Glissans Mill Road, Mount Airy. Call 800-514-8735.
In the limelight
The folks at Coca-Cola have flavored their Diet Coke with cherry, vanilla and lemon. Recently they rolled out another flavor, Diet Coke with Lime.
"Consumer research indicated a preference for lime as the next Diet Coke flavor, as it's a flavor combination many people are already enjoying," said Ed Klein, vice president of Coca-Cola's Diet Coke division.
The new flavor is available in 20-ounce and 2-liter bottles, multi-pack cans and 8-ounce bottles.
Coffee made your way
These days ordering a cup of coffee can be a daunting experience, given the various sizes, flavorings and ways of preparing it.
At Starbucks alone, there are more than 19,000 beverage possibilities, ranging from a single decaf to a grande, quad ristretto, nonfat dry cappuccino.
To help its customers navigate the selections, Starbucks has introduced a pocket-size beverage guide that explains the options for making Starbucks drinks. The company also offers "customization tumblers." Coffee lovers place stickers on the tumblers that give baristas directions on how customers want their drinks.
The tumblers are available at Starbucks locations for $9.95.
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