Send tasteful notes to friends with the new Chez Panisse Fruit Notecards. The stationery features recipes from Alice Waters, founder of the renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., and illustrations by artist Patricia Curtan.
The notecards come 12 to a box and feature six designs and six recipes, including directions for making mango salsa, dried persimmons, pistachio-stuffed nectarines, strawberry sherbet, raspberry coulis and butternut squash and pear puree.
Look for them in bookstores and among online booksellers. They have a suggested retail price of $15.95.
Quietly does the dishes
Dishwashers are serviceable and time-saving kitchen appliances, but no one has ever claimed they are attractive. Jenn-Air has introduced a new dishwasher that, if not beautiful, is at least not so noticeable.
The new model has controls on the top of the door, so all buttons and knobs are out of sight. The unit also is equipped with an advanced sound-dampening package, making it the quietest dishwasher the company has ever offered.
While designed to not be seen or heard, the dishwasher is made to do a lot of dishes. It is equipped with a third rack and can accommodate oversized cooking utensils and roasting pans.
The dishwasher is available at high-end appliance dealers at prices starting at about $899.
A souped-up plan to lose weight
Move over Weight Watchers, Atkins and South Beach. Campbell's has announced its own weight-loss program, the Soup for Life Plan.
The diet draws on research that shows soups can help people lose weight by making them feel full so they want to eat less. The diet is described in a 40-page booklet that includes a number of recipes and weight-loss strategies. Campbell's soups play a major role in the diet plan, but there are also recipes for dishes such as chicken and vegetable stir-fry, Cajun fish and berry shortcake.
The free booklet and meal planning guide are available at www.campbellwellness.com.
Gearing up for fair contests
Think you have a blue-ribbon recipe? You can find out at the Maryland State Fair, which starts Aug. 27. Entries to the fair's cooking and baking contests must be postmarked by Aug. 9. Walk-ins will be accepted on dates specified in the online Premium Contest Book.
This year's contests include a new Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship in which adults are invited to enter their most decadent chocolate recipes using at least one Ghirardelli baking product and no more than 10 other ingredients.
Other contests include the Gold Medal Kids' Cookie Contest, the Hidden Valley Ranch dressing and seasoning contest, the Spam Kid cooking contest, the Fleischmann's Yeast bread competition, the Herb-Ox Bouillon comfort food contest and the Pillsbury refrigerated two-crust fruit-pie championship.
For more information, call 410-252-0200, Ext. 227, or visit marylandstatefair.com.
* Learn to create native Hawaiian dishes at 6:30 p.m. July 17 at A Cook's Table, 717 Light St., Baltimore. $65. Call 410-539-8600.
* Sample barbecue wines at a summer cookout 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. July 22 at Bin 604 Wine Sellers, 604 S. Exeter St. $29 in advance, $35 at door. Call 410-576-0444.
* The American Institute of Wine and Food / Baltimore Chapter will hold an old-time crab feast 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Captain James Landing, 2127 Boston St. $65 for members, $81 for nonmembers. For more information, call 410-244-0044.
* Learn about the health benefits of garlic from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Tai Sophia Institute, 7750 Montpelier Road, Laurel. $55, $40 for Tai Sophia students. Call 410-888-9048, Ext. 6611, for more information.
An article in the June 23 Dish column did not include the information for how to order from Maine Lobster Direct. For information or to order, visit www.mainelobsterdirect.com or call 800-556-2783.
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 email@example.com.