A mix for the munchies

If you're hitting the trail this summer, here's an easy snack mix to pack along:

Stir together 5 cups of popped popcorn, 3 cups whole-grain oat cereal, 1/3 cup raisins, 1/3 cup peanuts or other nuts and 1/3 cup sunflower seeds in a large microwaveable bowl; set aside.

Combine 1/4 cup butter or margarine, 6 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup in a small saucepan. Heat until boiling; cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat evenly.

Microwave 3 to 4 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after each minute. Spread onto greased cookie sheet; cool. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

Makes 9 servings.

Per serving: 230 calories; 13 grams total fat; 15 milligrams cholesterol; 180 milligrams sodium; 27 grams carbohydrate; 3 grams fiber; 13 grams sugar; 4 grams protein

-- Recipe and analysis from the Popcorn Board

Reducing risks

Warehouse shopping may help save money, but when you buy in bulk, take care to look after your health, ad- vises the American Dietetic Association. Here are some tips:

Bring a cooler. Shopping at a warehouse can mean checking out DVDs in the electronics department, picking up a few items in the office-supplies section and possibly a long trip home. Be sure to keep perishable foods properly chilled along the way.

Check the temperature on your refrigerator. If you plan on storing your bulk foods in a second refrigerator or freezer, make sure your freezer is set at or below zero degrees and your refrigerator is set below 40 degrees.

Use caution when refreezing and thawing. To avoid risks, repackage bulk items into smaller packages before freezing, so that future use won't involve unnecessary defrosting.

Use water. Wash all fresh produce, soda cans, milk bottles, jars and canned goods before eating or opening them. This can eliminate the chances of ingesting harmful bacteria.

For more food-safety tips, visit www.homefoodsafety. org.

Fair days ahead

Have a great pie or blue-ribbon jam? It's already time to think about entering your prized dish in the 2005 Maryland State Fair. All home-arts entries must be pre-registered by Aug. 1 by mail or online at

The fair is open from Aug. 26 through Sept. 5. Call 410-252-0200, ext. 277, for more information.

Bagging the smoke

A Finnish technique of smoking meat has not only survived generations in the region near the Arctic Circle but has made its way to America, thanks to Finnish manufacturer Sinituote Oy.

Drawing on traditional cooking techniques, the company has introduced the Savu smoker bag, a single-use cooking pouch that gives meat and vegetables the same smoky flavor achieved on the grill.

Just place up to 3 pounds of meat, seafood and / or vegetables into the pouch, cook for the recommended time and allow the bag and its contents to sit for 10 minutes.

The smoker bags are available at www.smoker and Baltimore-area retailers, such as Gourmet Again in Pikesville, Gibby's Seafood Market in Timonium, J.W. Trueth & Sons in Oella and Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore. They have a suggested retail price of $3.49 to $3.99.


Learn to create vegetarian dishes that even meat eaters could enjoy at "Vegetables With a Twist" 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. July 21 at Williams-Sonoma in the Village of Cross Keys. $40. Call 410-435-6020 for more information.

Learn to make cold soups 7 p.m. July 21 at For the Love of Food, 20 Clarks Lane, Reisterstown. $55. Call 410-833-5579 or visit

Take a class on grilling meats 6:30 p.m. July 20 at Donna's in Columbia, 5950 Waterloo Road. $35. Call 410-659-5248, ext. 112.

Join members of the American Institute of Wine & Food for drinks and a food tasting 6:30 p.m. July 26 at Sun Moon & Stars Cafe, 400 Red Brook Blvd., Owings Mills. $60. Call 410-244-0044 or visit

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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