Food & Drink

Food Briefs Sept. 8, '09

Wine tastingWhat: Europe vs The Americas

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Cheesekeeper, 6500 W. Main St.. Belleville

Features: Complimentary sampling tasting of Of 16 different wines from Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, and Sicily vs. California, Argentina, and Chile.

All wines sampled are 15% off Saturday.

Information: 618-398-7184 or

GLUTEN-FREE MIXESFor folks with celiac disease, Betty Crocker now makes gluten-free mixes for brownies, chocolate-chip cookies and two flavors of cake. In comparison taste-testing, the gluten-free cookies were thinner and more fragile than the regular ones, and had a slightly grainy texture, but if you like chocolate-chip cookies thin, and you didn't know they aren't normally grainy, you might say they were pretty good.

The brownies were an unqualified success. The gluten-free mixes, with quite different sets of ingredients than the regular ones, cost a whole lot more.

-- Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Country Fair cookingThe first Hermann Farm Country Fair is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Hermann, Mo. Visitors will step back in time and experience the lifestyle, food and artistry of the town's early German settlers. Demonstrations and exhibitions include apple butter-making and cast-iron cooking, plus broom-making, beekeeping, farm animals and more. It's free to attend. A sampler plate of hearty foods prepared over (and under) hot coals will be available for purchase. Call 573-486-FARM or visit for more information.

Books for frugal cooks

Here are affordable publications you might consider adding to your collection. One caveat: Thumb through these at the bookstore to make sure they break new ground for your household's menu-planning. If not, it will just be another expense on the monthly tally.

"The Frugal Foodie Cookbook: 200 Gourmet Recipes for Any Budget" by Alanna Kaufman and Alex Small (Adams Media, $14.95): Each recipe gives the yield and price per serving up front. The authors list the total cost as well.

"The $7 a Meal Quick and Easy Cookbook" and "The $7 a Meal Healthy Cookbook" both by Susan Irby (Adams Media, $9.95 each): Irby's resume is impressive, and nutritional information is included with each recipe in both books.