Sunday, February 1, 2004

Helpings



Compiled by Chuck Martin

How do I know when an avocado is ripe?

The avocado should give slightly when squeezed gently in your hand. If the fruit is soft only in spots, don't buy it. It's better to buy a firm, unripe avocado and ripen it at home. Put the fruit in a paper bag (adding an apple may speed the ripening) and keep it at room temperature about three days. Once it's soft, you can hold the avocado in the refrigerator up to two days.

Got guacamole?: Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day of the year for avocado consumption, so it may be difficult finding ripe ones at the store today. If you can't, it may be best to buy pre-made guacamole (in refrigerated section) and jazz it up with ground cumin, salsa or Cajun spices. For a classic guacamole recipe and other variations, go to www.californiaavocado.org. To prevent guacamole from turning dark, make it as close to serving time as possible, and seal it in air tight container with plastic wrap.

Sorry we tried it: Diet Coke's new lime-flavored cola tastes artificial, with an almost chemical after-taste, we think. So why not just squeeze fresh lime into your beverage?

Winging it: If you're ordering wings for the big blowout, here's a recap on our taste test of takeout wings. Domino's Pizza finished first in the snack sampling. Frozen, ready-to-bake Banquet "Jumbo Buffalo" and Tyson "Buffalo-Style" wings tied for second, followed closely by refrigerated "Wings of Fire" from the Kroger deli.

Alternative tube food: Desperately trying to avoid the Super Bowl? Food Network puts on a Paula's Home Cooking marathon 2-8 p.m., today, with host Paula Deen (above) covering Southern brunch, "race car

dishes," pasta potluck and more.

Carb class: Author Marlene Koch teaches "Low Carb Done Right" 6-9 p.m. Wednesday. Cost: $65. To register: www.dorothylane.com or (937) 434-1294.




SUPER BOWL SUNDAY
Super Bowl vs. 'Queer Eye'
TV rivals include lingerie, old flicks

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Don't ask Johansson to just act her age
Conlon, chorus sing out
Lite menu delights symphony audience
Films don't always live up to Leonard's standards
Judge to R. Kelly: Stay clear of Jackson
Footlights program takes over Arnold's
'My Children' stumbles over crucial character

SEEN: BENEFITS AND BASHES
Seen: Greater Cincinnati bashes and benefits
Volunteer Spotlight: Morleen "Moe" Rouse
Up Next

SUNDAY COLUMNISTS
Kendrick: Teachers can learn lesson in empathy

SUNDAY TASTE
Keep the party simple
Helpings

PLANNING AHEAD
Get to it!