BRIEFS - T.G.I. Friday's Restaurants, in partnership with American Beverage Corp., has introduced five non-alcoholic cocktail mixes, available at retail grocery outlets. The new mixers -- Bloody Mary, Mudslide, Hurricane, Strawberry Daiquiri and Long Isla

Who doesn't occasionally rely on refrigerated aerosol whipped cream in a can? It comes in handy sometimes. Now there's a chocolate version -- Chocolate Reddi-Wip -- made with chocolate and whipped cream. Packaged in 6.5-ounce cans, the suggested retail price is $2.45.

You'll get to skip a step en route to lasagna with Barilla's oven-ready pasta. The lasagna noodles don't need to be boiled -- just layer them into the pan with the other ingredients, and bake. A 9-ounce box, enough for a 13-by-9-inch tray of lasagna, costs $1.50 to $1.75 at supermarkets.

Food Q &; A

Q: When a recipe calls for cream, what kind of cream should I use -- coffee cream, whipping cream, half-and-half or what?

A: When a recipe calls simply for "cream," use whipping cream. Half-and-half is half milk and half cream and is not as rich. Neither is the cream sold in some stores as coffee cream. In many recipes, lighter creams may be substituted for whipping cream to save on calories. But don't use the lighter cream in a recipe in which the cream is simmered to produce a sauce, because lighter creams will not thicken as whipping cream does. Lighter creams can't be whipped, either.


On the Web

As the Super Bowl heads back to the Crescent City this year, it may be time to rethink your big game party's food and drink menu. Super Bowl doesn't have to be a beer-only occasion. According to entertaining experts, more and more people prefer to sip wine on the sidelines. For those who want to pair wine with favorite Super Bowl snacks, such as buttered popcorn and Chardonnay or onion-flavored potato chips and Merlot, visit WINEANSWERS.COM for an interactive Super Party Snack Matcher.

Cooking Light's Web site,, is an elegant and useful extension of the magazine. Despite its low-fat mission, the site offers hundreds of recipes that emphasize flavor and ease of preparation. Visitors can tailor recipe searches by submitting a list of food preferences with favorite and least favorite ingredients. Much more is here, including useful lifestyle articles that focus on physical and emotional well-being.

Free stuff

To receive a copy of the 216-page "Vegan Meals for One or Two," send $15 (including postage) to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203. For more information, visit or call (410) 366-8343.

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