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Scoop salute

Have you ever borrowed a cup of sugar from your neighbor? Do you even know your neighbor's last name?

If you answered "no" to these questions, you're not alone and Edy's Ice Cream wants to remedy the situation. The company is offering 1,500 neighborhood ice cream parties to winners of their "Two Scoop Salute" essay contest in an effort to encourage neighbors to get to know one another better.

To take part, explain in 350 words or less why your neighborhood deserves an ice cream party. You may register online at through May 27 or by writing: Edy's Slow Churned Ice Cream, Attention: Two Scoop Neighborhood Salute, 5929 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618. Contestants must be at least 13 years old.

Bake-off beckons

Start fine-tuning your recipes, because entries are now being accepted for the 42nd Pillsbury Bake-Off. You have until June 3 to submit recipes for a crack at the $1 million grand prize, which will be awarded at the cook-off in March 2006 in Miami.

New this year will be a $10,000 prize for America's Favorite Recipe, chosen by the public through Internet voting. Contestants may enter recipes in two new categories: Cooking for Two and Brand New You (recipes with reduced fat or calories). Other categories are Dinner Made Easy (quick entrees), Simple Snacks, Wake Up to Breakfast and Weekends Made Special. Judges will choose 100 finalists, who will be notified by Sept. 30. Entry blanks are available at or by mail at Pillsbury Bake-Off Entry Form Request, P.O. Box 7200, Melville, NY 11775-7200.

Personal cookbooks

Among the many reasons to want to publish a personal cookbook, one of the most common is to collect, preserve and share family recipes. Personal cookbooks' purposes may also include fund raising or special-occasion gifts. Those considering such an enterprise may wish to check out, a Web site that offers specialized help in printing such personal books.

HeritageCookbook publishers say that with its services books can be printed in five to 10 business days on good-quality paper, and as few as five books may be ordered. Books the company publishes include photos in black-and-white and color.

Kid-friendly bib

Cute, clean and quiet -- that's how we love our kids, isn't it? Keeping them cute and clean is easy with fun, wipeable bibs ($12 to $18) like the ones shown here by Alexandria, Va., company Sam & Bellie. As for the quiet part? Two out of three isn't bad.

Sam & Bellie bibs come in two sizes and are available at

Revamping springform

Higher-plane thinking has been applied to the linear springform pans by Kaiser La Forme. They are made of heavy, nonstick steel. The easy-release sides, which produce smooth baked surfaces, are seated on a base that's slightly larger and deeper than in the usual springform pan, eliminating leak issues. And the base itself is scratch-resistant, so that cutting to the bottom is not a problem.

A 9-inch square springform pan is $40; a 9-by-13 springform pan is $50. Available at some Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table stores; order online from

Can-less chicken

If you like the idea behind beer-can chicken but don't make it because of the can, check out Poultry Pal, the brainchild of inventors Thomas Simon and Kevin Gagnon. The Poultry Pal looks like the inside bottom piece of an angel food cake pan with holes in the bottom. It fits on a cake panlike base, into which you pour beer and spices. The chicken goes legs-down in the middle. The unit sells for $19.95 at


"At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and speak well but not too wisely."

Author W. Somerset Maugham

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