Aldi's Italian dressing tops tasters' list – and it's cheaper
A few months ago, a reader called Chicago Tribune food writers and asked them to taste-test Italian salad dressings. There were so many, she said, it was confusing. After a few trips to the supermarket, the tasters agreed. Apparently the term “Italian dressing” means all variety of things to food manufacturers. Aldi's Salad Mate brand, the least expensive of the bunch, was the front-runner among Trib tasters, though Seven Seas Viva and South Beach Living (two varieties sold under the Kraft label) tied for a very close second.
Dr. Pete has the cure for boring food
Dr. Pete's, a Savannah-based gourmet food company, makes a delicious Praline Mustard sauce that's become the go-to glaze for hams. The Chipotle Grilling Sauce is just as versatile and delicious. Poured over a block of cream cheese, it's a fast appetizer for a party. Brushed on grilled chicken or shrimp, it's a complex, sweet yet spicy way to goose up flavor. It's $7.95 for an 8-ounce jar online at www.dr-petes .com. Also available at Fresh Market, Reid's Fine Foods and Dean & Deluca stores.
Football food, from NFL cities
Top chefs from NFL cities have contributed to a cookbook called “The Sunday Night Football Cookbook.” The lineup includes local chef Blake Hartwick of Bonterra. There are 150 recipes in the book, including Seattle Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck's Comeback Chicken Chili. Released last month, it's available for $27.95 at major bookstores or online (www.sundaynightfootballcookbook.com). Proceeds benefit the Taste of the NFL charity.
American Girl publishes a nutrition guide
American Girl has a new book on nutrition for tweens. Released last month, “Food & You” is a practical guide to eating right and staying healthy. It addresses the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia as well as emphasizing the nutritious food that the MyPyramid Food Guide recommends for girls, healthier fast food and how to listen to your body's cues about hunger. Parents will especially love the advice for getting moving, which includes No. 17, “Clean your room as fast as you can,” and No. 18, “Vacuum the house.” Cost is $8.95 online at www.americangirl.com.
Applesauce packs extra nutritional punch
Mott's Plus fortified applesauce makes a great lunch bag treat. There are added nutrients (calcium, vitamins A, E and/or C) but no artificial sweeteners in each 50-calorie cup. Tasters agreed that the Pomegranate flavor was a bit candy-like (most of us liked that about it), but the Cranberry-Raspberry and Harvest Apple have a more natural touch. A four-pack costs $2.80-$3 at various grocers.