SCHOOL'S BEEN GOING a whole week now and already the kids are sick of the stale cookies you leave for them to munch on in the afternoon. Tell them to fix their own after-school snacks by following or adapting some of these ideas from local cooking teacher Catherine Evans. They'll thank you.
Vegetable crackers: Scrub a zucchini, peel a carrot. Slice them into disks for "crackers" (for younger kids, they should be presliced by an adult). Spread them with cream cheese. Or eat them plain with a dip, as if they were potato chips. For a cheesy dip, mix grated cheese with low-fat plain yogurt.
Fruit kebabs: Skewer banana chunks, grapes and canned pineapple wedges on toothpicks. Dip in your favorite yogurt.
Yogurt-apple pops: In a paper cup, alternate spoonfuls of applesauce and fruit yogurt. Stick a plastic spoon in the cup. Freeze for at least 1 hour. The plastic spoon makes the handle. When ready to eat, tear off the paper cup.
Hot slices: Put slices of zucchini (cut into 1/3-inch slices) on a plate. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Microwave for 2 minutes or just until tender but crisp. Eat while still warm.
Stuffed celery: Mix grated cheese with a little plain yogurt and a little black pepper. Use to fill celery stalks.
Hot chocolate peanut sandwiches: Spread a graham cracker with peanut butter. Place some chocolate chips on the peanut butter. Place the cracker on a plate and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and top with another cracker. Great with a glass of milk.
Tuna roll-ups: Drain a can of water-packed tuna. Put it in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of pickle relish and 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt. Mix well. Tear or cut the crusts off slices of whole wheat bread. Spread with some of the tuna mixture. Roll up tightly, and place on a plate with the edge of the slice on the bottom. Put the plate in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm the shape.
Friday, Saturday and Monday: Sicilian winemaker dinners prepared by the chef of the Regaleali cooking school in Sicily, featuring four courses of Sicilian food and wines, Tiberio restaurant, 1915 K St. NW, $45. Call 452-1915 for information and reservations.
Sunday: "A Taste of Italy," food and wine festival featuring the different regions of Italy, with entertainment, a fashion show and auction to benefit the National Italian American Foundation scholarship fund, 7-10 p.m., White Flint Mall, Via Rialto entrance, $50; reservations necessary by tomorrow, call 231-SHOP for information.
Sept. 30: Second annual WETA Wine Classic at the Galleria at Lafayette Center, 1155 21st St. NW, tastings noon-2 p.m., auction 2-5 p.m. Tickets $20 each; mail check to WETA Washington Wine Classic, Box 2626, Washington, D.C. 20013.
DINNER TONIGHT SMOKED TURKEY AND SPINACH SALAD (4 servings)
The oil and vinegar dressing for this salad is softly laced with Dijon mustard and mango chutney -- a good foil to the smoked poultry. Serve the salad with crisp sourdough rolls.
1 1/4 pounds spinach, washed, dried, stemmed and torn into manageable pieces
1 1/3 cups cubed or shredded smoked turkey (smoked or grilled chicken may be substituted)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mango chutney
3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
5 tablespoons safflower oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 strips bacon, fried until crisp and drained
Toss the spinach, turkey, and red onion in a large bowl. Whisk the vinegar, chutney, mustard and oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Divide the salad among large dinner plates, and crumble some of the bacon over each serving.
Per serving: 300 calories, 20 gm protein, 9 gm carbohydrates, 22 gm fat, 3 gm saturated fat, 36 mg cholesterol, 231 mg sodium. Lisa Yockelson
THE PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY has turned 25 and appears to have aged quite well because, to tell the truth, we thought he was older. What we also didn't know is that his given name is Poppin' Fresh. We always assumed that his folks were mainstream types like Betty Crocker and Ann Page and would have named him something like Peter Pillsbury. Come to think of it, though, it was during the mid-'60s that children starting turning up with names like Sunshine and Moonglow. Happy Birthday, Poppin' Fresh! THE ADAMS MORGAN Day Festival, to be held on Sunday, got a head start two weeks ago when Adams Morgan restaurants got together for a friendly (we hope) recipe competition in four food categories. The grand prize winner was chef Wesley Campbell of Montego Bay Cafe, who came in second in the the seafood and meat categories and took first place in the dessert category with "Pineapple Delight," a frothy island confection that's perfect to spoon up while watching those plastic pink flamingos on your lawn.
The festival this weekend, from noon to 8 p.m. at the intersection of 18th Street and Columbia Road NW, will have food for sale, music and entertainment. At 12:30 p.m. there will be a display of food by and competition between city gardeners at the intersection of 18th and California streets NW; at 11:30 a.m., a judging will be held for the Adams Morgan community cookoff.
WESLEY CAMPBELL'S PINEAPPLE DELIGHT
4 ripe pineapples
2 cups pineapple juice
2 teaspoons ginger
2 cups sugar
2 ounces rum
4 egg yolks
4 teaspoons cornstarch
For the meringue:
12 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
Cut the pineapples in half, horizontally, and carve out the fruit in the center. Chop the fruit finely and place in a saucepan. Add the pineapple juice and heat to a slow boil. Add the ginger, sugar and rum. Whisk in the egg yolks and cornstarch, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened. Fill the pineapple shells with the mixture and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl and beat to firm peaks, then add the sugar. Top the filled pineapples with the meringue and bake in the oven for about 3 minutes, or until the meringue is golden. Chill before serving. Per serving: 1056 calories, 14 gm protein, 240 gm carbohydrates, 7 gm fat, 2 gm saturated fat, 272 mg cholesterol, 163 mg sodium.