IT'S NOT ALWAYS EASY to find Metrobus schedules when you're riding the bus, although there usually seem to be plenty of bus schedules available in the subway stations, though not always for your route.

Now Metro has a guide to culinary Chinatown, via Metrorail, and it's widely available on area buses.

The pamphlet, a guide to Chinatown's markets, restaurants, carryouts, shops and parade events in honor of the Year of The Ram festivities on Sunday, is also available by calling Metro at 202-637-7000. Your call will be answered by the next available agent.

TO DO Thursday: A Visit To Monet's Table, sampling of food selected from recipes in "Monet's Table: The Cooking Journals of Claude Monet," a cookbook of the artist's favorite recipes. 6:30-9 p.m., Corcoran Gallery of Art, 17th Street and New York Avenue NW. Corcoran members$10, nonmembers $13, for reservations and information call 202-638-3211, extension 607. Thursday: Tasting of Chilean red and white wines at Chilean ambassador's residence, 7-10 p.m., 2305 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Wine Tasting Association members $25, nonmembers $35, call 202-682-4733 for reservations and information.

CASE DISMISSED. Last week, the Texas Attorney General's office agreed to settle a suit against the Quaker Oats Co. regarding advertising claims about its oatmeal and oat bran products. As part of the settlement, the case was dismissed.

In 1989, the company ran ads stating that its oat products could reduce cholesterol levels. The state of Texas alleged that Quaker over-promoted and misrepresented the effects.

Under the terms of the agreement, Quaker did not admit to any violation of law, but has agreed to donate $75,000 worth of oat products to Texas food banks. We wonder if the soup kitchens will start making cholesterol claims.

DESPITE RECENT WEATHER to the contrary, the Snack Food Association is betting that February will be a month spent indoors in front of the TV. (Of course, a sophisticated advertising campaign takes months of planning and how were they to know the temperature?)

Anyway, in honor of National Snack Food Month, February, which no one is obliged to honor, really, the SFA has produced two free brochures that pair video suggestions with appropriate recipes: for instance, a "Six Gun Chili" for watching "Shane" or "Psychedelic Dip" munchies to eat while flashing back to "Easy Rider."

If that's worth a snicker, send for your own "That's Snackertainment" brochures by writing to the SFA, c/o Porter Novelli, 1001 30th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20007. They'd love to hear from you.

THE CHEESE IS GREEN, the bread is moldy and the leftover meatloaf has been in the fridge for two weeks. Should you serve them to your guests? That's an easy question to answer (unless of course, you don't like your guests), but for the trickier, less obvious food safety dilemmas, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently published a free brochure.

"A Quick Consumer Guide to Safe Food Handling" covers food safety aspects of food shopping, food storage, meal preparation, cooking, microwaving, serving and handling leftovers. The fold-out brochure opens into a chart detailing how long you can safely keep foods in the refrigerator and freezer as well as cooking temperatures that will kill bacteria. For a single free copy, write to: Consumer Information Center, 574-X, Pueblo, Colo. 81009.


Mexican cooking often combines peanuts and tomatoes with chicken. Serve this easy recipe over rice or wagon wheel pasta. A carrot and zucchini stir-fry or spinach salad nicely rounds out the menu.

4 chicken breast halves, skinned, boned

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons corn oil

2 teaspoons dried tarragon

1/4 cup plain or chunky peanut butter without sugar

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup minced white onion

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 cup chicken stock

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dash hot sauce

Cube the chicken into 1 1/2-inch square pieces. Stir 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce and 2 teaspoons oil into chicken to coat. Mix together remaining Worcestershire sauce, tarragon, peanut butter and tomato paste.

Cook chicken in two batches: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch skillet or wok on medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken and stir-fry about 2 minutes until lightly browned. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon to a serving dish and keep warm in a 200-degree oven. Stir-fry remaining chicken and add to cooked chicken.

Reduce heat to medium, add onion, garlic and cumin and saute' 4 minutes, stirring, until softened. Mix in peanut mixture and cook 2 minutes, stirring the thick paste. Slowly stir in stock until sauce is smooth, bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir in chicken and season with pepper and hot sauce. Serve at once.

Per serving: 470 calories, 60 gm protein, 10 gm carbohydrates, 21 gm fat, 4 gm saturated fat, 146 mg cholesterol, 502 mg sodium. -- Leslie Beal Bloom