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February 2002 Issue
by Ronda L. Halpin
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    "As with most fine things, chocolate has its season. There is a simple memory aid that you can use to determine whether it is the correct time to order chocolate dishes: any month whose name contains the letter A, E, or U is the proper time for chocolate."

    -Sandra Boynton

Welcome to the February issue of Seasoned Cooking. In this month that's graced with a day for lovers and probably many others that are more appropriate for polar bears, we think it's important to look at a topic that's welcomed any day: desserts! Whether it's a decadent Chocolate Chip Cheesecake or a treat from simpler roots like Cranberry-Pear Crisp, we all seem to love our sweets and February seems as good a month to focus on them as any. After all, it does contain both the letters A and U -- so it fits the bill offered by Ms. Boynton!

We begin our sweet trek with a feature article devoted to the simplest of fruit desserts -- crisps and cobblers. The article gives you a crash course in the basics and then dives into some mix and match toppings and fillings to suit your time, budget and experience. It's not to be missed. For another fruity dessert that's a cinch to put together, check out the Happy Endings column for an Apricot-Strawberry Bar recipe that's both good and good for you -- a rare combination!

If your addictions run a little more towards chocolate, you'll want to make sure that you read Victoria's Vegetarian Victuals. With cold weather and lots of snow in northern New York, she's battling the winter blues with her favorite comfort food: chocolate! It takes the form of rich brownies, steaming hot chocolate, decadent cheesecake and even a kahlua-spiced chocolate fondue!

If the mention of fondue made your ears perk, you'll love what's in store for you in this month's Home Cookin' column. Recipes for everything from chicken kabobs for dipping to tangy cheese fondue for stirring to specialty dessert fondues for sharing are included. It even includes suggestions for setting the right kind of mood for the celebration.

That's just a preview of some of what we have in store for you this month. So, I'd encourage you to sit back and learn a thing or two with us. Here's to a seasoned lifestyle!

    Ronda L. Halpin

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