If you're looking for some inspiration for holiday baking, party foods or Christmas brunch, you can't go wrong turning to some tried and true websites.
After all, if you can't trust Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and Land O'Lakes, who can you depend on when mom and grandmom aren't around?
There's more to Betty Crocker than cake mixes. Go to www.bettycrocker.com, click on Red Hot Holiday Trends for the test kitchen experts' best holiday treats, appetizers and gift ideas.
Drop in at www.pillsbury.com and find plenty of festive recipes, but the site also has tips for shipping your and decorating the holiday table.
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If you're in the middle of a recipe and don't have a necessary ingredient, head for www.landolakes.com. In addition to yummy recipes featuring eggs and butter, the site has information on substitutions, a baking glossary, freezing guidelines and a free online holiday brochure to download.
Need more? Point your mouse at the Reynolds Kitchens, www.reynoldskitchens.com, Butterball, www.butterball.com, Kraft, www.kraftrecipes.com or Fleischmann's Yeast, www.breadworld.com. Fleischmann's also has a tollfree help line at 800-777-4959
Another handy site is allrecipes.com. There is recipes from soup to nuts. What's really handy about this website is many of the recipes have a "change servings" feature. Click on it and you can scale the number of servings down to two or up to feed a crowd.
The book: The Can't Cook Book: Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified! by Jessica Seinfeld.
Best for: This well thought out book covers everything the new, or apprehensive cook needs to know. Full of easy to follow instructions and photos. Even those who can find their way around a kitchen will learn something. She explains what's necessary in your kitchen and how to use those gadgets.
-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive a recipe via email each Tuesday, register at tricityherald.com and click on newsletters.