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GOOD TASTES.

YUMMY CHOCOLATE TEXAS CRUNCH: After mentioning some other chocolates in this column recently, I heard from Karen Kegg and Tim Johnson, owners of The Chocolate Gallery in Goleta, who have been making chocolates at their shop for 24 years.

They make a really delicious candy, Texas Crunch, containing bits of toffee. You can order milk or dark chocolate squares, but watch out as this candy combination is addictive. Tasters couldn't stop eating it. The company also offers a special creation, Chocolate Explosion, which is bits of cacao beans in a chocolate melt-away center, in either milk or dark chocolate. It is intriguing and terrific tasting, too.

Texas Crunch is $16.50 per pound and assorted chocolates (including Chocolate Explosion) are $19 per pound. Shipping is additional and runs from $8 to $10 or more depending on the season and the amount ordered. Call (800) 426-4796 or check out www.chocolategallery.com. If you're visiting the Santa Barbara area, stop by and check the shop out at 5705 Calle Real, Goleta (805) 967-4688.

- Natalie Haughton

MORE CHICKEN: It seems like we can never have enough good chicken ideas these days. If you're always on the lookout for something different, pick up a copy of Better Homes and Gardens' magazine-style publication ``All Time Favorites.'' It features 104 creations ranging from soups and sandwiches to salads, skillet dishes and more. Also included is a section on basics - purchasing, handling and storing chicken. It's available at newsstands and supermarkets for $4.99.

- N.H.

FREE LEAFLET: To help people lose weight with soup (a tad gimmicky and probably not appealing to everyone), Campbell's is offering a free booklet, ``Campbell's Soup for Life Plan,'' designed by company nutrition experts and culinary professionals. It provides flexible menu plans for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks based on a 1,200-calorie-a-day weight-loss diet while providing additions for those with increased calorie needs. A few of the recipes sound a little weird - salad dressing with cream of chicken soup or an ice cream soda with diet V8 Splash Tropical Blend juice drink - while others are more standard like Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry (with chicken broth) and Fish & Vegetable Skillet (with cream of mushroom soup). The colorful 40-page booklet can be ordered at www.campbellwellness.com or by writing to Campbell Soup for Life Plan Booklet, P.O. Box 1154, Grand Rapids, Minn. 55745-1154.

- N.H.

MARKET UPDATES: After the farmers market story ran in last week's food section, we heard from managers of the following markets that weren't included. So add them to your list if they're in your neighborhood.

Eagle Rock: 20100 Merton Ave., at Eagle Rock Boulevard. 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays.

North Hollywood: Valley Plaza farmers market, at Victory and Laurel Canyon boulevards (enter off Victory, south on Bellingham - in parking lot in front of UA theater). 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

North Hills: Monroe High School parking lot, corner of Nordhoff Street and Haskell Avenue. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Some markets come and go quickly, and even with our concerted effort to check several sources when compiling our listings, we've learned that there is no West Hills farmers market at Fallbrook and Victory boulevards.

- N.H.

CHATEAU YOU, 2004: The mysteries of making wine can be solved somewhat by wine fanciers who take advantage of a Winemaker for a Day travel package that includes bottling, corking and labeling their own wine at Still Waters Vineyards and a stay at the Cliffs Resort in Shell Beach (on California's Central Coast).

The tab is $750 per couple, excluding tax (minimum 10 people, five rooms) which includes two nights' accommodations, breakfasts, lunch at the vineyard and a case of wine per person. The package is being offered Sunday through Thursday year-round, based on availability. Information: (800) 826-5838 or www.cliffsresort.com. Vineyard information: www.stillwatersvineyards.com.

- Larry Lipson

DINING OUT

The Pig has arrived in Universal CityWalk.

The new second location of the La Brea Avenue Memphis-style barbecue features the Pig's signature pulled pork shoulder plate ($7.95) along with its baby backs ($10.95 and $17.95), St. Louis spareribs ($9.95 and $16.95), beef brisket ($9.95) and barbecued chicken ($8.95).

The Pig's kitchen deep fries beer-battered dill pickle chips ($5.95), makes a sausage-chicken-crawfish gumbo (cup $4.95, bowl $6.95), offers five sandwiches that include beef hot links ($4.95) and a chopped chicken creation ($4.95) and puts forth a quintet of combination plates ($8.95 to $16.95).

Jalapeno corn bread comes with several items. Other sides are corn-on- the-cob, steak fries, turnip greens, barbecued beans, potato salad, cole slaw, mixed vegetables and white rice.

An assorted appetizer platter called the Elvis Sampler of three chicken wings, three rib tips and six fried pickle chips is $8.95.

Barbecue salads ($6.95 and $7.95) with pulled pork, chicken or brisket of beef are available, and a children's menu lists three options at $5.95 each.

Desserts are headed by an apple crumble with vanilla bean ice cream ($3.95).

The Pig at Universal CityWalk, 1000 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Information: (818) 980-7427.

- L.L.

Coming Friday: Persian-Mediterranean fare hits Santa Clarita.

CAPTION(S):

3 photos

Photo:

(1) no caption (Magazine: Better Homes and Gardens)

(2) no caption (Texas Crunch)

(3) no caption (Booklet: ``Campbell's Soup for Life Plan'')
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 4, 2004
Words:906
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