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Volume I
July 19, 2000

In this Issue:

  1. The Recipe Box: Sizzlin' Fajitas

  2. Jest for Fun: Light of the World

  3. Family Fun-Times Winner: Family Holiday!

  4. Recipe Contest: Win a new set of Pots!

Choosing Fresh Fruit Chart
Pick of the Crop: Your Guide to Choosing Flavorful Fruit--

By: Desiri Wightman, RD, CD

I stand before the watermelon fruit stand, and my mouth starts to water as I imagine the audible sound of a sharp knife splitting through a chilled melon. The faultless summer hue of cerise flesh against that vivid green rind flashes through my mind, and I can almost feel the juice splashing up onto my skin from the cavern left by the knife's blade. The enchanting waft of sweet, ripe, perfect watermelon almost makes me delirious. I want to pick out that watermelon of my memory. Others around me are plunking the fruit, listening for hollow thuds. Still others scan the rind for multiple "bee-stings," believing that bees only sting sweet fruit.

Not me, however. I unfold the trusty little chart I printed off from DVO's website. It details how to pick out luscious, ripe fruit, every time. I scan down to the watermelon section and instantly I know how to choose a wonderful melon. The days of bitter, mostly flavorless, light pink disappointments are over. This summer, my family reunions and backyard BBQ's will be blessed with refreshing, delicious, perfect watermelon . . . and oranges, peaches, grapes, berries... Click here to view and print the helpful chart.

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Kids vs. Fruits and Veggies

Q: I try to make mealtimes peaceful with my kids by applying the tips from last month's article, but I still feel really concerned when they won't eat their fruits or vegetables. Any suggestions? --Kristy S., SLC, UT

A: Creative cooking and presentation of produce may be the solution to your concerns. Do your kids like shakes? Make a fresh breakfast smoothie, blending all sorts of yummy fruits into a yogurt base. Hide shredded or chopped veggies in homemade breads, muffins, casseroles, salads, and omelets, or add diced zucchini, shredded or sliced carrots, mushrooms, chopped onions, peppers, or celery to your spaghetti sauce, chili, between lasagna layers, or atop pizza. Warm up chopped canned peaches, juice and all, to serve over ice cream, pancakes, or waffles. Quench your children's thirst with ice-cold fruit juices, instead of soda pop or punch. With a little thought, you'll come up with fun, interesting ways to serve 5-a-day to your children without fuss or complaint.

For some really great recipe ideas, take a look at our Cook'n for Kids software.

* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *
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Your family will think they've hit the best Mexican restaurant in town when you dish up these fajitas with chips and homemade salsa, Spanish rice, or cheese- topped refried beans. Plan ahead for at least 3 hours of marinating time and this tasty meal is a breeze to make.

Sizzlin Fajitas

* Do you have any fabulous recipes to share with other Cook'n readers? Email your recipes to us. Include any preparation or serving hints and/or tell us about you and your family. *

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Light of the World

While giving a Sunday School talk, a little boy forgot his lines. His mother, sitting in the front row, prompted him by gesturing and silently forming the words with her mouth. Nothing helped. Her son just couldn't remember what to say next. Finally, she leaned forward and whispered, "I am the light of the world." The child's face lit up and in a loud, clear voice he said, "My mother is the light of the world."

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Winning Idea: Family Holiday

Submitted by Susan Hansen

Every year we have a holiday to celebrate being a family. We call it Happy Hansen Day! (We chose the anniversary of the day my husband and I became engaged.) We plan ahead to do fun things all day, like eating our favorite foods. Sometimes we fly kites, or play relay races. We have gone to the snow or out to a fancy restaurant. We often repeat the story of how my husband and I met, dated, and became engaged. Often, it is a day for getting out the photo albums and home videos. It all depends on what we feel like doing that year. We also fly the family flag that we made one year, wear our "proud to be a Hansen" badges, and of course hand out Happy Hansen Awards at the end of the day. Each year the kids get a homemade award to represent their growth or activities during the past year. The rule is that the awards have to start with an "H" such as the following: The Hungry Hansen, The Helpful Hansen, The Harmonious Hansen, The Heroic, etc. One year we gave The Handsome Hansen Award to our young son who had just learned to comb his hair. The best part is that we are together. We look forward to our family holiday every year. I feel it brings us lots of fun and family unity!!

Way to go, Hansens! We loved your winning "family holiday" idea, and we hope you enjoy the Agfa ePhoto 780 digital camera. We received many awesome ideas and want to thank all of you who participated in our Family Fun-Times Contest with a $5 gift certificate to We'll also post each idea in upcoming issues of this newsletter. In the meantime, you may enjoy reading the first and second place winning ideas.

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Win a new set of Pots & Pans


When it comes to getting recipes, I trust one source implicitly--my friend Melinda. Every recipe she gives me is incredible! I met Melinda at the start of my junior year of college when we studied, laughed and agonized together over tests, assignments, and our recent marriages. She had recently been diagnosed with diabetes but dedicated herself to her schoolwork and new marriage despite health difficulties. In the winter semester, the pregnancy bug bit Melinda. Dealing with morning sickness, diabetes, a developing baby, and the dietetics program was no small feat. Even into her senior year, with a newborn and all the stress of school, she held on tightly to her goal to graduate and made it! Perhaps you can see that the recipes she gives me are seasoned with so much more than good taste. Making her recipes buoys me up to try a little harder and to be a little more.

I bet many of you could replace Melinda's name with the name of a friend who inspires you in many ways. Well, Friendship Day is coming up in August, and we thought publishing the winning recipes in our "My Friend's a Good Cook" contest would be a perfect way to celebrate just one of the ways friends make our lives meaningful! We're looking for the delicious recipe(s) you've received from a dear friend. We don't just want your friend's recipe, though. We also want to learn a bit about your friendship-things like when/where/how you met, how long you've been friends, and/or why your friendship is special.

Grand Prize: Farberware Classic Series 13-piece Pot Set
First Prize: Cook'n for Kids
Second Prize: DVO apron

The grand prize winners (yes, "winners" is plural, meaning both you and your friend) will be cooking up the winning recipe in a new 13-piece set of pots and pans from Farberware.

The deadline for entries is August 15, 2000. Make it easy on us by using Cook'n to e-mail your entry or submit your entry online or email your entry to If we receive two copies of the same recipe, the one received first will be entered in the contest..

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FREE upgrade & FREE recipe cards

* For a limited time, Cook'n 99 users can download the latest features of Cook'n 2000 for FREE and receive a free set of 60 pre-formatted, decorative 3x5 recipe cards with the purchase of four sets. Run Cook'n 99 and choose Options|Update Cook'n and the new features will be downloaded to your computer automatically. Order four sets of recipe cards from our web site and get the fifth set free!

* Thanks to our Family Safe Petition and your outstanding support, two major search engines have modified their functionality to stop intrusive pornography from showing up as search results. CONGRATULATIONS!!! WE DID IT!! Two down, six to go. Thanks for the support. You guys are one of a kind! Thanks for being part of the Cook'n family.

* Interested in more handy kitchen tips, recipes, and jokes? We'll gladly send you fresh ideas for food and laughter once a week in our Cook'n Weekly newsletter. Click here to sign up for your free subscription.

* Do you have any family or friends who might be interested in receiving this free monthly newsletter? Click here to tell them about it!

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