Ever alive to the possibilities of artfully selling you less for the same price, Nabisco has brought forth Lil' Squares, an itty-bitty-size version of Honey Maid graham crackers. Lil' Squares come in a 13-ounce box that sells for the same price as the 14.4-ounce box of regular-size Honey Maids, so Lil' Squares cost 10 percent more per ounce. The 14.4-ounce box of regular Honey Maids, of course, once was 16 ounces.
Over at Quaker, whose new-products department seems to be almost as busy as Nabisco's, the latest out of the oven is four kinds of Soft-Baked Oatmeal Cookies: Raisins, Chocolate & Almond, Banana Nut and Cranberry & Yogurt. Do not confuse the new Soft-Baked Oatmeal Cookies with Quaker's Soft-Baked Bars (Banana Nut Bread and Cinnamon Roll): The ingredients are quite different, and the cookies are higher in calories, fat and sugar than the bars.
Using up crumbs
Making your own bread crumbs is great way to keep from wasting bread. Toss extra bread into a blender or food processor, grind it up and then put in a resealable bag in the freezer. If you don't have time to do that, just freeze the bread and rub it on the coarse holes of a cheese grater whenever you need a few tablespoons of crumbs.
Wine of the Week
2008 Paitin di Pasquero Elia Barbaresco 'Serra'
Region: Piedmont, Italy
Price: About $24 to $29
Style: Complex and concentrated
What it goes with: Braised meats, roast duck
One of the great bargains in Piedmont is the Paitin "Serra" from the Elia Pasquero family, which has been farming these hillside vineyards since the late 18th century. Complex and elegant, this Barbaresco has lots to reveal - concentrated dark berries, violets, tobacco leaves and more. Tannins are finespun. If you can, open the bottle beforehand.