If you're looking for a fun kitchen activity with the kids that requires no extra ingredients, take Pillsbury brownie minis for a spin. These come with their own pan and require nothing more than adding water. Available at grocery stores.
Fruits of Portugal
If you can't take a trip to Portugal, visit the groves of its Alentejo region via Herdade do Esporao extra virgin olive oil. The chic matte-black glass bottle alone is enough to make us feel a bit more cultured for using it. Available for $20 at
Wine of the week
2008 Penner-Ash Pinot Noir 'Dussin Vineyard'
Region: Willamette Valley, Ore.
Price: About $45
Style: Coolly elegant
What it goes with: Poultry
It's a beautiful pinot noir from winemaker Lynn Penner. The fruit is dark and ripe, but there's no trace of jam. But there's more than just fruit - sweet spices, a hint of vanilla and smoke.
Save this bottle for dinner with someone who will appreciate its finesse.