Web sites offer tempting holiday palate pleasers


With the holidays just around the corner, every cook -- or would-be cook -- is looking for a delicious new way to please your guests.

My wife has a drawer in our kitchen cabinet jammed with recipe books and a collection of years of recipes, collected on scraps of paper, that spans years and family trees. It's a wonderful resource, and full of recipes and memories.

And now we can add to that with a new collection of recipes on the Web courtesy of The News-Enterprise Online and the News-Enteprise's own resident food columnist, Mary Alice Holt.

Mary Alice has been writing about food for many years, and as one of her co-workers, I've been lucky enough to sample some of her fine cooking: I'm partial to her Coca-Cola Cake - it's superb!

If you've seen the Thursday print edition of the Elizabethtown, Ky. News-Enterprise, you've seen Mary Alice's column in the newspaper. Beginning last week, Mary Alice's recipes are now available at The News-Enterprise Online Web site.

Home Cookin' with Mary Alice Holt is more than just the recipes for the week. You'll find hundreds of recipes for desserts, appetizers, main dishes, salads, soups and more.

Along with Mary Alice's column and recipes, you'll find other food-related news stories, including Hardin County, Ky., restaurant food service inspections, and Mary Alice's new Rush Hour Recipe feature.

It's a site you'll want to visit frequently as the holidays approach; Mary Alice always manages to come up with new -- and delicious -- holiday fare that will please the palates of most any family.

Visit www.newsenterpriseonline.com and click on the link for "Home Cookin'."

SOAR. Another source for recipes I've found is SOAR, the Searchable Online Archive of Recipes.

The archive is massive -- it houses more than 63,000 recipes, divided into a wide variety of categories, including ethnicity and health categories (diabetic, vegetarian, gluten free and more).

The disadvantage of the archive is that you don't have the "seal of approval" that the recipes works by someone who has tried it. You also won't get the wonderful insights to food lore and cooking that you'll find at Home Cookin' with Mary Alice Holt on the News-Enterprise Online.

I compared a couple of recipes between SOAR and Home Cookin' with Mary Alice Holt, and they were comparable with only minor differences.

The site also has a large collection of information about home canning and more.

Visit SOAR at http://soar.berkeley.edu/recipes/.

TRIALS & TRIBUNE-ATIONS. The nation's largest Internet provider will lose its special online edition of the Chicago Tribune, the newspaper announced recently.

It's a no-brainer for the newspaper, really -- creating the special AOL content was nearly a duplication of its efforts on its own Web site, and the paper plans to further develop its Web site content.

The importance of the big-name newspaper content held greater significance before AOL offered Internet access. In those days, AOL's content fueled the reason most people wanted to use the service, and big name content -- The New York Times, USA Today, TIME magazine, the Chicago Tribune -- all found a good home on the service.

These days, all of them are continuing development of their own Web sites, and chances are that trend will continue.

TRY, TRY AGAIN. The world's oldest encyclopedia publisher quietly relaunched its Web site after upgrading its capacity to handle the immense number of visitors.

Britannica.com's launch in October went awry when heavy traffic took the site offline.

Britannica.com is more than just an online encyclopedia. It carries news, features and much more.

While it won't be charging for access to its content, Britannica.com will be receiving revenue from advertisers.

After a trial period of testing and tweaking, you'll see Britannica.com all over the place as part of a $37 million ad campaign.

NET OVER TV. The growing popularity of the Internet often leads to the question: If people are spending time online, what other activities are they NOT doing now?

The answer: They're not watching as much TV.

A survey of kids between the ages of 9 and 17 found that 63 percent preferred the World Wide Web over TV, and 55 percent said they would rather be online than on the telephone.

The survey, released jointly by America Online and research firm Roper Starch confirmed what has been reported in other surveys: TV viewing is taking the hits when it comes time to do one or the other.

The survey found that newcomers average 6.6 hours online per week, compared to users with three or more years' experience, who average 10.5 hours per week online.

Fully 75 percent of adults and kids surveyed said they believed the Internet has made their lives better.

While the adults surveyed are interested in shopping online (42 percent said they make regular purchases online), while predictably, writing letters, chatting, games and music were the top interest of those Web users under the age of 18.

AUCTION PLANS HAMMERED. World-famous Christie's International has abandoned plans for its own auction Web site to sell art, antiques and collectibles, according to a story in a recent Wall Street Journal.

Christie's and its main competitor, Sotheby's Holdings Inc., have both planned auction sites in the wake of the phenomenal success of eBay's auction site.

The company scuttled its plans for an auction site, citing the cost, liabilities, and the difficulty of making a profit on lower-valued auction items.

Comments and questions about this column may be sent to jbrooks@myoldkentuckyhome.com, or visit www.myoldkentuckyhome.com on the World Wide Web.

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