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SMORGASBORD: TV to stovetop . . . Food manifesto . . . Clever nut job . . . Ahoy! again

TV to stovetop You shouldn't buy something just because a TV personality has attached his or her name to it. But pair chef Tyler Florence's cred with our word and give his marinades and sauces a whirl. Tyler Florence West Coast Kitchen Essentials...

Smart Balance Rich Roast spreads
The creamy variety of Smart Balance's all-natural Rich Roast spreads is a good basic peanut butter. (McClatchy Tribune)

TV to stovetop

You shouldn't buy something just because a TV personality has attached his or her name to it.

But pair chef Tyler Florence's cred with our word and give his marinades and sauces a whirl.

Tyler Florence West Coast Kitchen Essentials concoctions make for 1-step prep. You're sure to like the Classic Pot Roast Sauce and the California Chardonnay Marinade.

The 13-ounce jars are available for about $6.50 each at tylerflorence.com/ shop.

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Food manifesto

Maria Rodale does not mince words.

The sustainability advocate and head of Rodale Inc. publishing company believes we must rapidly convert to organic farming systems or jeopardize the health of the planet and its inhabitants.

She lays out this jarring argument with surprising grace in her slim new book, aptly named "Organic Manifesto" (Rodale Books, $23.99). In it, she details the benefits of organic agriculture and the dangers of "chemical farming." It's a term she uses to describe nonorganic or conventional farming that uses synthetic fertilizers, nontherapeutic antibiotics, hormones, genetically modified organisms and pesticides.

Many of her reasons for preferring organic will be familiar to sustainable foodies, but Rodale also cites newer research on the way healthy organic soil -- as opposed to soil depleted by conventional farming -- absorbs greenhouse gases and may help turn around global warming.

As a third-generation organic and health advocate, who took over the reins of her family's research and publishing empire (Prevention, Men's Health and Women's Health magazines) last year, Rodale eschews the stance of impassive journalist for organic champion.

Clever nut job

The creamy variety of Smart Balance's all-natural Rich Roast spreads is a good basic peanut butter, but you will really go nuts for the chunky style -- the pieces of nuts are just the right size to assert themselves without tearing apart soft bread, and they still pack a great crunch.

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A 16-ounce jar is available for about $3 at stores nationwide.

Ahoy! again

There are two new kinds of Chips Ahoy! cookies: "made with Heath English Toffee," and "made with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups." The 9-ounce bags are the same price as the 15ยฝ-ounce bag of regular Chips Ahoy!; that's 60 percent more per ounce.

Kitchen Essentials
You shouldn't buy something just because a TV personality has attached his or her name to it, but pair chef Tyler Florence's cred with our word and give his marinades and sauces a whirl. (McClatchy Tribune)

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