Collectible You

No matter how neat the hand-writing, no matter how pretty the binder, a home cook’s recipe collection has a hard time competing with the heft and glamour of a coffee table cookbook.

Two similarly titled books, “A Cook’s Journal” (Collins)and “The Cook’s Journal” (Running Press), have lots of pictures and art-stock pages, as well as ample room to scribble your own culinary classics. Martha Stewart, move over.

The Cheese Stuff

To a 7-year-old’s palate, circa 1975, nothing could beat the fake-cheese flavor of Kraft macaroni and cheese. Sometimes Mom even let us add the orange-pop-colored cheese powder straight from the foil packet. These days, the leading boxed macaroni and cheese competition comes from a small company that boasts all-natural ingredients, updated flavors (mild Mexican shells and Cheddar, for instance), a cute bunny mascot named Bernie and a socially conscious philosophy of donating a portion of its sales to programs that, as the label says, “help children, women, education and the environment.” But don’t worry; although Annie’s Homegrown macaroni and cheese may have more a sophisticated, ‘90s sort of flavor, there is still a slight undernote of powdered cheese comfort. At supermarkets.


Ever Clear

Among life’s more unimportant but annoying frustrations are assemble-yourself plastic wine glasses that always fall apart and seem too wimpy for a full-bodied Cabernet anyway. These acrylic goblets, made in New Zealand by Strahl, have the heft of leaded crystal and a screw-on stem that stays put. Take them out to the pool or to the Hollywood Bowl. Also available are serving platters, plates and glasses that are microwave- and dishwasher-safe. At Bristol Kitchens stores in South Pasadena.