Sauce: Butter it up, but in moderation

I can't live without butter. I've tried, but food is just not the same without it. (Excuse me while I channel Paula Deen).

I do try to limit it, though, and came across two clever ways of achieving that. One is from the April issue of "Everyday with Rachael Ray" magazine, which suggests freezing a stick and grating it over your toast or whatever.

Another one of those "why-didn't-I-think-of-that-moments."

Now Land o'Lakes is marketing salted butter in one-pound packages of half sticks, both for convenience (a half stick is equal to a quarter-cup) and to prevent waste, for those whom a half stick is enough.

The company had marketed the half stick in half-pound packages; this is an expansion of that.

Seems cool, although I have not priced it out. With my large family, price often overrides convenience, but there are days ...

Speaking of butter

New in the Strip District is The Pittsburgh Popcorn Co., 209 21st St., 412-281-5200,

The store offers "artisanal-crafted popcorn," including Crunchy Caramel, Real Wisconsin Cheddar and Creamy Peanut Butter. Owned by Rob and Genalle Day, of the Strip District, the store also offers gift tins, special order popcorn and hosts children's birthday parties.

Italian bread and butter

The Slippery Rock Rotary Club will hold a spaghetti dinner fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. next Thursday at St. Peter Church, 670 S. Main St. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for children age 12 and under. It's all-you-can-eat.

At Market District

At noon, 3 and 5 p.m. today and tomorrow, Market District Chefs Karla Contreras and Randy Tozzi will instruct on Easter recipes. They include Ham with Chardonnay Glaze, Grilled Ham with Lemon, Rosemary and Sugar Snap Peas, and Carolina Corn Pudding. The theme is all-natural ingredients; come and sample at the Shadyside and Bethel Park stores.

Send items for consideration to Margi Shrum, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222, or via e-mail to . Phone 412-263-3027. Please include a daytime contact name, phone and/or e-mail address.


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