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Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 10:05 am | Updated: 8:45 am, Thu May 1, 2014.

Mr. Tidbit: What's 10 calories?

Six of the many carbonated beverages made by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group — Dr Pepper, 7UP, A&W (the root beer, not the cream soda), Sunkist, Canada Dry and RC — now are available in versions with 10 calories per 12-ounce serving. That's in addition to the diet versions, which have no calories, and the regular versions — which have from 140 calories (7Up and Canada Dry) to Sunkist's 190.

The company said these 10-calorie products, all labeled with TEN spelled out in capital letters, are intended to offer "the great taste of regular soda with less calories." The new versions get their fewer calories by starting with the diet versions, which are sweetened with aspartame and acesulfame potassium, and adding a little high-fructose corn syrup.

Mr. Tidbit's extremely unscientific analysis, having sampled all three A&W root beers, is that A&W TEN might be just a little sweeter than Diet A&W, but it still has diet-soda aftertaste.

At least all three versions carry the same price.

— Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (MCT)

Easy Recipe: Baked zucchini ziti

Time: 45-50 minutes

Makes: 6 servings

8 ounces ziti, uncooked

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, low sodium

1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 medium)

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided

1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 egg, lightly beaten

Salt and pepper

Cooking spray

Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes and Italian seasoning. In a separate bowl, mix zucchini, ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan and egg. Season with salt and pepper.

Coat a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread half of tomato sauce on bottom. Top with ziti, ricotta mixture and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Bake until top is brown and sauce is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes.

— GateHouse News Service

The Dish On...

"Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World," by Paul R. DeLancey

From the author of "We're French and You're Not" and "The Fur West," De Lancey entertains supreme as he distills cooking to the simplest of terms - from boiling water (and identifying the stove) to preparing timeless classics from every corner of the globe including scrumptious Beef Stroganoff and Greek Wraps with tzatziki sauce. Every recipe is followed by hilarious tidbits, such as, "King Louis XV ate boiled eggs every Sunday. This practice ceased with his death." Eat Me is a cookbook spiced with comedy, leavened with silliness while still fully informative and functional. A great read for anyone's kitchen.

— GateHouse News Service


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