If, like me, you are intrigued by new gadgets, these are worth checking out:

Carla Hall wants people to travel the globe in their kitchens - and creative use of seasonings is the ticket. Her latest book, "Carla's Comfort Foods," promises (in the words of the front flap) to turn "your favorite go-to dish into a culinary trip around the world."

Matt Loory ran away and joined the circus.

Last year, writer-art director Dinah Fried posted five "photographic recreations of meals from classic and contemporary literature," dishes she assembled and styled herself. As a result, her site www.dinahfried.com got more than 200,000 hits and was mentioned on TV shows and blog sites, and in newspapers and magazines.

The second vintage from Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's wine estate in southeast France is a spectacular rose from an unspectacular year. Made by the Perrin family of the renowned Chateauneuf-du-Pape estate Chateau de Beaucastel, the 2013 Chateau Miraval rose is elegant and fresh, with a scent of wild strawberries. I could drink this very serious rose all summer long. Quantities are limited, though, and this one may be gone even before summer gets here.

From the point of view of religion, this is wine drinking's annual high-water mark. Easter isn't Easter without its dinner of lamb or ham and their wines; Passover isn't Pesach without the mandated four cups of wine during the Seder and then more afterward to wash down the brisket. Here's betting that even nondenominational Easter Bunny fans reach for the corkscrew after the egg hunt.

Culling my bookshelves recently, I came across my much-thumbed copy of "Unmentionable Cuisine" and remembered the dinners, years ago, that Bonnie Hughes of the late Augusta's Restaurant in Berkeley, Calif., organized with author Calvin W. Schwabe. The menus read something like this: deep-fried turkey testicles with Parmesan, baked lamb eyes with truffles and shiitake, veal brains in coconut cream, intestine dumplings, and fried crickets and peanuts - and that's just for appetizers. Main dishes included red-cooked duck tongues, whole stuffed frog, grilled guinea pig and grilled rattlesnake marinated in whiskey, ginger and soy. The dinners had the thrill of the illicit, and everyone had a merry time.

I'm practical and hungry, a duo that makes leftovers the best part of any holiday meal. That's as true for the Easter ham as with any other platter of protein at a family gathering.

INDIANAPOLIS - If you meet Rick Garrett, our country's most fastidious chronicler of the Indiana breaded pork tenderloin, one may notice similarities between man and sandwich.

Easter approaches, and with it a feast that might be better than the one at Thanksgiving, since we're not limited to turkey. Or to wines that go with the big bird.

Dear SOS: Recently I joined friends for a birthday celebration at Jaleo in the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Among the desserts we shared was a very delicious classic Spanish flan with espuma of Catalan cream and oranges. Could you please see if the restaurant will share the recipe?


- NUTRITION: Recent USDA studies give eggs a better nutritional profile than a decade ago. With about 70 calories, a large egg contains 187 mg of cholesterol, about 14 percent lower than previously measured. Eggs are rich in vitamin D (41 IU per egg) and protein (6 grams). Eggs also contain choline, which has been linked with preserving memory, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which may protect against vision loss.

Eggs are popping out all over - and not just from spring chickens.

THOUSAND PALMS, Calif. - In an industrial corridor outside Palm Springs, silent and still after most everyone had fled with the sunset, Grant Calkins and his wife, Janna, crept into a warehouse. They peered around, wondering if they were in the right place.

Quiche, that culinary darling of the 1970s, suddenly seems to be appearing on menus everywhere.

Blurt out "curry," and the wine echo will be "gewurztraminer" (or some garbled give-it-a-go). But gewurztraminer is not of one weave; a low-acid, very dry version wouldn't do this dish any favors. Pairing like flavors in both food and wine ("spice with spice") is a less fruitful approach than attending to, for example, how crisp the wine is or how forceful comes the curry. This preparation's sweetness (curry sauce, raisins), chili heat and small amount of fat suggest an off dry wine that, above all, can cleanse and refresh. Many wines from many places bubble to the top of the list.

Did someone light a maple-scented candle? That's what the kitchen smelled like even before we opened the plastic bag of Thomas' Maple French Toast-flavored bagels. Depending on how much you like maple syrup - or don't - the overwhelming aroma could be a good thing - or not.

Q: Sometimes I've seen people use aluminum foil to cover frosted cakes. After a while, tiny holes begin to appear in the foil where it touches the frosting. What's happening, and is it dangerous?

It's getting harder and harder to sit down for Sunday dinner with my daughters, who in just a few months will graduate from high school and are busy juggling part-time jobs with school and boyfriends. So when the stars finally do align for a family meal, I want to make it special.

Dr. Robert Lustig's YouTube lectures about the dangers of sugar have raised a few eyebrows in recent years and even drawn some criticism.

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