$3.28 for 7.5-ounce bag; Safeway and other retailers; www.bettycrocker.com
It’s the “crunchy little horn that tastes like corn,” unchanged since your childhood, and now celebrating 50 years of light, salty-sugary goodness. Grab an anniversary bag and revel in the good old days.
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Palo Alto Fire Fighters Pepper Sauce
$5.99 for 8.5-ounce bottle; Nugget and other retailers; www.paloaltofirefighters.com
Palo Alto firefighter Lee Taylor created this sauce from peppers grown in the station’s yard. Now, sales go to fund scholarships for college-bound kids of firefighters. If you’re feeling like you can handle a four-alarm version, try the new ghost pepper variety.
Magpie Diner Burger
$12; 1601 16th St., Sacramento; 916-452-7594; www.magpiecafe.com
You will not hear, “How do you want it cooked?” when ordering Magpie Cafe’s excellent burger, available at lunch. After some experimentation, and fussing with individualized orders that took up too much of the kitchen’s energy, Magpie’s chefs got it down to a science: A brioche bun, blackened on top by grill flip-over, holds a Niman chuck patty cooked just past medium, so the char taste comes through strongest. Mustard aioli and house dill and bread-and-butter pickles brighten the sandwich, which comes on a “nest” of house-cut fries.
Dunkin’ Donuts Vanilla Cupcake Coffee
$7.99 for 11-ounce bag; local supermarkets; www.dunkinathome.com
Dunkin’ Donuts has found a sweet spot for cupcake-loving coffee drinkers. This coffee’s flavor is very vanilla with just a touch of frosting. Among our tasters, Vanilla Cupcake ranked the best of Dunkin’ Donuts Bakery Series, which also features Chocolate Glazed Donut, Cinnamon Coffee Roll, Blueberry Muffin and Caramel Coffee Cake coffees.
$21.95; 288 pages; Oxmoor House; www.timeincbooks.com
There are cookbooks for long, lazy Sundays. And then there are cookbooks for school nights. “Dinner A.S.A.P” is made for home cooks short on time. Offering 65 healthy meals that take less than 25 minutes to make, this book uses “pre-made foods, pre-chopped fruits and veggies from grocery stores’ deli, bakery, and meat counters as a starting point.” Recipes are spirited and clever, including a quick negimaki made from grilled deli roast beef.
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