Food & Drink

First Course

Takeout Window

Sometimes I think I spend more time in Target than I do at home. The McHenry Avenue store in Modesto is a frequent after-work stop, and by the time I'm done shopping, I'm famished. That's how I discovered Target-brand frozen pizza. It's under the label of Archer Farms, the store's in-house brand. It has a very thin crust, a plus in my book. And it comes with interesting toppings. Try chicken Caesar. Cost: $4.49.

-- Kerry McCray

Barbecue contest

Think you've got the best-tasting barbecue around? Do your friends and family rave about your old family recipe? Come strut your skills at the Kingsford Master Cut Great American Amateur BBQ Cooking Contest & Tailgate Party. Contest deadline is April 18, with the 10 finalists competing at a cook-off at the California Invitational Relays on May 9 at Modesto Junior College. For details, see www.modbee.com/tailgate.

Ideas for Passover

"Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover's Treasury of Classics and Improvisations" (Wiley, $32.50) is a how-to guide for celebrating and cooking for all the major holidays. Jayne Cohen offers well-loved classics and fresh alternatives. There's advice for setting a Seder table with ritual objects, history of each Jewish holiday and her personal recollections of her family's celebrations.

Bake-off goodies

Monday, the 100 finalists in the 43rd Pillsbury Bake-Off will compete for $1 million. The recipes are at www.bakeoff.com.

Benefit for pet shelter

Angels' Share Wine Shop is hosting a Flying Dog beer tasting fund-raiser for the Stanislaus County Animal Shelter from 6 to

8 p.m. Friday at the wine shop, 2101 Sylvan Ave., No. 101; $15; 492-0600 or visit www.aswineshop.com.

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