Dress like a cow for free food

Friday is "Cow Appreciation Day" at Chick-fil-A. Get a free meal (entrée, side and drink) if you visit a Chick-fil-A restaurant fully dressed as a cow. For those who are, as the restaurant puts it, "too chicken" to wear the full cow costume, free entrees will be awarded to customers only partially dressed in cow attire (Holstein-spotted T-shirt, scarf, hat, etc.).

Roger Ebert and the rice cooker

Cancer may have robbed Roger Ebert of the ability to eat, but it won't stop him from dishing out cooking advice.

Four years after cancer surgery left the famed film critic unable to speak or eat, Ebert is publishing a cookbook dedicated to rice cookers, a kitchen appliance he lovingly calls "The Pot" and champions as an answer for those strapped for cash, time and counter space.

The idea for the book came after a 2008 blog post he wrote about rice cookers prompted hundreds of comments, with many readers including their favorite recipes.

The book includes more than two dozen recipes for dishes such as chili, risotto, jambalaya and oatmeal — Ebert's favorite.

"The basic recipe is: throw everything in the pot and slam on the lid," said Ebert, who has battled cancer in his thyroid and salivary gland over the last eight years.

Dr Pepper goes full-on sugar

Dr Pepper is prescribing some sugar this summer in honor of its 125th anniversary, the latest in a series of moves by soda makers to temporarily swap out high fructose corn syrup.

Dr Pepper "Made With Real Sugar" will be available through early September. Manufacturers are testing sugar drinks as people's appetite for them increases, as some become concerned about high fructose corn syrup. Though they're nutritionally almost identical and equally caloric, some consumers believe corn syrup is less healthy than sugar.

Cookbook review: Play with your food

Tired of books that tell you how to hide the broccoli in a pan of brownies? Need a fresh approach to making healthy food fun for the kids? Check out Bean Appetit by Shannon Payette Seip and Kelly Parthen (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2010).

The book, from the founders of Bean Sprouts cafe in Madison, Wis., offers kid-friendly recipes the little ones can make for themselves.

Some of the recipes rely on gimmicks — tomato faces and spinach-and-chicken palm trees — but most present a full-frontal view of fruit, vegetables and whole grains.

A spinach-and-cheese omelet becomes a finger-friendly "Ready to Roll-Up" and the apple-sweet potato "Snuggle-Up Soup" gets served in a hollowed-out apple.