Dining | Food Matters: Wine Dogs, The Tin Angel & the world’s best muffin 

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Here is another fun beach book, especially for wine lovers: It’s called Wine Dogs: The Dogs of North American Wineries. My wife read this one on the flight to Maui and shared nearly every freakin’ page with me. It’s really cute though: Color photos and bios of every type of dog imaginable. As you might have guessed, Robert Mondavi’s dog is a precious little Havanese with a red ribbon in its hair (favorite food: pasta). If you every visit Youngberg Hill Vineyards and Inn in McMinnville, Ore., though, you might want to watch out for two black Labs named Chip and Dale. Their favorite toys are shoes and hats left outside by guests. $39, published by Giant Dog. Winedogs.com.

The patio at The Tin Angel Café is now open with live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Among the scheduled musicians to appear this spring are guitar virtuoso Steve Lyman, James Shook, Derek Wright, Galen Young, Shannon Smith, Bronwen Beecher, and others. You also can usually catch Cat Palmer’s incredible photography at The Tin Angel at 365 W. 400 South. Its phone is 328-4155, or visit MySpace.com/TheTinAngelCafe online.

A while back, I mentioned tasting the World’s Best Muffin (to me, anyway). It’s called the Miracle Muffin, and I ate it at Fairweather Natural Foods in Park City. When I asked what they used as a sweetener for the miraculous muffin, I was told “agave nectar.” Now, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too hip to agave nectar. But almost simultaneously, a new cookbook appeared in the mail, entitled Baking with Agave Nectar. In it, author Ania Catalano shares more than 100 recipes using “nature’s ultimate sweetener.” Agave nectar is a natural, low-glycemic sweetener. But, lest you think this is a health book, just try the recipe for Individual Orange Soufflés with Grand Marnier Crème Anglaise. Ten Speed Press, $15.95.

Quote of the week: Even today, well-brought-up English girls are taught by their mothers to boil all veggies for at least a month and a half, just in case one of the dinner guests turns up without his teeth. —Calvin Trillin

Send Food Matters info to teds@xmission.com.

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