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PARTY LINE : A Fabio-Less Party

July 15, 1993|KATHIE JENKINS

As film costumer Robin Bush walked through the door of John and Sandy Carpenter's Hollywood Hills home one evening last week, she was grumbling about having to work on her birthday. Horror director John Carpenter ("Halloween," "The Thing," "Starman," "Memoirs of an Invisible Man") had called yet another production meeting. Suddenly, she noticed there were balloons everywhere and people yelling, "Surprise!"

"This was the first surprise party I have ever been at where someone was totally, totally surprised," says party planner Randy Fuhrman. "Robin literally vibrated for five minutes."

Because Bush was not thrilled about turning 40, Fuhrman came up with a "I Never Want to Grow Up" theme. The cake was a carousel; fresh sunflowers sported sunglasses. On the tables were bottles of bubbles, sand pails, candy windmills, Barbie dolls and other plastic toys that Fuhrman picked up at Pic 'N' Save.

There was nothing childish, however, about the simple, down-home menu: ribs, boneless chicken, brochettes of beef, roasted baby red potatoes in rosemary garlic, red-eye rice and fresh oysters.

There was one glitch. The Carpenters' neighbor, Fabio, the 6-foot-3 Italian hunk who is on the covers of more than 50 million romance novels--usually bare-chested and on horseback--was not happy. He asked the guests to quiet down because the party was interrupting his concentration--he was in the middle of a photo shoot.

"Of course, he was shirtless," says Fuhrman. There was no sign of a horse.

*

This dish goes great with barbecue chicken or ribs. Add chicken tenders and you've got a main dish.

RED-EYE RICE 4 cups water 3 cups long-grain rice 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese 3 cups prepared medium-hot salsa 2 1/2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed 2 cups sour cream

Place water and rice in 4-quart Dutch oven. Cover. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Cook 20 minutes. Do not lift cover. Remove rice from heat. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Cool.

In medium mixing bowl, stir together 2 cups Cheddar cheese, 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, 2 cups salsa, 1 3/4 cups corn, sour cream and rice. Turn mixture into 13x9x2-inch or 4-quart baking dish. Spoon remaining cheeses, salsa and corn on top of rice. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees 25 to 30 minutes, or until heated through. Makes 12 servings.

Each serving contains about: 527 calories; 683 mg sodium; 72 mg cholesterol; 27 grams fat; 53 grams carbohydrates; 20 grams protein; 0.92 gram fiber.

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