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Published: Wednesday, 6/20/2007

Finding A Wedding Gift That Newlyweds Will Really Use

(NAPSI)-Buying wedding gifts is no longer a seasonal endeavor -- ceremonies take place in December, September and April, as well as June. In fact, October is almost as popular as June, with May following close behind. December is now the most popular month for engagements, with September and August tied for second place.

But whatever month couples choose to tie the knot or announce impending nuptials, one thing remains constant: Ninety-five percent of brides who register list their first gift preference as cookware and bakeware, according to a recent Cond Nast Bridal Group survey. Cookware/bakeware tops a list of popular registry items such as appliances, stemware, casual dinnerware, flatware and fine china.

Sixty-five percent of newlyweds expect to prepare meals at home and have friends over, entertaining as often as twice a week. A beautiful bakeware and serveware collection can be a bride's (or groom's) best friend when it comes to one-dish baking and serving.

Classic bakeware is not only a practical gift, but one newlyweds can use to prepare many shared romantic meals.

Here's a dish for two that's perfect for a romantic dinner but can also be multiplied for a formal dinner with guests:

Lovers Duckling In Orange Sauce

Serves 2

1 3-to-4-pound duckling, trimmed of fat, rinsed and patted dry

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups bouillon

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 sprig parsley

Salt and fresh black pepper to taste

1/2 cup orange juice concentrate

3 tablespoons orange zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons triple sec (orange liqueur)

Orange sauce: In a heavy saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and blend well over medium heat. Lower heat and let simmer for 3 minutes.

Heat bouillon in separate saucepan and stir into the flour mix. Stir until sauce thickens. Add herbs, lower heat and let simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the orange juice concentrate, orange zest and lemon juice. Simmer 5 minutes and add the orange liqueur to complete the glaze.

Preheat oven to 325 F. Prick the skin of the duck all over and place breast side up in a baking dish (9" x 13"). Brush duck with half of the glaze. Roast uncovered for 21/2 hours, basting occasionally.

When done, carve duckling, coat pieces with remaining glaze and serve promptly with white or wild rice.

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