Happy Winter Solstice! Today is the shortest day of the year (or the longest day of the year if you are in the Southern hemisphere). I love to make a meal that pertains to it being the longest, darkest day of the year. Soups, stews, and chilis are totally necessary tonight. As are a warm fire and a big blanket. I love to test out new cocktail recipes at home with my hubby. In honor of today being the darkest day of the year-and maybe even in some places stormy-I'm shaking up a cocktail called a Dark and Stormy. To mix this at your home and drink it in front of your fireplace, read more
Posts for December 20th 2006
Looks like Pringles is going to have to change their jingle. The "Once You Pop, You Can't Stop" might work for their well known cans, however you'll now be able to find them sold in bags. The newly bagged options are miniature in size and come in zany new flavors such as parmesan garlic, cinnamon sweet potato and Szechuan bbq rice crisps (their first foray into non-potato chip). The Pringles Minis come in a box of 5 and will set you back about $1.99. What do you think about the new Pringles?
My poor friend Elizabeth happens to be born on an unfortunate day for a birthday, December 26th. She rarely gets gifts on her birthday and almost never throws a party because everyone is busy with their families. This year it's her golden year, she turns 26 on the 26th and I have decided to surprise her and host an informal snack time wine and cheese tasting at my house.
I plan on serving the cheese on these artisan boards, but I'm so busy planning my holiday cocktail parties and dinners I have no time to pick the wines and cheeses. That's why I need you to head off to the market in search of fantastic pairings for me. Help me out and let me know what wines you'd serve with which cheeses by posting them in the Yum Market. Be sure to tag your vino/queso matches with After Christmas Snacks.
A few years ago I saw Sara Moulton create an amazing looking French Apple Tart and immediately tried it out at home. It was surprisingly easy and came out pretty flawless, my only problem being the crust. At the time my culinary skills were slightly above novice and things just didn't cook evenly (as my dough was probably lumpy and uneven to begin with). Now, three or four apple tarts later, I'm thrilled with my results. However, I figured there had to be an easier way for a novice to produce great results. I thought about store bought pie crusts, but then realized they would be the wrong texture and consistency. Next I thought about puff pastry, but wouldn't you know it, turns out Sara Moulton was a step ahead of me.
For a simple but deceptively elegant French Apple Tart, read more
My sister recently found herself touring wineries in Napa Valley and much to my surprise, she brought me back a bottle of Cosentino winery's Avant et Apres. Although technically marketed in the dessert wine category, Avant et Apres was created as an aperitif and is therefore a nice complement for both appetizers and dessert (in fact the name actually means Before & After). Since it contains hints of apple, honeysuckle, cream and citrus, it will pair nicely with spicy Asian foods or served alone for dessert.
I've only made donuts once before, but I stumbled across this recipe for Israeli Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts (aka Sufganiyot) and it looks like I might just have to try again. These tasty looking doughnuts are traditionally consumed in the weeks before and during Hanukkah. Originally
two rounds of dough with jam sandwiched in between, it has been updated to have the jelly injected afterwards. The oil they're fried in commemorates the miracle associated with Temple oil.
If you're looking for a new Hanukkah recipe, want to be exposed to new cultures or just downright love jelly doughnuts, then be sure to give this recipe a try. read more
One of the things that I love about food is its ability to capture a moment in time. A taste, a smell, a dish can all bring back extra special memories. When I savor paella and manchego cheese it reminds of when I lived in Spain. When I smell barbecued chicken visions of summer and my father by the grill come to mind. When I eat brownies from a Betty Crocker box it reminds me of fourth grade and jungle gym playgrounds. When I miss my deceased grandmother Nan, I think of her most famous recipe, pork cutlets with monkey eyes. She told me that capers were monkey's eyes and I, forever shamefully gullible, believed her. Recently I found the recipe, in her handwriting, and gave it a try. It tasted better than I remembered! To make Nan's pork with monkey eyes, tell me about your fond food memories or share your grandmother's secret recipes join my new group Mouth-Watering Memories.
When we all crave beautiful hearty meals in the winter, roasting is a wonderful almost fail-proof option. Roasting takes practice and your first roast may not come out as planned.
Ending up with a beautifully browned yet super moist turkey or crispy on the outside tender on the inside roast beef isn't as easy as following a chart with cooking times listed per pound. Sure it says a 15 lb turkey will take about three hours to cook. But the "about" is what makes me nervous. When planning a meal that revolves around a roast it's essential to make sure that it doesn't come out overdone because you can't exactly prepare for a ruined roast and sometimes the only solution is to dial your favorite pizzeria. To help avert disaster, I've listed some of my handy roasting tips. read more
Today is national Sangria Day! Lucky for you, the first time I was in Spain I went on a mad hunt for the best tasting sangria. After spending months sampling, my girlfriend and I finally found a sangria that stood out superbly. We frequented the local bar several times before approaching the barman with a recipe request. David (pronounced Da-VEED) happily obliged and even wrote down the ingredients on a napkin. The napkin has a place of honor in my recipe folder and the sangria gets rave reviews every time. To commemorate the occasion tonight I'm going to make Spanish food and my super popular sangria (I recently made this at a holiday party and it got rave reviews!). For the recipe read more