Today, I'm craving a dessert with gooey, warm, melted chocolate. We all know that sometimes what a girl wants has to be hot, chocolatey and decadent. And just in case you are having the same type of must-eat-chocolate-now days, I went about finding a delightful dessert to share. At first, I was thinking along the lines of a chocolate souffle, but than I stumbled upon this recipe for hot chocolate pots. Besides, I have yet to master the art of making a souffle rise and I'm more in the mood for an easy, no fuss dessert that I can enjoy in the comforts of my red leather armchair next to a fire. For the recipe, read more
Posts for January 12th 2007
After I've taken out the trash, wiped down the counters, and washed the dishes after one of my parties, I like to take a moment to sit back and reflect on everything. Was there enough food? Not enough food? Did the wine pair well with the meal? Did the guests enjoy what I prepared? Did my surprise activities go as planned? Would I consider the party a success? These are all questions I ask myself after hosting an event. If I found out a friend has an allergic reaction to shrimp at my seafood extravaganza dinner, I'll make a note in my hostess diary to remind me not to make shrimp the next time said guest returns to dine at my house. If I receive a bottle of wine as a gift and we throughly enjoyed it during the meal, I'll write down the vintage and make of the label for future use.
Also, if you took the time to create a party plan, save these notes in a manila folder or special diary. Trust me, if you threw an awesome Valentine's Day fiesta last year, referring back to your plan and after party notes will only make this year's party that much better. It's a good idea to discuss the flow of the party with your partner or friends a few days later because they can offer you important tips and interesting insights that you may have overlooked. So remember, following your upcoming soirée, make it a point to reflect on all that happened at your party, good and the bad.
Having a special little book that you specifically use for making after party notes is a great way to motivate yourself to reflect. You can get the above diary (which I have!) at Shop Intuition for $16.95. Aspinal calls their hostess diary, the dinner party book, and comes in an assortment of colors including my personal favorite pink. A simple red leather hostess book is available at Amazon UK and a who ate what when mini hostess book can be found at William and Son for £68 (about $130).
A little while back, we wrote a post about saying goodbye to plain old table salt. Well, for those of you that are looking to do just that, you can now get an entire set of rare and worldly salts. The ultimate salt collection is a set of 12 full size Artisan jars containing the most unique and rare gourmet salts. In the collection you'll find gems such as Fluer de Sel (harvested from salt ponds in France), Flower of Bali (hand-harvested and very limited in quantity) and Alaea (traditional Hawaiian Sea Salt). However, gourmet salt is not cheap, the entire collection will set you back $138.50.
A Japanese word meaning fresh Soybeans (eda means branches and mame means beans). These beans are harvested early and are usually bright green and are available fresh or frozen. You can find them in Asian markets and many restaurants. They are usually served boiled, but they are sometimes steamed. I enjoy them as a starter to a sushi meal or in a nice salad.
Next week it's my dear friend (I've known her since the fourth grade!) Emily's 26th birthday. She comes over to my house practically everyday, and aides me in my culinary experiments and party plans. Six months ago, when we were whipping up dinner in my kitchen, she said to me, "For my birthday, will you get me a chic olive oil pourer?" At the time, she was coveting my fun olive oil holder, a gift from a Spanish exchange student from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I laughed and said I would get her one for her half birthday since it was a few days away.
However, Emily preferred the gift for her 26th birthday to allow me enough time to find an incredibly cool olive oil holder. I just remembered this conversation today and with her 26th less than a week away, I am on the verge of an anxiety attack. Readers, please help me!
I need you to scour the internet for the most artistic, creative olive oil pourers and add them to the Yum Market. Having a stylish olive oil elevates the level of your kitchen from that of recipe rookie to domestic diva. Over the past year Emily's skills as a cook have improved tremendously and it's time I reward her with an awesome olive oil holder. Tag your finds with Olive Oil Pourer. If you stumble across a must have accessory to pair with the pourer, don't hesitate to save it in the Yum Market with the same tag. I can't wait to see all of your amazing finds!
I'm not exactly sure why, but I don't really drink gin. I rarely make cocktails with gin as the main ingredient and worry that I may in fact be scared of this manly man's liquor. Usually one stays away from a certain type of alcohol because of an unfortunate experience, yet as I look back through my memory recorder, I can not recall any horrid gin-induced hangovers or embarrassing drunken spectacles. My fear is especially irrational because I find myself sipping on my dad's gin and tonics practically every evening.
So it's time I confront gin. I'll do so by giving it a super feminine makeover and mix up a cocktail called the Lap of Luxury. With a name that fabulous, this cocktail that was favored by Audrey Hepburn, is sure to be an interesting taste sensation. For the recipe, read more
- An amazingly creative "Ot-Ot" soup (carrots and pluots). I hope it tastes as devine as her photo of it looks. - Becks & Posh
- Got Pot? Milk made from hemp seeds will hit the stores in Canada early this year. - Slashfood
- Prepackaged shots of vanilla vodka mixed with schnapps, seem too dangerous for me. - Liquor Snob
- There's just something fantastic about soft boiled eggs, but if you don't have an egg cup, they're nearly impossible to eat. I think I'm going to have to run out and buy these guys. - Kitchen Contraptions
- Coffee with a kick! Meth Coffee just launched, it's a super caffeinated brew, containing Yerba Mate (an herb loaded with caffeine). - Single Serve Espresso
- I love a great tomato sauce. This one for a Basic Tomato Sauce looks absolutely gorgeous. Elise's gorgeous photo says it all. - Simply Recipes
A stir-fry packed full of Asian flavors is an awesome throw together meal that can be ready in about twenty minutes. Not only is it perfect for those nights when you want to eat healthy and quickly, but it's also great for an impromptu dinner party that can be prepared in less than an hour. Steam up a batch of white rice, purchase spring rolls from your favorite Chinese restaurant, and pour an easy to find light, fruity Pinot Noir. Here you have the makings for a meal that can turn any old weekday night into a festive, lively evening. For a tasty stir-fry recipe, read more
Thanks to everyone who submitted their raisin recipes to the Secret Ingredient group! There were so many tasty recipes, including a drink, but the one that made me drool the most was a Crossiant Bread Pudding with Pecan-Toffee Sauce submitted by reader luvbriere (who also took the gorgeous photos on the right).
The next secret ingredient is thyme. FitSugar recently wrote about how thyme is an amazing herb and so I thought it would make a good Secret Ingredient candidate. So dig up your best recipes featuring thyme and post them into the Secret Ingredient group. You've got until this coming Thursday, so get started!