After a long day of work, where the weekend feels like it may never arrive, I crave a bite of decadent sweetness. However on days like that, I usually don't have the patience to actually bake or make anything. It's the middle of the week and I want the easiest dessert recipe I can possibly find. Sound impossible? Think again! I found an effortless, no bake, dessert bar that is full of creamy caramel colored peanut butter. Throw in a little melted chocolate and you're swiftly on your way to dulce heaven. For my piece of cake, no bake peanut butter square recipe, read more
Posts for January 24th 2007
Trendspotting: Goat Cheese and Friends
Like I mentioned earlier, we ate a lot of cheese at the Fancy Food Show. But oddly enough, we ate more goat milk flavored items than cow milk flavored items. Now there's nothing wrong with goat cheese (in fact, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the stuff), but it seemed as if goat milk products far outnumbered cow milk products. And I know that goat milk has been a trend for a little while (in fact I'd seen a lot of these products before), but it was still surprising to see so many of them under one roof.
There were too many products to actually keep up with, but here are a few that garnered my taste bud's full attention:
- Goat Milk Butter from Meyenberg
This was one of my favorite things at the show. It was a rich creamy European style butter but with a rich goaty flavor. I had to go back for seconds... actually thirds.
- Creamy Goat Cheese from the Vermont Butter & Cheese Company
This was a nice and spreadable goat cheese that was available in three flavors: Classic, Roasted Red Pepper and Olive & Herb. I thought it might make a nice alternative to cream cheese in the morning, or tossed with pasta.
Four more and a photo gallery, so read more
On Monday I told you about my adventures in the food blogging challenge Sugar High Friday (edition 27). David Lebovitz, a food blogger, cookbook author, and chocoholic stationed out of Paris, invited food bloggers to submit a recipe and picture incorporating chocolate for this week's Chocolate By Brand test. I used Ghirardelli chocolate to make dunk-able, delectable espresso double chocolate chunk cookies. There were over 100 recipes submitted to David and here are a few of my favorites.
Trinigourmet used chocolate from her native Trinidad to whip up a absolutely heavenly looking upside down chocolate pudding with crispy top.
For a scrumptiously sweet breakfast treat, Suzy Not a Homemaker made chocolate hazelnut scones using a bar of chocolate she bought at Starbucks. These are definitely a must make for my next brunch.
Check out the rest of the competition and read the comments at David's (mostly) chocolate website.
When YumSugar and I were trend watching at the Fancy Food Show earlier this week, I was really into tasting all of the wines and liquors. Ok I was really into tasting just about everything, but I was paying special attention to anything that would make my next party super duper fabulous (yummy international wines, infused and organic vodkas, martini glasses shrunken to the size of a shot glass, etc). While there, I was lucky enough to meet John, a handsome fellow with sandy colored hair who was pouring tastings of his Kono Marlborough Pinot Noir from New Zealand. It was love at first sight. With the wine that is, not with John (who was disappointingly not even from New Zealand). He imports the wine in from the Marlborough region of the country. Think "Marlborough is to New Zealand as Napa is to California", the premium wine location.
The Pinot Noir was so incredibly smooth that it would pair well with anything from sausage pizza to roast leg of lamb. It had a savory ripe plum, smoky oak and dark spice aroma with a long elegant finish. The wine slipped down my throat like silk and all I wanted to do was ask John to pour me a full serving so I could leisurely walk through the cheese and salami aisles enjoying the Pinot to its fullest. Unfortunately I only had one sip left and I was saving it for YumSugar to taste, so my fantasy of savoring the wine was put on hold. Until this afternoon when I went to pick up my very own bottle (Trader Joe's for the moderate price of $12.99).
If olive oil can be called liquid gold than Pinot Noir should be named liquid rubies. Now if I only I could find a good-looking sandy haired guy from New Zealand to share my bottle with...
For more information on John and his Pinot Noir (including their interesting indigenous story surrounding the company) visit Kono New Zealand's website.
- If I learned anything at the fancy foods show, it was that teas are big. In fact, brewers insist that they even rival the complexities of fine wine. - San Francisco Chronicle
- How can it be? Maytag (the appliance maker) produces some of the best blue cheeses. Okay, so actually it's the same family, but still... - Chicago Tribune
- Thanks to the Swedes, I can now feel better about late night eating. You see, they actually have a term for meals served after midnight. It's a separate meal category called vickning. And if it's a real meal category, then it's meant to be eaten, right?- Boston Globe
- Learn the pros and cons of silicone kitchenware.- Seattle Times
- Remember when you could go into a restaurant and order what you wanted to eat? Seems like more and more places are letting the chefs make that decision. After all, it is their "vision." - New York Times
- Slurp, slurp, slurp. Oysters are in season! Includes a recipe for a Cajun Oyster Pie. - Houston Chronicle
- Looks like the trick to beautiful pizza may lie within the secrets of a beautiful new cast-iron pizza pan. - Los Angeles Times
One of my best guy friends, Enrique, recently started dating one of my best girl friends, Elizabeth. Now Valentine's Day is coming up and Enrique asked me to help him plan a romantic surprise dinner for her (isn't that incredibly sweet? He's such an awesome guy!). He is a moderate level cook who likes to experiment in the kitchen, but needs me to come up with a meatless meal (Elizabeth doesn't eat meat, but fish is okay). He is mostly used to cooking dishes based with chicken, pork, or beef, so could use some ideas. Now I'm a hyper carnivore myself and that's why I need your help! I want you to send me your best romantic, aphrodisiac, vegetarian (or fish) recipes to create this menu: first course (appetizer), second course (soup/salad/pasta), third course (entrée), and fourth course (dessert). Post your recipes in the recipe database tagged with the phrase, Romantic Meatless Dinner. If you know a great wine that pairs perfectly with your dish, save it in the Yum Market with the same tag.
A style of crispy bread of Italian origin. It is usually baked on rocks in a bakery oven. Ciabatta translates literally to slipper, as the form of the loaf resembles just that. It is a white bread made with wheat flour and yeast. During the past few years, it has also become popular in the rest of Europe and the United States. When making this flavorful Italian bread you must begin with a biga, the Italian term for starter dough.
Alright, so maybe I should have passed this news on to geeksugar instead of writing my own post, but I couldn't resist! The folks over at the Machine Project are hosting a "dorkbake" bake-off and I just had to share the news.
Now you're probably asking yourself, what's a "dorkbake"? Well, it's a bake-off where the contestants have to have a killer recipe, but, there are a few small catches. One: they'll only be able to use ingredients off a pre-determined list, and two: they have to bring their own HOMEMADE 100-watt light bulb heated oven. Yep, that's right, they have to make their OWN easy-bake styled oven!
The event takes place in Los Angeles on Feb. 3rd and will be judged on engineering, tastiness and presentation. I wish I could be there, this sounds like it could be a lot of fun.
If you live in the Los Angeles area, you should check this out and report back to all of us! Or better yet, enter (it only costs $13.37 to register) and come up with your own "easy-bake" creation.
Source: Boing Boing
As you probably know, PartySugar and I have spent the last several days at the SF Fancy Food Show. Just so that you get the idea of what it's all about, let me start by saying that it's a bajillion square miles of food vendors, food packaging, gift baskets and anything and everything you can think of food related. Okay, so it wasn't really a bajillion square miles, but it was HUGE. There were over 1,000 companies from all over the world, hawking products ranging from homemade gingerbread to fiber water and everything in between.
We also ate and drank everything. Cheese, chocolate, carica (a delicious chilean fruit), sparkling juice, sorbet, infused water, freeze dried fruit, infused liqueurs, drink mixers, cured meats, bacon, hot sauces, teas, pomegranate jelly beans and just about anything else people shoved into our faces. It was like food heaven - carpeted, flourescently lit food heaven.
Although there were over 80,000 items on display (I'm pretty sure I read that in one of the brochures), there were definitely some things we kept seeing over and over again. Some of the big trends were:
- Anti-oxidants - the trend is still riding high, only this year it's goji berries
- Infused waters and soda marketed for adults
- Tea - especially a "blooming" tea
- Goat milk products - move over little cows!
- Infused liqueurs and easy drink mixers
- Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate - actually seems that dark isn't a trend anymore, it's more of a standard
I'm working on posts for some of the big trends, so stay tuned. Also, we lured our amazing Sugar video producer with promises of free cured meats and candied apples, so stay tuned for some great video footage too! Now if only we had smell-o-vision, or better yet, taste-o-vision!
I love ripping pages out of magazines. There's something so satisfying about hearing the tear noise when I rip the pages out, it just makes me happy. I rip out everything and anything: fashion ads to decorate with, recipes to make, beauty products to buy, images to use as inspiration. A while ago I ripped out a page of Harper's Bazaar magazine that had the most beautiful charcoal gray cowl neck knitted sweater. I didn't want to purchase the sweater, I wanted to make it. There was only one teeny little problem: I had no clue how to knit. Well, I actually still don't really have a full understanding and that's why I am hosting a knitting party this Saturday afternoon. It's time to get up off the couch and plan a party that will gather together my girlfriends and teach us a new useful skill as well. The invites were sent and the menu is planned, so today I'm talking about one of my favorite parts of any party: the drinks! For my drink menu, read more