After the decadence of the holidays, we have all probably vowed to change our eating habits. In order to support our new year's resolutions, the best thing I can do, is not offer any temptations... well at least not such guilty temptations. So, today's dessert is light and rich, without any butter or chocolate. In many foreign countries they actually eat fruit for dessert because of its natural sweetness, a tendency that I suggest we all adopt. Besides, a fruity dessert is the perfect end to a meal heavy in temptations! To make my recipe for gingered pears, read more
Posts for January 3rd 2007
To poach food is to gently simmer it in a liquid such as water, stock, wine or syrup. Some of the liquid's flavor will be given to the ingredient being poached.
It's a really great method for fragile food like eggs, fish and fruit.
When I saw my brother over the holidays he kept going on and on about how he has NO time for food. He even had the nerve to say that if he could take a pill instead of eating, he would prefer taking the pill! Besides breaking my foodie heart, I got worried about him eating way too much Taco Bell and In-N-Out. Now I want to surprise him by sending a care package full of healthy snacks, tasty treats, and yummy almost homemade food. That means it's time for us (you and me readers!) to head off to market to gather goodies for his care package. In the care package I am definitely going to include this catalog for prepared meals. Add your ideas for packaged food finds and other care package includes to the Yum Market. Be sure to use the tag Care Package.
As I was looking for a recipe to feature today, I stumbled across one that Smeehle posted for her family's black eyed peas. I'm a sucker for good old fashioned Southern cooking (OK I'm a sucker for good old fashioned cooking period!) and thought you should all check out her post. In Alabama they eat these on New Year's Day for good luck and prosperity in the year to come. Hopefully we aren't too late and if we make them today, they'll still bring good things in the year to come. Also, since it's based on family traditions, it sounds like this recipe is perfect for the mouth-watering memories group!
The other day a good friend came over for a bit of chit-chat catch up (it'd been awhile since we'd hung out without other people). She's a great guest and showed up on my doorstep with a bottle of Oreana Winery's "?" wine. She chose the wine for its striking label and appealing price (under $10). Apparently it's called ? due to a tank snafu that blended two wines. The back of the bottle states:
Mistake or fate, I pondered this as I removed the hose from the stainless steel tank. The wrong tank: lot 1203 and lot 419 were now one. Once destined to be bottled individually, now and forever fused. A phone call to a mentor elicited a quick response, "Varietal wine? What for? Blend it man and blend it well." So be it, I decided, and reached for a glass to see what blue ruin had been created by this mishap.
Not being ones to turn down adventure, we gave it a try. Since it was a "mistake" and under $10, I figured there was no way it would be tasty, but I was wrong. The flavor ended up being well-balanced and smooth, with a bit of a peppery undertone. It wasn't an amazing wine, but it was perfect for the occasion. I would definitely try it again and besides, the bottle is quite a conversation starter. It would pair nicely with rare meats and as the winery suggests, "your own favorite culinary error."
Note: My friend found this 2005 blend at Trader Joe's, however you can purchase the 2004 blend (this accident has been happily reproduced for several years) online.
Just because the holidays are over doesn't mean that I am going to stop planning parties. In fact, to beat the post New Year's blues, I've invited (learn about my invitations) a small group of couples to join me and my husband at the family cabin in the mountains. It's going to be a winter wonderland weekend getaway.
Now you may be wary of hosting this type of party because it lasts a few days and involves several meals, but my fool-proof menu allows you to delight your guests with delicious dishes and still have time for fun. You'll have plenty of time to curl up on the couch with a magazine or hit the slopes for some outdoor excursions. To see my weekend menu, read more
Maybe this post is going to be of no interest to anyone else, but I have to share it anyway.
Throughout my college years, I was a die-hard Blur fan (Damon Albarn of Gorillaz fame's other band) and I am no stranger to bassist Alex James' wacky wits. He's now living the country life in England and has recently published a story on why, after 17 years, he's "given vegetarianism the chop."
Chopping up my first lamb stayed vividly on my mind for a few days. The anatomy of a sheep is pretty similar to our own, really. I couldn't scratch my ribs without the image of that immaculate carcass springing to mind. I thought about it involuntarily as I lay in bed at night. But, boy, those chump chops were good.
I was a vegetarian for about 17 years. Now here I am, butchering and eating one of my own lambs.
How could a vegetarian of 17 years talk so effortlessly about slaughtering lambs? To find out, read more
It seems like you can get flavored syrups for everything: flavored coffees, flavored alcohols, flavored water, the list doesn't seem to end. However, commercial syrups aren't always the greatest and can often taste quite terrible. So why not skip the risk and make your own simple syrups?
First of all they're called simple syrups for a reason, they're ridiculously simple. All it takes is a little bit of sugar, water and any number of flavorings. My personal favorite is a ginger syrup; I like to keep some on hand in the fridge and mix it with sparkling water for a make-shift ginger ale.
To learn how to make your own simple syrups, including my favorite ginger syrup, read more
At my house we have a tradition that every Wednesday (well, just about every Wednesday) is sandwiches for dinner day. My husband and I used to be part of a pub trivia team and on game night (Wednesday) we would have to be at the pub with our thinking caps on and our stomachs full (yes, we could have ordered pub food, but we found that our scores were never as high when we did). Our team has since broken up and we no longer attend quiz night, but sandwiches on Wednesday has become a long standing tradition. After all, it's the middle of the week and a quick, easy, hot sandwich hits the spot. Who wouldn't love a hassle-free dinner with oh-so-yummy-oozing melted cheese? For tonight's sandwich recipe, read more