Halloween is a great time to get creative with experimental baking. Take these cookies, for example: The dough is arranged in long tubes and shaped to look like a brain. You will need an entire bottle of food coloring to make the deep red blood glaze. If you don't like nuts or are allergic, simply omit them from the recipe. Normally I would never recommend grossing out your guests, but that is what Halloween is all about! To see how to make these mini brains, read more
Posts for October 24th 2007
Last week I was invited to Wine & Spirits magazine's Top 100 Wine Tasting, where I sipped plenty of lush wines and was introduced to many interesting varietals. However, the most exotic wine I tried was the 2004 Single Quinta de Roriz Vintage Port. As this smooth, subtly sweet, full-bodied wine slipped down my throat, I realized we've never featured a Port here!
Port is a dessert wine native to Portugal's Douro Valley and usually served after a meal. I'm not normally a huge fan of Port, but this wine, with its deep purple-black color and fine finish, was incredibly easy to drink. It would pair deliciously with creamy blue cheese, honey, and walnuts. A bottle would also make a wonderful hostess gift.
On Sunday night's episode of Desperate Housewives, there was a very funny party scene where crab cakes played a key role in Edie discovering Carlos' affair. While BuzzSugar was a little disgusted by this scene, it actually made me want to make mini crab cakes!
The crab cakes were served as delicious appetizers at Bree's baby shower, and they make a scrumptious hors d'oeuvre or first course at just about any type of party. For the recipe and to watch the clip from the show, read more
A term used to classify wine, vintage describes the year in which 95 percent of the grapes were actually harvested. The word also refers to the wine that is produced with said grapes. A wine labeled as a multi-vintage is a blend made from grapes produced in different years.
- Top female chefs explain why they are a rare breed. — New York Magazine
- Frustrated by bad service? Read this diners' rights manifesto. — Los Angeles Times
- Tex-Mex is a cuisine worth celebrating, and cask-conditioned beers are making a comeback. — New York Times
- Japanese pubs called izakayas serve tapas-style treats. — San Francisco Chronicle
- Follow the powerful force of tea in China, from the farm to the teapot. —Minneapolis Star Tribune
- Chefs are using black licorice to push the culinary envelope. — Chicago Tribune
- Wines under $4 run the gamut from decent to despicable. — Charlotte Observer
- How to plan a haute Halloween party for adults. — Miami Herald
No Halloween party can be declared a success without an excessive amount of candy. I'll be strategically placing bowls filled with my favorite candies — Reese's Pieces, Nerds, and peanut M&Ms — around the two rooms that will house the party. The cupcake tier my sister gave to me for my birthday will make its debut at the party, since I'll be baking one batch of Halloween cupcakes to fill the stand. A few lucky guests can indulge in these homemade treats. For the recipe, read more
I recently attended a very crowded party where the caterers ran out of clean serving glasses. When I went to order a second beer, the bartender — to my dismay — poured it into a champagne flute. I looked around the event and noticed chicly dressed PYTs sipping champagne from brandy snifters and white wine from whiskey tumblers!
I love fun glasses as much as the next party gal, but because wine glasses actually enhance and affect the flavor of wine, wine should be served in appropriate glassware. I think the staff should have either washed more glasses or served beer in water glasses and wine in small table glasses.
What do you think? Is it a party no-no to pour drinks into incorrect glassware?
I was flipping through the lastest issue of Sunset magazine when these cute little pumpkins caught my eye. Not only were they adorably festive, but they were full of custard too! I immediately sent YumJimmy to the store to find pumpkins, while I prepped the kitchen for baking. Unfortunately, the store didn't have baby pumpkins, so I had to make do with mid-sized ones. The custard, which is a savory one, came out wonderfully silky — almost like a silken tofu — and the flavor was subtle — almost too subtle, I actually had to load up on salt and pepper afterwards — and it was so fun to look at too!
While this particular recipe is savory —and, if using the right pumpkins, comes together in 30 minutes — the pumpkin vessel can be used for any flavor custard. I definitely plan on trying it again with a pumpkin custard!
If all of this pumpkin talk has you interested, check out the recipe, just read more
I used to be intimated by using cast-iron pans for cooking. But ever since I learned the right way to season and clean them, I've really enjoyed cooking with cast-iron pots and pans. How about you?