This week PartySugar is planning a lovely tea party so I thought I'd take a minute to talk about the different kind of teas. If you don't count herbal teas, all tea surprisingly comes from the same plant (Camellia sinensi); the different types of tea are a result of how the leaves are processed once picked. Herbal teas come from an infusion of fruit and herbs (like chamomile, rose-hips, mint) and not the tea tree. So what are the different kinds of teas? Well, there are four basic types: black, green, oolong and white. However there are a few others as well. To learn how to tell them apart, read more
Posts for March 20th 2007
Citrus is a staple at my house. At any given time one can find a variety of lemons, limes, and oranges. Lemons and limes are essential to cocktail making and necessary to garnish my daily afternoon cocktail of refreshing sparkling water. The oranges more for eating, juicing and the occasional fruity dessert. More often than not, orange is deliciously paired with chocolate and used to enhance the flavor of cakes and cookies. But have you ever enjoyed a juicy orange all by its lonesome as a dessert? Caramelized oranges are a sweet taste treat. With only 4 tablespoons of sugar, these oranges are a fat free dessert that would have even FitSugar cheering. The orange peel is slowly simmered in a sugar syrup until it is tender and succulent. Serve the flesh of the orange in a small bowl topped with the syrup and caramelized peel. This makes for an elegant and simple dessert perfect for any old evening or after a Moroccan themed dinner party. For the recipe, read more
- I have a thing for rye bread. I also have a thing for pudding. Put them together? Oh man, now you're talking. Be sure to check out this Rye bread with Cream Pudding. - Nami-Nami
- The nominees for the James Beard Foundation Awards and the International Association of Culinary Professions Awards have been announced. For those of you that don't know, this is pretty much like the Oscars of the food world. - Slashfood
- Want to make your own wines but can't figure out where to start? Pick up this home wine making kit or skip all the mess and open up a virtual winery instead. - Cheap Fun Wines
- Get ready folks, Easter candy is here! Be sure to check out all of this great Easter candy coverage. - Candyblog
- Stephen Colbert has his own Ben & Jerry's ice cream, but oh looky look, so does Willie Nelson. - BuzzSugar
- Sorry folks, another Bay Area related link, this time it's for the Off the Menu series hosted by the Asia Society, blogger Chez Pim will be there cooking up too! - Chez Pim
- As I mentioned earlier, asparagus is the true sign of spring. I can't wait to get my hands on some and try this recipe for Tagliatelle with Asparagus sauce.- Serious Eats
- Think you know coffee? Think again. Here are 10 things you might not know about coffee. - David Lebovitz
- This is revolting. Two dozen hot dogs hollowed out and stuffed with cheese whiz. Oh and then wrapped in ridiculously long bacon and fried. And then beer-battered and deep fried. Oh god my artery clogged just typing that. - The Stranger
In order to be a wonderful home entertainer, you must learn how to make the classic drinks. The Martini, Cosmopolitan, and Margarita are popular drinks that highlight gin, vodka, and tequila respectively. It's good to know one basic cocktail for each of the five major liquors (gin, vodka, tequila, rum, and whiskey). Dating back to 1870, a Manhattan is the optimal whiskey drink. Take care when mixing this cocktail because it can be difficult at first to get the correct ration of whiskey to vermouth. Use a rye or bourbon whiskey for best results when making your guests this drink. Meant to be stirred rather than shaken a Manhattan is a wonderful before dinner drink that pairs nicely with salty appetizers. To see how it's done, read more
Today I am putting together a menu for an afternoon tea party. I've invited over some of my girlfriends and am praying that Saturday afternoon will be beautiful and sunny so we can sip tea and eat finger sandwiches in my courtyard patio. Tea parties, which until recently were reserved for old ladies and little girls, are making a huge comeback and modern makeover for 2007. Tea bars and tea tastings are all the rage so a tea party is timely and appropriate. Tea parties are also a sophisticated way to host a bridal or baby shower: if you are throwing one in the future, bookmark this plan to help you organize your event. I'm doing my event buffet style with an assortment of savory and sweet treats. Scones and classic tea sandwiches, puff pastries filled with chocolate and shortbread cookies round out the light, nibble-friendly menu. For the sweet appetizer recipes, read more
As part of my Better Know a Group series, I thought I'd let you guys know about the group called Wine Cellar. As its name might suggest, this group is for everyone who's interested in wine. Open up a bottle and post your own notes here! If you've had a great bottle let everyone know, if you have a bad bottle, share your experience so the rest of us know what to look out for. Also be sure to check out what other people have to say about their bottles, share wine tips, pairing suggestions, post wine news, gadgets and more! The group's still growing, so be sure to check it out - you never know what bottle you'll find in the Wine Cellar.
Be sure to come back and see the rest of the groups in the Better Know a Group series!
One of my pantry staples is canned/jarred marinated artichoke hearts. I always have these babies on hand because there is so much that you can do with them. Toss them with pasta and vegetables for a quick dinner or mix with cheese, homemade mayonnaise, and green onions for an instant appetizer at the arrival of an unexpected guest. Marinated artichokes can liven up store bought salad greens or be blitzed into a creamy soup with an onion, potato, and broth. However, tonight I'm in the mood for pizza, so I'll use the little hearts to top a crisp, irresistible pizza. The recipe is vegetarian but if you want to add meat try adding ham - in one of its more glamorous forms - will pair perfectly with the artichokes and feta. Take a quick look at the super easy recipe, read more
Get ready folks Top Chef is back! Okay, well not really, but filming for season 3 will begin in Miami this month. According to the Miami Herald (whose article is no longer available for free online), 13 of the 15 episodes will be filmed in Miami starting this March. No word yet on where the finale will take place, and no word on who the contestants are either. Although I do know there will be 15 contestants and that auditions were held in Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, New York and my stomping ground, San Francisco.
When the Top Chef folks were here in San Francisco, we headed down and spoke with a few of the people waiting in line. Did we talk with the next Top Chef? We'll find out as soon as Bravo releases the contestants. I hope we did, but even if we didn't, we sure did talk to a bunch of interesting folks. Check out our interviews and see if you like any of the prospective candidates!
To celebrate the arrival of Spring I am planning an afternoon tea party this weekend. After guzzling down way too many beers last Saturday during the St. Patrick's Day festivities, I felt it was time for an elegant afternoon of relaxed entertaining. While a stuffy image of little old ladies in oversized hats may come to mind when you think tea party, my tea time is going to be modern, chic, and youthful. To set the mood I sent a floral present shaped invitation to my friends requesting their presence and asking that they sport floral prints. Whenever I plan a party after I'm done with the invite I move on to arranging the menu. Food is an integral piece of any party and I'll be offering my guests classic tea time snacks. To see my scone and tea sandwich recipes, read more