Yesterday I went to this massive picnic on a cattle ranch down in Bakersfield. The weather was wonderful and the beer was flowing. The hosts provided the main course while guests (over 200 of them) were asked to bring appetizers, salads, and desserts - which were then laid out on massive correctly-labeled flatbeds. I was delighted by the assortment of food, but overwhelmed at wanting to try it all. When it was dessert time, and I was making my way around the flatbed only tasting different and interesting looking desserts, I was about to pass up a bundt style yellow cake, but at the last minute went in for a bite and thank god I did! It was the best dessert on the table, a moist lemony melts in your mouth cake that was absolutely divine. I called over my friend Jon, who was tasting some brownies a little further down the buffet, and we both agreed that it was delicious and cut ourselves large porky pig portions of the cake. Now I can't stop thinking about lemon cakes and want to give this one a try. Mother's Day is coming up and this will be a great recipe to bookmark so read more
Posts for April 30th 2007
I found this relatively odd contest that I have to share with you guys. First of all, did you know that there's an organization called TeaUSA.org that is a combined effort of The Tea Association of the USA, The Tea Council of the USA and the Speciality Tea Institute? Yah, I didn't know that either. But now that we all know that such an organization exists, I can now happily tell you about their new contest. The contest - which I admit, caught my eye purely because of its name ("The Calm-a-Sutra of Tea") - is a "nationwide search for the most unique and creative way to drink tea and further educate the public on the health benefits of drinking tea."
So what does that really mean?
Well, for starters it's actually a video contest. In order to win, you need to create a 1-2 minute video of yourself drinking tea (hot or iced) in the "most unusual, unique and/or off-beat scenario." You must also include what health-benefits of tea drinking appeal to you and why. Once you've got your box-off smash hit video ready, upload it to YouTube, fill in the application by May 28 and wait for the judges to choose you!
So what do you get if you win?
A $20,000 scholarship (which makes me think you have to be a student - however I couldn't find that stipulation in the rules), afternoon tea at a "trendy NYC tea salon," and the weirdest, most random part of the prize - "a chance to appear live on the CBS Early Show on June 4, 2007 with Justin Guarini" - yep that's right Justin Guarini of American Idol. Maybe he's an avid tea drinker? or just loves tea? Also, doesn't it seem weird that it's "a chance" to be on TV? Oh well, either way I have a feeling some of the videos are going to be worth checking out.
A champagne toast is often one of the most memorable parts of a wedding. I most certainly remember when my brother gave his bestman champagne toast at his best friend Ryan's wedding last September. I like the idea of everyone getting a glass of champagne - even the people who don't drink or don't like alchol - to take part in the toast. Julie and Scott's wedding will kick off with a special toast in which guests are handed a glass of delicious bubbly to salute the happy couple. I asked you all to head off to market in search of a champagne flute that has art deco undertones with an artistic and vintagey feel. You saved your finds in the Yum Market with the keyword tag Wedding Toast.
Two more so read more
This weekend I was hanging out with a few of my gals and we ended up talking about "beertails" (beer + cocktails = beertails). I've personally enjoyed the ones I've had, so thought I would look up a good one to share with you.
While on my hunt I stumbled upon this one for a Beer Margarita. Since Cinco De Mayo is just around the corner, I figured it would be the perfect combination of beer and festivity! To check out the recipe, read more
I love Mexican food so much that sometimes I like to pretend I'm Latina - which is why I naturally love Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Ok, ok I really love practically every holiday/reason for a celebration, but Cinco de Mayo is one that I go out of my way to do something super extra special. Last year I went to dinner at a packed restaurant with a mariachi band and the year before I hosted a fabulous Mexican themed dinner party. I was pleasantly surprised when my sister called me about two months ago and asked me what I was doing for Cinco de Mayo. Turns out she signed up to be the Senior in charge of her sorority's BBQ and she wanted me to fly down to San Diego and help host the party with her. So this Friday afternoon I'm hopping on a plane and jetting down south. I've got a full week of planning ahead of me, this is one serious event with 300 people possibly in attendance!! This is going to be my biggest party yet - the last large event I hosted was a retirement party for my dad with a guest list of 150. In order for me not to get nervous, I've got to throw myself into making the invites (which is really more like a flyer than an invite), so come party with me and read more
When I was putting together my English pie the other week, it seemed pretty clear that I should use the technique on other meats/stews. So when I found the recipe for yesterday's Sunday dinner, I immediately ended up thinking of turning the leftovers in to a lovely pot pie.
I didn't actually have time to make yesterday's delicious looking lamb shank, but if you did, i have a simple suggestion to turn yesterday's dish into today's treat. All you need to do is turn on the oven, place the lamb mixture into a pie plate (or smaller ramekins, depending on how much you have leftover) and cover with puff pastry. Bake and voila! Easy lamb pot pie! Just be sure to remove all the bones from the mixture before you create your pie. To learn more about the puff pastry technique, see my step by step instructions for a steak & ale pie.
Are you up for a challenge? The folks at 7UP think you are. They've recently reinvented Diet 7Up to make it "more refreshing" and with "less diet aftertaste" and are wondering what you'll think. In order for you to taste it for yourself, they're sending out Taste Challenge Kits that contain the new Diet 7UP and two "competing diet lemon lime soft drinks." The kits are free, but the promotion ends May 20, or while supplies last.
I put my order in and will let you know what I think when it arrives.
Last week I planned KatieSugar's 1st birthday party with a menu that was packed with traditional all American party food, but in miniature sizes. I know that some of you are on diets and in many cases my food is not the most figure friendly. Since I put together a great menu that can be adapted to any sort of party, I thought it would be nice to offer the same menu but with healthier versions. Luckily our friend Hungry Girl does this daily and I took some help from her for this one. Start with a twist on my Mini Crab Cakes by serving her healthier crab stuffed mushrooms. Instead of making my indulging (and perhaps thigh-bulging) Spinach Dip, prepare HG's equally delicious version. Choose her de-pudged pigs in a blanket over my Mini Hot Dogs and pair them with her hamburgers. She's even come up with an almost calorie-free pink drink to wash everything down! To get these amazing recipes read more
If you've ever wanted to see Paula Deen live, now's your chance. This summer she's kicking off a "National" Tour - I put national in quotes because it's only five cities: Shreveport, Charlotte, Nashville, Dallas and Atlanta. Each two hour show will feature Ms. Paula cooking up some of her favorite dishes, answering fan questions, sharing tips and doing whatever it is a chef does when on tour.
"People need to get on back to the kitchen," said Paula. "I'm gonna show you how we do it at my house. I'll tell you what I cook and share the secrets to making it good. But the most important thing I want folks to realize is that the memories are what matter. Families get to know each other through cooking a meal together, and then sitting down and lickin' their plates clean. Now that's comfort food."
Oh, that's what they do when they're on tour. They lick their plates clean...
If you live in one of those five national cities, then act fast, tickets are on sale now.
And if you don't live in one of those cities, don't fret, you can always register to win a trip to see her in Atlanta. If you win, please tell me what they have backstage in the greenroom, I want to know if she actually eats the deep fried butter balls.