Yesterday morning, geeksugar arrived at the office with a grocery bag full of little, green apples. YumSugar and I are splitting the bag, and both of us shall make a delicious dessert to share with the Sugar gals. Right away Yum announced the upcoming arrival of an apple pie. Shocked and worried — how to compete with America's most classic, beloved pie? — I frantically searched the web for a secret weapon. Then it hit me, apple cupcakes! Cupcakes are a dessert that everyone loves and no one can resist.
Posts for August 15th 2007
Salt is fantastic for seasoning food, but there are actually a number of other uses for salt. In fact, the folks over at Canadian Living have come up with 45 things to do with salt. Some of my favorites include:
- If wine is spilled on a tablecloth or rug, blot up as much as possible and immediately cover with a generous amount of salt, then leave until dried. Vacuum up salt and rinse with cold water. The stain will (cross your fingers) be gone.
- Wash dirty green vegetables such as spinach in a sink of mildly salted water to make them easier to clean.
For a few more great tips, read more
A while back, Party and I received a breathtakingly striking bottle of Vins Gagliardi L'Engarran. Designed by video-game producer American McGee and award-wining artist Ken Wong, this wine is a must-have for any geek's collection, but will be wonderfully appreciated by many others too. The first in a series of "dark fairytales," this label features Rapunzel on a bottle of L'Engarran. A mix of 30% Cabernet Franc, 22% Syrah, 15% Merlot and 33% Carignan grapes, the wine is a rich dark red with bold berry flavors and a hint of vanilla.
I love that the winery started out trying to juxtapose a passion for art with a passion for wine, but now they've realized that an American McGee label will sell itself. What do you think, would you buy it just for the label? It's $18 and I personally think it's a great conversation starter and an awesome gift for the right person.
If you like this one, Vins Gagliardi has just introduced the second in the series. Chateau Du Charnay - which features a dark Little Red Riding Hood - is a Macon Rouge, Red Burgandy Wine that will be available soon.
My favorite show on Food Network is Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa. I've made at least one recipe from every episode and all of the best shows are saved on my Tivo. I love her gay best friend/florist Michael and her bubbly, dorky husband Jeffrey. Her relaxed, yet elegant nature and simple, yet delicious menus remind me of my beloved grandma. Her recipes, which at times can be old fashioned, always highlight the pure flavor of the ingredients. Naturally, I have her Barefoot Contessa Parties! book. The title of the book has a little exclamation point that perfectly demonstrates both Ina and my point of view: parties should always be fabulous! The grilled salmon sandwiches, caesar salad with pancetta, and sour cream coffee cake are recipes that I use and make regularly. The coffee cake is wonderful to bring as a hostess gift, make for a depressed friend, or take to a potluck brunch. To look at the recipe from this amazing book, read more
A hard Italian cheese made from sheep's milk. Aged, hard, and grainy, this sharply flavored, pungent cheese ranges in color from white to pale yellow. Manufactured in cylinders, the outside has a hard rind and the inside a white interior. It is a dry cheese that is best used for grating and cooking — it can be used in the same way as Parmesan.
- Although chowders usually go hand-in-hand with winter, with ripe summer veggies, they become a fantastic summer soup. - San Francisco Chronicle
- Buffalo is finally coming of age as an alternative red meat. Plus a Q&A with Top Chef's Tom Colicchio. - New York Times
- Cupcakes came into vogue a few years ago, so what makes them stay so gosh-darned hot? - Chicago Tribune
- If you're looking for a refreshingly cold summer treat, try caprese granita, an interesting twist on a favorite summer salad. - Washington Post
- Forget big Cabs and light Pinots, Priorat is the next big red. - Los Angeles Times
- Bento-style boxes are perfect for kids' lunches - apparently my mom knew what was up years ago... - Dallas Morning News
- Two chefs show us what they would pile up on top of fresh angel food cake. - Oregonian
- With hints of lemon, apple and flowers, tomatillos enliven standard summer dishes. - Houston Chronicle
- After 14 cups of espresso, a teenage waitress was rushed to the hospital due to an overdose of coffee. - The Daily Mail
Gorgeous cookies decorated to look like little packages are perfect for my Pride & Prejudice themed party. Elegantly placed on a variety of plates at different heights, these cookies will enhance the look of the party. I'll pair them with a decadent box of store bought chocolate truffles to round out a light snack menu of grissini with prosscuito and tea sandwiches. These cookies take a while to prepare, so if you are short on time make a quick, tried and trusted cookie recipe or simply buy pretty cookies from your favorite local baker. However if you're like me and couldn't imagine not having a homemade dessert at any party, get the recipe for these delicious treats, just read more
A few years ago, I became obsessed with biscotti. I found myself making batch after batch of the traditional Italian cookie - which roughly translates to "twice baked" - trying to find a recipe that was tasty on its own, as well as dunked into a frothy latte. Eventually I landed on a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis that combines fragrant citrus flavors with a lovely layer of chocolate. That alone should have made it the winner, however it was actually the addition of corn meal that pushed it over the edge. The texture is unlike most biscotti and you'll find that you'll be perfectly happy snacking on them with or without coffee. And believe it or not, biscotti is actually quite easy to make - so check out the recipe read more
Who would have thought that my favorite Thai dish can be quickly and simply made in the comfort of my own kitchen?? Pad Thai is quite possibly Thailand's most well known noodle dish — a combination of rice noodles, shrimp, crushed peanuts, eggs, etc. — all stir-fried together. In this version, chicken and shrimp are tossed with a delicious mixture of veggies and Asian sauces. An exotic meal can make the middle of the week bearable, especially if you invite over a few girlfriends and crack open a bottle of wine, so get the recipe now and read more