Last week, while in Southern Spain, I had the wonderful opportunity to work in a bakery for an evening. Luckily it wasn't just any night: It was Jan. 5, the night that the Reyes Magos — the three wise men — bring Spanish children presents. The typical Spanish pastry that coincides with the holiday, called roscón de reyes or King's Cake, is consumed in mass quantities on the following morning.
I arrived to find the bakery, Confiteria La Piedra Escrita, crowded with people waiting to pick up their roscónes. Pascual, my pastry chef friend, quickly escorted me to the kitchen where his family was hard at work mass producing over 1000 cakes! The rest of the night was a whirlwind of rolled dough and whipped crema.
With spongelike layers and fluffy filling, this cake is a delicious dessert excellent for any occasion. There are four options for filling — whipped cream, chocolate whipped cream, meringue, and crema (a thick sugar-flour custard) — but my favorite is whipped cream. If you ever have one, you should pair with either coffee or champagne. To take a look at a gallery from my adventures in Spanish baking, and for a recipe to experiment in your own kitchen, read more
Posts for January 14th 2008
Listen up! The first ground beef recall of 2008 has arrived. The Rochester Meat Company of Rochester, Minn., has voluntarily recalled over 180,000 lbs. of ground beef due to a possible E. coli contamination. The recall comes after five illnesses in Wisconsin and one in California.
The scariest part is that the product is actually not available on a retail level, but is sold for commercial purposes. So hopefully the places where you're eating ground beef are being diligent in their practices. Make sure that ground beef patties have been cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. I know, some of you prefer yours a little more rare than that, but it's better to be safe than sorry, no?
If you're concerned about the meat your restaurant has, find out which boxes are being recalled.
I am in desperate need of a new corkscrew. Every time I go to drink a bottle of wine, it's a battle to get the cork out! Sometimes I struggle with my current opener for more than ten minutes. That's why I asked you to help me look for a new, more reliable corkscrew. You searched for an opener that is efficient and attractive, one that works well on both regular and rubber corks. You bookmarked your discoveries in the Yum Market on TeamSugar with the keyword tag Corkscrew. Since pink is my favorite color and two people — LucaBella and RedPointyHeels — saved it, I'm going to have to invest in this pink twist wine opener. It's fabulous and practical at the same time. Thanks ladies! To check out all of the corkscrews, browse to the right below.
For more info on how to bookmark, check out geeksugar's guide.
The smell of a warm chocolate-chip cookie is enough to drive anyone crazy. The warm, sweet aroma permeates the brain and makes you forget everything else. At least, that's what a recent study for the Journal of Consumer Research has (sort of) concluded.
Research done by Xiuping Li of the National University of Singapore showed than when exposed to a hidden chocolate-chip cookie scented candle, female consumers were more likely to make an unplanned purchase — even those on a tight budget — than those exposed to a hidden unscented candle. In fact, it wasn't just a little more likely, it was a lot more likely. In the chocolate-chip cookie group, 67 percent of those purchased, while only 17 percent of the unscented group purchased.
Unsurprisingly, Li concludes:
If retailers want to push their customers to shop more rather than stay longer, they should not only maintain a pleasant environment but also an environment full of temptations and excitement.
So have you guys experienced anything like this? Do you think the smell of chocolate-chip cookies would affect your shopping habits? If not chocolate-chip cookies, then what food?
Recently my best friend asked me to help her make potato pancakes. She came to me, Bon Appétit magazine in hand, and said, "I want to make these." Their picture displayed a delectable dish with crisp, flaky potato pancakes.
In our version the pancakes were chunkier because we ran into food-processing problems. Instead of serving the latkes on the side, we plated the pancakes on top of the salad. Although the picture might not have been as artistic, the salad was delicious, and it was something I would definitely make again. To experiment with your own version, get the recipe; read more
This weekend I'm off to my vacation house in the Sierra Nevada mountains with a group of friends . It's my best friend Emily's birthday and to celebrate we are going on a snow picnic! I'll prepare the event all week, so feel free to adapt my party plan to help you plan your own snowy soirée. To get things started we'll need to send invitations. You can download, print, and fill out our winter picnic invites or make a pretty little card like I did here. To see how I made it, read more