Posts for November 20th 2008
A friend of mine, who fits the classification of hipster to a T, also happens to love all things gourmet. Initially, I was at a loss for what to get her, but I quickly discovered that there's an array of niche gift items that converge at the juncture of food, music, and cutting-edge cool. Case in point: I have to get her this book about underground dining, and because she loves to push the envelope, I know she'll flip for this shopping bag.
Want more gift ideas? Browse the selection below or check out all the gift guides on HolidaySugar.
A few months ago we noticed that competitive eating was a rapidly growing "sport": This year, 1.5 million people tuned in to ESPN to watch the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, and there's now a game, Major League Eating, available on the Nintendo Wii. Yet while it's entertainment for many, it comes at a cost for others.
Yesterday, Saurab Sabharwal, a 22-year-old engineer at Nokia-Siemens in Gurgaon, India, died during a company-sponsored pastry eating contest held in the office cafeteria. After choking, he ran to the bathroom alone, and was found unconscious an hour later. Colleagues called for an ambulance, which rushed him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. This isn't the first death we've heard of from competitive eating. Last month, a Taiwanese student fell unconscious and died during a steamed bun eating contest.
Does this call for further measures to be taken, so that others don't get hurt? Should a medical expert have been mandated to stand by, just in case? Or should government officials consider placing a ban on eating contests?
As much as I love cocktails made from fresh, seasonal ingredients, sometimes there simply isn't time — especially when you need Thanksgiving dinner ready in a hurry — to juice 20 blood oranges. The grocery store liquor aisle is crowded with generic and overly-sweet cocktail mixers, but there's one brand I trust for excellent mixers: Stirrings. With their blood orange flavor you can make a quick batch of blood orange bellinis.
Serve wine at mealtime. Call your local wine shop and ask them to set aside a couple of Thanksgiving-friendly bottles for you. Use their expertise to save time. You won't have to research wine pairings or stand in the wine aisle wondering what to buy. Don't forget sparkling apple cider, water, and soda for the kids. To look at the easy blood orange bellini recipe, read more
Take the Quiz
If you watched last night's Top Chef you'll know who got kicked off, but do you know the little details? How well were you paying attention? Did you notice that Jill was wearing a sparkly pink shirt while grocery shopping? Or that Stefan complemented his hot dog with a horseradish sauce? To test your knowledge of the episode take my quiz!
How to Select the Right Turkey You may have perfected your Thanksgiving menu, but do you know how to choose the perfect bird to serve at your big feast? Have you figured out how big it should be? Do you know the difference between frozen and fresh? To help you select the right one, I've compiled a few tips.
While some people swear by canned cranberry, in my opinion, nothing beats a homemade variation. Making cranberry is incredibly easy. All you have to do is combine the components in a pot and simmer for 20 minutes. From jelly to gelatin, there are many ingredients that can be mixed with the cranberries.
In this recipe, plump dried cherries add a sweet tartness to the sauce, while fresh orange juice provides a nice acidity. When I was cooking it, I considered pureeing it in the food processor to make it smooth, but in the end, I decided the chunks of cranberry were necessary for a rich texture. To look at how I made it, read more
It's easy to get excited when the star of dinner — the Thanksgiving turkey — is done, but the key to a moist meal is to remain patient. Once you've tested the turkey with a thermometer and it's reached 160-165°F in the middle of the thigh, remove it from the oven and let the bird sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
There are several reasons for doing this. First, the temperature will continue to rise — in fact, by as much as 10°F — even after the resting bird's out of the oven. This will ensure your turkey is fully cooked.
In addition, while a turkey roasts, its juices tend to move away from the heat to the middle of the turkey. Cutting into the turkey immediately, therefore, will result in all of the juices running out.
Instead, focus your attention on the sides, and give the bird time for its juices to redistribute. Even the leanest parts of the turkey, such as its breast, will remain succulent. A juicy turkey is also significantly easier to carve than a dry one.
How long do you like to let your turkey rest? Do you have any other tips for keeping your turkey moist?
Impress the vegetarians in your life by taking the time to make this flavorful, hearty meal. Although it simmers for only about 45 minutes, the final dish has a depth and richness equal to something slow-cooked. The ingredient list includes mushrooms, cauliflower, onion, tomatoes, and bell peppers, but feel free to use the vegetables that your family enjoys eating.
To look at the recipe that would be delicious served with a chunk of crusty bread and a glass of red wine, read more
This year, consumers witnessed a lot of cost increases in food, so it's only natural that the price of Thanksgiving dinner has crept up, too. Agriculture experts estimate that Thanksgiving costs have risen by an average of six percent this year, and the American Farm Bureau, which conducts a Thanksgiving yearly survey, cited $44.61 as the average cost of a Thanksgiving for 10 in 2007.
I'm not surprised; in fact, I'm certain that I spend at least twice as much on my Thanksgiving dinner. How much do you plan to shell out?