Posts for December 2nd 2008
Bûche de Noël
A Christmas cake native to France. Also known as a yule log, it is a filled, rolled sponge cake. To resemble a genuine yule log, the cake is then frosted on the outside with buttercream and finished with fresh berries, marzipan or meringue details, and powdered sugar to resemble snow. Originally, the yule log symbolized the hearth that families gathered around to celebrate the holidays.
With food festival season winding down for the year, there are certainly fewer events this month. Still, if you look hard enough, you can find a few gems, like the International Tamale Festival in Indio, CA, or Sonoma Valley's Blessing of the Olives. Or, enjoy one of the many holiday wine events, where perhaps you can find that perfect pairing for your holiday dinner.
Notice anything we've left out? If so, please feel free to chime in with your comments below!
- Yosemite, CA: Vintners' Holidays 2008 — Dec. 2-3
- Portland, OR: Holiday Ale Festival — Dec. 3-7
- Mobile, AL: Gulf Coast Antiques Food and Wine Festival — Dec. 5-7
- Fredericksburg, TX: Holiday Wine Trail — Dec. 5-7
- Indio, CA: Indio International Tamale Festival — Dec. 6-7
- Livermore, CA: Holidays in the Vineyards — Dec. 6-7
- New Paltz, NY: Wreath Fineries @ 10 Wineries — Dec. 6-7
- Sonoma, CA: Sonoma Valley Olive Festival & Tasting — Dec. 6
- Carmel, CA: Chateau St. Julien Holiday Spectacular — Dec. 7
- Ventura, CA: Holiday Street Festival — Dec. 7
- New Orleans, LA: Classic Holiday Tipples With Tony Abou-Ganim — Dec. 8
For the friend who lives for the backyard grill, there's no shortage of ideas. Indulge him in gadgets that do the grunt work, like this electric vacuum marinator, or give him the chance to sample new flavors with applewood planks and citrus rosemary skewers. He can finish his signature dish with a monogrammed flourish. And when that grilled steak is ready to eat, your gifts will keep on giving.
Want more gift ideas? Browse the selection below or check out all the gift guides on HolidaySugar.
Win the $1,000 Perfect Holiday Table Giveaway! We all need a little help when it comes to holiday entertaining and decorating, and one of CasaSugar's favorite home stores, west elm, has come to the rescue with a great holiday giveaway. Enter to win your choice of table, chairs, tableware, vases, and more to create a gorgeous tablescape worth $1,000.
I've invited some friends over this Friday for a holiday cocktail party. Since everyone (including moi!) will be attending a jewelry sample sale before, the snacks must be prepared in advance. Crostini with lentil and green olive spread can be made the night before the party. My dad will bake the brie with mango chutney twenty minutes before we arrive, so it's warm and gooey the second we walk in the door. A smoked salmon platter with dill sour cream waits chilled in the fridge and mini beef slider patties cook quickly.
To look at these recipes, which would be awesome for any holiday event, read more
Every year girls of many ages partake in a time-honored tradition: Girl Scout cookie sales. But this year, the joy that Girl Scout cookie season brings may be, well, a little bittersweet.
In the last half a decade, the Girl Scouts of the USA has faced membership decline, and the organization has brought in a consulting team for an image overhaul. The conclusion? Focus less on selling cookies.
Membership in the Girl Scouts fell by 250,000 in the last five years, according to a Time report, and cookie sales have been down as well. In a struggle to retain importance, the organization will shift its focus to areas such as technology and community service.
So if you see a cookie-buying opportunity, jump on it, for fear of fewer chances down the line. Personally, I will be creating a stash of Thin Mints and Caramel DeLites to last me through the year. Do you plan to stock up now? Are the Girl Scouts are making a wise move?
- Find out why crustaceans turn pink when cooked. — The Kitchn
- Take a virtual field trip to a tomato farm. — Chow
- Would you eat crispy fried chicken skins? — Serious Eats
- San Francisco says goodbye to the victory garden. — Eater SF
- Chocolate covered marshmallows are a delightful edible gift. — Baking Bites
- Love to entertain? Submit your holiday party ideas to win a $2,500 prize! — Hostess with the Mostess
- Epicurious predicts the top 10 food trends for 2009. — The Epi-Log
If you're looking to impress on a weeknight, then this seasonal entrée will certainly do the trick. The halibut takes on a French twist when it's served over a bed of sweet potatoes and lentils, and topped with mustard-tarragon sauce. Save a little extra sauce, whisk with olive oil and toss with fresh greens — et voilà! You've got a salad to add to the mix. Get the recipe when you read more