My dad makes Irish soda bread once every year and it always appears in the kitchen around St. Patrick's Day. Irish soda bread is a dense bread that is quite simple to make. This traditional recipe — it's from my Irish-born great-grandmother — includes caraway seeds and raisins. While you could leave these ingredients out, they are surprisingly delicious in the bread. It's an exceptional breakfast treat especially when lightly toasted and generously buttered. It would make a wonderful hostess gift or an accompaniment to Irish stew. To check out the recipe, read more
Posts for March 12th 2008
Call me old-fashioned, but I enjoy the little five-stick packs of gum. They're small and easy to carry, and apparently, on their way out. Yep, they're going the way of the dinosaur thanks to a new move by the Wrigley company. Instead of the simple five-stick rectangular packs, consumers will now be able to purchase sleek and slim envelopes of gum. The slimmer design is part of an effort to revive poor US sales. The packaging has been designed to attract teens and young adults — the folks who chew the most gum.
In addition to new packaging, they're also enhancing the flavors of their gum. The Doublemint, Juicy Fruit, Big Red, and Extra lines are all going to be reformulated to include "significant flavor improvements." They also plan on releasing a new line of gum called Fruit Sensations. The flavors will include Strawberry Banana, Berry Pearadise, Island Cooler, and Sweet Watermelon.
Meanwhile, their Orbit line — which is already slim packed and a hit with consumers — will also get a few new flavors including Sangria Fresca, Fabulous Fruitini, and Fruit Sorbet.
So tell me, do the new flavors interest you? How about the new packaging? Will it sway your gum-buying habits?
Isn't it funny when you learn about something new and then suddenly it's everywhere? That's exactly what happened to me a couple of weeks ago when I tasted this Milliaire Old Vine 2003 Carignane. Immediately I'm noticing it everywhere and I'm asking myself, how did I never notice it before?
I instantly enjoyed the intense flavor of this grape that I now recognize on wine lists. Although this varietal originated in Spain, this California-grown Carignane is robust with simple berry undertones. Made from vines that are 80-years-old, it has a gorgeous ruby color. I can't wait to get my hands on another bottle and suggest you do the same!
This time last year, I let you in on the microwaved Peeps secret. OK, it really wasn't much of a secret, but some of you were surprised by how much they expand. The microwave we tested them in didn't have a see-through screen, so the results weren't that easy to document. Luckily for everyone who's interested, I've found a group of folks who have a camera inside their microwave. If you want to see what happens when you put three little peeps in the microwave — it's tragic! — then watch the video, just read more
As I've mentioned before, one of my favorite sandwich shops in San Francisco is Estela's. The sandwiches are huge, fresh, relatively healthy, and easy to re-create at home. That said, I just couldn't resist bringing you one more sandwich from my recent Estela's excursion.
Unlike the vegetarian-friendly Carrot sandwich, today's 'Wich of the Week is designed with barbecue lovers in mind. Called the Smokey Sherm, it combines smoked turkey, smoked gouda, and barbecue sauce for a sandwich that's just slightly decadent but not too heavy. To find out how to make it, read more
- I love this trend: chefs are making things more personal by being the waiter, the sommelier, and the host, too. Plus, is it ethical to buy and sell restaurant reservations? — New York Times
- During the transition from Winter to Spring, soups and salads make great seasonal dinners. — San Francisco Chronicle
- Meet Dario Cecchini, the Italian meat maestro. — Los Angeles Times
- Learn more about Jennifer 8. Lee's The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, part memoir, part travelogue, and part cultural history. — Boston Globe
- Which kind of a wine drinker are you? One consultant hopes to demystify the world of wine tasting. — Washington Post
- Wonder what Katie Lee Joel is up to these days? Turns out she's cooking up a rock-star life. — Miami Herald
- Whether upscale, fast food, or made at home, sliders make mighty bites. — Dallas Morning News
Don't forget to provide guests with some sort of sweet at your St. Patrick's Day event. It's a party, so give the option of indulgence in the form of a dessert. These chocolate shots are great because they highlight the flavor of Bailey's Irish Cream, are gorgeous to look at, and are guaranteed to impress your guests. Even though they look complex, they are surprisingly easy to put together when you use packaged chocolate cups. The filling is a delicious mix of chocolate ganache, Baileys, and orange zest. To take a look at the recipe, read more
St. Patrick's Day requires green decorations so I've decided to add some splashes of green to my kitchen. Can you help me find green accessories? Dish towels, plates, tools — they can be green in color or environmentally green. Bookmark your finds in the Yum Market on TeamSugar with the keyword tag, Green Kitchen. I'm looking forward to seeing the accessories.
Read geeksugar's guide to bookmarking on TeamSugar to better understand how to use this fun feature.
To see a list of my favorite online shops, read more
Every year I always ask YumJimmy if he'll make a cake for my birthday, and every year he says someday.
I really thought this was going to be the year, but he had something else up his sleeve. Instead of a birthday cake, he decided to make me birthday doughnuts. The recipe comes from John T. Edge's book Donuts: An American Passion, and it whips up quite quickly. Sadly we were out of powdered sugar, but luckily we had some chocolate that was melted down for a quick glaze. Topped with a layer of hot pink sprinkles, this is one birthday treat to remember! If you want to check out the recipe for yourself — it was pretty easy, just give it a try! — read more