Last Fall, Kraft ran a Happy Sandwich video contest, where they asked customers to create 15-second commercials. The commercials all had the theme "Happy Sandwich" — which is a grilled Kraft slice cheese sandwich — and the entries ranged from really fun to downright weird. The 383 entries were then judged and rated until a winner was chosen. That winner is Chris Gianelloni from Metairie, Louisiana and in addition to winning $50,000, he'll proudly be able to see his surreal video on national television. In it a cheese sandwich puts himself into a tanning bed and gets all gooey. It's cute enough, but if I saw this commercial on TV I would definitely do a double take. To see it for yourself, read more
Posts for April 9th 2008
We've all been in crazy situations and I want to know how you handle entertaining fiascoes and bad restaurant behavior. I'll present a situation and you tell me what you would do. Here's this week's scenario: You're hosting an intimate dinner party for 12 of your friends. You've been planning for weeks and no detail is spared. The food is exquisitely prepared and a pitcher of cocktails waits to be poured. The house is immaculately clean and the mood enhanced by tons of glowing candles.
To promote mingling and conversation, you took the time to create a seating arrangement with place cards — separating those couples who are always together — so unacquainted guests can become new friends. Everyone arrives and the party is going fabulously until one of your girlfriends pulls you aside. She says,"I hope you don't mind, I moved some of the names on the table around so I can sit next to my boyfriend." What would you do?
To see what I did in this situation — true story, it's happened to me! — read more
One of my favorite wines at the SF Chronicle Wine Competition Tasting was the S3x 2006 Late Harvest White Riesling ($39). They say S3x stands for S three times — small, sweet sips — but I think there's a bit of a subliminal thing going on. Yet regardless of the name, it was one of the nicest dessert wines I've ever tasted. The odor was super fragrant, full of ripe peaches, and the taste was like little tiny little bubbles of candy.
It was the 2008 Sweepstakes winner and is a rare wine that is only produced when all the right pieces fall into place. One of those pieces being a natural mold called Botrytis cinerea (otherwise known as "noble rot"). But before you get skeeved out by the mold idea, let me tell you what it does. The mold weakens the grape skins and causes water to evaporate, creating crazy sweet juices. These juices then are turned into delicious wine.
If you're a fan of dessert wines — or are looking for one to try — then be sure to look this one up. I went back for a second tasting and can't wait to order a bottle of my own.
This year, award-winning Chef Roy Yamaguchi is celebrating 20 years of Roy's, his eponymous high-end restaurant chain. He's throwing himself a big party and is celebrating at his restaurants around the globe. I recently had a chance to talk with him, and he was such a delight! He has morning breakfast rituals with his son, and got into cooking to meet ladies! To find out more about Chef Roy, including what he thinks of the current celebrity-chef trends, read more
When it comes to American comfort foods, it's hard to beat the classic grilled cheese sandwich. Clearly, I'm not the only one who thinks so, since April is Grilled Cheese Month, and this Sunday is Grilled Cheese Day. For this week's 'wich, I decided to celebrate early with a tasty twist on the old favorite.
For this version, which features creamy mozzarella and salty fontina, I recommend choosing a multigrain or wheat bread that's just a tiny bit sweet. It makes the perfect enclosure to a fresh, but decadent combination of sweet strawberry tomatoes, basil, and honey. For the recipe and step-by-step photos, read more
Didn't you think last night's episode of Hell's Kitchen got off to a much better start than the first episode? The contestants had to dig through garbage, fillet, slice, and portion a whole halibut — finally something a chef really has to do, prep halibut! — and cook dinner service. For winning the halibut challenge, the boys got alone time with Ramsay on a yacht. To see my thoughts on the episode and discuss it at length, read more
- Watch out world, Moscow's gone molecular (gastronomy that is). — Wall Street Journal
- Celebrate Spring with a menu that shows off all the season has to offer. — San Francisco Chronicle
- As students' palates grow more sophisticated, colleges are making their dining halls more gourmet. — New York Times
- Meet Patti Moreno, the Garden Girl. I especially like her tip about growing your own mint. — CasaSugar
- Meet John Manfreda, the man who's trying to change the wine label. — Los Angeles Times
- What's that? You're complaining about the noise level in restaurants? — Washington Post
- Discover 15 ways to stretch your grocery dollar. — Dallas Morning News
To celebrate her new apartment, Fab and I are hosting a Sex and the City marathon. The entire menu is inspired by scenes from the show. Carrie and the gals are often seen enjoying cupcakes, so we'll serve mini ones. The cupcakes will be chocolate since Miranda ate chocolate cake from her garbage can.
Another Miranda scene inspires the second dessert, a chocolate chip cookie cake. To take a look at these sweet recipes, read more
When I moved out of my parents' house, one of the kitchen gadgets I missed the most was their salad spinner. I put salad spinner on the top of my to-buy list, but I never got around to finally purchasing one. I can't stand to live one more minute of my life without a salad spinner! Let's head off to market in search of superb salad spinners. Look for efficient spinners that are easy to clean. Avoid spinners that are too bulky for a small kitchen. Once found, save the spinners in the Yum Market on TeamSugar with the keyword tag, Salad Spinner. Good luck!
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