Posts for February 10th 2009
TeamSugar regular FinnLover is not only well-versed with the kitchen techniques — she's also full of innovative cooking ideas. I started salivating when I saw her latest creation, chicken breast that's stuffed with creamy blue cheese and tangy sun-dried tomatoes, then topped with a balsamic reduction. Stuffing chicken not only makes dinner more exciting, but it also transforms the relatively lean breast into a succulent cut of meat. This elegant dish would be perfect for a Valentine's Day dinner at home. To see her original recipe, read more
With romance in the air, why not spend time with your first two loves in life, food, and wine? Thankfully, there's no shortage of celebration for that this week, with numerous wine and food festivities around the country. Right now, I'm pondering a date-night cooking class — a fun date and an ideal way to get him cooking.
If we've left anything off our list, feel free to chime in below!
- Miami, FL: Miami Spice — Feb. 10-12
- San Francisco, CA: SF Beer Week — Feb. 10-15
- New York, NY: NYC Restaurant Week — Feb. 10-27
- Delray Beach, FL: Delray Beach Garlic Fest — Feb. 13-15
- Lansing, MI: Michigan Deer & Turkey Spectacular — Feb. 13-15
To see the rest, read more
Of all cities in America, New York is certainly one that's suffered severe economic blows — yet it has the highest cost of living in the country. To protect its diners from sky-high gratuities, the city's Department of Consumer Affairs has instituted a policy preventing parties under eight from being charged automatically for tip.
Big Apple blog Newyorkology set the record straight: New York restaurants may impose gratuities only for parties of eight or more. Even in those cases, the fee must be 15 percent or less, and diners must be forewarned with a listing on the establishment's menu in font that is 10 point or larger. Despite these strict guidelines, the New York Post uncovered a dozen restaurants that were breaking the local law; those violators are hit with fines ranging from $50 to $500.
In a city where a good percentage of the denizens make a living waiting tables, I can understand the pressure for higher gratuity. But I also feel that diners need to be protected against rising costs — if not, there won't be anyone dining out at all. What do you think about the predicament? When dining out with friends, do you mind getting a built-in service charge?
The fast food chain's latest advertising campaign, which first aired during this year's Super Bowl, depicts its fictitious CEO "Jack Box" character (yes, the one with the ping-pong head) being struck by a bus. Jack in the Box is now asking you to "show your support for Jack and enjoy some fries."
To land an order of free, medium-sized curly fries, simply print this coupon and present it at participating stores today. What do you think of the chain's new commercials — are they silly or smart?
During our girls Winter weekend, my sister made the most delicious corn cakes with spicy sausage for breakfast. Since we were feeding a crowd, it was necessary to heat the entire bottle of maple syrup.
While you can easily heat syrup in the microwave, the best way to heat syrup or ice cream toppings is in a pot of hot water. The temperature gradually increases and no burnt or caramelized crystals form.
Start by filling a large saucepan with water. Loosen the cap on the syrup and gently place the bottle in the water. Heat over medium-high heat, bring the water to a simmer, and warm the syrup. Keep an eye on it to ensure that it doesn't burn.
Got a tip for heating syrup? Please share with us below!
Enter DearSugar's "Let Love Rule" Giveaway! You don't have to be lucky in love this February; you just have to be lucky — to win DearSugar's Luxurious Valentine's Day Giveaway, that is! To help you celebrate this intimate holiday, we're giving away the perfect getaway and romance package — sponsored by Agent Provocateur, W Hotels, and Organic Flowers — to get you in the mood for love.
This Valentine's Day, serve your sweetheart a special dinner that features savory aphrodisiacs. Select a seductive menu that is filling, delicious, and romantic. Entice them with a French onion crostini starter. It's an appetizing variation of the popular soup. Next move onto a luxuriously creamy oyster soup. Fried leeks provide a crunchy texture and mild onion flavor. For the entree, sear thick steaks and top them with a rich blue-cheese butter. A crisp arugula and artichoke side salad with Sherry vinagerette completes the menu. For those of you with vegetarian lovers, simply omit the steak from the menu. All the single ladies should consider hosting a single gal soirée!
For the recipes to these indulgent, passion-inducing dishes, read more
Since Valentine's Day is a holiday that celebrates love, we decided to express our love for you readers — with a sweet giveaway! We've partnered with the fabulous folks at Williams-Sonoma® to put together the ultimate prize package. Get excited because you could soon be mixing up sweets for your sweetheart. We're giving away a KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer in Empire Red and all the wonderful accessories necessary for baking. There are Melamine Mixing Bowls and a set of Melamine measuring cups and spoons for precise measurements.
A set of Silicone Spatulas are perfect for stirring and smoothing the batter. With the Copper Cookie Cutter Heart Set you can make cookies that are too pretty to eat. Not the most experienced baker? No worries. With the Bouchon Mold and exclusive Bouchon Mix developed by Thomas Keller of French Laundry restaurant you can easily whip up delicious mini chocolate cakes. When it's time to clean up reach for Williams-Sonoma Logo Towels. All of these wonderful products come in Valentine red.
To enter to win this incredible prize, you must log in and take the quiz below. Your eligibility is not based on getting the answers correct, completing the quiz once you are logged in makes you eligible to win. You do, however, need to be a TeamSugar member before taking the quiz. If you're not already a member, register here for an account. One quiz entry per person, all repeat quizzes will be ignored.
The contest is open to US residents only and ends on Tuesday, February 10, at 1:00 p.m. PST. Click here for official rules. Good luck!Take the Quiz
While I enjoy homemade pizzas, I rarely think of whipping up calzones. However, the classic cousin to pizza is incredibly simple, quick, and satisfying to make. This recipe takes refrigerated pizza dough and stuffs it with ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses, fresh spinach, and thinly sliced salami. The marinara sauce is served on the side for dipping. Like pizza, the possible filling combinations are virtually endless, so adapt this recipe to suit your family's liking. It's a great way to use up leftover cheese, meat, and vegetables.
To learn the technique for making calzones, read more