Posts for February 11th 2009
Worried about what wine to pour for Valentine's Day? Have I got the perfect bottle for you!
St. Francis Winery's 2005 Red blend is a spectacular wine at a shocking price. When I served this smooth-bodied wine to a girlfriend on Monday night, she guessed it was at least $25 a bottle. However, this succulent blend of five varietals — Merlot (58 percent), Syrah (25 percent), Cabernet Franc (9 percent), Cabernet Sauvignon (6 percent), and Zinfandel (2 percent) — is only $10. Produced in the Sonoma Valley, Red has a ripe fruit flavor, a spicy undertone, and robust aroma. It's wonderfully easy to drink and, since it's a table wine, it pairs with most foods from pizza to pasta to steak.
The modern, stylish labels (there are actually 12 different designs) were created by Jeffrey Caldewey, a renowned wine label designer. If you are looking or a great value wine, I highly recommend Red. Has anyone else tried it?
After an indulgent, romantic dinner, surprise your sweetie with a chocolate-strawberry treat. These individual cakes are easy to assemble and divine to eat. The batter requires no electronic mixer making this an ideal dessert for those who don't own one. After baking, the cooled cakes are topped with a layer of strawberry jam before being coated in chocolate ganache. A strawberry and chocolate-curl garnish is festive and uncomplicated. The best thing about this recipe is that it makes 12 cakes, so you and your honey can enjoy them all weekend long!
To look at this mouth-watering recipe, read more
If you're not cooking a romantic dinner for two this Valentine's Day, then give this strangely delicious sandwich a shot. Made with salty, creamy brie and dark chocolate, this panini is neither a full-on dessert or a savory entree, but the sticky, gooey results will have you licking your fingers anyway.
I've been curious to try this ever since PartySugar featured it on the menu of her wine and chocolate tasting, so I whipped up a batch on the panini press the other day. I had a lot of leftover dark chocolate from the holidays, so I used that rather than the semisweet chips, which sounded too sweet. To see how it turned out and to get the recipe, read more
- Meatloaf may be polarizing, but after trying these recipes and pairing tips, you'll be a supporter. — San Francisco Chronicle
- Is it possible to still be a locavore during Winter in New England? — Boston Globe
- Tough times like these call for unknown Italian wines in the $10 to $20 price range. — New York Times
- Words of wisdom on decorating cupcakes like a pro.— Houston Chronicle
- For Valentine's Day, opt for a menu that's fun, cheap, and, most importantly, focuses on love. — Chicago Tribune
- The only way to locate this taco truck is to follow it on Twitter. — Los Angeles Times
- What happens when avid foodies fall for those who aren't? — Washington Post
Last month, news broke that Kelly Choi would host the upcoming Top Chef spinoff, Top Chef: Masters. In a statement released this morning, Bravo has confirmed this as fact and also revealed the star lineup of judges for the new show.
Joining Choi on the judging panel will be former New York magazine restaurant critic Gael Greene, British food critic Jay Rayner, and Saveur editor-in-chief James Oseland. The culinary competition will follow the format of the original Top Chef series, but its contestants will be award-winning, widely known chefs, competing head to head for the title of Top Chef Master. As for the cheftestant lineup, The Feedbag has reported rumors of participating chefs.
Many have appeared on Top Chef as judges: Wylie Dufresne of WD-50, Scott Conant of Scarpetta, celebrity chef Todd English, and Michelle Bernstein of Michy's. Other possible competitors include seafood czar Rick Moonen, Hawaiian cuisine titan Roy Yamaguchi, Chris Lee of Aureole, Florida vet Norm Van Aken, Texas chef Tim Love, and possibly even Tom himself.
I'm getting excited about the lineup of both the judges and the rumored cheftestants. Do you feel the same way? Which chefs would you love to see on the show?
At the end of last month, Hershey announced plans to close the two Bay Area plants where both Scharffen Berger and Joseph Schmidt are produced. However, it assured customers that it would continue production of both brands and "maintain the highest quality standard for all artisan productions." A mere two weeks later — right before Valentine's Day, no less — Hershey seems to have had a change of heart: In a letter to customers, Joseph Schmidt confections tells customers that Easter will be its final season, and all remaining stock will be sold through June 30.
Based on its track record, this news doesn't surprise me. I was skeptical of the company's promise to keep the artisan brand's standards in the first place. It does sadden me, though. Do you think chocolate has taken a turn for the worse?
It seems like in every episode of 30 Minute Meals that I watch, Rachael Ray makes a comment about how she "always burns" things in the broiler. Although I've never actually seen her burn an item, she does seem like the type of person who could be prone to burning. I'm usually pretty good about not burning bread or bacon, but recently, when I made sloppy Joe's, I totally forgot about the buns! How about you? When was the last time you burned something? Is there one item you are more likely to burn than others?