Posts for April 23rd 2009
I'm not going to lie; I'm looking forward to Cinco de Mayo for one true reason. So I can eat as much as I want of the cool, creamy, and spicy gastronomic delight known as seven-layer dip. And I'm not alone: the writers at Evite love seven-layer dip so much that they created a dessert version of it, with peanut butter, Nutella, marshmallows, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, salted peanuts, and gummy bears, to serve with Ritz crackers and Nilla wafers. Does this sweet-tooth version seem like something you could dig into?
To promote the book Change the World For Ten Bucks, which my sister is on the cover of, she is organizing a day of volunteerism. Since I'm unable to attend, I've offered to make her and the volunteers lunch. Besides bottled water, I plan on serving pink lemonade. Not the kind that comes from concentrate, but a refreshing and delicious variation that gets its vibrant hue from strawberries.
If you make this, take the time to juice the lemons — you can really taste the difference with fresh juice. For the recipe to this picnic classic, read more
During the last season of the Next Food Network Star, many of you thought perky blond Kelsey Nixon had serious star potential and were shocked when she got kicked off the show. But the spunky home chef assured readers she wouldn't be going anywhere when she announced she was getting her own show with Top Chef's Spike Mendelsohn on Food Network spinoff site Food2.
The enthusiastic contestant kept her word. Today, Kelsey & Spike Cook debuted on Food2's website with two episodes: one demo of easy-to-make steak and another featuring breakfast items. Unlike Food Network's other new show, 5 Ingredient Fix, I feel an instant connection with the duo — especially since we've gotten to know them on reality shows past.
They have a fun, lighthearted chemistry that holds my attention. Watch the video below and tell me what you think. Do you like the duo's dynamic? What do you think of the Food2 beta website and its other new shows?
Congratulations to Our SuperModelquin Spring Style-Off Contest Winners! Who knows where the SuperModelquins would be today without the savvy stylista skills of these Sugar network readers! Ashley Henley, Kate Westad, and Dana Eufrasio. All winners received a gift certificate for their Spring style essentials from Old Navy!
Like hearts of palm, capers have become a fixture in salad bars, smoked salmon spreads, and meat marinades. But besides their characteristically piquant flavor, what do we know about them? Capers have played a significant role in Mediterranean cuisine for thousands of years; early dishes have been traced back to before 3000 BC. These tiny green dots are the immature flower buds of a thorny, prickly bush that's widespread all over the Middle East and Mediterranean.
Processing the buds is labor-intensive, as they must be plucked at a specific point in the maturation process. The bud, which is generally flavorless when fresh, develops an intense, sharp flavor after the blossoms are sun-dried and brined in vinegar, salt, or wine. And while they range in size from 7 mm to the size of a small olive, smaller caper varieties are more aromatic and come with a higher price tag.
Are you astonished to hear that capers have been preserved for thousands of years? What are your favorite ways to enjoy them?
Named for the coastal California city, Monterey Jack cheese was first created by Franciscan friars in Monterey, CA, in the 1800s. Like cheddar, the cow's milk cheese is incredibly versatile. The most common kind is unaged, although aged or dry jacks are becoming more popular. The semisoft cheese has a mild flavor and good melting properties. Aged jack cheese is firmer and good for grating with a sharper flavor.
Jack cheese is often used in Tex-Mex cuisine, to see how I made these easy but tasty quesadillas that are perfect for Cinco de Mayo, read more
Earlier this week, candy collector Dylan Lauren — the fashionable founder of Dylan's Candy Bar and daughter of designer Ralph Lauren — offered some of her favorite ideas for making weddings a sweet occasion. We caught up with Lauren in person while she was in town at Neiman Marcus promoting her Barbie 50th Anniversary candy line. The candy entrepreneur took some time out of la dolce vita to talk to us about her favorite guilty pleasure and offer more suggestions for bringing candy into the party mix. Find out what they are when you read more
If you're a busy home cook, be sure to keep your pantry stocked with a good whole-wheat pasta. It's the ideal ingredient for rapid, but varied cuisine. You can mix it with everything from bacon and tomato sauce to veggies and cheese.
In this dish, whole-wheat linguine is tossed with peppery arugula and fresh edamame. It's a quick vegetarian meal that's healthy and delicious. To get the adaptable recipe, read more