Posts for May 28th 2009
A friend recently returned from South Korea bearing gifts. One of them was a bar of North Korean chocolate candy she'd picked up from the country's demilitarized border. In the manner of a Nestle Crunch bar, it was crispy and crumbly, with little taste of mushrooms at first. But a few minutes later, my mouth was filled with the distinct, earthy taste of shrooms — not terrible but certainly odd. I wish understood Korean so I could have deciphered the ingredients (any takers?), but the bar looked to be composed of corn flakes and pumpkin seeds, coated in mushroom-infused chocolate. Would you have been willing to try it?
At a rehearsal dinner, don't go overboard with the alcohol. The last thing you'll (whether you're the bride, maid of honor, or a guest) want to deal with on the big day is a hangover. Don't offer a full bar, instead tempt guests with one cocktail, beer, wine, and sodas. When making special toasts, sip sparkling wine. For Ronda's backyard soirée, I'm making a batch of limoncello spritzers with mint.
The light fizzy concoction is festive and fits with the relaxed Italian theme. This delightful cooler is a refreshing start to any Summer menu, so get the recipe now and read more
The battle between Europe's rosé wine producers and the European Union remains far from over. To oppose the EU's vote next month to allow rosé wine to be made by mixing red and white wines, rosé producers from France led the fight for a veto, in conjunction with other producers from neighboring countries.
France, which reported a 10 percent drop in wine sales this year, has joined forces with winemakers from Italy and Spain to oppose the legislation, to be voted on June 19. The trio represents the world's top three winemaking countries. "If the proposal goes forward, it will be the death of the sector," said Xavier de Volontat, president of France's General Association of Wine Production.
Rosé makers have the backing of French, Italian, and Greek governments, but to stand any chance of successfully blocking the vote, would also require the support of German and Spanish governments. Otherwise, the EU has proposed a compromise wherein old-method rosés would be labeled "traditional rosé." Since I'm against this legislation, it's my hope that other European countries come around. Where do you stand on this issue?
Entertaining at home is one of my favorite activities of all time, but as with all hobbies, it requires lots of thinking ahead and decision-making, from planning a prep schedule to coordinating the menu. In this series, I'll present a dish and ask you to share what you'd serve alongside it.
Here's the scenario: You're having some old friends over this weekend to soak up the Summer sun over a laid-back lunch in your backyard. You know the star course for your meal will be a Cuban sandwich, made with roast pork, ham, provolone cheese, and pickles, and spread with a layer of mustard. What would you feed your guests to accompany it? See what I'd make when you read more
A whole cow's milk cheese native to Southern Italy, provolone is now produced in other regions of the world. It has a mild flavor and semifirm texture. The cheese comes in various forms, ranging from a long salami-like shape to a squat-pear formation ideal for hanging. Provolone has a cream-colored rind and white to light-yellow interior. Most of it's aged two to three months, but some is aged up to a year. The older cheese has a deeper yellow color and more pronounced flavor. Provolone is a versatile cooking cheese because it is great for both melting and grating. To find out how I recently enjoyed it, hot off the grill, read more
Last year, a UK judge ruled that because Pringles contains less than 50 percent potato and is formed into an artificial shape, it's not a chip, and therefore isn't subject to the 15 percent country's value-added tax. But in a major defeat for Pringles parent company P&G, this ruling was overturned, and the corporation must fork over approximately £100 million, or $159 million, in taxes.
In the appeal, P&G's lawyers insisted that the snacks were not potato chips, citing the "uniform color" and arguing that its "regular shape" is "not found in nature." P&G also maintains that Pringles are only 42 percent potato, a fact I'm pretty taken aback by. The chips other ingredients include maltodextrin, dextrose, and wheat starch.
Are you surprised to hear about these ingredients? Do you consider Pringles to be chips?
Asparagus is the star ingredient in this delightful pasta dinner. Don't be afraid of the whole milk in the recipe, it's necessary to make the sauce thick and creamy.
Lemon zest, tarragon, and grainy mustard ensure that it's not overly rich but fresh and flavorful. Whole-wheat pasta adds another healthy and well-balanced dimension. For the vegetarian recipe, read more