Posts for May 29th 2009
After being inspired by San Francisco Cocktail Week, I've decided that this Summer, I'm going to experiment with different spirits and mixers. First up is the Brazilian sugarcane rum known as cachaça. The caipirinha is the classic cocktail that features cachaça. Normally it consists of muddled lime and sugar, but this recipe takes a sangria-like approach to the drink and combines the potent rum with red wine, fresh citrus juice, and smashed blackberries.
The final concoction is punchy, flavorful, and wildly fruity. Be careful though: while this caipirinha is perfect for sipping on a warm afternoon, it's a deceptively potent cocktail. Enjoy one too many and you may end up passed out on the couch. The straightforward recipe is ideal for a party because it's easy to double (or triple as I did) the batch. It requires at least one hour of chill time, so mix it well before your event begins. Check out the recipe and read more
It's a widely accepted notion that healthy, fresh food costs more than prepackaged, processed junk food, and not without reason. After all, vine-ripened tomatoes at the supermarket will set you back a few bucks more than frozen taquitos.
But in the Times "Bitten" column today, Mark Bittman attempts to dispel this notion altogether. "You can cook less expensively than you can buy fast food, junk food, processed, packaged, and prepared food — and you can get enough sound calories to live better," he argues.
While dissenters maintain that food stamp recipients may not have the resources for future meals, the time to cook at home, and transportation to get to adequate grocery stores, Bittman believes that a mere $10 for basic cooking equipment, some dried rice and beans, and a bit of time spent while cleaning the house is all you need.
Although Bittman makes several valid points about the cost effectiveness of cooking at home, some of his arguments (like the part about cooking equipment costing $10) seem less feasible. Still, I appreciate his noble cause — and agree that we need to focus our attention on issues such as remedying urban food deserts. What's your take on healthy home cooking on a budget?
Modern society has widely embraced technology in every aspect of life, from music and shopping to reading and cooking. But have we gone too far? A recent New York Times article weighs in on the issue of texting, emailing, and tweeting while eating — something that etiquette expert Cindy Post Senning calls "texting anarchy." Marriage and family therapists also concur, citing texting while eating as an increasing complaint among couples in counseling. I'm no stranger to sending a text or two at the table, especially if my companion is in the restroom or on the phone as well. Still, I have to agree that this form of communication should probably stay away from the dinner table, unless it is necessary and relevant. What are your thoughts? Are you guilty of texting at the table?
Take a trip to the the streets of Buenos Aires with this quick grilled meal. Chimichurri is a wildly popular herb and oil condiment native to South America. Argentinians enjoy the simple sauce on everything from steak to grilled cheese. Here, it tops succulent charred chicken. The dish is finished off with green beans — they provide a snappy crunch — and fresh lemon juice adds a delightful tartness. To tantalize your taste buds with this uncomplicated yet rewarding meal, read more
With a few simple touches, you can transform an ordinary backyard into a chic setting for the perfect rehearsal dinner.
Start by placing tiki torches along the entryway and edge of the yard. Hang round lanterns from large tree branches and line low bushes with small twinkling Christmas lights. Cover the table with a pretty printed cloth. Place outdoor glass ice buckets in various locations throughout the space (this will create a flow and promote mingling). Fill the buckets with ice, beer, and wine, and let guests help themselves to the beverages.
Create customized napkins that say the bride and groom's names, but leave the wedding date off, so the napkins can be used at the rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, and any future parties the couple may host. For a romantic, welcoming glow, light lots of votives. Save the stunning floral arrangements for the wedding; instead opt for a single vase filled with fragrant flowers.
Last week when I spoke with Gail Simmons about weddings, I was blown away by her inspirational ideas. Although she may not come across as a green goddess when she's judging Top Chef, she's actually very eco-conscious. Having an environmentally friendly wedding was very important to her and her now-husband, Jeremy. To find out her suggestions for throwing an eco-chic event, read more
- Chinese noodles are a simple and delicious meal.— Cooking With Amy
- Costco is now accepting food stamps at two New York City locations. — Serious Eats
- A new movie, Fresh, puts the food industry into perspective. — Epicurious
- Should teens be taught more about alcohol? — Alcademics
- Don't miss this crazy video of the 2009 Cheese Roll. — Eat Me Daily
- Move over margarita, here's 10 other tequila cocktails to enjoy this Summer. — Chow
- The latest on the frozen yogurt front: the Pinkberry Fruit Parfait. — Eater
- Wouldn't you love to eat at this pork party for the ages? — The Feedbag