Posts for July 1st 2009
With its delightful dryness and light, fizzy body, it's easy to pledge your allegiance to Pommery POP Champagne ($11.99).
A stylish wine with a pale yellow color, POP has a floral nose, creamy mouth feel, and subtle citrus flavor. I like POP for its smooth drinkability; it's refreshing and tastes great on its own.
The French sparkler is perfect for everyday or commemorating a special occasion like the 4th of July — especially now that they've released an all-American bottle! Fill an ice bucket with a bunch of bottles for an instant festive centerpiece or bring a 4-pack to surprise your hostess.
Have you tasted POP? What did you think of this effervescent sparkler?
1 teaspoon sugar
3 sprigs mint
1.5 ounces light rum
- Put the sugar in a highball glass (or any 8- to 12-ounce glass), squeeze in the juice of 1/2 small lime, and toss in the squeezed lime shell.
- Add mint sprigs and muddle for a moment. Then add the light rum and handful of ice, and fill with chilled soda water.
Makes 1 drink.
2009 has been a rough year for casual dining, with many restaurant chains struggling to stay afloat. The solution proposed at Denny's? Become friends with the cool kids. Denny's, a 24-hour eating establishment with a reputation as a family road trip pit stop, is attempting to transform itself into an all-night hotspot for young adults.
With the onset of its Allnighter program last year, Denny's began its metamorphosis into a night-owl oasis, blasting rock and country from the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The company also started offering a Rockstar menu at night, hawking dishes like burritos designed by Good Charlotte and a country-fried steak combo created by Rascal Flatts.
The payoff has been meager with late night traffic increasing by only 5 percent. Still, the chain continues to promote its newly-minted image to college campuses, in hopes that schools will consider changing the names of existing locations to "Allnighter" and offer the restaurant's Rockstar menu. I haven't hit up a Denny's since my last road trip, but I'm curious to know if any of you have checked it out. Does the new late-night Denny's lounge seem to have an edge on the competition?
Photo by sun dazed
Scruffy, Fluffy, or Rover. No matter your pet’s name, they are the most important thing in your life. We spoil them, pamper them, and tote around pictures of our prized pets as if they were our children! So, who’s got the cutest pet?
Head on over to the “Which Pet Is Cuter?” faceoff game and you will be entered to win the ultimate PetSugar Prize Pack (cat or dogs) with PetSugar’s personal faves, including a 6-month supply of FRONTLINE® Plus, the vet’s #1 choice*. It kills fleas fast, plus their eggs and larvae—and even ticks. It's waterproof and just one dose lasts all month long.
We don’t care if you guess right or wrong, just play and you’re entered! You must be a TeamSugar member to win, click here to register now.
*Vet-dispensed; MDI Data.
®FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of Merial. ©2009 Merial Limited, Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. FLE09CNSUGAR3
You can do pretty much anything with the succulent, summery caprese salad concept, from caprese skewers to caprese nachos. So when heirloom tomatoes started showing up at my farmers market, I whipped up a sandwich featuring the classic combination of fresh basil and mozzarella cheese.
I'm almost embarrassed by how easy it is to make, but that's why this sandwich is perfect for the season. At just five minutes in the oven, it doesn't require slaving over a hot stove. Be sure the tomatoes are perfectly ripe; if you really love them, add an extra layer of tomatoes and cheese. Find out how to make it.
- For this year's Fourth, forgo the fire and reach for all-American fried chicken instead. — Washington Post
- Canadians are divided over the controversy of whether seal deserves a spot on the menu. — New York Times
- Exactly how does one define American cuisine? — Chicago Tribune
- What criteria to consider when seeking a wine enthusiast for a roommate. — San Francisco Chronicle
- New York's leading lady restaurateur shares tips for eating out without spending too much. — Wall Street Journal
- Do seasonal and local produce items surpass their organic counterparts in flavor? — Los Angeles Times
- Upside-down cake isn't solely for pineapples; its design works well on in-season strawberries. — Boston Globe
While one could easily serve red, white, and blue parfaits at a 4th of July party, I prefer to give guests a more all-American dessert — in the form of a crowd-pleasing cupcake. When I saw these adorably patriotic cupcakes in the current issue of Martha Stewart Living, I knew they would be on the menu at my Independence Day celebration.
The vanilla cake batter is dotted with fresh blueberries before being baked. Each individual cake is iced with fluffy seven-minute frosting and topped with a single plump raspberry. These pretty cakes are a light sweet treat, ideal for Summer entertaining. If you're interested in reading the recipe, do so after the break
3 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped, pods reserved for another use, or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
8 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 pints (3 cups) blueberries
34 raspberries (1/2 pint; about 1 1/3 cups)
Seven-Minute Frosting, recipe below
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with racks in middle and lower positions. Line 3 muffin tins* with 34 liners. Whisk together 3 cups flour, the baking powder, and salt.
- Beat butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and the vanilla until pale and fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
- Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk.
- Beat whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the whites into batter, then carefully fold in remaining whites.
- Gently toss blueberries with remaining 1/4 cup flour to coat. Gently fold floured blueberries into batter. Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners.
- Bake until cupcakes spring back when touched, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tins, and let cool completely on wire racks. Frost cupcakes and garnish each with a raspberry.
*Use a light-colored metal muffin tin for this recipe. Dark and nonstick tins retain too much heat and will cause the cupcakes to burn around the edges before cooking completely in the middle.
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2/3 cup water
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Heat 1 1/2 cups sugar, the corn syrup, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Raise heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Cook until syrup registers 235 degrees on a candy thermometer. Pour into a glass measuring cup.
- Meanwhile, beat whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Reduce to medium-low, and add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
- Pour syrup into whites in a slow, steady stream down the side of the bowl. Raise speed to medium-high. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately.
Makes 10 cups.