- Hottest onscreen shirtless moments of 2011!
- Get the bod: Victoria Beckham's lean legs
- Give the gift of homemade aquavit
- Secret Santa ideas for the beauty lover in your life
- Find out what made us feel nostalgic in 2011
- See the Beckham family's best photos of the year
- Sunny days: how to throw a Sesame Street-themed birthday
- Learn how to wear colored sequins this holiday season
- Use the Nutcracker to inspire your holiday decor
- Best job search tips of 2011 that will get you a job next year
- Bo brings a dose of holiday cheer to children
- Best of 2011: life lessons learned from Steve Jobs
- Create a festive, jeweled forest green manicure
- Video: Golden Globes nominees revealed — get the 3 big takeaways!
Posts for December 15th 2011
From Everyday Food
Goat-Cheese and Pistachio-Stuffed Dates
4 ounces soft goat cheese
3 tablespoons shelled, salted pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
Freshly ground pepper
8 plump, soft dried dates, pitted and halved lengthwise
- In a small bowl, combine cheese, 2 tablespoons pistachios, and 1 tablespoon chives until smooth. Season with pepper.
- Arrange dates, cut side up, on a platter. Using a resealable plastic bag with 1 inch cut off of one corner, pipe goat-cheese mixture onto each date half to cover, or simply spread with a butter knife.
- Garnish dates with remaining pistachios and more chives.
Makes 16, serves 8.
This is one of those salads that you can throw together depending on what your taste preferences are.
From Camilla Salem, YumSugar
French Lentil Salad
1-1/2 cups of French green lentils, rinsed
2 to 3 cups marble potatoes, quartered
3 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/3 cup of parsley, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large pot, cover lentils with water and cook until lentils are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Add more water during this process if necessary.
- In a steamer, steam quartered potatoes until tender. Set aside.
- In another pot, heat water until boiling. Blanch carrots for 30 seconds and remove before they get too soft. Set aside.
- Once lentils are soft, strain them and rinse them. Place in a large bowl with carrots, potatoes, onions, and parsley.
- In a small bowl, or glass measuring cup, add garlic, mustard, both oils, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and whisk until dressing is well mixed.
- Pour over warm salad, mix together well, and set aside to cool. Serve or place bowl in refrigerator over night for flavors to really come together.
I couldn't find dried orange peel at the store, so I simply shaved some peel off of an orange, dried it out in the oven, and then ground it up with a mortar and pestle. Delicious!
From Alton Brown
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried ground orange peel
1 pound pecan halves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
- Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Mix the salt, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and orange peel together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place the nuts in a 10-inch cast iron skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes until they just start to brown and smell toasted. Add the butter and stir until it melts. Add the spice mixture and stir to combine. Once combined, add both sugars and water, stirring until the mixture thickens and coats the nuts, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer the nuts to the prepared sheet pan and separate them with a fork or spatula. Allow the nuts to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage. Can be stored up to 3 weeks.
Makes 1 pound.
When the Scandinavian food trend hit tables this year, the answer dawned on me: aquavit! This time-honored Norwegian spirit — infused with the flavors of spices such as coriander, caraway, fennel, and dill seed — seems oh-so-festive for the holidays. Make a batch for your friends, then hoard a bottle for yourself! For full effect, serve it chilled in shot glasses with smoked salmon with dill, rye crackers, and other Nordic fare. Skål!
For years, I'd heard bits and pieces about a flavoring agent called Maggi Seasoning, but it wasn't until recently that I had a chance to see how it's put to use. You may not be familiar with the ingredient itself, but this dark, vegetable protein-based liquid is used to add oomph to scores of popular products worldwide.
Maggi (pronounced "maggie") looks a whole lot like soy sauce, but it's, in fact, not an Asian sauce at all: the sauce, now owned by Nestle, was invented in 1886 in, of all places, Switzerland, where it was originally used as a substitute for meat extract. Today, the European pantry staple is popular not only in Europe, but has also turned up in corners of the world like Mexico, Malaysia, and Brunei.
The formula, which consists of wheat gluten, water, salt, and wheat bran (among other things) is highly seasoned and therefore used sparingly, but it's commonly used to add a boost of flavor to everything from gravies and salad dressings to matzo balls and bánh mì. Have you ever cooked with Maggi seasoning?
Adapted from The Carnegie Deli
Matzo Ball Soup
1 pound chicken necks, backs, and wings
1/2 ounce chicken base, such as Better Than Bouillon
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1 small white onion, quartered
1/4 teaspoon Maggi Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon yellow food coloring (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
For matzo balls:
8 large eggs
1 cup liquid shortening or olive oil plus more for rolling matzo balls
Scant 1 cup water
4 cups matzo meal
1/4 teaspoon Maggi Seasoning
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Make consommé: Combine first four ingredients with 6 cups water. Add Maggi seasoning, food coloring, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 1 hour.
- Make the matzo balls: in a large bowl, mix the eggs, oil, water, matzo meal, Maggi, salt, and pepper until just incorporated.
- Oil hands, then, working as gently as possible, form round balls about the size of a billiard ball.
- Cook the matzo balls: Boil matzo balls in consommé until cooked through and soft, about 45 minutes.
- Divide matzo balls evenly between four bowls, allotting 2 matzo balls and 2 cups consommé per serving.
Adapted from Olive Oil: From Tree to Table by Peggy Knickerbocker
Roasted Red Peppers With Garlic and Olive Oil
4 pounds red bell peppers (about 8 medium)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon peppercorns
4 to 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
Mild extra-virgin olive oil
- Roast the peppers over the flame of a gas stove or in a broiler until the skins are blackened and blistered.
- Put them in a paper bag and roll it up tightly, or in a bowl, covered snugly with a kitchen towel. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin, cut in half lengthwise, and remove and discard the stem and seeds. Slice lengthwise into strips about 1/2 inch wide.
- Pack the peppers into a clean 1 1/2-pint jar, sprinkling peppercorns, garlic, salt, and oregano throughout.
- Pour in olive oil to cover completely. Cover rightly and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Makes about 3 cups.
You know how the song goes, "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire . . ." Well, in this case, they're roasting in an oven, but the whole thing's still wonderfully romantic and festive. Grab a bunch of them while you can at the grocery store, because these seasonal treats are fleeting!
If you've never tried a chestnut, be sure to peel away the fuzzy inner skin just below the outer shell. Scoring the chestnuts generously prior to roasting them will make this step a lot easier. The inside of a roasted chestnut is soft, warm, and sweet – exactly what the holidays are all about. For this incredibly easy recipe (so easy, it should be called a technique!), keep reading.
Every holiday season, all moms set out like supermoms to find the perfect present for the kids, ideally something that will bring the whole family together. Luckily this year the hunt will be a bit easier.
Introducing the uDraw GameTablet® for Wii™, PS3™, and Xbox 360®! Too good to be true? Nope! The uDraw GameTablet not only brings the family together (creating those wonderful family moments and memories) but also offers a variety of games to encourage family involvement and creativity from the kiddos. Bonus? The uDraw GameTablet is available on the big three gaming platforms: Wii™, Xbox 360®, and PS3™. Double bonus? The uDraw is super affordable. Now pat yourself on the back, you supermom, you!
Check out the uDraw here.