- Video: Jenna Lyons dishes on sequins, hidden talents, and Manolos
- Tips for keeping your laptop healthy and happy
- The tastiest way to touch our hearts
- Savvy ways to talk money in your relationship
- A recap from the first day of best of breed
- Five ways to make your morning routine faster
- How Matt Bomer and other gay stars have come out
- A sunny breakfast baby shower
- Dare to decorate with hot pink
- How to throw a Moneyball-themed Oscar party
- How Kate Upton stays healthy and fit
- The ultimate celebrity wedding slideshow!
- A printed bathroom makeover
Posts for February 14th 2012
. . . is through our stomachs. And touch our hearts you did. A big thank you to all of you who submitted delicious pink and red photos for last week's Valentine's Day Instagram challenge. These photos really helped us get into the spirit of Feb. 14, and we wanted to share five of our favorites with you.
There's no dessert that screams Valentine's Day more than a pot of bubbling chocolate fondue. To make your fondue experience super memorable, serve the melted chocolate with an exciting array of dippers. Think outside the box and offer chunks of bananas, toasted bread slices sprinkled with sea salt, or heart-shaped pound cake bites. For all of these great ideas and more delicious dipping suggestions, check out our video now!
If it's really true that 70 percent of women and men expect to get hot and heavy tonight, then dinner should have one mission: to make the two of you swoon. We've offered the lowdown on healthy foods that'll stimulate sex drives — but what foods do chefs put on the menu to help you get in the mood?
To find out, we turned to David Bazirgan, who's no stranger to sexy meals. As the executive chef at San Francisco's Fifth Floor Restaurant, he helps to set the standard for the city's relaxed fine dining atmosphere. To check out some of the ingredients that he elects to use on his Valentine's Day menus — and to hear what he calls the most "underrated" aphrodisiac, read more.
Yesterday, McDonald's said that it will require pork suppliers to stop using gestation crates, cages that keep individual sows in very close quarters while they're pregnant. McDonald's is one of the world's biggest buyers of pork, which is used to make bacon, ham, sausages, and McRib sandwiches.
No doubt, McDonald's is bowing to increased pressure from animal rights activists. PETA's fully supportive of the decision, as is the Humane Society, which calls it "important and promising."
The pork industry, on the other hand, is up in arms over the fast feeder's decision, defending the stalls as a "conventional" practice. Where do you stand? Since McDonald's is modifying its animal treatment practices, are you more likely to make a trip there?
- Learn how to make basic chocolate ganache truffles at home — Vegetarian Times
- Top 100 dishes from around the world — Foodspotting
- Do aphrodisiac foods really work? — The Kitchn
- Brace: Mission Chinese Food is coming to Manhattan — Grub Street NY
- Why gluten-free pasta's worth trying, regardless of your diet — Food Republic
- Must make: Korean-Chinese spicy noodle soup — The Daily Meal
- 5 free iPhone apps to help you impress your date — GeekSugar
I mentioned that I was going to attack one of my culinary fears head-on in the near future. Well, attack it I did and what's more, I came out alive, and covered in chocolate.I found a recipe from Emeril that seemed straightforward and simple, bought the ingredients, and said a little prayer. Surprisingly, this recipe came together very quickly, and with almost no problems at all. The only hitch was that I wasn't sure how much the soufflé batter this would make, so the ramekins I used were far too large and the soufflé didn't puff up over the edges like I'd hoped it would. It would have been better to use four smaller ramekins or two large ones. This recipe calls for Grand Marnier, which adds a nice bright orange flavor to the rich chocolate dessert. And when I say rich, I mean it. One spoon too many of this fluffy soufflé and you may find yourself with a chocolate headache — we've all been there. Egg whites that have been whipped into air account for the soft texture of a soufflé, and must be folded in carefully to the chocolate batter so as not to deflate them.
To make this recipe even easier, make the peanut butter filling up to 24 hours ahead of time, and freeze small quarter-sized balls that can easily be inserted into the center of each cupcake. This way, you can skip filling them with a pastry bag; the peanut butter center will defrost and melt as the cupcake cooks.
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
Peanut Butter hearts
1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy
1/4-1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and position 2 racks in the lower and middle third of the oven. Line 24 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
- Put the cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the boiling water and whisk until a smooth paste forms.
- Whisk in the buttermilk until combined. In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1 1/2 sticks of the butter with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then beat in the dry ingredients in 2 batches, alternating with the cocoa mixture.
- Carefully spoon the cupcake batter into the lined muffin cups, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are springy. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, beat the peanut butter with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter until creamy. Sift the confectioners' sugar into the bowl and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Spoon all but 3 tablespoons of the peanut butter filling into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch star tip. Holding a cupcake in your hand, plunge the tip into the top of the cake, pushing it about 3/4 inch deep. Gently squeeze the pastry bag to fill the cupcake, withdrawing it slowly as you squeeze; you will feel the cupcake expand slightly as you fill it. Scrape any filling from the top of the cupcake and repeat until all of the cupcakes are filled.
- In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Off the heat, add the semisweet chocolate to the cream and let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk the melted chocolate into the cream until smooth. Let the chocolate icing stand until slightly cooled and thickened, about 15 minutes. Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the icing, letting the excess drip back into the pan.
- Transfer the cupcakes to racks and let stand for 5 minutes. Dip the tops of the cupcakes again and transfer them to racks. Spoon the remaining 3 tablespoons of peanut butter filling into the pastry bag and pipe tiny rosettes on the tops of the cupcakes or prepare the peanut butter hearts by mixing the remaining peanut butter filling with confectioner's sugar and more peanut butter until a thick paste forms. Carefully roll or pat out the peanut butter paste and using a small heart-shaped cookie cutter or paring knife to shape heart toppers.
Makes 24 cupcakes.
- Desserts, Cupcakes
Did you know that February is National Hot Breakfast Month? It can be tough to get out of bed when it's cold outside, so stay cozy in cool temperatures by cooking up a steamy meal first thing in the morning. For fresh recipe ideas, check out these 10 hot breakfast dishes to give your chilly days a sizzling start.
We're always on the lookout for simple bean dips to whip up because they're great for parties and also for our weekday lunches at work. CheesePlease gives us a bright, flavorful option.Fresh basil brightens up this white bean dip. Supersimple, supergood.
P.S. The dip tastes amazing when you pair it with rosemary flatbread!