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October 18th, 2009 No Comments

CakeWrecks.com

Today on NYTimes, read about this blog that chronicles cake catastrophes and the life of the author, who fully discloses she has absolutely no experience in the baking industry. She posts amateur, cute, and unusual designs as well (obviously shown above).  It doesn’t satisfy my sweet tooth, but I thought some of you bakers out there might get a kick out of it.

Author Jen Yates is on a book tour right now, signing hardcover copies of “Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong.”

Going Out For Greek

September 24th, 2009 No Comments

Going Out For Greek

Nothing says Greek to me like fresh feta cheese.  Yum!

During the summer, I use feta to make “Andy’s Summer Salad” but otherwise, I mostly enjoy it in the cold weather months.

Which leads me to thinking about Greek food…I don’t know much about the cuisine other than I like Greek salad and despise hummus (it’s a texture thing).

My past experiences with Greek dining have been at the famous Milos in midtown, and a more low-key  Uncle Nick’s in Hell’s kitchen.  Milos is “the” NYC Greek restaurant that offers “the” freshest fish (and “the” iciest atmosphere if you ask me). I found neither the fish nor the facade to be impressive and much preferred my experience (and bill) at Uncle Nick’s.  Many nights Nick’s is packed, but it’s worth walking past to stop in for a traditional, hearty meal after work. Obviously the Greek salad is amazing!

I have been meaning to try Kefi – one of New York’s not only notable Greek restaurants, but also best fine dining experiences. Started by the lovely Donatella Arpaia (of personal favorite mia dona and David Burke and Donatella), I have no doubt it will be impressive when I finally make it in.

Where are your favorite places to go for Greek? Do you have a recipe you love?

Did You Say dip my meat in cold water?

June 18th, 2009 No Comments

DELICIOUS DISH  - BASIC GRILLING (by Tim Love)

Here are the basic steps to grilling beef ribs if you’re new to the open flame:

  1. Light a grill. 
  2. Cut in between the bones to separate the rack into individual ribs. 
  3. Grill the ribs over moderate heat, turning, until crusty and sizzling, about 10 minutes. 
  4. Brush generously with the barbecue sauce and grill, turning, until deeply glazed, about 5 minutes longer. 
  5. Serve the ribs, passing the extra sauce on the side. 

As Scott from Salt Lick says on our TMI grilling episode, you can use any tomato-less bbq sauce with a high sugar content. If you’re not making the sauce yourself (Click here for Tom’s Sticky BBQ Beef Rib recipe), I highly suggest ordering the sauce from Salt Lick – it’s my all time favorite.

(Photo via Food+Wine)

It’s All About The Sauce

June 18th, 2009 No Comments

Just because you’re not going to make the brisket or ribs doesn’t mean you can’t spice up your meat with some southern sauce.

Salt Lick Original is hands down my favorite bbq sauce.  A very, I mean VERY close second is Goode Company’s Original.

Both make great (and affordable) gifts for people (not just men) who like to cook or grill.

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice – by Nutritionista

June 4th, 2009 1 Comment

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice – by Nutritionista 

Okay, really, this post is about one thing: SWEETNESS. What’s the best (read: healthiest) way to sweeten food and drink? I used to be a straight up Splenda addict. You couldn’t convince me there was anything wrong with that stuff. It has zero calories and tastes fine, what’s not to love?!

SPLENDA IN FACT ISN’T SPLENDID

Well, turns out, a lot of things. Splenda, and all other artificial sweeteners, are made with… drumroll please… CHEMICALS. They’re made from different chemicals, but chemicals just the same. NutraSweet and Equal are made from aspartame and Splenda is made from sucralose. It’s true that some studies have shown that artificial sweeteners are safe in small amounts, but why would you want to consume them when there are better options? Why risk it? Not to mention, artificial sweeteners have been linked pretty extensively to weight gain.

WHAT LIES BENEATH THE SWEET

Most of the other popular sweetening agents are composed of a combination of glucose and fructose (honey, agave, HFCS, etc.).Fructose is the main component in High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and presents a few problems. It’s been shown to induce obesity in mice, doesn’t provide the same level of satiety as glucose (meaning you’ll eat more of it), and raises blood triglyceride levels (markers for heart disease) higher than glucose. That’s why I pass on stuff with HFCS, though other seemingly natural sweeteners contain fructose as well.

GO AU NATURAL

It turns out that in the end, most of the non-artificial (caloric) sweetening options are all about the same in terms of effects on the body. I’m on the fence about Stevia, so I just stick to the stuff that’s as least processed as possible: regular sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc. (though all are processed to some extent). Sure, you might be getting a few extra calories, but you also know it’s not going to do anything weird to your body.

As far as I can tell, the least processed sweetening agent you can use is simply fruit or fruit juice. You can use 100% fruit juice to sweeten tea or other drinks or real fruit/fruit preserves to sweeten things like oatmeal and yogurt. Another thing I think we all need to do is get used to the way things taste when they’re not so saccharin sweet. Gradually cut back on sweeteners of all kinds and you won’t need things to have that sharp, sugary taste. Appreciate food for what it really tastes like! Plus, so many foods are naturally sweet (nuts, fruit, even veggies) that it’s easy to satisfy the craving without ever touching the sugar jar.

Sans Pot, Un Toaster Oven – AvecEric.com

May 21st, 2009 No Comments

Sans Pot, Un Toaster Oven – AvecEric.com

Thanks reader Kathleen for introducing me to “Get Toasted” - the new web cooking show with Eric Ripert (of Le Bernadin).  He makes delicious dishes using only a Cuisine Art toaster oven.  Super simple, I love it.

You know I have been afraid of cooking fish, but after watching this video, I might be preparing a different fillet every night.

(In this video, I love how he uses white pepper because he doesn’t want “leetle black dots on de feesh.” Hehe.)

When Hunger Strikes! — Full Bar

May 14th, 2009 No Comments

When Hunger Strikes! — Full Bar

Got a tinge of hunger before heading to the gym today and went into CVS to grab a bar. All they had were those over-processed protein bars with the exception of this one.

The Full Bar is puffed wheat held together by rice syrup with agave. Apparently it’s part of a whole weight loss system, but I was just looking for a quick bite. And that it was. With a glass of water the Full bar was just enough to satisfy my hunger and not weigh me down. I might grab another sometime.

Delicious Dish – Poppy Seed Dressing

May 14th, 2009 No Comments

With all of the salads you’ll be consuming to stay trim for bikini season, it’s natural to get tired of the same old dressings.  So here’s something different to try.

  • ½ c sugar
  • 1/3 tspn lemon juice
  • 2 tspn chopped onion
  • 1 tspn Dijon mustard
  • ½ tspn salt
  • 2/3 c oil
  • 1 Tbspn Poppyseed

Mix all, except oil and seeds, in blender or by hand.  Slowly add oil.  Add seeds. Blend.

A specialty of my ex’s mom.