Archive for January, 2012

Grown-up S’mores

Smores Recipe

These sophisticated bite-size treats are a take on some of my favorite childhood flavors; they’re a combination of S’mores and a Mounds bar. Cinnamon graham cracker cookies are topped with milk chocolate ganache, candied pecans, sweet coconut and finished with an ethereal almond scented toasted meringue.

I get the meringue evenly toasted by using a blowtorch. You can use one from the hardware store or get a smaller one sold at kitchen stores for making crème brulee. It is one of my favorite kitchen tools.

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Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue

Photo: Roberto Ferdman

How can you make eating barbecue even better? Add unlimited beer and bourbon tastings, of course. At the Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue Festival that kicked off in New York City this past weekend, revelers ate their way through pulled pork sandwiches and classic collard greens while sucking down craft brews and whiskeys. New York City was just the first of an eight-stop tour that might be coming soon to a city near you. Check out what we chowed down on, below.

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13 Dishes, Perfected

Perfect Recipes

Get ready to get hungry: We’ve got a sneak peek of the 13 dishes that won their creators a spot on season two of The Perfect 3. From German chocolate cake with a hint of bourbon to vegan banana bread-French toast cupcakes, bacon lasagna to smokey turkey meatballs, it’s sure to be a delicious season. Tune in this May to see the winners in action and get the recipes!

Brunch Favorites:

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Meatless Monday: Macaroni and Four Cheeses

You won't believe there's a serving of vegetables in here.

There’s no way I’d be caught making a recipe that requires more than 10 minutes of prep time on a weeknight. When I get home from work, I eat really simple things like leftovers from the weekend, or easy-to-throw-together soups, salads and omelets.

But weekends are a different story. I like to cook up a storm on the weekends, eating and serving all kinds of fancy stuff on Saturdays and Sundays, usually big-batch recipes like casseroles and soups that I can refrigerate or freeze for busier days. Last night I made Ellie Krieger’s Macaroni and Four Cheeses (cheddar, jack, ricotta and Parmesan), which doesn’t actually take that long to make (43 minutes from start to finish) but it makes for good leftovers to take to lunch. It’s made with pureed butternut squash (use frozen or if you happen to have leftover roasted butternut, mash that up and put that in there) so you can feel good about getting a serving of vegetables with your mac and cheese — and it won’t taste all squashy, I swear — it’s creamy and cheesy with a crunchy top, just the way mac and cheese should be. The recipe calls for elbow macaroni; I like to use whole wheat elbows or small shells, but you can use whichever you prefer.

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A Food Hoarder’s Kitchen

Stuffed: Food Hoarders

Are you a food hoarder?  Food hoarding is defined by three basic characteristics:

  • Excessive acquisition of food
  • Inability to organize it
  • Extreme discomfort getting rid of it

This Sunday @ 8pm ET, join Cooking Channel for a glimpse into the world of people who can’t part with their food in Stuffed: Food Hoarders.

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Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Whole Wheat Raisin Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Whether it’s to fulfill our New Year’s resolutions or a matter of just wanting to comfortably fit into our favorite jeans, most of us want to eat healthier this time of year. But eating wholesome doesn’t have to mean giving up everything that tastes good or denying oneself every sweet treat. Life is meant to be savored and enjoyed, even when trying to get a little healthier.

Sometimes a more nutritious version of our typical sweet treat can be an even tastier alternative. For us, this cookie recipe is one of those instances: A Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.

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Cookbook Giveaway: Simple Asian Meals

Kick up the flavor of a familiar healthy eating standby with Ginger-Balsamic Salmon. Photograph by Romulo Yanes.

A craving for Asian takeout doesn’t have to mean the end of your healthy eating resolutions. With the new cookbook Simple Asian Meals: Irresistibly Satisfying and Healthy Dishes for the Busy Cook, Asian food expert Nina Simonds shares more than 100 easy, wholesome and healthy recipes for Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese favorites. From soups, stews and casseroles to stir-fried and grilled dishes, eating well will be easy with these vibrantly flavored Asian foods.

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Thirsty Thursday: A Beer and a Ball

A Beer and A Ball Cocktail

It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too.

Last week we shared a recipe for a Brown Butter Old Fashioned; this week we’re back and tipping our caps to the upcoming Super Bowl with a refreshing beer-based sip.

Throwing back a few cold ones is great and all, but pouring them over ice, along with grapefruit juice, Italian aperitifs and simple syrup instead? Now we’re talking. We call it the Beer and a Ball Cocktail, but don’t be surprised if you end up gravitating towards names like highly addictive and dangerously good. Bottoms up, folks.

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Light and Sweet: Pavlova for Dessert

Pavlova Recipe

Craving a decadent dessert, but still want to keep it light? It isn’t an impossible request. Pavlova is a sweet pillow of crisp meringue, topped with tart lemon curd and fresh berries. This low fat treat is full of bright flavors, so you’ll never miss the calories. You can even add a touch of bittersweet chocolate without giving up on your New Year’s Resolution. It is as lovely and elegant as the Russian ballerina it was named after.

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Top of the (Holiday Cookie) Swap

Graham Cookies Recipe

And we have a winner! We are pleased to announce that after testing and trying the top ten finalists in our Holiday Cookie Swap, we’ve determined whose cookie was Top of the Swap (drumroll, please…):

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