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Archive for July, 2014

Summer Soiree: 5 Boozy Summer Coolers

Whether or not you’re on vacation, summer is prime time to kick back with a cocktail. These icy refreshers — with their lively colors and dynamic flavors — look like rays of sunshine.

1. Sex on the Beach: This grown-up fruit punch is brighter than sunflowers and zinnias in bloom. Melon and peach liqueurs and fresh-cut pineapple give this classic a taste of the season, ideal for sipping by the pool all summer long (pictured above).

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Circle K Japan Stuffs Onigiri With Bacon Cheeseburgers

Onigiri, to the uninitiated, is a popular Japanese snack that is usually comprised of a rice ball wrapped in seaweed and stuffed with something yummy (usually meat.) It’s the kind of thing that is sold at corner stores, so it makes perfect sense that one of the world’s biggest ‘corner store’ chains would offer up their own take on it. And what a take it is.

Circle K Japan just unleashed on the world their oddly named Bakudan Musubi Bacon Cheeseburger. It entails pieces of onigiri stuffed with the aforementioned bacon and cheeseburger. Just to add some more American awesomeness, it’s also stuffed with fried egg and mayonnaise.

If you happen to be in Japan, one of these Franken-snacks will set you back 298 yen or $2.92 in those wacky American dollars.

Hump Day Snack: S’mores Cheesecake

Few can resist the appeal of a luscious, hulking slice of cheesecake. But it can seem daunting in summer heat. Luckily, you can join today’s celebration of National Cheesecake Day with a creamy confection that also combines the flavors of summer by the campfire: S’mores Cheesecake. Graham crackers are key in both sweet treats, and this dessert takes cues from traditional cheesecake with a simple butter-and-graham-cracker-crumb crust that extends just barely up the sides of the cake. But where it really channels the ooey-gooey, richness of s’mores is in the filling. Made with cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, special dark cocoa and hot fudge, the cheesecake’s core has an intense chocolate flavor and a melty texture. With marshmallows baked inside and blanketed on the top, the finished cheesecake has a fire-toasted look and a thick, creamy center.

Finish off your National Cheesecake Day celebration with more of Cooking Channel’s favorites:

12 Savory Stone Fruit Recipes

While you can usually find stone fruits at the grocery store year-round, they don’t compare to the plump, in-season local beauties that arrive in late summer. These sweet, juicy peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots and cherries have ideal flavor and texture. They’re easy to throw onto ice cream or bake into pie, but you can do more than turn them into desserts. Here, find 12 savory recipes for stone fruit:

Apricots
Grilled Apricots with Goat Cheese: Grilling intensifies the sweetness of stone fruit while infusing them with a smoky flavor. Try it here filled with goat cheese and fresh herbs. (For more ideas, try Arugula Salad with Grilled Fruit or Crispy Duck with Plums and Apricots.)

Peaches
Savory Peach Chicken: Peaches give this quick chicken dinner a complex flavor (pictured above). (For more ideas, try Roasted Pork Loin with Peach BBQ Sauce or Peach and Fennel Salad.)

Nectarines
Bleu Cheese Nectarine Bruschetta: Again, simple ingredients come together with spectacular flavor for this starter.

Honey-Glazed Salmon with Spinach-Nectarine Salad: This recipe also features just-in-season corn, with potatoes and avocados.

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This Supermarket Uses Its Waste to Power Itself

It’s no secret that supermarkets waste a whole lot of food in their day to day operations. When dealing with that sheer volume of food, how could they not? Still, grocery stores are beginning to realize this is a problem and have come up with some novel solutions. Here is another one, brought to you by UK supermarket Sainsbury’s.

The popular chain has teamed up with waste management company Biffa to power their supermarkets using the food waste that would otherwise just head to the trash. The food waste, thanks to Biffa, is transformed into biogas and then that gas is used to power the stores. The process has been a success and, as of this writing, the company no longer sends any waste to landfill.

They are the first business to go all in on biogas for their power consumption needs and, hopefully, this is a trend that continues to catch on.

Dinner Rush! Honey-Bourbon Chicken + Herbed Salt Potatoes

Summer state fairs are a big deal in my stomping grounds of New York and New England. Concerts, ring tosses, red wine slushies (yes, they’re a thing) and the state’s finest butter sculptures — they’ve got it all. The best part, though, is the fair food. Footlong hot dogs and funnel cakes are fine, but the real jackpot is the salt potatoes.

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Sifted: Coconut Rice Pudding, Banh Mi Fries + More

Coconut Rice Pudding

Hot Links We’re Loving:

• Jasmine rice simmer in coconut milk to create this thick, dreamy Coconut Rice Pudding What’s Cooking Good Looking then finishes it off with roasted cherries and a cascade of roasted coconut.

• Sandwiches naturally go with fries, so it seems natural that a loaded banh mi sandwich would be just as palatable reinvented as i am a food blog‘s Banh Mi Fries. Top matchstick-thin fries with Chinese barbecued pork, pickled daikons and carrots, jalapeno, cilantro and a squirt of sriracha.

• Next time you have fresh, juicy strawberries on your hands, swaddle them in a lightly sweet, diaphanous homemade crêpe. Sweet Crêpes, courtesy of Herriott Grace, are the perfect way to put your market haul to use, especially when drizzled with some pure maple syrup.

• Using just one mixing bowl and a cast-iron skillet, The Earthen Table conjures a Blueberry Oat Cake that’s light and moist, not to mention vegan and gluten-free.

• What exactly adds the spice into these oozing Spiced Blackberry Hand Pies? In This Kitchen hits the fresh, fruity filling with cayenne to lay down some subtly sweet heat.

Craving More?

• Looking for more ways to add heat to your pies? Sugar Bakeshop’s Apple Green Chile Hand Pie gets a dose of spiciness from freshly roasted green chiles.

• On a rice pudding kick? CookingChannel.com has a treasure trove of rice pudding recipes.

G. Garvin’s Indiana Travel Tips

Bartender Jennifer pouring me a drink at Valley

Indiana is considered “The Crossroads of America” because of all the highways that run through it. It’s next door to a number of great states, but has some amazing attractions of its own. The farmland is beautiful and makes for some incredible restaurants. While Indianapolis is an awesome city, check out Valparaiso the next time you’re in the Chicago area. The food scene will surprise you.

Valley Kitchen and Bar
Valley Kitchen and Bar comes from a husband-and-wife team with a love for farming. I had a great time in their kitchen making their take on a chicken potpie. When you come here be open to their seasonal menu and enjoy trying different comfort dishes. Don’t forget to have a drink or two like the John Deere Margarita!

Wildflour Bakery
Abby Leetz took her catering business to another level and landed a great spot right downtown. She can bake anything and everything for her guests. I got a crash course in her croissant bread pudding and peach-raspberry crisp, and it was absolutely amazing. I can promise you’ll find something here for your sweet tooth.

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Seaweed Beer Now Exists to Fulfill All of Your Kelp-Based Ale Dreams

Beer can be made from a great many ingredients, including coffee, chocolate and, uh, even brains. However, until now, there has been no significant push to make beer out of seaweed. This is probably because people tend to view seaweed as that annoying stuff you get your foot stuck in at the beach and not a delicious ingredient for adult beverages. One Maine brewery sees things a bit differently.

The Marshall Wharf Brewing Company just released a new beer called Sea Belt. The brew starts with a fine Scotch ale and then, well, they throw in a bunch of dried kelp. Sixty pounds of seaweed goes into every 200 gallons of ale, which results in a saltier than average brew that may cause you to start quoting soliloquies about Moby Dick.

Of course, this company is no stranger to bizarre concoctions. Once a year they brew a batch of their infamous Pemaquid Oyster Stout which, surprise, is made from live oysters.

Meatless Monday: Smoked Panzanella

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of lifeEating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Sure this salad uses peak produce — cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, snap peas — but it’s the day-old bread that really gets top billing. Traditional recipes for this classic Tuscan dish call for soaking bread (in water or another liquid) before tossing it with other salad ingredients. Kelsey adds extra crunch and flavor to her dish by baking her cubed bread in the oven before combining it with the other ingredients. Smoked mozzarella lends just enough heft to this otherwise light meal — its rich taste subbing in for (completely unmissed) bacon. Best of all, this easy recipe can be made in minutes, so the only thing you’ll need to worry about is grabbing a fork and digging in.

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