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Archive for the ‘Craving’ Category

A Festive Garden Party Luncheon

It’s hard to stay in time this time of year, so take the party outside. Before the midday heat of full summer really hits, pull out your table and lawn chairs for a garden party luncheon. Whether you’re planning a lunch to celebrate a baby shower, birthday or just the fact that summer is (nearly) here, this French-inspired menu is just the thing:

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In 1 Minute, Learn How to Make Decadent Tiramisu

All these Mondays back at work are really cutting into our sitting-in-the-park-to-watch-the-flowers-bloom time. It’s unreasonable after that incorrigible winter. The reassuring news is that you need only 60 seconds to find out how to make Giada’s tongue- and mind-stimulating tiramisu. Drop a post-it note on the floor and watch this video while your boss bends down to pick it up. Then when she hands it back, write “I know how to make tiramisu” on it and wait for your promotion:

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Shawarma Gets the “Avengers” Stamp-of-Approval

Avengers
Shawarma, a Middle Eastern street food staple, makes a guest appearance in the recently released The Avengers movie. OK, it might not have a starring role, but Iron Man (a.k.a. Robert Downey Jr.) does crave some after a kick-ass battle scene.

“Have you ever tried shawarma?” Iron Man asks Captain America. “There’s a shawarma joint about two blocks from here. I don’t know what it is, but I want to try it.”

If you’re as mystified about the dish as he is, we’re here to fix that. We talked to the pros at Mina Restaurant in Chicago for the low-down on this must-try dish:

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Pulled Pork Nachos

Pulled Pork Nachos

Three ingredients were the key to my survival in college: tortilla chips, shredded cheddar and chunky salsa. Armed with a Chevron card borrowed from my father, I would charge anything and everything under the sun, except actual gasoline. My starving-student diet consisted of Dr. Pepper, chocolate milk, hot dogs, bologna and, yes, even “homemade” nachos. Hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

I’ve come a long way since those junk-food days (well, depending on who you ask), yet those trashy nachos still remain firmly rooted in my culinary arsenal. It often humors my boyfriend when I return home ravenous from a late night at work and immediately pull the chips from the cabinet. Even with a fridge full of more civilized ingredients, sometimes all a girl wants is something fattening and familiar. But before you judge, just think about your favorite nostalgic treats. Come on, I know there has to be a dirty secret lurking somewhere in your refrigerator.

Fortunately, I’ll spare you the “recipe” for that ol’ heat-and-eat mess. I’ve decided to give nachos the old college try, and I think even the haters out there will approve of this Southern-style update. Imagine slow-cooked pulled pork drizzled with sweet-and-tangy barbecue sauce and ladled with creamy cheddar. It’s finished off with cilantro-sour cream, pickled jalapenos and a sprinkling of queso fresco. Each of the components is delicious in its own right, but paired together you get something truly sublime. The only way these nachos could get any better is if they’re washed down with an ice-cold beer. And that, my friends, is how to earn a culinary diploma!

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Road Trip: Lobster Rolls

Luke's Lobster Roll Combo

Inspired (and envious) of Roberto’s lobster roll claw-off, where he tasted 18 of the country’s top lobster rolls, I decided to do a taste test of my own. Would Luke’s Lobster be the winner for this lobster lover as well? While I wasn’t able to drive to 18 eateries, I did hit up four of what are considered to be the best lobster roll establishments within a 120 mile drive of NYC: Luke’s Lobster, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Lobster Landing and Abbott’s Lobsters. And what better way to do a tasting comparison than jam pack it all into one incredible road trip? One (rainy) Sunday, two states and a whole heck of a lot of lobster.

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Unique Sweets, The Gilt City Tour!

Soft Serve

Kyotofu's Soft Serve

Craving a taste of the desserts you’ve seen on Unique Sweets? Here’s your chance to satisfy your sweet tooth: Gilt City and Cooking Channel have paired up to bring the show to life with the Unique Sweets Crawl in New York City hosted by pastry chef and Unique Sweets contributor Zac Young.

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International Biscuit Festival, Here We Come!

International Biscuit Festival

Bring on the biscuits.

This weekend, we’re heading down to the International Biscuit Festival in Knoxville, TN. This celebration of home-cooking centers on “the most perfect of foods,” the biscuit. It will truly be a biscuit lover’s heaven, with a biscuit breakfast, biscuit cook-off, biscuit boulevard and more. Here are just a few of the highlights:

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Carrot Cupcakes

Zoe Francois' Carrot Cupcakes

Often carrot cake can seem like a throw back to the ’70s, when they were dense and tasted ultimately too good for you. This updated version is moist, sweet and has a rich combination of spices that makes it one of the tastiest cakes ever. Adding a bit of orange and lemon zest to the smooth cream cheese icing brings out those bright flavors in the cake. I have served these cupcakes at every occasion, from picnics to weddings; it is even a terrific breakfast treat.

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Ready for Ramps

Ramps

Not long ago the appearance of asparagus announced that winter is over. But asparagus is now available year round in the supermarket, so for me it’s the arrival of ramps that tells me spring is here. Just last weekend I discovered bunches of these fragrant little plants at the Union Square Farmer’s Market and they’ll be around for the next four weeks.

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Girl Scout Cookie Season is Here

Girl Scout Cupcake

Samoa Cupcake from Bill's Burger Bar in NYC

Those familiar green and red boxes of Girl Scout cookies have begun popping up at offices, homes, and pop-up stores nationwide. And while not much tops a Thin Mint straight up (especially if it’s spent a little time in the freezer), we tracked down some upgraded takes on the familiar flavors of your favorite cookies.

At Bill’s Burger Bar in New York City, executive pastry Chef Elizabeth Katz created the Samoa cupcake, made with German chocolate cake, chocolate fudge filling, toasted coconut and garnished with an actual Samoa Girl Scout cookie (pictured above).

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