What makes a better gift than DIY cocktail supplies? This kind of gift is cute, unique, and way more useful than another pair of hand-knit socks. Best of all, it’s surprisingly easy to make the components of one of my favorite cocktails, the Manhattan. Well, all of the components except for the rye whiskey. That one, I’ll leave to the experts.
Buttermilk somehow seems perpetually cool and unruffled. It evokes cream without cream’s over-the-top heft; its tanginess goes up to the threshold of yogurt and stops just shy. No matter how you cook it, a little bit of buttermilk has a thousand ways of making life taste better.
Halloween is over but Thanksgiving is on the horizon. Whether you carve your pumpkin or just use its meat for pie, don’t throw out those slimy pumpkin guts! In the spirit of conserving food waste roast the seeds to make a simple and tasty snack. Here are three simple ways to season and roast pumpkin seeds.
Megan Gordon gives her review of the new The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook along with their incredible recipe for Sweet Potato Pie.
And it’s also due to the fact that I now understand where Thousand Island dressing is coming from. There is nothing tropical about it. Its success can be traced to a thrifty 19th Century New York housewife, a famous stage actress accused of getting a little too hot and heavy with her co-star, and a hotel magnate whose most famous hotel gave its name to another salad.
I never thought I had an issue with cauliflower. In fact, I’ve always enjoyed it, whether puréed into a soup, roasted to a nutty brown, or dragged through a bit of ranch dressing that always seems to accompany store-bought party crudité platters. Any time it is put in front of me, there is a good chance I’ll eat it.
And yet I’ve never in my life cooked it. At least, not that I can remember.
I’d see it in the market, buy a head of the stuff and bring it home where it would just rot in my refrigerator, not so much forgotten as avoided.
I’ve gotten as far as placing one on my cutting board, but when I took out my 10″ chef’s knife, I paused, changed my mind at the last moment, and put the thing back into cold storage. For some reason, I just didn’t want to cut up a head of cauliflower. I never gave it much thought until a few months ago.
And then I remembered Ben.
It is my new food crush. Yuba can be pressed into blocks, cut into noodles, fried, eaten like sashimi, and God knows what else. Loving the texture as much as I do, I was even tempted to paper my kitchen walls with it, which would have been lovely for about a day, until it started to decompose. I look forward to playing with it some more, perhaps even making my own.
In China, where they’re known as yuan xiao or tang yuan, the dumplings are traditionally served during the Lantern Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month. During an especially important season, the festival comes on the first full moon of the new year and marks the end of the new year festivities. Here in San Francisco, this is typically the time when the Chinese New Year parade winds its way up the streets of Chinatown.
Tapenade. I’ve been an enormous fan of it for years, since I discovered that it satisfies not only my near-constant hunger for salt, but allows me to honor my ancestors without having to try too hard. It’s a flavorful homage with a sharp, French twist, which suits me just fine. It is earthy and basic. Any sort of tarting up should be avoided.
I don’t much feel like being clever today. My thoughts are 3,286 miles away in Port-au-Prince– a city I have yet to visit.
Perhaps it is the fact that I live in a city that has been devastated by earthquakes in the past and will be, undoubtably, devastated again that the earthquake in Haiti has taken up so much of my attention. The thought of those people I love most in the world killed, or trapped alive by fallen concrete and steel is something I wonder if I would have the strength to bear.
Fortunately for us, we have strict earthquake-driven building codes. We have support and money and infrastructure– what little of that the people of Port-au-Prince had is destroyed or severely crippled.
Haitians need food, they need shelter, they need clothes, and they need medicine.
And, no matter what Mr. Limbaugh says, they need our sympathy and our money.
As we were all gathered around the coffee table chatting, I asked my friend Rebecca what she had been up to.
She told us she had recently worked some swank party for 500 or so guests that had employed some 80 chefs, Rebecca being one of them. Apparently, it was so swank that she was not allowed to specify names or locations. What she did mention, however, was that she was in charge of making fritto misto for all 500 guests. In other words, fried seafood platters for the entire population of Dow City, Iowa.
“Wow. five hundred?” I asked, “How many bags of Fritos did you go through?”
This winter, one of my several drinks of choice is a nod of solidarity with my half-frozen Swedish brothers and sisters– glögg. It’s festive without trying too hard, it’s simple to make in large batches, it’s warm, it’s delicious, and, with the help of a little brandy, it really helps take the edge off the Holidays. And, of course, it’s just plain fun to say. If you’re not quite certain how to pronounce it, just sidle up to a Swede– they’re a friendly lot.
I have always had this thing for Southern people. I don’t know exactly what it is about them, but I tend to collect them much in the same way I collect Canadians and Edward Gorey first editions. Maybe it was my obsession with Gone with The Wind at age nine, or maybe it was the fact that, at the age of five, I insisted I was a Southerner because I was from Southern California and could argue that Anaheim was at approximately the same latitude as Atlanta, Georgia.. There are lots of reasons, really, but none of them are really very important.
To someone like me, who may have the bad fortune of having holes in his pockets, but the good fortune of having nothing burning anywhere near them, it makes sense to spend the Friday after Thanksgiving holed up in order to recover from the orgy of food, wine, friends, and family.