I looooove eating fresh pasta. It takes on the sauce or condiment in a totally different way, it cooks in a minute or two, and turns a basic meal into something plenty special.
But, I don't love, or even like, making fresh pasta at home. The traditional "well method" makes a huge mess, and dealing with the mile long pieces of pasta is really tough for a single person.
So, I'm totally in love with this super easy, totally-worth-your-time method:
There aren't many produce items to get excited about during the winter. Fresh corn is nowhere to be found, the tomatoes are abysmal, no spring freshness or autumnal earthiness. Just citrus shipped in from around the world, and a few pears.
Oh, but then there are pomegranates. Though they've certainly risen in trendiness the last few years, don't be fooled. They're truly a special fruit, and whether or not Oprah thinks they're cool, they're delicious and pretty versatile.
One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was Rick Bayless's new book, Fiesta at Rick's. And the very first recipe inside? Bacon and Tomato Guacamole.
Though you made not have thought of it, it certainly makes sense. The BLT is a classic, and salty bacon and creamy avocado are some of the staples of California cuisine.
So, last night, I tried it. And it's definitely better than I thought it would be. It doesn't just taste like regular guac with some crumbled bacon. The addition of the bacon makes the tomatoes, even crummy December tomatoes, stand out, and the use of canned chipotles is a welcome switch from fresh green chiles.
I actually don't think I like marshmallows. I mean, Lucky Charms are pretty good, and I don't mind a s'more once a year, but I say keep them away from my hot chocolate.
But, admittedly, I've never had real marshmallow. A light and fluffy, just-sweet-enough tasty treat whipped up at home. And looking at this recipe, I'm pretty sure I could be convinced otherwise.
Perhaps you'll be unwrapping a new iPad or iPod touch on Christmas morning. Maybe your gift to yourself was cutting the ties with your old carrier and nabbed a shiny new iPhone. Or, maybe your like me and just really like food.
Whatever the scenario, the App store is full of cool stuff to make your cooking more successful.
As much respect as I have for the handmade traditions of the past, old fashioned holiday candies don't do much for me. My family is famous among their friends for their peanut brittle, but I can't stand the stuff.
But these bright blue glittery twisties!? No, this is candy making I can get excited about! And even, better it's made in the microwave, so no fancy thermometers or dropping stuff in water needed.
I mostly hate party food. I mean, I like parties, and I love food, but somehow when I gather with others, all the options are sour cream and canned mushroom soup laden glops on my paper plate. And if I ever hear another person remark, "You put grape jelly in your meatballs!?!?" like it's some big secret, I may scream.
But not all is lost. Turns out, you can make tons of scrumptious, fresh, and (most importantly) edible finger foods. And by tons, I mean 101. The NYTime's Mark Bittman has created this master list on which you'll find stuff that'd be perfect for any upcoming Christmas or New Year's events, but worth keeping around to reference for a gathering in any season.
Sugar plums... Figgy pudding... A Dickens goose...
We all know these things exist, and have something to do with Christmas, but in the days of multl-flavored candy canes, pre-cooked hams, and eggnog from a carton, their actual meaning is beyond most contemporary celebrations. But we can guess a bit: we know sugar and plums, figs and pudding, geese.
But no old-school, carol-inspired foodstuff is more perplexing than that we know from:
Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green;Here we come a-wand'ring, so fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you, and to you your wassail too;And God bless you and send you a Happy New YearAnd God send you a Happy New Year.
So, WTF is wassail, and why would you ever want to make it? Well, here's a hint: it's beer! AND wine!
They say you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.
True, but you can get pretty close.
The Evil Mad Scientists have figured out a way to create an omelette inside the egg's shell with just a single tiny hole, or, as they say, "a culinary equivalent of the ship in a bottle."
I have no commentary, so just the facts:
A 20 lb. pig, stuffed with an 8 lb turkey, a 6 lb duck, a 4 lb chicken, a cornish hen, a quail, a bacon and croissant stuffing, held together with bacon and sausage glue, and a glaze of 6 lbs. of butter and Dr. Pepper.
79,046 calories, 6892 grams of fat
I *guess* I appreciate the ambition, but I'm more impressed that they got the cooking times and temperatures all figured out.
And what sort of gravy for this guy?
See it all in the video below:
It took me a couple of days, but I finally figured out what I'll be making for Thanksgiving.
For the first time, I'm veering away from trying to do the traditional items as best as possible. I grew up eating frozen Butterball, Stove Top stuffing, and perservative-laden green bean casserole Thanksgivings, so I spent my first two years on my own seeking to do the sage/celery heavy Thanksgiving as best as I could.
But this year, I'm ready for something else, and so I'm gonna embrace my beloved Mexican and Latin flavors and infuse them into the Thanksgiving classics.
Here's what I'm thinking:
Appetizers: Southwest Cheeseball and
I, myself, have never had a McRib sandwich, McDonald's limited run sandwich first introduced in 1981 but I certainly know it's cult-like following that has inspired sites like the McRib locator, and moves folks who would never otherwise go inside a McDonald's to make interstate pilgrimages.
It's currently in restaurants nationwide for the first time in sixteen years, but there soon come a time where it won't. And then what?
Why you make your own, of course.
Thanksgiving is now less than two weeks away, and while those of us behind ManMade are excitedly gathering recipes and decor ideas, we thought we'd use this format to offer another sort of round-up: some fantastic Thanksgiving cocktails. Whether you need them to deal with your family, want to find something to complement your favorite side dishes, or just want to live in a day-long toast to gratitude, there's no reason that wine should be the only beverage served alongside your spread this year.
So, we present a series of festive, fall cocktails that'll help make your meal a success, whether you overcook the turkey or not.
Everyone should learn how to make pizza at home. It's versatile, healthy, delicious, and relatively easy. You may never turn out anything as good as the pizzaiolos in Naples or New York, but making pizza that will delight your family and friends is within the reach of anyone with a few basic ingredients and a cooking scale.
I've been experimenting with different dough recipes and cooking techniques for about nine months now, and while I don't consider myself an expert, I've learned a few tricks and can now produce thin-crust, spongy-cornicione, nicely-charred pizzas.
What follows is my typical pizza process (I make this about once a
Having mastered homemade hard apple cider, I've been excited to try it in cooking and mixed into a cocktail. The best, by far, is the classic Snakebite, a blend of lager and cider with a dash of blackcurrant cordial.
We've said it before, and are proud to say it again: we love mini things, and we want them on sticks!
Add pizza to the equation, and we're completely done-for.
Super food crafter Meaghan Mountford shows you how to create tiny pizza pops, mounted on sticks and ready to go for a party, a trip, or just a very fun-filled Dexter marathon. Heck, if those creepy people hadn't freaked everyone out and it were legit to give away homemade food for Trick-or-Treat, we'd be whipping these up by the dozens for this weekend.
Sometimes, it's that one little bit of extra effort or inspiration that turns an ordinary project into something unbelievably awesome. In this case, two thoughtful additions - natural sticks and a bit of black food coloring, turn the fall classic-y candy apples into something straight terrifying.
A few weeks ago, I posted about my research into brewing hard apple cider at home and on the cheap. I continued to look into it, and promptly made a batch that just finished maturing. I tried the first bottle earlier this week...and, it's really good.
I used champagne yeast, which cost 74¢ and a $4.50 gallon of local, preservative-free apple cider, for which I got nearly a gallon of homemade hard cider. Lowballing it, I got 110oz for $5.25. Compare that to $8.99 (on sale) for a six-pack of Woodchuck (72 oz total) at my local grocery store.