Here’s a few updates for this weeks Food News. Summer has been really busy, and I have a few posts to share that I will get up this week. Enjoy the links here, lots of fun stuff to share this week.
- If you missed the Master Chef cookalong, you can still watch a replay of the Google Hangout. They have the other hangouts linked on their page as well and you can use #masterchef to find it as well on google+.
- G-Free Foodie talks about the new FDA guidelines for gluten-free labeling. What does it mean to you?
- Would you try an Avocado Daiquiri? The California Avocado Commission has a recipe for it. What do you think, are you adventurous?
- Who is going to the Tri-State Food Expo in the Meadowlands? David Burke will make a special appearance Tuesday, October 1 at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, New Jersey (11:30am – noon). Anyone else?
- Sesame Street has a new DVD coming out in September called C is for Cooking. Look for it September 10, 2013.
- King Arthur Flour’s Baking Education Class Schedule for the fall is up. Scroll through the calendar to see if any classes that you’d like to take are available. There is also a Baker’s Harvest Conference/Festival September 5 – 7, 2013.
- Alter Eco is sponsoring a Quinoa Recipe Contest – it ends August 11th, 2013 so you only have a couple of days left. Maaeybe you’ll win a trip for two to Napa, CA. Enter the contest on the Facebook Page.
Just a few things on the list for this week. Enjoy!
- Don’t forget we’re giving away Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract.
- Mario Batali has a #howtoTuesday Youtube channel. Follow it for some great tips on cooking and preparing your favorite foods.
- Are you ready for Lyon in 2015? Apply to be part of Pastry Team USA.
Applications are opened until September 5th and the rules are attached below. The theme of the competition will be “Inventions”. Participants will chose either of the two categories: Sugar Centerpiece or Chocolate Centerpiece and everyone will have to present Entremet and Plated dessert for tasting.
- The Rockettes are celebrating Christmas in August at Radio City Music Hall with Santa Claus. They will unveil a Christmas Spectacular ice sculpture and hand out icy treats to fans in NYC from their Christmas Spectacular food truck and a double decker red Gray Line Bus.
The Rockettes have teamed up with popular New York City-based ice pop company, People’s Pops, to create a “Rox Pop,” a special cranberry-apple flavored ice pop inspired by the Rockettes and the Christmas Spectacular. The all-natural ice pops will be distributed for free to fans throughout the city on both a Christmas Spectacular-themed food truck and an iconic, red double decker Gray Line New York bus with the Rockettes at various locations, who will share their Christmas spirit. The Christmas Spectacular food truck will be the center of the New York summer snow storm as it blows snow throughout its journey around the city. Fans will be able to track the truck and the Gray Line New York bus’ times on Facebook at facebook.com/radiocitychristmas.
- King Arthur Flour has a bunch of great recipes for that zucchini you are growing in your garden.
- Sara Lee’s Sizzling Summer Sweepstakes- Enter via their Facebook Page. One winner every week will win a Charcoal Grill, a Visa Gift Card, Hotdogs, and Buns and a Sara Lee beach cooler with built in speakers.
- Spain’s Great Match 2013 takes place September 24th at New York City’s Metropolitan Pavilion. This event celebrates the wines, food and design of Spain.
- Jamaica’s reigning Chef of the Year Brian Lumley walked away with the coveted Caribbean Chef of the Year award at the recently concluded Taste of the Caribbean 2013 Culinary Showcase in Miami, Florida. This prestigious award is reserved only for the best in class in the field of Culinary Arts. Chef Lumley topped a field of ten elite chefs from across the Caribbean region, earning the only Gold medal awarded in the category group for a unique creation using beef.
- What I’m trying: We tried out some cool snacks. Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips- Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt and Erin’s Popcorn- Jalapeno and White Cheddar. Both of these snacks are new to the Tim’s Cascade snack line and are delicious additions.
- The Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt was a little different from other brands I’ve tried. It has the nice Kettle Style crisp chip, but along with the cracked pepper and sea salt you have onion and garlic powders added. My husband who is no longer able to eat regular chips because of the sodium took a small taste and though he loved loved loved cracked pepper and sea salt, this was just okay. He prefers the really harsh cracked pepper flavor without the added extras. On the other hand I can only take so much of the cracked pepper and sea salt because it burns my mouth, and this was delicious. I liked the garlicy flavor as did my daughter and we ate it up.
- The Jalepeno and White Cheddar I expected to burn my mouth because most snacks that start with the words Jalepeno are going to be hot, but these were garlicy again but you got the heat on the end. I had a hard time putting this down, I love white cheddar on popcorn and the heat at the end was good too, not very hot but enough to know it’s there.
Did you miss National Ice Cream Day (July 21) – which happens to fall in National Ice Cream Month(July). We definitely have ice cream on the 21st of July because it goes well with the cake my daughter has for her birthday.
I’ve been working with my new ice cream maker and I haven’t perfected it yet, but I’m getting there. Nielsen-Massey offered me a chance to try out their vanilla in a Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream recipe using Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract. Pure Vanilla is the way to go, that fake stuff is awful but Pure Vanilla is the real thing.
The ice cream came out soft, so I put it in the freezer to harden the last little bit and become more solid. It probably will be a little icy, but it tastes divine. The vanilla and coconut together are really good and make me think of a pina colada – it just needs a little pineapple. The only changeI made to the recipe is to refrigerate the mixture to a cooler temperature before putting it into the ice cream maker so that it freezes better.
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup caster sugar* (baker’s sugar)
- 1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 (13.5-ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk
- ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted (garnish)
- In a small bowl, whisk cream, sugar and vanilla extract until combined; set aside. Add coconut milk to a large glass measuring cup; add cream-sugar mixture and stir.
- Place in refridgerator for at least one hour.
- Assemble ice cream maker and pour ice cream mixture through filling hole. For the perfect ice-cream follow the manufacturer’s appliance directions.
- While ice cream is churning, toast the coconut. Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a small rimmed baking sheet, evenly spread coconut; place in oven and toast, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, as coconut will toast quickly.
- Cool and store until ready to use.
*If baker's sugar (caster sugar) is not readily available, add granulated sugar to a mini food processor bowl and pulse until sugar is a superfine, but not a powdery consistency. A coffee grinder also works for making superfine sugar.
Nielsen-Massey is also offering a bottle of Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract to one of Cookerati’s readers. If you’d like to see some of their recipes for their vanillas – take a look at Nielsen-Massey Vanillas Facebook Page.
How to Enter:
This contest will run through Midnight, EST Augus 1, 2013. US residents only.
Take a look at the Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Facebook Page and in the comments tell us what you would make with your Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla if you won either one of their recipes, or one of your own. (One Entry only)
1. Like the Cookerati Facebook Page - leave your facebook name in the comments and let us know.
2. Join our mailing list by submitting the form below and leave another comment below to tell us that you joined. (You will recieve the weekly RSS Feed Email, plus any special emails).
Maximum of three entries total. (One of each type.)
Disclosure: I was given a bottle of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla to review. My opinions are my own.
The topic of the origin of the graham cracker came about as my daughter and I were noshing on S’mores. My daughter brought the requisite graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows to a friend’s pre-4th party. As she was devouring she wondered about how the graham cracker came to be.
We researched online to find some fascinating information – all about the lowly graham.
Reverend Graham was a strict vegetarian who promoted his diet to his followers, but also believed that eating healthy would curb carnal urges. He was against white flour and believed that mustard and ketchup caused insanity (maybe it was the hfcs?), thought you should sleep on a really hard mattress and the window open every night. While some of these thoughts were a little on the odd side, he did believe in a really high fiber diet and promoted the use of homemade unsifted white flour instead of bleached, sifted white flour.
The official designer of the graham cracker is unknown though it is named after Rev. Graham. Originally they were made with the germ, the bran and the endosperm each individually ground and then recombined into flour. Ironically, Today’s graham cracker doesn’t resemble the high fiber crackers created over 100 years ago. Now it’s a snack and dessert cracker most famously known for S’mores or the crumbs used as the base in a cheesecake, not the healthy powerhouse it was originally intended to be.
Enjoy your summer – cookout – use awful marshmallows, chocolate and fake grahams – or go gourmet all the way and use the good chocolate, home made marshmallows and healthy grahams. Either way, it’s not summer without at least one cookout with S’mores, YUM!
Here are some links to read more about Reverend Graham and the cracker:
To help you with your homemade S’mores:
and one of my previous posts:Diana
Here’s a plethora of cocktails to serve at the 4th of July weekend celebrations. Since it’s a long weekend and we like variety, I have quite a few that were sent to me to try out. I can’t try them all, so you’ll have to help. Here are the recipes, and the pics – if you make one of the cocktails and find it to be delicious, give us a heads up. All of these recipes use a brand name alcohol, but can probably be swapped out with another brand if you can’t find the one you are looking for. Also, feel free to make it non-alcoholic and share it with us.
4th of July Raspberry White and Blueberry Farm to Table Cocktail
- 3oz Harvest Spirits Black Raspberry Vodka
- 1oz Tonic Water
- Splash of Cranberry Juice
Garnish with a Slice of Locally Grown Apples & Blueberries
Serve in Chilled Cocktail Glass
- 1/3 oz. Three Olives Cake Vodka
- 1/3 oz. Grenadine
- 1/3 oz. Blue Curacao
Layer in a shot glass!
- 2 parts Three Olives® TARTZ™ Vodka
- 2 parts club soda
- 2 parts lemon lime soda
Mix all ingredients together with ice & serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with a cherry
- 2 oz. Maestro Dobel Tequila
- ½ oz. Blue Curacao
- Splash Tonic
Shake Maestro Dobel Tequila and blue curacao with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Add tonic and garnish with a lemon wedge.
- 1 oz. Three-O Pomegranate Vodka
- 2 oz. Sparkling Wine
- Splash Pomegranate Juice
Combine vodka and pomegranate juice in an ice-filled shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with sparkling wine or champagne . Garnish with a cherry
- 2 oz. Maestro Dobel Tequila
- 1/2 oz. agave nectar
- 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
Pour into an iced mixing glass. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Whiskey Cocktails from Alibi.
- 3 large, ripe strawberries, hulled
- 2 ounces Alibi American Whiskey
- 2 tsp simple syrup
Muddle strawberries in a shaker. Combine with Alibi, simple syrup and ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a mason jar; add ice. Garnish with mint leaves.
- 2 oz Alibi American Whiskey
- 1 egg white
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Crack an egg and separate the egg white from the yolk. Combine with Alibi American Whiskey, lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker without ice. Dry shake vigorously until the liquid is white and foamy. Add ice, and shake again until the mixture is cold. Pour into a mason jar; add ice.
- 2 oz Alibi American Whiskey
- 5 blueberries
- I ounce fresh-squeeze lemon juice
- 2 tsp agave syrup
- 4 Mint leaves
Muddle blueberries and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker. Fill halfway with ice and combine with Alibi and simple syrup. Cover and shake vigorously.
Strain into a mason jar; add ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Here are some of our previously posted Red White and Blue Cocktails.
I was away on vacation this past week, hiking the Adirondacks, visiting my family in the north east and enjoying time with my husband for our anniversary. I’m going to do a write up on a few cool places to eat in Wilmington, NY soon. I have a few cool things to share this week. I hope everyone enjoys their 4th of July celebrations. We are lucky to be part of such a great nation.
- The Kitchn has a great round up of tips and tutorials for making the best cold brew for that iced coffee.
- I found Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home right now for only 2.51 – the Kindle version. Such a great deal that I bought one for myself. I love Jeni’s and I have an ice cream maker to try out. (This does go through my affiliate link.) If you go to the link, you can also have a good look at the preview with the recipe for the base she uses. This really is a good deal.
- Spark people is giving out great ideas for tomatoes – plenty to use for that 4th of July gathering.
- Are wine corks compostable? According to Compostbin.org they most certainly are.
- Project Gutenberg is a site I’ve gone to for the classics – and books my kids needed for college and high school. Not textbooks, but required reading novels, etc. They also have a section on cookery with free ebooks for you and me.
- Steve Raichlen - The king of the barbecue and the guy who wrote the Barbecue Bible is holding a sweepstakes to win a really cool barbecue grilling set. Open until July 16th.
- If you need a coupon for Wholly Guacamole to take to your 4th of July party, their facebook site often has some available to be printed.
Happy 4th – Enjoy!!!
Very short list of news this week – Enjoy!
- Italian Dine Out week starts now in New York City with a Prix Fixe Menu of 26.00 for Lunch and 40.00 for dinner. It’s an Italian Restaurant Week hosted by the Italian Trade Commission. You can make a reservation through Open Table and go to Italianmade.com to keep up with the all of the details on Italian Dine Out.
- Great write up of tips for handling and storing eggs. http://www.fresh-eggs-daily.com/2012/06/handling-and-storing-eggs.html
Here are a few cool food news items for this week. Some are repeats from my facebook page. We’ve had a very busy week with a very ill dog this week, so I hope to have a little more time to find more new items for next week.
- Has anyone seen the Cooking Caravan in action? They are artists, entertainers and cooks who have put together food programs to teach kids about food, their flavors, preparation and where it came from. Check out their schedule of events in the Central Ohio area to get a look at what they do.
- The winners have been announced on Earth Balance’s Made Just Right site. You can view all of the winning recipes including Hannah Teson’s grand-prize winning recipe for Open-Faced White Cheddar Biscuits with Apples and Pecans! Kudos to Maiah Miller for winning the prize for submitting the most entries (I like that one – persistence).
- Don’t let food go bad, here is “Living Well: 11 Tips for Properly Freezing Produce” by DesignMom
- If you have a family recipe – THE FOOLPROOF FAMILY RECIPE!!! – that you think should be shared, you can submit that recipe to Gooseberry Patch and you may get your recipe and your name in one of their books.
Use the code FOOLPROOF when submitting recipes for this cookbook. We’ll keep an eye out for them!
- If you go to farm markets as frequently as I do, you probably don’t need these hints, if you are newer to the farm markets these hints will come in handy: 4 Questions You Should Never Ask At A Farm Market.
- Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me tries a rogue Wendy’s burger with nine patties in “Sandwich Monday: The Wendy’s T-Rex Burger(RIP)“. Did they enjoy it? Read and find out.
Everyone has a few tried and true favorite BBQ dishes they cook up for a party or bring to share. My tortellini salad is one of my Barbecue staples.
Before I share the recipe, I want to discuss pasta salad fails. These are, in my opinion, common pasta salad mistakes:
- Pasta is way too al dente. It’s one thing if it’s being served hot and will cook to perfection once sauce is added. It’s a whole other story to under cook. Hint: Pasta should not be crunchy.
- Pasta is too soft: Pasta shouldn’t be mushy, it should be firm. When boiling pasta remove when it just starts floating to the surface. For a pasta salad, rinse with cold water to stop cooking. It should never bloat to three times its original size.
- Using cheap pasta: I’m a frugal gal, but I also believe we get what we pay for. Cheap pasta yields cheap results. If using tortelli or ravioli take care to buy a premium brand. Fresh pasta is the best.
- Mayonnaise: Mixing pasta with mayonnaise does not a pasta salad make. It’s just fattening, artery clogging, mayonaisy pasta that you’ll have to throw away after an hour of leaving out anyway. Use your imagination and stop mixing stuff with mayo and calling it salad.
So, keeping this in mind, let’s move along to the recipe. Note that I don’t have amounts listed – that’s because it’s a matter of preference. Some folks like more veg and less tortellini and some want subtlety. In any event, it’s in the eye of the beholder.
- Tortellini - For this one I used a mushroom tortellini which added a whole other level of yumminess.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Avocado - Cubed
- Artichoke hearts
- Black Olives
- Chopped garlic
- Mozzarella - If you didn't splurge for the premium mozzarella, then you may as well just use Velveeta. Fresh, homemade is the best.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cook pasta and toss with EVOO so it doesn't stick together. Add the rest of the good stuff and salt and pepper to taste. Chill, baby, chill.
Will you be trying this recipe? Tell us what you think – especially let us know what kind of modifications you made.