This past year had the taste of nostalgia. From Taco Bell’s revival of Mexican pizza to McDonald’s “adult Happy Meals,” restaurants were promoting the past in 2022. Mexican Pizza was a permanent menu item until Irvine, California-based Taco Bell withdrew it in 2020. Fans clamored to get it back, inspiring a social media campaign that lasted for months and included influencers such as Doja Cat ...
Ten years ago, I drove upstate with my friends to go apple picking. We roasted the apples alongside root vegetables and showered it all with fresh dill, and I made a big pot of risotto for everyone. After dinner, we sat on the dock by a lake, drinking red wine out of Solo cups and watching the sun go down.
I didn’t grow up eating many casseroles, and the main event at my family’s holiday brunch was bagels and lox. So, the first time I encountered a breakfast casserole at a New Year’s Day shindig, I was dubious. Where was the Nova and whitefish salad? Or at least the coffee cake and French toast I associated with parties held before noon?
A whole genre of recipes rests on the premise of sneaking vegetables into food, usually to get children to unwittingly consume something healthy. Parents everywhere seem to be lacing brownies with pureed spinach or passing off mashed cauliflower as potato.
Every Christmas my Grandma Lela would make a cookie called biscochito. Biscochitos are the traditional cookie of New Mexico and have has Spanish roots (bizcocho). These are a shortbreadlike sugar cookie that are spiced with cinnamon and anise. They’re usually made with lard or shortening, but I am using unsalted butter for the recipe today.
Putting out a cheese board is one of the easiest, most fun ways to entertain (or, in my case, have lunch). If you’re going to the effort of choosing and buying the good stuff, you want to make sure you keep it at peak quality before you serve it, as well as after if you happen to have any leftovers.
A scarpetta, in Italian, is a small shoe. But it has another definition, which I prefer: The scrap of bread you drag over the bottom of a dish, to clean up any lingering swipes of sauce or soup. It’s a useful and delicious thing, a last bite that sings. And you’re going to want a scarpetta when you serve this recipe, a dish of creamy cannellini beans in a sage-infused tomato sauce.
Dec. 6—The esteemed Wine Spectator magazine apparently loves our reds from Columbia Valley. Three cabernet sauvignons from that region made the publication's top 100 wines in 2022 list. A local syrah and merlot also made the cut. The highest-rated Washington wine, according to the publication's judging panel, was the 2018 Columbia Valley cab from the cult brand Quilceda Creek Winery in ...
Of all the holiday gifts I’ve been lucky enough to receive, it’s the tasty homemade ones that stay in my memory. There were the shelf-stable bottles of batched cocktails ready for a quick stir with ice, the cookie boxes with gingerbread galore, the pleasingly sticky brittles and toffees, and all the festive chocolate bark.
My holiday baking is best summed up by my attempt at fulfilling a boyfriend's request for a gingerbread house. It cracked, it sagged, and it finally gave up and collapsed - much like the relationship. I tried my best, but ultimately, neither the baked goods nor the romance could be saved.The truth is, I want to be someone who bakes for the holidays, but I feel stymied. How can I bake when life is chaos? How can I bake when vanilla beans are so expensive? And how can I bake when no one will like what I've made anyway?So, instead, I'm that person who guiltily contributes a box of Trader Joe's best and hopes to sneak by unnoticed. Each year, I resolve that this season will be different, but this year I decided to make it happen. For inspiration, I gathered wisdom from several baking wizards.Cookie shirkers of the world, unite: Together, we can face unafraid the plans that we've made. Here are three common obstacles and how to get beyond them.- - -Obstacle No. 1: DisorganizationHowever full your calendar, it probably overflows during the holidays. Baking can feel like an unwelcome extra bit of insanity, but it doesn't have to. Sarah Jampel, recipe developer and test kitchen manager for King Arthur Baking, says that pre-measuring dry ingredients for your recipes cuts prep time significantly: "Just be sure to label the containers with contents and amounts so you don't mix them up."She also advises printing recipes and noting bake temperatures, times and pan sizes (or other required equipment, like cutters, sifters, mixers and thermometers) at the top of the page. "You'll avoid accidentally baking your cookies at too high of a temperature, you'll make sure you have all of the equipment you need, and you can make a list of [baking order], starting with the lower temperature bakes and working your way up," she said.Working ahead also can relieve holiday gridlock. "You can even start holiday baking [early] and freeze things," said Dorothy Kern, who blogs at Crazy for Crust. If you have storage space, you can make most cookie doughs and refrigerate or even freeze them. If you want to actually bake ahead and freeze, brownies and bar cookies are particularly good choices, Kern said.- - -Obstacle No. 2: ExpenseSugar and chocolate are pricey enough, but add in specialty ingredients and it could break your budget. That's why Dan Pelosi, food and lifestyle creator of GrossyPelosi, encourages the inexperienced to start with simple, well-tested recipes. "My Peanut Butter Blossoms use normal pantry ingredients, even for non-bakers," he said. "The hardest part is peeling the wrappers off the chocolate Kisses, and they are always the most popular cookies on the table."If you must have a pricey ingredient, Pelosi tries friends and family first, then encourages buying just the minimum. "Go to a bulk store and see if you can buy just the exact amount you need," he said. If you belong to a neighborhood Buy Nothing group or have friends to ask (the women in my local She Runs This Town are so helpful), see if someone has what you need and wouldn't mind offering up a bit - obviously, in exchange for some cookies.Paul Arguin and Chris Taylor, authors of the new "Fabulous Modern Cookies," support a well-placed swap of like for like, saving money and frazzle. "For example, macadamia nuts are delicious, but also very pricey. Substituting another type of nut, like cashews, is smart," Arguin said. "Will the cookie taste exactly the same? No, but if you're saving $10 per pound, it might be good enough."While essential ingredients, such as almond paste, are absolutes, Jampel pointed out that some ingredients can be skipped completely, if not subbed. "Check out the recipe's reviews for successful substitutions," she added.- - -Obstacle No. 3: Fear of failureUltimately, people like cookies and they're not going to blast you for your efforts (forgetting a dear friend who called the chocolate chip cookies I made for his birthday "a little dry"). "We see baking as a form of love," Taylor said. "If you are baking with love, it doesn't matter if your cookies end up a little misshapen or darker at the edges."They also mentioned that cookies are much easier to make the second time around, once you've done a trial batch. "If you have the time, budget and patience, you can remake anything you're not happy with."But if you're still feeling less than confident, Kern has the solution: Employ sweet camouflage. "Slap on some frosting and a generous amount of colorful sprinkles and no one will notice," she said."Release expectations of perfection," Pelosi said. "Let a mess happen. People can taste the energy that goes into what you are baking, so make sure it's delicious."If the mood stays light and sweet, the cookies will be the same.
The wheels of cheese justice might turn slowly, but they do grate on: A federal judge last week ruled that a lawsuit may continue by a woman suing because her bags of TGI Friday’s-branded “Mozzarella Sticks Snacks” contained no mozzarella, only cheddar.
Jambon beurre, meaning ham-butter, or just ham on buttered baguette, might be the quintessential French sandwich. It’s a staple for a picnic or a quick lunch with a tot of Beaujolais. And it sounds easy enough.
No matter how many cookie recipes I test, I always learn something, either from the recipe developers or from my own kitchen adventures. This year, I picked up even more from some of the new cookbooks that crossed my desk, including several very good ones devoted to cookies.
Making pie from scratch is no easy feat. It can be a time-consuming, messy affair, leaving both the kitchen and the cook dusted with flour. It’s an especially tough task if you’re also preparing the rest of the meal. And for those who find themselves with leftover dessert after a dinner party, the danger of food waste creeps in. Thankfully, I have good news: Many pies – baked or unbaked – freeze beautifully.