Category Archives: Ramblings

‘Random stuff I’d like to make’ roundup: Valentine’s Day edition

‘Random stuff I’d like to make’ roundup: Valentine’s Day edition

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Remember that beef stew I talked about making two weeks ago in my new cast iron dutch oven? Yeah, we ate it all before I could photograph. It was darn good. Needless to say, I’ll be making it again soon, tweaking the recipe a bit and, of course, sharing it with all of you lovely people.

As for this amorous evening, I’m (well, “we are”) staying in. Why spend the money on dining out when you can whip up a heartfelt, gourmet meal at home? On the menu: Mexican-style braised beef short ribs over cheddar polenta and some sort of tasty green bean dish for a side (fresh ones, of course). As for dessert, I cheated and bought it from a secret supplier with the initials C.F. 😉

Here are some more fun and delicious-looking recipes and articles that have caught my eye this past week; both from the site I run and from some pretty sweet-looking foodie blogs.

Liquid love: Valentine’s Day cocktails to enhance your amorous efforts – Since tequila happens to be my aqua vitae of choice, here are some fabulous cocktail recipes with tequila as the star ingredient to enhance your amorous efforts — or drown your singleton sorrows in.

My Blue Valentine: The god of love’s role in the discovery of blue cheese – Did you know that the mischievous Ancient Roman deity, Cupid, is legend to be the reason we have blue cheese? Blame it on him and a couple of horny shepherds.

Score some points on Valentine’s Day with this strawberry “tiramisu” trifle – This Hallmark holiday is a great excuse to indulge your sweet tooth, and with this easy and elegant recipe you’ll be able to impress your special guest(s) with a swanky-looking final course that you spent practically no time preparing.

Top Chef Podcast – All-Stars Ep. 9: Funny business – Whether you watch the show or not, our review of it is top notch snark and an all-around good time. Listen to us (attempt to) recap this episode and the hilarity that ensues.
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Weekly ‘random stuff I’d like to make’ roundup

Weekly ‘random stuff I’d like to make’ roundup

Here are some more fun and delicious-looking recipes and articles that have caught my eye this past week; both from my site and from some pretty sweet-looking foodie blogs.

I have decided to finally put my fabulous new cast iron dutch oven to work. And what will be my inaugural dish? A take on this Beef Carbonnade stew from Epicurious with a few steps from The Joy of Cooking (a.k.a.: my favorite cookbook) thrown in. I’m using Fuller’s London Porter for the stewing liquid and adding a red bell pepper and potatoes to the rest of the veg in the stew. Stay tuned for pics and the recipe!

BabyCakes bakery in Downtown Disney: Vegan and gluten-free indulgence – My review of the new branch of NYC’s popular vegan bakery.

An unlikely pair: Cheese paired with coffee is a buzz for your taste buds – Our cheese guru, Kira, pairs different cheeses from various coffee blends from a local roaster. Be sure to check out her fab blog, Whey Cool Curds.

The Urban Daddy blog touts these Boozy Donuts, “warm donuts injected with some of your favorite cocktails.” Unfortunately, they can only be found at Flex Mussels in NYC and the recipe isn’t listed online. I smell a copycat recipe challenge.

Add to the ‘Want to Make’ list:

The Brazilian cocktail (Yum Sugar) – This South American-inspired drink is “one part healthy smoothie, one part fizzy spa cocktail.” And, no, it’s not named after the popular waxing technique.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Nachos (How Sweet Is Is) – If buffalo chicken dip and nachos had a baby, this would be that dish. And it would be delicious. Easy game day fare! …even if you’ll just be watching the Puppy Bowl next Sunday.
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Nat’l Peanut Butter Day, molecular gastronomy starter kit, lion tacos and more fun food news

Nat’l Peanut Butter Day, molecular gastronomy starter kit, lion tacos and more fun food news

First order of business: HAPPY NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER DAY! I can’t believe my day is almost over and I’ve just found out about this! But thanks to Tastespotting and their drool-worthy peanut butter recipe roundup, I have been informed and will be celebrating. Well, I did start my day with a dollop of natural peanut butter in my breakfast smoothie. Maybe I’ll finish off more of those Reese’s cups left over from Halloween. (They don’t have a shelf life, right?)

Ooh ooh, look what I found today: a Molecular Cuisine Starter Kit on ThinkGeek! Because “nouveau-cuisine is so last year.” It includes 5 different food additives (Sodium Alginate, Xantham Gum, etc.), fun little tools (and a syringe in case you don’t already have those lying around) and a DVD with recipe demos. Like Marcel on Top Chef All-Stars, you too can now make all the foam that your little heart desires. Watch the video trailer for it here. FYI: This will be added to my half birthday (April 30th) gift list.
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Random stuff I’d like to make roundup

Random stuff I’d like to make roundup

Here are some more fun and delicious-looking recipes I’ve found in the foodie blogosphere that caught my eye recently. Plus, they’re on some pretty sweet-looking foodie blogs that are worth visiting.

Stuff I’d like to make:

Apple-Infused Vodka (Boulder Locavore) – I’ve made fruit infused vodka — which is easy-peasy — and this apple vodka recipe looks fab. I’m going to use Galas because they’re the most perfect pommes.

Brie & Brisket Quesadillas with Mango Barbecue Sauce (Confections of a Foodie Bride) – I love every single element of this dish. Plus, I can put my slow cooker to work for this one (my new fave kitchen appliance).

Caramelized Onion Cornbread (Sweet Potato Soul) – Ooh, I never thought about putting caramelized onions in my cornbread! This would also go great with the above recipe.

Chocolate French Toast (La Mia Vita Dolce) – If you don’t like French toast and chocolate, there’s something wrong with you. (Unless you’re allergic to chocolate or wheat, then you have my pity.)

Maple-Bacon Kettle Corn (Brown Eyed Baker) – Um, hello? Bacon. And maple syrup. Together for one night only. ‘Nuff said.

The Nikki Heat Cocktail (The Pegu Blog) – I love a bit of heat in my cocktails (well, in pretty much everything) and this one looks pretty good.

Pork and Tomatillo Stew (Smells Like Home) – Because I love me some Mexican and Tex-Mex fare, this is right up my alley. I think this might be the first recipe I make in my new cast iron dutch oven!

The Retox Cocktail (Saveur) – Bourbon, maple syrup, bitters, lemon juice and cayenne. “An alcoholic version of the Master Cleanse diet.” Awesome.

Roasted Winter Squash with Cranberries, Pepitas and Honey-Lime Vinaigrette (The Perfect Pantry) – Colorful, simple and just plain delicious-looking.

Veggie and Parmesan Cake (WordFlux) – I have another confession to make: I love vegetables. And this colorful, savory cake has lots of them. It’d also be a good way to get some veggies in your kids (or your veggie-hating pals).

Food. Zombies. Two of my favorite things together at last!

Food. Zombies. Two of my favorite things together at last!

I found this while perusing the Zombify tumblr page which has some great zombie-related pics and videos.

What’s ironic is that I love food and I thoroughly enjoy zombie films, but I can rarely enjoy the two together, you know? Eating while watching a zombie tear apart an unwilling victim isn’t very appetizing (especially when you’re eating something red-colored or with with marinara sauce). But food as zombies, however, just makes me hungry. They’re not a threat to us as they’re vegetarians! 😉

New posts and random finds roundup

New posts and random finds roundup

Since I was too lazy (and busy working) today to come up with anything original today, I’ve decided to list some interesting and yummy-looking posts I’ve found today — and a few by me or my writers from the site I run and others I’ve found whilst perusing the foodie sites.

Cigar City Brewing invites local artists to design the 2011 Tocobaga Red Ale label – One of our fantabulous local brewing companies, Cigar City (who are also making quite a name for themselves), is taking design submissions for the label of one of their upcoming brews. The prize? $500 and a case of the beer!

SideBern’s Dean Hurst dishes on becoming a finalist for the 2010 Vinos De Jerez Cocktail Competition (and shares his recipe) – I talked to one of Tampa’s finest mixologists, Dean Hurst, about becoming a finalist in the national Sherry cocktail competition. He gives advice for newbie bartender/mixologists and even gives away his (not-so-secret) recipe. And from firsthand experience, the guy has a gift for creating cocktails.

Beer and film pairing: Harry and the Hendersons and Great Divide’s Espresso Oak Aged Yeti – Tom likes to pair beer and movies. Strange as it sounds, he does a great job at it. This one is a fun read and, after reading his review of the beer, I want some of that Great Divide Yeti beer!
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I has the sick: Comforting recipes to speed up recovery (if I could get off the couch to make them)

I has the sick: Comforting recipes to speed up recovery (if I could get off the couch to make them)

Since everyone and their mother, brother and step-uncle twice removed have been getting ill lately (and recycling the viruses), I, too, have finally succumbed to the sickness. Had a decent cold last week and was recovering until my boyfriend got sick again, thus passing it along to me and now I fear I may have the flu. (Yes, this makes for a riveting blog post, eh?) Anyway, enough of the whining and on to the actual reason for the post: sick food! (As in, food I’d like to eat when I’m sick; not food that looks gross or sickly.)

So I’ve been perusing the usual “food porn” databases and these recipes stood out as particularly heartwarming and delicious-looking. Now if I only had the gumption to get off the couch (cozily tucked under a blanket and sporting some fab mismatched PJs and fuzzy socks) and make these myself. Maybe I can con my boyfriend into cooking today…
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Culinary Piracy redux

Culinary Piracy redux

In an attempt to reboot my blog for the third time (or so), I’m trying to make a concerted effort to posting more regularly here. Why not, right? It’s my own uncensored forum where I can rant about things I’m normally not allowed to in the blogs I run for work (and use improper spelling and grammar!). Running three sites can’t be that hard.

I meant to start this on the first buuut…New Year’s Day hangover got in the way followed by a mini trip to Orlando and Disney the following day. Excuses aside, I’m back for some serious food blogging and Top Chef smack talkin’!
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Bayless, this one’s for you

Bayless, this one’s for you

rick_heartNow I don’t want to get all Fatal Attraction or Misery here, I just want to profess my deep adoration (professionally, of course) for Chef Rick Bayless and his amazing culinary prowess. He’s like the king of Mexican food in the U.S. (no relation to Taco Bell whatsoever) with magical powers bestowed upon him – and his soul patch- by the ancient Aztec gods.

In culinary school, when we were studying current famous chefs, I petitioned that Rick Bayless be added to the syllabus (I got my way, of course). I haven’t had the pleasure of eating at his restaurants – just watching him on TV – but his Frontera salsa they sell at Target is damn tasty!

I also want to let all of you know that he’s totally going to kick ass and win this season of Top Chef Masters. ‘Nuff said. Check out his Top Chef Masters blog: Root4Rick and be sure to listen to the latest Top Chef Masters Podcasts every week at CL Tampa!

So good luck this week, Rick! This one’s for you:
cookin

Top Chef Masters Podcast, Episode 4: “Magically Delicious”

Top Chef Masters Podcast, Episode 4: “Magically Delicious”

This week, we were again graced with the presence of Jeff Houck (The Stew), as well as the usual suspects: Taylor Eason, Stephen Hammill, and yours truly, Katie Machol.

Our cheftestants had to participate in another MacGyver-style (or MacGruber, as we like to think) elimination challenge: The One Armed Egg Challenge! (Not as dirty as it sounds, though Anita Lo used her teeth a lot.) We also finally get to see Doogie Howser (a.k.a.: Neil Patrick Harris) as a guest judge, along with Top Chef regular Gail Simmons, and a surprise visit from Tom Colicchio.

After much discussion and debate over the show and challenges presented, we asked ourselves this: Does Neil Patrick Harris’ love of magic make him less cool now?
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