Archive for the 'cookbook' Category

Here We Come A-Waffleing

Monday, June 14th, 2010

This weekend, while browsing through a department store home sale with a friend, we came upon a rack of on-sale specialty electrics – or what we quickly dubbed, “dust-collectors.”

You know what I’m talking about – the circus animal waffle iron, the mini donut maker, the cupcake maker! (Seriously…why wouldn’t you just use mini-cupcake tins??)

It got me thinking about some of the lesser used items in my own kitchen – the crème brulee torch, the deep fryer, and the Belgian waffle iron. I spent the evening trying to imagine ways to make use of these things beyond the obvious – ok, well, a few minutes at least – and I wasn’t coming up with much.

Then, I spotted a post from last week’s Tasting Table on the very subject (seriously, if you are not signed up for this newsletter, you should be!). My waffle iron being the most perplexing of the bunch, I was thrilled to find their recommendation for waffleizer.com, a blog dedicated to finding 30 new uses for a waffle iron, other than waffles.

Are there 30 uses, you ask? Try it as a panini press or a pizza oven, bake up cookies, muffins and pretzels, or even “fry” up some yummy hash browns. Waffleizer ventures into the sweet and savory – some closer than others to the waffle comfort zone.

Yet another reminder of how a little creativity in the kitchen, or the product development lab, can garner a whole new world of food and flavors!

Total Utilization at Home

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

A few months back I wrote about the comeback of head-to-tail eating. Inspired, but not quite so adventurous myself, I’ve attempted a little total utilization on my own, sans-animal innards.

More and more, I’ve been breathing new life into leftovers – not just reheating, but creating new meals from them. When recipes called for egg whites, I tried desperately to find something else to bake that would use the yolks. But a few weekends ago, my practiced methods came together like kismet!

On Mother’s Day weekend, I decided to bake an Angel Food Cake for mom – her favorite. My first, and successful, attempt (thank you Good Housekeeping cookbook!) used a dozen(!) egg whites. I sat the yolks aside, determined to find a use for them as I prepared my next concoction – limoncello.

Homemade Limoncello

The making of limoncello is a weeklong endeavor, and with a friend’s birthday the following weekend, it was time to peel the lemons to steep in grain alcohol for his homemade present. Of course, once the lemons are peeled, they must either be juiced and used immediately, or trashed. So, I juiced the lemons, initially with plans to freeze said juice, and again, set it aside.

With the cake baking, and the booze brewing, I flipped through my favorite cookbooks for an idea, and found the answer in my ever-trusty Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. Huzzah – lemon curd!! The recipe called for exactly 12 egg yolks (hooray) and a cup of lemon juice, along with lemon extract. With no lemon extract in site, I figured the 1¼ cups of lemon juice would suffice. It could not have turned out more perfect!!! For Mother’s Day, we indulged in Angel Food Cake with Lemon Curd…but my story is still not quite over.

The following weekend, while finishing the limoncello recipe and getting ready for the party, I realized I still had some residual lemon curd that needed to be consumed STAT! Well, I had just enough left, combined with exactly the amount needed of heavy whipping cream from my husband’s Tres Leches birthday cake (also from the week before), to make a Lemon Icebox Pie to bring along. Thank you again Magnolia Bakery!

Phew! Yeah, it was a lot of work. And while I realized why I probably hadn’t conducted a kitchen marathon such as this before, I felt such a sense of accomplishment and pride that not one ingredient went to waste in my refrigerator, and I made a lot of people happy.

How many books would a cookbook cook, if a cookbook could cook books.

Friday, March 6th, 2009

I’m a gal that loves my cookbooks. And I have more than a few, covering subjects from chicken to gelato, and chefs from Rachel Ray to Jamie Oliver.

And I’m not alone. Over the past 10 years, cookbook sales have doubled, driven by Food Network faves Paula Deen and Rachel Ray. And these days, those books that focus on comfort foods are topping shoppers’ lists.

So when I spotted this article from Restaurants & Institutions this week that announced some of spring’s newest releases, I was interested to see which were hitting trends in consumer behavior.

 

‘wichcraft: Craft a Sandwich into a Meal-and a Meal into a Sandwich (Clarkson Potter, March), by Tom Colicchio

I don’t know about you guys, but sandwiches have become a weekly cost-savings dinner in our household. Chicken salad and grilled cheese are getting a little old though – time for some new ideas!

Laguna Beach Farmer's Market
Creative Commons License photo credit: Island Life

Eating Well in Season: The Farmers’ Market Cookbook (Countryman Press, April), by Jessie Price and the editors of Eating Well

If you have not yet heard the term “locavore,” listen up. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the impact their choices are making on the environment. Not to mention the fact that locally grown produce can often be cheaper, and help support a farmer in your area. As a volunteer at my local farmers’ market, I can tell you that this movement is growing.

Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It: And Other Cooking Projects (Ten Speed Press, June), by Karen Solomon

Sales of basic ingredients are on the rise, as consumers cuts costs by spending a little extra time cooking from scratch.

 

Well, that’s just a few of the new offerings. Other topics include timely ethnic – Asian barbecue and Indian cuisine – which help consumers recreate that restaurant experience at home; recreating classic recipes; and molecular gastronomy.

Are you a fellow cookbook collector? Do you use them regularly? What’s your favorite or most used? I’d love to hear from you! (My personal favorite is the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook - best chocolate buttercream ever!)

David Michael & Co. • 10801 Decatur Road • Philadelphia, PA 19154 • 1-800-DM-FLAVORS

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