When the kids go back to school, many of us return to the kitchen. Sure, we've cooked during the summer but when the school bell rings each fall, we seem to get more serious about schedules.
#CookClub recipe No. 23 is a Back-to-School Chicken Casserole that can be tailored to many tastes. I made it exactly as the accompanying recipe reads but as I was cooking, I thought of many ways to tinker....
Amy Kim — better known as Kimchi MOM on her blog — bought an ice cream maker at a yard sale a few years ago and finally dug it out to try her hand at homemade ice cream. Sound familiar?
She's had success even if she does stick to simple flavors, mostly vanilla and chocolate. Her recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Covered Potato Chips, which we are featuring as a #CookClub bonus, is inspired by Ben & Jerry's "Late Night Snack."...
Don't waste any time. Go out and get peaches while they are at their summer peak to make Grilled Peaches with Honey Cream, #CookClub recipe no. 22.
You may never serve another dessert the entire summer. It's that good.
Also, don't worry if you don't have a grill pan or outdoor grill. The peaches can be roasted in the oven, which is how I tested this recipe. It'll take a bit longer than the grill, but it's worth every minute....
In some circles, the number 13 is bad luck.
But for the Keeler elves and the many folks who enjoy cookies, we expect the Tampa Bay Times' 13th annual Christmas cookie issue to be the best one yet. After all, 13 is a baker's dozen, and that means there should be some extra treats this year.
Now for your part, because it's you, dear readers, who power this thing.
It's time to send in your favorite holiday cookie recipes for the baking-obsessed elves to test. Send as many recipes as you'd like — for bars, drops or cutouts; with nuts or without; iced, plain or sprinkled; gingerbread, peppermint or chocolate. The more we've got to choose from, the better the final selections. ...
Noris Ledesma is amused.
The curator of tropical fruit at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is explaining the difference between how people in her native Colombia eat mangoes and the meticulous way they are peeled and consumed in the United States.
You get your knives and your napkins, she told a packed house at a presentation at the 22nd annual International Mango Festival in July at Fairchild, and you carefully cut the fruit off center to miss the thin elliptical pit, score the halves, then flip them inside out and scrape out the cubes of fruit....
When summer rolls around, Jackie Garvin, founder of the Syrup & Biscuits blog ( syrupandbiscuits.com), gets to thinking about berries. But here is the cool thing about her Triple Berry Upside Down Cake — you can use frozen berries so you're able to make it any time of the year.
Garvin, who lives in Valrico, Fla., is a Southern cook so her upside down cake is made in a cast-iron skillet. If you don't have one (you should get one!), you can use a deep 9-inch cake pan. The results won't be exactly the same, but I am sure your guests will eat it up. One thing you need to be wary of is that the cast-iron skillet will hold the heat for quite a long time after it comes out of the oven. Drap a hot pad over the handle to remind yourself. ...
Wolfgang Puck loves rice pudding. It's what was for breakfast back home at Grandma's house in Austria, he says into the camera. • The rock star chef is double-dipping into the turquoise 3-cup portable rice cooker that he's hawking Friday morning on HSN. Coincidentally, that's the first color of six to sell out. Actually, it's not really a coincidence. Lots of people behind the scenes know how the rice cookers are doing, thanks to screens mounted in various places that display a running ticker of units sold. When something is hot, the host and guest stick with it. • Watching Puck eat from the turquoise unit? Money in the bank. • Puck was on air at HSN for a total of eight hours over 24 — four two-hour shows — starting Thursday at midnight, and the cash register was cha-chinging all day. ...
This classic Stir Crazy column first ran on June 12, 2012. New columns resume next week.
Mon | A cup of soup
Pair Black Bean Soup (use a favorite canned one or make one from a kit that comes with all the spices) with a bright citrus salad and hunky bread for a light meal. Use tender red lettuce leaves and mix with tangerine slices and small pinches of goat cheese. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and dress with a citrus vinaigrette. ...
Jackie Garvin is moving the pie dough around like a pro. She rolls it calmly, quickly, assertively. When it sticks, she lets it know who's boss and peels back a corner to shuffle a bit more flour underneath. And then she continues, her grandmother's spirit embodied in her old rolling pin, which Garvin uses faithfully.
Before long — well before the specks of butter can melt — she's got the dough fitted into a 9-inch pie pan. A bowl of sweetened peach filling is at the ready, and so is another ball of dough that will form the top crust. It all comes together and goes back into the fridge to chill before baking....
Mon | Meatless meal
Roasted Veggie Wraps with brown rice and feta get a flavorful boost from fresh mint or basil, whatever you've got on hand. Cut zucchini, onions, green and/or red peppers and mushrooms in similar sizes, toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes. While veggies are roasting, make rice. Roll roasted veggies with brown rice and feta cheese in wrap of your choice. Top with fresh mint or basil leave. Feel like you need a sauce? Mix Greek yogurt with minced garlic and drizzle on top of mixture before you wrap....
Okay, you can say I am a sore loser. I am still bitter that my recipe submission for the 2008 Sutter Home Build a Better Burger contest in California's Napa Valley was snubbed.
I continue to maintain that my Best of Vermont Burger with maple bacon, thick slices of cheddar and green apple slaw is a winner. I throw it to the #CookClub to be the judge.
I had never entered a recipe contest before, mostly because many of them bar food professionals. Contest people figure a journalist who writes about food for a living has an unfair advantage. Well, I guess that didn't matter much....
Mon | Meatless meal
Mexican Tossed Salad (recipe below) is a twist on your typical green salad, using tortilla chips instead of croutons. The addition of jicama and cilantro are two more Latin flavor boosts. It's a versatile vegetarian recipe that can be augmented with cooked shrimp or chicken for those of other dietary persuasions.
Tues | Bowl of food...
Thinking about going on a trip is exciting. For many of us, getting ready is not. • There is an avalanche of decisions to make. How many shirts and pairs of pants? Which shoes are the most comfortable? Checked baggage or carry-on? What kind of electronics to bring? How much money to take, and in what form should I get it? • Last month, we asked readers to share their travel tips, from ways to save money to packing suggestions. What a resourceful bunch you are — and sometimes picky and even a bit worried, especially about being ripped off. The reader who suggested that travelers should not go out at night lest they risk getting mugged, or worse, has had some terrible experiences, I am betting. • The suggestions reminded me of how differently we all look at preparing for a trip, and how what's important to one person might be left to chance by another. For instance, Anita Faye Glock of Tampa never travels without flip-flops to use as slippers in the hotel, as relief from walking shoes that give her blisters and for trudging through wet weather if it's not too cold. I only travel with flip-flops if I think I'm going to get a pedicure. Different strokes, as the saying goes. • Here's a selection of other reader tips, all of which obviously come from experience....
Now we are going to mention unmentionables. In a word, underwear.
It's something travelers think about more than you'd think. Especially women. Multiple pairs take up precious space in luggage, they say. Dirty ones even more (unless you're a member of the Thong Generation).
A recent article in the New York Times travel section suggested that you pack no underwear at all, and buy new undergarments on your trip. The company Exofficio (exofficio.com) markets a magic pair of undies, suggesting that just one might suffice for a long trip. One!...
Mon | Meatless meal
Simple White Bean and Fennel Soup comes together so quickly it won't heat up the kitchen much on a hot summer day. To make it, saute 1 diced onion and 1 small sliced fennel bulb in oil until tender. Add 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth, 1 (14-ounce) can each drained cannellini beans and diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, salt and pepper to taste and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until fennel is tender. Discard bay leaf. Add 3 cups spinach and cook until wilted. ...