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Food (179 posts)
Or guerrilla fruit grafting. As the Huffington Post reports, "For the past year, the renegade group has been secretly splicing San Francisco's strictly decorative apple and pear trees with fruit-bearing grafts, causing the city's previously barren trees to become heavy with fresh apples and pears. The group aims to use the city's preexisting trees to provide 'delicious, nutritious fruit for urban residents,' and basically feed anyone who is hungry in the process." The group's open source code site offers advice on finding graftable trees and tracks how the grafts are going. Okay, so some San Francisco city officials may be symbolically throwing their wet rags to the ground ("The City considers vandalism a serious offense," Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru told the Examiner). But really, how upset can anyone be over beautiful, delicious fruit?
Art is Everywhere:
Lunch Bag Art
Rainbow Trout Cupcakes
This month, Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, the color-obsessed food stylists whose previous books include Hello, Cupcake! and What's New, Cupcake?, return with a third guide to turning ingredients like JELL-O and Fruit Roll-Ups into amazing cupcake decorations. Cupcakes, Cookies, and Pie, Oh My! includes instructions for making these cupcakes, which are decorated with M&Ms and spice drops.
Chinese Scallion Pancakes
Celebrate the Year of the Dragon when Chinese New Year begins on January 23 with these savory pancakes. They're crisp, golden and filled with scallions and sesame seeds. Fold them into wedges and dip into a ginger-chili sauce.
If you're stuck in an apples-and-cinnamon rut, break out with new mix-ins. To make Blackberry Pie Oatmeal, stir in 1/3 cup blackberries near the end of cooking, then top with chopped walnuts, a few more blackberries, and a crushed graham cracker. Or try Pumpkin–Cottage Cheese Oatmeal by adding 1/4 cup canned pumpkin and 1/4 cup cottage cheese when the oatmeal's almost cooked. Sprinkle toasted sliced almonds and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg on top. Here are even more ideas for jazzing up your oatmeal.
While Florida and Texas have been shipping these classic winter treats since October, two other big growing states--Arizona and California--have just started to hit their stride this month, so you shouldn't have trouble tracking the citrus fruit down. Look for ones with brightly-colored skin and no bruises. They should be be firm and springy to touch. And the heavier the grapefruit, the more juice it'll have. Not just for breakfast, grapefruits are excellent in salads, too, such as this fennel and arugula mix.
3 meatless meals to make this week
A citrus salad for dessert
An entire meal celebrating oranges
Which is why these 4 dishes are just what you need this week: They're meatless, yes. But they're also savory, warm, filling, and a lot easier to make than a big, meaty dinner.
Take these Brown Rice and Lentil Burgers, for one. Shiitake and cremini mushrooms add a steak-like flavor; topped with some Bibb lettuce and, okay, a slice of aged white Cheddar, they make for decadent meal you can feel good about eating. This Healthy Mac and Cheese recipe has a creamy sauce that relies on an unlikely ingredient: that cold-weather superstar, pureed butternut squash (it adds sweetness and heft). And Lisa Oz's Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Lemony Kale Salad highlight more winter workhorses...while keeping you on the light track.
Cristina Ferrare's favorite vegetarian cookbooks
Dining at the Oz family's house
A vegan starter kit
You can find recipes for those (and more) in Loukoumi's Celebrity Cookbook, a new collection of more than 50 celebrities' favorite childhood recipes (the book also benefits a Chefs for Humanity and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital). Beyonce contributes Easy Guacamole with Corn Chip Scoops, Katie Couric offers Brownies and Lemon Squares, Jennifer Aniston contributes a recipe for Quinoa Salad (clearly, she was a sophisticated child) and Oprah Winfrey gives us her recipe for crispy Corn Fritters.
It's a fun, nostalgic cookbook--and it even has a few surprises. For instance, who knew Ellen DeGeneres could eat 12 Vegan Sliders?
Dinner at Jennifer Aniston's
Paula Deen's Sour Cream Pound Cake recipe
20 favorite childhood meals with adult twists
Life Lift's contribution to the exchange is a butter cookie recipe from the December issue of O. The dough is beyond simple; what makes these sweets unique is that you use a glass with a design in the bottom (it could be a vintage water tumbler, a vase, a Ball jar or anything else you find in your kitchen cabinets) to stamp each circle of dough. Even something that’s just a basic ring looks beautiful when it’s sprinkled with colored sugar.
Here's what everyone else is bringing to what might just be the coolest ever Holiday cookie recipe swap...
Crisco's Pie Hotline
1-877-FOR PIE TIPS
Monday to Friday: 8 AM to 8 PM EST
Fleischmann's Yeast Baker's Help Line
Monday to Friday: 9 AM to 4 PM, CST
King Arthur Flour Baking Hotline
Monday to Friday: 8 AM to 9 PM EST
Saturday and Sunday: 9 AM to 5 PM EST
Nestle Toll House Live Chat
Monday to Friday: 8 AM to 8 PM EST
Saturday: 8 AM to 4 PM EST
Hershey's Consumer Hot Line
Monday to Friday: 9 AM to 4 PM, EST
Baking rules a pro says you can ignore
5 common cake and cookie pitfalls
In my mind I am a scrappy urban pioneer who raises chickens on my fire escape and bakes everything from scratch, but I must stress that this is strictly in my own mind. In reality I have a real city-dweller’s squeamishness about food. My meat comes bloodless and entombed in cellophane; I get a little skeeved out when my mushrooms are dirty; I buy my bread pre-sliced whenever possible. I live, like many of us, entirely disconnected from the life cycle of what I eat.
As the Casper Star-Tribune reports, the sourdough starter is older than the rotary dial, airplane and modern assembly line. “Someone first stirred its ingredients together the same year the Eiffel Tower opened and Vincent van Gogh painted ‘Starry Night.’... It’s older than the state of Wyoming.” (I think I have some take-out packets of ketchup that old, but I’m not proud of them.) Anyway, 83-year-old Dumbrill, who inherited the starter from her mother (who could track it back to a 19th-century sheepherder’s wagon), says it’s easy to keep: you just have to put it in a ceramic jar in the fridge and “not be afraid if it doesn’t look good.” (You simply must read the entire article for what she means by that, and why the starter could "make some women squeamish.")
The sourdough starter has become something of a local celebrity, the star of
fundraising pancake dinners and political meet-and-greets. But what I love best
about this story is Dumbrill’s “go with the flow attitude -- “Nothing about
sourdough is absolutely absolute,” she told the Tribune. A little of this, a
little of that, and voila, you have a delicious meal that contains a link to
history, a dash of pioneer woman spirit, and tastes great with whipped cream.
As this article explains, these treats with such lovely names are made of sugar hardened around a central seed in successive layers using a process called "panning" (think Jawbreakers). In Moore's time, they were often made with caraway or cardamom seeds, or almonds at the center; their shape resembled plums, hence the name. The essay also offers a very sweet reason for why Moore would have them dancing in children's heads.
These days, sugar plums aren't so popular, but recipes abound. Most don't even involve any cooking; they simply advise you to mix ingredients ranging from dates, walnuts, cranberries, prunes, hazelnuts, jam, sugar and spices; to almonds, honey, orange zest and apricots, roll them into a ball and coat them in sugar. Alton Brown's recipe comes with a helpful video (it's worth watching, if only for the drill sargeant fairy dancing above the food processor).
7 out-of-this-world candy recipes
25 Christmas cookies to try
Also called a honeybell, this citrus fruit is a hybrid of a tangerine and either a pomelo (a citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia) or a grapefruit. They're juicy, easier to peel than oranges because of their loose skin, and have a distinguishing little knob at the top.
Even better than the traditional cookies, a slice of gingerbread is a moist, delicious taste of heaven. Follow this recipe, which calls for cinnamon, cloves, ginger, molasses and buttermilk, and includes instructions for making a spiced honey butter with freshly grated ginger.
Soothe sore throats with a big bowl of this classic winter elixir. This recipe includes tortellini, while this one is built on Thai flavors, and you'll never believe that Luther Vandross created this Mediterranean take.