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food (179 posts)
Flower Popsicles: You can adapt this easy recipe from Family Fresh Cooking to any flavor pop, though clear or light-colored liquids will show off the colorful blooms best. Mix 16 ounces water, 1 ounce orange blossom water and 1 tsp. lemon juice, stirring in honey or another sweetener to taste. Pour mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze (without sticks) for an hour, then remove from freezer and add a few rinsed, edible organic flower petals to each pop, pushing them into the molds with a long, skinny spoon or stick. Add sticks and freeze until solid.
Raspberry Ice Cubes: These are fantastic in lemonade, iced tea or seltzer. Boil a cup of water with a half-cup sugar. Add 1 pint of raspberries and let them simmer for five minutes. Turn off the heat and gently mash the berries with a fork, leaving some small chunks. Cool, then pour into ice cube trays; freeze for 6 hours.
Sunrise OJ: Give a glass of orange or grapefruit juice--or a combination of both--a garnet-colored shot (and a dose of antioxidants) with pomegranate juice. Pour the red liquid into the glass last; it will settle to the bottom and create a beautiful sunrise effect on the way down.
7 homemade fresh fruit ice pop recipes
An edible bouquet from Cristina Ferrare
45 ideas for colorful salads
DIY Movie Popcorn at Home
One way that fresh popcorn trumps the prepackaged version is the rich, buttery aroma--until now. This summer, Popcorn, Indiana is launching a new type of bag that allows you to tear a small hole to vent the bag and then warm up the popcorn in the microwave. (Traditional bags spark and may catch fire if you tried to zap them.) The popcorn is tasty eaten cold from the bag and phenomenal when warmed.
Super-Natural, Gourmet Popcorn (from the Microwave!)
When the US Environmental Protection Agency tested the steam that rises from conventional microwave popcorn bags, the agency identified nearly four dozen different chemicals. But Quinn Popcorn’s microwave bags are free of Teflon and plastic and are made from compostable paper. Even better? The flavors are awesome: Parmesan and rosemary, Vermont maple and sea salt, and lemon and sea salt. Little packets of seasoning let you customize the flavor with as much or as little intensity as you'd like.
Richa Hingle-Garg, who blogs at Hobby and More, has cracked the Doritos spice mix code (or come pretty close, anyway). Her recipe, which happens to be gluten-free, incorporates onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, paprika, salt and nutritional yeast (an inactive yeast that's yellow in color and has a nutty, cheesy flavor).
1. Bake the bacon. Durand pops it in a 375-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until it's crispy. "You can fiddle with the temperature a little bit so that your casseroles are baking at the same temperature as the bacon--just slide the bacon in on the top rack during the last 15 minutes the casserole is baking."
2. Use that oven for toast, too. After the casseroles and bacon are finished, take them out and turn on the broiler. Slide in a tray of sliced, lightly buttered bread, and keep an eagle eye on it (it'll only take 2 to 4 minutes to toast). Flip the slices once so they brown on both sides. "This is so much quicker and more efficient than making rounds and rounds of toast in the toaster--and your oven is already heated up. Might as well use it!" Durand says.
Paper towels. You can reuse and wash Bambooee towels up to 20 times in the washing machine. It'll take you as long to use up one roll ($12.99) as it would go to through 60 rolls of regular paper towels. You can use them for everything from drying fruits and vegetables to mopping up spills.
Leftover food storage. If you're uncertain about microwaving your lunch in a plastic container, switch to Fridgex Silicone, which is free of PVC and BPA (a recent study found plastic food packaging is a major source of these potentially harmful chemicals). Fridgex's products are heat-resistant up to 430 degrees, and the 8-piece mini storage set ($24.99) is so eye-catching, it'll make yesterday's dinner look even better than it did last night.
Leeks: Most risotto recipes require standing at the stove and stirring the pot continuously; this simpler version lets the oven do all the work. Follow this basic recipe but substitute 1 large or 2 small spring leeks for the onions.
Asparagus: Rub the spears with olive oil and season with pepper, then gather 3 to 4 together and wrap them in a strip of bacon. Lay on a pan with slots or holes set over a jelly roll pan to catch the grease, and roast in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes.
Jerry Seinfeld once said that trying Pop-Tarts for the first time as a kid “blew the back of my head off.” And though I haven’t touched Pop-Tarts for the better part of a decade, suddenly foodie versions of the foil-wrapped breakfast treats are everywhere: At a recent festival, I feasted on San Francisco-based Black Jet Bakery’s flaky, buttery pastry dough enveloping pockets of brown sugar, apricot jam or—brace yourself—jalapeno-cream-cheese, which was as scrumptious as it sounds strange. A good friend served a platter of vanilla-glazed, jam-stuffed toaster pastries from the famous Boston bakery Flour at her birthday party, in lieu of a cake. While shopping for gift ideas for my has-everything-she’ll-ever-need mother, I saw a toaster pastry press at Williams Sonoma.
So when Alana Chernila’s new book, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making, landed on my desk—with a picture of powdered sugar-dusted toaster pastries on the cover, no less!—I was ready to take the hint.
How is it that the iced version can cost anywhere from 25 cents to a dollar more than the hot stuff? As this recent post on Delish points out, it isn't just the straw that drives the price up (though that does add a few cents). The biggest contributors to the hike are ice (most shops have to rent an ice machine during the season to keep up with demand), cups (those clear plastic ones cost more than paper, which would disintegrate in hot and humid weather), and the coffee itself (the cold-brewing process--which ensures that your icy beverage won't taste watered-down--requires more beans in every cup). And as the post explains with anecdotes from indie coffee shop owners who dread iced coffee season, some businesses don't even make that much money, even though you're paying significantly more.
There are ways to prevent your habit from eating into your summer vacation fund, though.
1. Bring a reusable travel mug. Caribou Coffee takes 50 cents off if you bring your own cup, Starbucks discounts 10 cents, and Dunkin' Donuts and Tim Hortons also offer deals if you BYO.
Breyers Blasts! Mrs. Fields Mint Fudge Brownie
Packed full of chewy baked bits of chocolate goodness. ($5; grocery stores)
Salt & Straw Arbequina Olive Oil
A sophisticated marriage of milky ice cream and the subtly peppery oil of the Arbequina olive. ($65 for five pints; saltandstraw.com)
Häagen-Dazs Salted Caramel Truffle
A sweet cream base with caramel-filled chocolates and swirls of sticky sugar. ($5; grocery stores)
Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Nougat Crunch
Studded with crisp, fudge-covered wafers. ($4.50; grocery stores)
Adonia Raspberry Greek Frozen Yogurt by Ciao Bella
Tart berries meet the natural tang—and irresistible thick creaminess—of Greek yogurt. ($5; ciaobellagelato.com)
Sunny lemon cake recipe
Peppermint ice cream
Mini ice cream cookie cups
1. Turn them into a mimosa. No, I'm not talking about topping off your Champagne- and orange juice-filled flute with bits of yolk. Making this kind of mimosa involves pressing the hard-boiled egg through a sieve; then, you can use the tiny pieces to garnish vegetables or a salad.
2. Put them on BLTs. Cut across the egg, so you wind up with about 6 slices. (The rounds also wouldn't be bad on Oprah's Love Sandwich.)
3. Make a superfood sandwich. Nearly every ingredient in this whole grain delight is on O magazine's list of the best foods you can eat.
4. Pickle them. Try submerging the eggs in beet juice, which turns them pink--thus letting the coloring come full circle.