How Can I Reduce the Sugar in Baking Recipes? Good Questions
Q: I started baking a lot in the last few years, almost always sweet recipes. But I prefer my baked goods subtle, not headache-inducing, and I always measure sugar scantly or outright reduce by a quarter-cup or so. But I know that sugar does more than sweeten – it adds moisture and improves texture, and who doesn’t want a good moist breakfast cake?Is there a good way to offset the negative effects reducing sugar has on the texture of a baked good (quick breads and cakes, mostly)?
Dec 31, 2010
Help Me Plan a Brunch for 50 People! Good Food
Q: Each member of the law journal I am on is charged with bringing breakfast and lunch for the entire staff once a quarter – a responsibility un-affectionately and euphemistically referred to as “snack.”I would like to make something delicious, unique (i.e. something that people aren’t tired of eating yet) and vegetarian, but won’t require a Herculean effort or huge budget to pull together.
Dec 30, 2010
New Year’s Recipe: Roasted Beet Salad with Whipped Goat Cheese
We asked some of our favorite food bloggers to share a holiday treat with us during our holiday break. Kasey (also of eating/sf) writes a fabulous blog that mashes up food and music. Here’s a slice of Turntable Kitchen, a story of New Year’s in a Russian family, with a beet recipe to match. My family, being Russian, celebrates New Year’s a bit differently than most Americans. Growing up, we wouldn’t get a Christmas tree, but rather, a New Year’s tree.
Dec 29, 2010
Holiday Recipe: Frozen Peppermint Cake
We asked some of our favorite food bloggers to share a holiday treat with us over our holiday break. Allen writes Eating Out Loud — a bright and scrumptious food blog full of good things to eat. He doesn’t disappoint here — how about some frozen peppermint cake?Every year as we inch closer to Christmas my mind races with all of my favorite holiday desserts. My mother would make everything from peanut brittle to cakes and pies.
Dec 22, 2010
Melted Snowman Cookies
It doesn’t get much cuter or easier than this. If you’re still trying to decide on what holiday cookies you’ll be baking, here’s one that the little ones will love making…and eating! • Read the full post at Ohdeedoh
Dec 17, 2010
Frida Kahlo’s Favorite Treat: Coconut-Stuffed Limes
Have you ever seen anything like these candies?We did a complete double take when we saw them on the Splendid Table website. They look like little edible marbles or some interesting new nut that you pop out of the shell straight into your mouth.Apparently, they were one of artist Frida Kahlo’s favorite sweets. We have a feeling they will soon be ours as well!These sweets sound almost like coconut macaroons stuffed inside candied lime peels.
Dec 16, 2010
Herb Bouquets as Hostess Gifts
(Image credit: Tess Wilson) What makes holiday cooking so special? Fresh herbs! What makes holiday cooking so expensive? All those fresh herbs. You have to buy the whole bunch even if you just need two leaves, so why not spread the wintry wealth with friends and make sweet little herb bundles as party favors or
Dec 16, 2010
Make Holiday Butter Mints In Any Shape Or Color
Many people have strong opinions about mints, especially those of the wedding variety. But those who have either been on the fence or a little shy about them — you’ve never had a real, melt-in-your-mouth butter mint. Bonus: they’re easily customizable for any party and a snap to make!Amanda over at Bake It Pretty has been kind enough to share her recipe for butter mints. This time she pressed them gently into a small snowflake mold to make them festive for the season.
Dec 15, 2010
Melted & Recycled Kitchen and Bathroom Soap Dishes
These eye-catching soap dishes are basically melted down recycled bottles. I don’t know why, but I think they’re fascinating. I keep trying to imagine what the original bottles looked like. • Read the full post at Re-Nest
Dec 15, 2010
8 Time-Saving Tech Tools, Tricks and Apps for Cooking
For a lot of us, the holiday season means a lot more cooking at home, which can mean havoc in the kitchen. But for those of us who bring our laptops, smart phones and tablets into the kitchen, we know tech can simplify some of the tasks of home cooking. Here are eight tech tools,
Dec 14, 2010
8 Things To Add To Cookies Without Altering The Recipe
1. Dried Fruits: Dried fruits are easy to add, but there is one trick that’s extra important. Make sure to soak them in hot water for 30 minutes before adding. That way they don’t wick moisture from your existing recipe and will help punctuate the dough with their sweetness instead. 2. Chocolate: There really isn’t many a cookie that can’t take a handful of chocolate being added to it.
Dec 13, 2010
Sanding Sugar: Color Your Own!
Sanding sugar is one of those specialty baking products you find yourself buying once and then forgetting about in the back of your pantry, until after you’ve bought the exact same color again, of course! Ever wondered if you could just color your own, as you need it? Here’s how!Sanding sugar, that sparkly, crunchy topping to sugar cookies and fancy baked goods is nothing but coarsely ground sugar.
Dec 13, 2010
Grab a Jar and Make it Your Own
We are always on the lookout for party ideas that make your life simpler. Having your guests add their name to their respective drinking receptacles makes life easier for everyone in the course of an evening. No more awkward exchanges while guests inadvertently down each other’s drinks. But we love the execution of this particular
Dec 13, 2010
Quick Tip: Clean Your Zester With Heat Not Water
For the last several weeks we’ve been putting a new idea to the test when it comes to the cleaning of zesters. We’ve been zesting every chance we get (really it’s a rough job, but someone had to do it) and have come to the official conclusion — we don’t need water to clean our zesters or microplaners.What? No water!? That’s ridiculous — which is what I thought too until I gave it a try.
Dec 10, 2010
Tip: ID Your Bakeware For A Safe Return
Through the holiday season our serving dishes seem to get a serious workout as we lug piping hot side dishes and yummy desserts from here to there. But how do you know which one is yours at the end of the night? Most 9″x13″ glass containers all look the same, try this simple diy idea
Dec 10, 2010
Squash-Baked Mac and Cheese with Amaretti CookiesRecipe Review
Yep, you read it right. This mac n cheese has a crumbly, sweet, cookie topping—and it makes the dish (it’s so good). But before you scroll straight to the recipe, read our notes. Because whoa, there is one major mistake in there.We got this recipe from Martha Stewart—a consistently foolproof source—but it is originally by chef Todd English.
Dec 9, 2010
Are Swarovski Crystal Fridges & Leather Ovens For Real?
We’ve recently spied some luxury branded home appliances that look like the industrial designs from the imaginary workshop of Zsa Zsa Gabor alongside a revived Liberace. Who wants an all-leather adorned kitchen oven? Or a Swarovski crystal covered refrigerator? Apparently someone does… • Read the full post at Unplggd
Dec 9, 2010
Best Way to Stop Onion Tears? Put Bread In Your Mouth
Do you know this tip? To stop stinging eyes and tears when cutting onions, put a piece of bread in your mouth and let it hang out while chopping. Have you tried this, and does it work for you?I had never heard this tip until I took that cooking class in Paris in the fall. One of the participants mentioned it, and so of course I had to try it as soon as I was in my kitchen at home.Now, usually I wear contact lenses and have no trouble with crying or stinging while cutting onions.
Dec 8, 2010
David Tanis’ Wild Mushroom Ragout with Ziti
Heart of the ArtichokeTanis’ own kitchen ritualsDavid calls himself a restaurant chef that prefers to cook at home. Chez Panisse allows him to bring the best of home cooking to the tables there in the six months a year he cooks at the restaurant. The rest of the year he, presumably, is cooking up the dishes in this book (all beautifully and simply photographed by Christopher Hirsheimer of Canal House Cooking).
Dec 8, 2010
LEGO-esque Bento Box
We almost couldn’t believe our eyes when we spotted this two-tier bento box that, yes, stacks together like a you-know-what famous interlocking block toy. Talk about bringing a little fun into a person’s, er, kid’s lunch experience. • Read the full post at Ohdeedoh
Dec 8, 2010
‘Tis the Season: Locavorism in Winter
With the changing seasons, heading into the winter can seem a bleak prospect for people who like to keep their diets local. We can’t help but think back to mid-January last year, when we were lamenting the lack of variety for fresh, local produce. What’s a locavore to do? Here’s a thought: think outside the
Dec 7, 2010
Quick Tip: Add Whole Stems of Thyme to Soups
all the herbsoff the stemsThe leaves gradually loosen during cooking and come off on their own, he explained. The leaves are generally so small that it doesn’t matter that you didn’t mince them beforehand. When cooking is done, just pull out the now-stripped stems of thyme along with the bay leaf and anything else you’re not actually serving.We gave this a try in our last batch of Beef and Barley Stew and it worked like a charm.
Dec 6, 2010
All Afternoon or Less Than an Hour: Chicken Soup with Herb Dumplings A recipe in two versions
The cold, damp, dark shivery days are upon us and there’s nothing like a good, hearty bowl of soup to make it all just a little better. Does chicken and dumpling soup seem like the last thing you can whip up for supper and more like an all-day project? Not necessarily! Read on for the short and long version this delicious recipe!
Dec 6, 2010
Becoming an Intuitive Cook: 5 Easy Steps
When faced with a pile of ingredients, do you go hunting for a recipe to match or do you rely on your own cooking knowledge to make a meal out of it? In the December issue of Food & Wine, former recipe addict Daniel Duane writes about his journey to becoming a more intuitive cook with the help of Thomas Keller, and boils the process down to five very practicable steps.
Dec 6, 2010
DIY Decorated Drinking Glasses
(Image credit: The Kitchn) When I saw this tutorial for DIY decorated drinking glasses at one of my favorite blogs, I was immediately smitten with the concept. Oh the many possibilities! Gifts, special party glasses, candle holders … with just a paint pen, some old drinking glasses, and a little patience, this is a project
Dec 6, 2010
Cooking Beans in a Clay Pot: A Review of La Chamba
If you’ve read The Kitchn for any length of time, you know that I am a big fan of beans. But not just any old beans — fresh, heirloom dried beansWe are pretty big fans of Chamba, here at The Kitchn. What is La Chamba cookware? It’s a line of black clay pots, bowls, and other cookware made in Colombia using traditional methods. All the pottery is made in the village of La Chamba, and it is made from natural clay mined in the area.
Dec 3, 2010
Holiday Gift Or Appetizer: Spanish Fig & Almond Balls
If you have any intention of serving a cheese board at your holiday get-together, let us suggest whipping up some of these easy and delectable Spanish Fig and Almond Balls. They would also make a wonderful gift for the cheese lover, wrapped in cellophane and accompanied by a wedge of good cheese.The recipe comes from Good Food and is based on a Spanish fig cake or pan de higo.
Dec 3, 2010
Tips for Prepping a Dinner Party Playlist
You’ve planned the food, the table setting, the decor . . . but don’t forget the music! Music is a magical mood setter – it’s a way to set the stage for your guests as they arrive and it can be used to transition the evening along. With the rise of MP3s it’s never been
Dec 3, 2010
Favorite New Utensil: Sauté Tool from Epicurean
We never would have thought we’d be completely smitten with something as basic and universal as a spatula. But this wood-composite spatula from Epicurean is one of the best tools to come into our kitchen in a long time! We’re thinking this would make a great gift for all our foodie friends and family this year.Epicurean calls this particular style of spatula a “sauté tool.
Dec 2, 2010
Popcorn Balls! 4 Gooey, Crunchy, Festive FlavorsCHOW
We could go a lot of places with ball puns (Jingle Balls, anyone?)—all of them tricky. So let’s just say this: Popcorn is cheap, fun, and hard not to like, especially when you make it into these cocoa, curry, and eggnog-flavored clusters. Yes, eggnog.We are no strangers to flavored popcorn, with our Peanut Butter Popcorn, Maple-Butter Spiced Popcorn, and Smoke Monster Popcorn (from the Lost finale).
Dec 2, 2010
Hanukkah Recipe: Apple and Cheese-Stuffed Latkes
Potato latkes are such humble little things, yet so incredibly addictive. This version puts the traditional applesauce topping on the inside, where it gets warm and wonderful as the latkes cook. We love adding cubes of cheese to the filling, too. They melt into pockets of cheesy goodness and add extra savory depth to this classic dish. For this recipe, we’re essentially making a fresh applesauce and sandwiching this between two layers of potato pancake.
Dec 1, 2010
Mark Bitterman’s Chèvre with Black Sea Salt and Cacao Nibs Cookbook Review & Recipe from Salted
think you know saltLike most people with a deep love for something good, Bitterman can’t help wanting to share his passion. The Meadow, a specialty store that he and his wife opened in Portland, Oregon, has become a mecca for salt-lovers across the nation. His recently published book, Salted: A Manifesto On The World’s Most Essential Mineral, takes things one step further.
Dec 1, 2010
Edible Gift Recipe: Homemade Cocktail Mixers
What happens when you combine the flavors of roasted cranberries with fragrant cloves and rich brown sugar with clementines? A festive homemade gift to inspire the cocktail lover in your life.These holiday inspired cocktail mixers are fun, flavorful, a bit unexpected and begging for a chance to toast salud! with loved ones. The technique to make them is simple and can be easily adapted to personal taste by swapping out any of the spices, citrus and fruits.
Nov 30, 2010
How to Replace Your Oven Light
Our baking escapades are amateur, at best. We usually leave the oven light on the entire time we’re baking (Yes, it’s OK to do that!) to check and make sure everything is rising and browning like it should. Needless to say, we’re absolutely lost when that little bulb burns out. • Read the full post
Nov 30, 2010
Black & White Cottage Kitchen: Get the Look
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy) Architects Steve Schappacher and Rhea White (of SchappacherWhite) painstakingly renovated a 1904 fisherman’s cottage on Shelter Island. While their black and white kitchen benefits from custom designs and the keen eyes of two talented architects, other renovators can achieve a similar style if they know where to look. Here’s our brief
Nov 29, 2010
Holiday Memories: Why Food Scents Are So Powerful
Mulled cider. A baking ham. Gingerbread cooling on the counter. We all have scents that conjure up holiday memories with a vivid force no other sense can match. Why is that?NPR spoke with a university professor who has researched the connection between our sense of smell and our memories and she revealed some surprising facts about scent, our emotions and the odor of stinky cheese.Dr.
Nov 29, 2010
Holiday Cooking Project: Homemade Hand-Pulled Cotton Candy
There’s something about this time of year that inspires me to spend full weekends trying new recipes, snuggled up in my apartment. This ambitious, yet simple, project to make hand-pulled cotton candy, also known as dragon’s beard, is next on my list!This hand-pulled cotton candy is a traditional Chinese treat known as dragon’s beard.
Nov 29, 2010
Edible Gift Recipe: Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar
On a recent oil and vinegar tasting, my sister went wild for a chocolate balsamic vinegar. It had a sweet, tangy, and slightly bitter taste. And it made me want to make some for her as a gift (and a little for myself, too!). Here’s how: You can start with an inexpensive balsamic vinegar. Just cook it until it is reduced by half and has become thick enough to coat the pan.
Nov 26, 2010
Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipe: (Leftover) Pie Shakes
Yes, we took a whole piece of leftover Thanksgiving pie and tossed it in a blender. The result is, quite possibly, the easiest, most delicious incarnation of leftovers ever.If you’re lucky enough to have a few slices of extra Thanksgiving pie (or have strategically tucked a piece…or two…in the back of the fridge) these shakes are a delightfully simple way to indulge your leftover sweet cravings.
Nov 26, 2010
How To Mail Homemade Bread
Look at this beautiful loaf of homemade bread our friend Tim sent all the way from New York to Los Angeles! Even though it had traveled a bit from his oven to our doorstep, it had a surprisingly fresh aroma, texture, and flavor. Mailing bread wasn’t something we thought possible, but the delicious loaves we have received from Tim prove that it can be done.
Nov 24, 2010
Thanksgiving Amuse-Bouche: Savory Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Canned Cranberry Jelly Cut-Outs
I am making Thanksgiving dinner in tandem with Emma this year, and since we’re working on the meal together, we have the luxury and time to make a few extra little things. This year, I was inspired by these tiny pie dishes I found at Crate & Barrel. What about an amuse-bouche, I thought — a small, whimsical bite with a traditional Thanksgiving flavor to start off the meal.
Nov 24, 2010
Recipe: Maple & Squash Pumpkin Pie Popsicles
Last night I stood in my kitchen mashing freshly roasted squash with a little cream and a few other assorted ingredients when my husband comes in. He was shocked to learn what he thought was going to be a delicious side dish was instead going to be a popsicle… that tasted like pie! This dessert is the perfect make ahead, zero fuss dish for your holiday parties that’s packed with pumpkin pie goodness!There are several great reasons to love this recipe.
Nov 24, 2010
Last-Minute Appetizer: Lemon-Thyme Bruschetta
Need a last minute Thanksgiving appetizer? These bruschetta are the perfect finger food and, best of all, they’re light enough that they won’t spoil any appetites for the big meal.Fresh and bright with lemon, earthy with fresh thyme and just a tad sweet from the drizzle of honey, these bruschetta are the perfect hors d’oeuvre before a big meal.
Nov 23, 2010
Basic White: 5 Classy and Affordable Serving Platters
No matter what disasters might have happened in the kitchen, presenting dishes on basic white platters like these are the coup de resistance for a perfect meal. From roast turkey to roast vegetables, all foods look good on white. Even better, these platters do the job without breaking the bank.• Cuatro Serving Platters, $1.95 – $14.95 from CB2 – These simple rectangular trays would transition smoothly from cocktail hour to dinner table.• 365+ Serving Plate, $12.
Nov 23, 2010
Appetizer Recipe: Brie with Roasted Cinnamon Plums
When it comes to holiday dinners and entertaining, appetizers often carry the day. Yes, turkey is great, and so is stuffing, but what about those little nibbles beforehand?This recipe is similar to another recipe that involves cranberries and melted, gooey Brie cheese. But I wanted to try something similar with plums — roasted with cinnamon, honey, and a touch of brown sugar.
Nov 22, 2010
Breakfast Recipe: Broiled Grapefruit with Cinnamon Sugar
I have to admit that the pairing of grapefruit and cinnamon does not immediately make sense. At least, it didn’t to me. There was something about the tartness of the grapefruit and the distinct spice of the cinnamon — I was dubious. But then I finally tried it, and hello! This is my favorite breakfast dish right now. For a long time I was also dubious about the idea of hot grapefruit. It just sounded… odd. But again, I have been made to see the light.
Nov 22, 2010
Edible Gift Recipe: Coconut Ganache Bourbon Balls
The holidays are here, and every good Southerner knows it’s best to be prepared with an arsenal of hostess gifts. And what better way to get any party started than with bourbon? Chocolate ganache covered bourbon balls, that is.I started preparing these to serve at my upcoming Thanksgiving festivities, but they’re just so easy I ended up making four (four!) batches to have on the ready. To keep things interesting, I decided to do a little experimenting along the way.
Nov 22, 2010
Weekend Meditation: Handmade
Have you noticed that the desire make things with our hands and the rise of the DIY culture seems to be growing in proportion with each release of newer, faster, and smarter technology? Its like the streamlined convenience of our virtual experiences are creating their own antidote. Canners, brewers, gardeners, bread bakers, knitters and keepers of chickens. Turns out, we want to be more than just consumers; we want to be makers!
Nov 21, 2010