Archive for category Snack

Melty Brie with Garlic, Red Pepper and a Year in the Life of Pittman’s on 44

My brother Mike and his wife Angela (owners / operators of Pittman’s on 44) spend spring gearing up for summer. They plan new menu items and get the staff (mostly students) into shape before May Long hits.

From that weekend on it’s non-stop insanity. I know because I’ve had a spin in the whirlwind of a beach-town restaurant myself.

Cottagers, campers and road-trippers continuously trample the craggy shores of the Whiteshell Provincial Park until Labour Day Weekend. And then: Read the rest of this entry »

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When Does Food Taste THE BEST? Part 3: Firstovers

Many foods taste better the next day. Think leftover spaghetti: You mix the noodles and sauce and let it hang out in the fridge, noodles soaking up sauce, sauce thickening. You microwave it the next day and then slurp up those reddish sauce-infused strands.

I’m not usually a leftovers-lover though. I peer at Gladware in the fridge and am disappointed about having to eat the same thing again. Even though they often taste better, I find leftovers boring.

This weekend I discovered a solution: Firstovers.

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When Does Food Taste THE BEST? Part 1: So Good

Me this weekend: Lips trembling as I mumble (kind of stupidly), “mmmm…yummy…want more now.” Everything I ate made my mouth (and stomach) beg for another bite.

From the snack of smoked sausage eaten while watching the waves (Bee Gees singing in the background, toddler zooming a convertible on the tile floor, mom stirring a cassoulet in the kitchen as I plunge the last bit of sausage into gooping yellow mustard) to the steel cut oats with melting brown sugar cooled slightly by frozen wild blueberries all stirred together and then slugged back with strong coffee as we debated where to play an early round of golf, everything sent me into a drooling stupor.

Lurking deeper, my brain kept asking, “WHY is it so good?”

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New Year’s Eve Spicy Maple Cashews

Sugar and spice and everything nice…But these cashews (like most girls I know!) have a spunky side that packs a real kick.

As promised, here is my second-to-last post about the ultimate New Year’s Eve party:

My recipe for Spicy Maple Cashews that will keep people snacking and sipping all night long.

  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander (preferably toasted and coarsely ground but 3/4 tsp of finely ground coriander is fine as well)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 4 cups whole cashews (or some combination of nuts, such as 2 cups almonds and 2 cups cashews, which is pictured above)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups golden raisins

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New Year’s Eve Almond Bark with a Bite

As promised, I’m bringing you the low-down on the savory-sweet dessert feast from Tasha DeSerio‘s Sweet Sparklers found in the Dec 2010/Jan 2011 issue of Fine Cooking magazine. All of the recipes are online so if you don’t have the mag (so sad since it’s always so good) find everything you need here (click on menu items near the top right of that page).

Today I’m reviewing three recipes that I made (almost) exactly as instructed. In this post:  Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Marcona Almonds. Also check out my review of Apple, Fennel and Cheddar Cheese Straws and my review of Popcorn with Sweet Butter and Sea Salt.

Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Marcona Almonds:

Double, triple or quadruple this recipe. The salty caramel crunch of the brittle encased in smooth bitterness kept a crowd around that platter until only dark crumbs remained. In fact, I don’t have a picture for you because it disappeared so quickly.

The brittle itself was such crunchy goodness (and so easy!) that I considered making a batch to serve on its own.

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New Year’s Eve Cheese Straws

As promised, I’m bringing you the low-down on the savory-sweet dessert feast from Tasha DeSerio‘s Sweet Sparklers found in the Dec 2010/Jan 2011 issue of Fine Cooking magazine. All of the recipes are online so if you don’t have the mag (so sad since it’s always so good) find everything you need here (click on menu items near the top right of that page).

Today I’m reviewing three recipes that I made (almost) exactly as instructed. In this post: Apple, Fennel and Cheddar Cheese Straws. Also check out my review of Popcorn with Sweet Butter and Sea Salt and my review of Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Marcona Almonds.

Apple, Fennel and Cheddar Cheese Straws:

I am ambivalent about these.

Pro: I made them a week ahead and froze them before baking. This worried me but it turned out that I had nothing to fear.

Con: Baking them and then having them dry in the oven for an hour on party day was annoying since the oven could have been used for other tasks (also not ideal to have an open oven when you have a toddler running around!).

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New Year’s Eve Popcorn

As promised, I’m bringing you the low-down on the savory-sweet dessert feast from Tasha DeSerio‘s Sweet Sparklers found in the Dec 2010/Jan 2011 issue of Fine Cooking magazine. All of the recipes are online so if you don’t have the mag (so sad since it’s always so good) find everything you need here (click on menu items near the top right of that page).

Today I’m reviewing three recipes that I made (almost) exactly as instructed. In this post: Popcorn with Sweet Butter and Sea Salt. Also check out my review of Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Marcona Almonds and my review of Apple, Fennel and Cheddar Cheese Straws.

Popcorn with Sweet Butter and Sea Salt:

It’s just popcorn, right? You might be tempted to serve a bag of microwavable stuff or skip this dish entirely. That would be a big mistake. BIG. HUGE. It is crazy-good popcorn, somewhere between caramel corn and buttery movie-theater fare.

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Butternut Squash, Roasted Apple and Goats’ Cheese Dip

This is the dip that I rebelliously served to my girlfriends at our most recent girls’ night in. It’s crazy-simple and crazy-good with a hummussy smoothness and a sweet tanginess. Serve it in a bowl along side some fresh slices of baguette or spread some on toasted slices rubbed lightly with the cut side of a garlic clove.

Preheat oven to 375 F and take 4 oz of plain goats’ cheese out of the fridge to soften.

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