Category Archives: Gourmet Recipes

10 Creative Ways To Decorate Easter Eggs

Have you decorated any eggs for Easter yet You can dye them naturally or paint them with watercolors, but if you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary, look to these clever, modern takes. (How cute are those fruity eggs)

TOP ROW
1. Fabric Covered Eggs - Better Homes & Gardens
2. Silk Dyed Easter Eggs - $12 kit from BooBahBlue
3. Neon Dip-Dyed Eggs - Oh Joy
4. DIY Washi Tape Easter Eggs - Lovely Indeed
5. Easter Egg Sculptures - Mr Printables

BOTTOM ROW
6. Hand-Drawn Easter Eggs 
- Confetti Sunshine
7. DIY Fruity French Easter Eggs - The Alison Show
8. Golden Marbled Easter Eggs - She Knows
9. Modern Easter Eggs - See Jane Blog
10. Black and White Easter Eggs - Obviously Sweet

Related: 6 Resources for Making Fun and Colorful Naturally-Dyed Easter Eggs

(Images: as linked)

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Mystery Layer in Hong-Kong-Style Cakes — Good Questions

Mystery Layer in Hong-Kong-Style CakesQ: I was raised in Hong Kong and grew up eating desserts with Chinese and European/British influences. A lot of the cakes back home had this hard layer at the bottom, almost like a cardboard cake round, but edible. There was a thin jam brushed between the cake and the edible round. 


And the flat white piece also had pierced holes in it, similar to biscuits…but sweet. It was almost marzipan-like, but I don’t like marzipan and I’m pretty sure it would be too flexible. Can anyone tell me anything about this type of cake and what that layer is I hope you can help me solve this mystery!

Sent by Candace

Editor: Readers, have you tried this type of cake, or have any idea what the mystery layer is made from

Next question

Related: Sweet Recipe: Five-Spice Cookies with Candied Oranges

(Image: Sura Nualpradid/Shutterstock)

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Chocolate Easter Bunny Cookie Pops & Cheese Babka with Raspberry Sauce — Delicious Links

2013_03_29-Links.jpgEaster goodness to finish off this week’s Delicious Links: A lamb supper, chocolate cookie pops (baked in candy molds — smart!), and salted caramel Easter popcorn.

Today’s Delicious Links

Cheese Babka with Raspberry Sauce – The Maker Girl.

Salted Caramel Easter Popcorn – Wishes and Dishes.

Roasted lamb and a Tuscan Easter Lunch – Juls’ Kitchen.

Chocolate Easter Bunny Cookie Pops – Hungry Happenings.

Do you have a delicious link to share
Send us a link here!

Previous Delicious Links

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How to Make Classic French Madeleines — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

Madeleines.  That little French butter cake that most (non-French) people think of more as a cookie.  They have a classy, literary reputation, having served as Proust’s muse in his famous Remembrance of Things Past.  Like most muses, however, madeleines appear to be simple but actually require a fair amount of patience and careful following of instructions.  In the end, though,  you are rewarded with a truly unique little cake, browned and crispy on the outside and spongy and soft on the inside.  A perfect accompaniment to your afternoon cup of tea.

How to Make Classic French Madeleines

I don’t think madeleines are for the inexperienced cook.  They are a little tricky and need a fair amount of confidence to turn out just right.  That said, I’ve tried to cover all the small details in this recipe so even if you’re a fairly new cook, you can certainly still give these a try. 

In this classic recipe, you would normally brown the butter slightly to add nuttiness. But browning butter just right can be challenging as it can quickly turn from nutty to burnt.  If you’re not confident with this skill, simply melt the butter and skip the browning part.  Your madeleines will still be delicious.

Another barrier for making madeleines is that you need specific equipment, namely the scallop shell pans to bake them in, which is something most newer cooks don’t usually have around.  It’s worth it to check around with your friends and family to see if someone has the pans to borrow.  You can also pick them up at garage sales and they are available online though places like Amazon and Sur le Table.  Try to get two as most recipes will make 2 dozen and it’s a drag to have to wash and rebutter the pans between baking sessions.  It also really helps to have a pastry brush to coat the pans with the butter and flour mixture.

How to Make Classic Lemon Madeleines

I’m offering the classic lemon-scented madeleines here, but they do come in many flavors.  Chocolate, rose, vanilla, lavender, and orange are all popular versions.  Some people add mini chocolate chips and some people add a glaze, but I prefer them simple and straightforward.

Madeleines are delicious when eaten just from the oven and cooled until barely warm.  They will keep for a day or two in an airtight container, but will start to lose that nice crisp texture after awhile.  It’s not the end of the world if this happens, but there is a reason those fancy restaurants used to send people home with fresh-from-the-oven madeleines:  they are simply at their best when super fresh.

Many recipes say that the colder the dough is kept, the more likely it is that the madeleine will form the classic “bump” on the back. I experimented with freezing one baking tray and not freezing the other, and found that the madeleines baked on the unfrozen tray had a significantly smaller bump. So if that feature is important to you, be sure to freeze the pans and then get the filled pans in the oven right away.  You can even go so far as to freeze the already filled pans for about 10 minutes before placing immediately in the oven.

The recipe below is loosely based on one from Julia Child.  Like many madeleine recipes, it takes a slightly unusual approach in that you mix the flour, sugar, and eggs first and add the melted butter last.  (In most baling, the butter is usually creamed with the sugar, then the eggs are added and the flour stirred in last.)  The batter also needs to rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour to chill and hydrate the four.  You can leave it for longer than that, even overnight.

How to Make Classic Lemon Madeleines

How to Make Classic French Madeleines

Makes 24 madeleines

What You Need

Ingredients

4 oz (1 stick), plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 
2/3 cup white sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Powdered sugar (optional)

Equipment
Small sauce pan
Small bowl
2 medium-sized mixing bowls
Measuring cups and spoons
Whisk
Spatula
2 madeleine pans
Pastry brush
Small sieve for dusting with powdered sugar, optional

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter.  Melt the butter in a small sauce pan.  If you feel you can get it slightly toasty brown, go right ahead and do so by leaving it to bubble in the pan until it smells toasty and starts to color.  Just remember that the butter will turn very quickly from toasty to burnt and that it will continue to color after it is off the heat unless you pour it into a new container.  Spoon 3 tablespoons of butter into a small bowl or cup and set aside. Let the rest of the butter cool slightly.
  2. Prepare the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients in separate bowls.  In a medium bowl, whisk together one cup of the flour and the sugar, and set aside.  In another medium bowl, whisk the two eggs with the vanilla, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest until the eggs are frothy.
  3. Combine the dry and wet ingredients.  Add the eggs to the flour. Using a spatula, stir until just combined.  Add the 4 ounces of melted butter and continue to stir.  It may take a minute for the butter to blend into the mixture but do not over mix.
  4. Rest the batter.  Cover the bowl with a plate (or plastic wrap) and place in the refrigerator to rest at least one hour and up to overnight.  
  5. Prepare the pans.  Add the remaining one tablespoon of flour to the 3 tablespoons reserved butter and stir to combine.  Using a pastry brush, brush the interiors of the shells with the butter-flour mixture so that they are well coated.  Place the pans in the freezer for at least an hour. 
  6. Preheat the oven and fill pans.  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the batter from the refrigerator and one pan from the freezer.  Fill each well in the madeleine pan with 1 tablespoon of the batter.  Remove the other pan and fill in the same way.
  7. Bake the madeleines.  Place both pans on a baking sheet for easy handling and place in the oven.  Check after 8 minutes and rotate plans.  Check again 5 minutes later.  The madeleines should be browning around the edges and puffed up a little in the middle.  Using your forefinger, press lightly on the center hump — when the madeleines are finished baking, it should spring back at your touch.
  8. Cool and dust with sugar.  Remove the madeleines from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes.  Using a fork, gently loosen the madeleines from their molds and then tip the whole pan out onto a cooling wrack or tea towel.  Once cool, dust lightly with powdered sugar and serve.  If you are freezing or storing the madeleines, do not dust with the sugar until you are about to serve.
  9. To store.  Store cooled madeleines in an airtight container for a few days or freeze them in a double wrapping of plastic wrap for several months.  Let the cakes defrost before dusting with sugar.

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Dying Honeybees: Scientists and Beekeepers Blame Pesticides — Food News

Why are all the honeybees dying In the last year alone, a shocking 50 percent of of the hives needed to pollinate many of the country’s crops were completely wiped out. Scientists say growing evidence points to a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids:

The Agricultural Department, according to a recent article in The New York Timesunderscores the importance of bees to our country’s food supply: “A quarter of the American diet, from apples to cherries to watermelons to onions, depends on pollination by honeybees. Fewer bees means smaller harvests and higher food prices.” 

For years scientists have been unable to pinpoint the cause of this mysterious malady, and the latest round of bee deaths have been particularly alarming. Beekeepers now suspect the cause is “a growing soup” of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides used to control pests on crops:

While each substance has been certified, there has been less study of their combined effects. Nor, many critics say, have scientists sufficiently studied the impact of neonicotinoids, the nicotine-derived pesticide that European regulators implicate in bee deaths. The explosive growth of neonicotinoids since 2005 has roughly tracked rising bee deaths.

For more on the latest developments in the mysterious case of the missing bees, read the full article linked below:

Related: Why Bees Are So Important To Your Food

(Image: Flickr user Ryan Wick licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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Insanely Delicious Edible Cocktail Recipe: 3-Ingredient Rum Raisin Ice Cream — The 10-Minute Happy Hour

Insanely Delicious Edible Cocktail Recipe: 3-Ingredient Rum Raisin Ice Cream


So many desserts, so little time!  This week I have wanted every sweet that’s
been posted from the Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Cake to all the desserts made with ricotta and mascarpone.  In turn, I have my own instant
boozy dessert — one that works just as well for when I’m hanging solo as it does at the end of
a dinner party.  My hard and fast Rum Raisin
Ice Cream only calls for three simple ingredients. When combined, I guarantee
you they deliver pure culinary bliss.

Insanely Delicious Edible Cocktail Recipe: 3-Ingredient Rum Raisin Ice Cream


I make a lot of ice cream from scratch, but in a
pinch I go for Haagen Dazs. It’s so creamy and the vanilla is a great vehicle
for lots of flavors. I’ve added fresh mint or fresh basil and served on plum
tarts or apple pie.  You can fold in your
favorite chopped candy bar, a la Cold Stone Creamery, or do as I did for
this week’s 10- Minute Happy Hour and make it boozy.  I chose spiced rum, but this works with
numerous liquors like whiskey or another one of my favorites, Pedro Ximenez Sherry.  

This week I recreate an old favorite ice cream flavor, Rum Raisin, by
simply topping some slightly softened ice cream with a drizzle of spiced rum
and a sprinkling of mixed raisins for an insanely good boozy treat. It’s the perfect adult indulgence in minutes.

Insanely Delicious Edible Cocktail Recipe: 3-Ingredient Rum Raisin Ice Cream

3 Ingredient Rum
Raisin Ice Cream

Serves 1

1 scoop Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream
1 ounce Spiced Rum
1 tablespoon Sun Maid Mixed jumbo raisins

Scoop the ice cream into a small dish. Pour the rum on top and sprinkle with raisins. Serve immediately.

Related: Recipe: Rum Raisin Almond Brioche

Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and
parties.  Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show
to share her vices, and advice with the world. For more info check out
www.maureenpetrosky.com or follow her on twitter
@maureenpetrosky.

(Images: Maureen Petrosky)

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Dessert is Optional. (But We Do Love It!)

Dessert is Optional, But We Sure Do Love It!

There’s something exciting about dessert in our house — shocking, even. Dessert rarely appears at the table, even though we have no specific rules about sweets. Every now and then one of the children will make a request — usually cookies, a love they inherited from their dad — or I’ll feel nostalgic for something like cobbler, vinegar pie, or homemade Magic Shell over ice cream. Dessert is not a required course and we definitely don’t need it to survive. However, because my husband and I come from different cultures (I am all South Carolina, while he is half Serbian and half French) he’s been known to claim his Gallic heritage as the reason he must have dessert. But he comes by his love of dessert honestly…

Not only does his mother enjoy the more-than-occasional indulgence, she makes one of the best apple tarts I have ever eaten. And good luck getting the recipe, which exists in her head, in French. She works too quickly for me to decipher the technique or guess the exact ingredients. I can only wait and hope.

Her masterpiece is exactly what an apple tart should be — a sheet of lightly sweetened, thinly sliced apples, served over crisp pâte brisée, with just a hint of Calvados. One time, as she was making the tart, surely slipping in secret ingredients when I wasn’t looking, she wondered aloud what the children would have for dessert. I was confused. The Calvados couldn’t possibly be the issue. The tart contains very little. Besides, my husband may or may not have had a teeny taste of Champagne as an infant, before he was even put to the breast. Why would the children need a separate dessert She worried that they wouldn’t like the tart. Enfin, after much discussion, she capitulated when I insisted, “Dessert is optional!” If my children don’t know a brilliant apple tart when they see it, they can certainly do without. And they are no dummies: They love that tart as much as I do, and I hope they appreciate the luxury of having a French grandmother who knows her sweets.

How often do you eat dessert Is it optional or do you crave something sweet to finish your meal Will a piece of fruit do the trick (It seems to for the French — and they do know their food!)

Related: Recipe: Free-Form Apple Tart; Make Chocolate Magic Shell Ice Cream Topping with Only 2 Ingredients

(Image: Anne Postic)

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RECIPE: Strawberry Iced Tea

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,

    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

For Easter or Mother’s Day, Strawberry Iced Tea is delish!

The recipe is from Shangri-La Tea Company.

RECIPE: Strawberry Iced Tea

  • 2 cups whole frozen strawberries
  • 32 fluid ounces brewed tea
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 box fresh strawberries
  • Mint leaves
  • Ice
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BREW tea and cool to room temperature.

    2. BLEND frozen strawberries in a food processor until smooth, then strain

    3. MIX together pureed strawberries, tea, desired amount of sugar and lemon juice

    4. Serve over ice with fresh strawberry garnish.

     

    strawberry-iced-tea-shangri-lateacompany-230'

    Toast a special occasion with strawberry iced tea. Photo courtesy Shangri La Tea.

     

    Related Food Videos:

    For more food videos, check out The Nibble’s Food Video Collection.

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    Self Control: How to Keep Dessert Portions Under Control

    Self Control:I have a sweet tooth and love dessert more than most of my family members, and certainly more than my boyfriend. He is content with a slice of cheese after dinner whereas I tend to gravitate towards a wedge of chocolate. I think both are fine as long as they’re in relative moderation, which can be a struggle. But when it comes to dessert portions, all it takes is a little pre-planning to portion like a pro!

    In my mind, dessert is meant to signify that the meal is over. Whether that’s a small bowl of fresh fruit or a scoop of ice cream, it needn’t be gigantic to satisfy. Here are a few tips to help keep desserts small, special, and appreciated:

    After-Dinner Portion Control:

    1. Pre-Portion Your Servings: Even if it’s just you and your partner, spend the extra time slicing all 8 pieces of pie. I know some folks who take this one step further and actually put each slice in its own airtight container. I find that just pre-slicing my pie, brownies or bars prevents me from cutting off little bits to snack on in the afternoon. 
    2. The Freezer is Your Friend: Don’t be afraid to freeze leftover dessert! We do this so often with savory dishes like casseroles, meats, and sauces but it’s just as useful with a big batch of cookies. While quite nice, sometimes it’s not the best idea to have a batch of 32 cookies around the house unless you have a sizable family. I happen to live with just my boyfriend, so we’re in the practice of tossing things in the freezer to avoid over-indulging. 
    3. Wait At Least One Hour: I’ve started to do this on a tip from my grandmother last summer. Instead of clearing the dinner dishes and setting out dessert right away, come back to it. If you give yourself some time to digest your dinner and break up the act of sitting and eating, you’re more likely to be able to enjoy your dessert more fully. 
    4. Slow Down: A very special dessert can disappear all too quickly if you don’t allow enough time to appreciate it. We’re often told this while eating dinner and it applies here, too. 
    5. Make New Friends: Our neighborhood baristas often give us free coffee. Why Because we often bring them sweets. Bringing leftover desserts to neighbors or folks who work in the neighborhood is a great way to avoid over-eating. And who knows You could make a few new friends while you’re at it. 

    (Images: Megan Gordon)

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    FOOD FUN: Pig Biscuits

        This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,

        the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

    pig-buns_pillsbury-230

    Take a bite of Babe! Photo courtesy Pillsbury.

     

    Recently we wrote about animal-shaped sourdough loaves from Boudin Bakery in San Francisco and bunny rolls from Artisan Bread In Five Minutes.

    Then, we came across Pillsbury’s instructions for making animal rolls at home.

    The Pillsbury kitchens armed themselves with a container of Pillsbury refrigerated country Italian bread (you can also use crusty French loaf), poppy seeds and a lot of imagination to create this adorable oinker.

    Who knew that one simple can of dough could yield all this cuteness

    Here’s how you can do it at home.

     

    You can also make bird-shaped buns, complete with tail feathers and beak.

    All you need is a kitchen scissors, a container of Pillsbury refrigerated country Italian bread or crusty French loaf, poppy seeds for the eyes and an almond for the beak.

    Our favorite craft projects are edible crafts!

    Related Food Videos:

    For more food videos, check out The Nibble’s Food Video Collection.

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