April 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm , by Rachel Shippy
Maybe it’s because there are baby showers, spring birthdays, and wedding parties coming up (or maybe it’s because I just miss the carbs and sugar I banned from my diet recently), but the desserts on Pinterest are more enticing than ever, and would be perfect to make for any spring occasion. Many of them were even created in the Journal‘s test kitchen by our talented food editors! So grab a glass of milk and enjoy a sweet sampling of my favorite pins this week…
For more ways to satisfy your sweet tooth, check out our Delightful Desserts board on Pinterest.
Categories: Food, Fun, Ladies' Lounge | Tags: cake, cookies, Cupcakes, Double Rainbow Happiness Cake, Macaroons, Marshmallow Cupcakes, Petite Cupcakes, Pink Lemonade Cake, pinterest, Tiny Tall Cakes | 6 Comments
April 11, 2012 at 7:00 am , by Beth Roehrig
Making cheese from scratch is not something I ever pictured myself doing. (I blame my anti-dairy-making stance on those grumpy-looking pioneer women churning butter at the living history museum. Guess that grade-school field trip really stayed with me.) But I totally made some this weekend. And it was super easy. And I didn’t even have to dress up in period garb.
The reason I was inspired to give it a shot? Agrarian—a Williams-Sonoma spinoff that focuses on products that help you grow and make your own food—launched just last week and gave me this nifty DIY Cheese Kit. It contains everything you need to whip up 10 batches of ricotta or mozzarella. This time I opted for ricotta, because I wanted to make crostini topped with ricotta, honey, and black pepper for an Easter brunch party. I have to admit, this “recipe” is my take on the crostini at Anfora, one of my favorite wine bars here in the city. It’s delicious.
So, what exactly is involved, you ask? It’s basically a 3-step process.
1. Dissolve a bit of citric acid in water.
2. Heat whole milk in a pot with the citric acid solution and cheese salt. (Don’t walk away from the stove during this part—you need to make sure the mixture doesn’t boil over.)
3. Once curds form, strain through cheesecloth.
And, you’re done! The whole thing took less than an hour, the cheese turned out yummy, and my friends think I’m more domestically skilled than I really am. Score!
April 9, 2012 at 11:26 am , by Ladies' Lounge
Country megastar Trisha Yearwood brings her best-selling cookbooks to life—and even sings the occasional tune—on the new Food Network series, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. She gave us a sneak peek at what’s on the menu.
Why do a cooking show?
At first the idea of me standing behind a counter saying, “Then add a third of a cup of …” didn’t sound like fun. But my producer convinced me that the show could be whatever I wanted. To me, food is about people getting together and sharing an experience. So I have a family member or a friend join me on every show. For example, my father taught me to make Brunswick stew a special way, so for one episode I have my nephews on as guests and teach them the tradition.
You wrote your cookbooks with your mother, who passed away last year from breast cancer. Is this show a tribute to her?
Definitely. Doing the show helped me come out of the fog of grief and get back into life. I dedicated an episode to her favorite foods. In her last year she started taking comfort foods she’d been cooking since childhood and made them healthier.
Is there any chance your husband [Garth Brooks] will make an appearance?
He will if there’s a second season. I wanted to do the first season on my own. But Garth has taught me a lot about experimenting with recipes. The first thing he’ll always say to me is, “Why not add tortellini to that?” That’s our inside joke because he adds tortellini to everything.
March 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm , by Rachel Shippy
Whether it’s my clothes or the walls of my apartment, it’s safe to say I’m typically drawn to bold, uniform colors but lately the ombré trend has really caught my eye. If you’re not familiar with the word ombré, it is a French term referring to the gradual gradation of color and is also quickly becoming a favorite of Pinterest boards everywhere. That’s right – it’s not just for paint chips anymore! Here are some of the best ombré pins that made LHJ’s board this week…
Find more colorful pins on our Om Sweet Ombré board.
March 12, 2012 at 11:03 am , by Hilary Merzbacher
Here in the LHJ offices, we are an army of snackers. My seat directly next to our communal snack basket confirms this – in the hours just before lunch and sometime after 3pm, when blood sugar levels begin to fall, LHJ staffers (see them in action, to the right) start wandering over to inspect the various bags, tins and boxes on offer. Between product samples, frequent test kitchen recipe results, and generous foodie staff members, we’re lucky to have a pretty bottomless supply of treats.
Although folks around the office are flexible and gracious with regard to our snack situation, it’s not overly difficult to gauge the real winners – a select few snacks manage to cause a feeding frenzy of sorts, disappearing almost as quickly as they arrive. Over the last couple of weeks, the following treats have been some of our absolute favorites:
“This popcorn rocks!” exclaimed Louise Sloan, LHJ’s Senior Articles Editor during a recent afternoon snack session. Sure, cheesy popcorn isn’t necessarily a new concept, but this fancy-pants variety by the snack experts at Popcorn, Indiana is unique – packed with real-cheddar flavor and a solid dose of smokiness, this version is an ideal solution to any savory snack cravings.
Find this delicacy near you using the Popcorn, Indiana store-finder.
Edward Marc Pretzel Bites
These irresistible chocolate covered pretzels are an all-time office favorite. And although we love all four varieties of these addictive treats, the peanut butter version trumps them all. Each of these crunchy, salty pretzels is shrouded with a creamy layer of chocolate and peanut butter, then drizzled with – you guessed it – MORE peanut butter. If you get your hands on a bag of these, you may want to think twice before sharing them. Find them online at www.EdwardMarc.com.
Nuts are heavy hitters when it comes to snack foods. Although many might argue that they’re perfect simply toasted with a dusting of salt, the folks at Sahale snacks have upped the ante with their Valdosta Pecan Nut Blend – cranberries, black pepper and orange zest bring an appealing sweet-savory zing to already tasty pecans. Try them with your favorite cereal for a sophisticated snack mix. Track this snack down here.
During a recent snack tasting, these were a sleeper standout. LHJ Creative Director Jeffrey Saks and Editor-in-Chief Sally Lee remarked on the buttery goodness these gluten-free treats, made with a hefty dose of organic almond flour. One (or three!) of these would be the perfect mate to a cup of tea. Use Amy’s online store-finder to find cookies at a grocery store near you.
When it comes to snacking, there are few pairings more iconic than the home baked cookie and tall glass of milk. If the craving for this sort of snack strikes, whip up a batch of these nutty delicacies. After sampling more than a few batches during testing, our staff can vouch for them 100%! Find this vintage recipe from The Dessert Collector in our March 2012 issue here.
March 8, 2012 at 11:37 am , by Amanda Wolfe
We love the show Life Dare: Host and life coach Liz Nead helps women tackle challenges big and small to—as she says—”put some life back into your life.” Amen, sister! So we knew we had to team up with her for our April story on mental flexibility, “Go With The Flow.” Our story is all about trying to relax and be less rigid about the little (and big) things in your life, so Liz found a woman who needed a little help loosening up and produced a special episode for us. Guest Lisa isn’t a big fan of foods with weird (to her) textures and flavors–slippery, raw, and spicy foods were just not her thing. But she was ready to break out of her habits—with a little help, of course.
Watch Lisa as she faces her food attitudes on camera. They explore raw foods with chef and nutritionist Sheree Clark (can you really put sweet potato with pineapple in the juicer?), slippery foods at Django in Des Moines (Lisa doesn’t want to gag on oysters in front of you!), and spicy food with Chef Brandy Lueders (spicy Indian food can be really hard on your stomach). Slippery, raw and spicy—will Lisa make it through all three food experiments and leave her old food routine behind? Watch now, above (or see it big here).
But wait, there’s more! (Because if you watched that fun episode, you probably want to tackle your own challenge, right?)
- Feeling inspired to loosen up and let go yourself? Sign up for your own 30 day Life Dare designed by Liz. You can also win a free coaching session with her (enter here!).
- Check out the recipes that Lisa tasted on the show and submit a comment about your own food phobias to win a coaching session and Life Dare kit.
- Want to know how it all came together? We’ll take you behind the scenes.
- Watch more episodes of Life Dare TV and subscribe at lifedare.tv.
- Dare to jump into the conversation! Liz will be hosting a #LHJlifedare chat on Twitter on Wednesdays at 9:00pm ET each week!
March 8, 2012 at 1:06 am , by Louise Sloan
“If you speak to me disrespectfully one more time, you will not be allowed to cook for a week,” I told my son in my best dispassionate, Dirty Harry “Go ahead, make my day” voice. His babysitter, who was on the way out the door, shot me a “WTF” look. I was threatening a 5-year-old with the terrible punishment of not being allowed to cook dinner for a week? Were we in Bizarro World?
Um, I guess so. I don’t know—it’s just the way things are these days at my house. My kindergartner has always loved to cook (check out the video of him making pancakes at age 1 and my blog post about his surprisingly good radish soup), but lately he’s become downright obsessed. And more than that, Scott’s suffering from, shall we say, a slight overabundance of self-esteem? It’s like I’ve suddenly become Bill Buford, author of the wonderful memoir Heat, which is about spending a year working in Mario Batali’s kitchen, getting schooled—and yelled at—by the famous chef. Scott, of course, is Batali.
“Most kids my age don’t know how to cook, but I’ve practiced a lot so I can,” he’ll say proudly. “That’s right,” I’ll reply, watching as he expertly cracks and scrambles eggs or slices up some potatoes with a disposable plastic knife and sautées them in olive oil with garlic, fresh herbs and a touch of freshly ground black pepper. (His idea.) But then I’ll come up against his inner Batali. I’ll give him some basic guidance or I’ll hand him an ingredient, and he’ll rebuke me: “Mom. I’M THE CHEF. Chefs don’t have people helping them!” Oh my goodness, the tone! I tell him that real chefs actually DO have lots of people helping them. And that he is not to speak that way to his mother. What I don’t tell him is that real chefs often have the same imperious attitude. They’re just a little older and wield a lot more financial power over their kitchen companions.
Night before last he had a bit of a come-uppance. Read more