Burger Bash, Pie Mania…and a Recipe to Keep!

October 12, 2011 at 9:51 am , by

Time to Eat

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Sampling the tasty burgers!

Nothing goes so well together as a juicy burger and a sweet piece of pie and at the 2011 Blue Moon Burger Bash, (part of the New York City Wine &Food Festival) presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats and hosted by Whoopie Goldberg, tasters could get their fill of both!

The event was a gluttonous feast of burgers, cooked on the new Hamilton Beach outdoor grill, milkshakes (at a station manned by Duff Goldman) and of course, the ultimate in pie indulgence.

For the first course, chefs from 20 different restaurants dressed their burgers in explosively delicious flavors using jalapeño, bacon, cheddar and other secret ingredients and presented them for judging by some of the biggest names in food: David Burke, Adam Richman, Andrew Zimmern and Anne Burrell.

As tasty as the burgers were, I had my eye on the massive dessert table jam packed with endless rows of pies created by Dangerously Delicious Pies which were, in fact, dangerously delicious

I was in heaven going back for 2nds, ok maybe 3rds, and my favorite was the chocolate pie. It was just as creamy and delicious as the Ladies’ Home Journal Chocolate Covered Pretzel Pie. Check out the recipe for our amazing chocolate pie, along with many other tempting varieties, in the October issue and bake up some decadence. — Cathie Yun

5 Reasons the Holidays Are Good For You

December 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm , by

The holidays get such a bad rap for being the time of year when overwhelming stress and irresistible, fattening treats lurk around every corner. Yes, it’s stressful and double yes, it’s hard to resist the myriad cookies and candies and cocktails just begging to be consumed. But there are things about the holidays that are good for you—as long as you remember to rein it in and relax.

So we say enjoy! Here are some healthy tidbits about five of our favorite holiday staples.

  1. Holiday Cocktails
  2. Alcohol in moderation (no more than a drink or two a day) has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and possibly even diabetes. In fact, moderate drinkers live longer than those who don’t drink at all, so you can feel good about imbibing a bit. Just be sure to designate a non-drinking driver!

  3. Shopping
  4. The stress from packed malls and frantic fellow shoppers is enough to make you want to give up on gift-giving altogether. But remember this as you’re doing that last-minute buying: Exchanging gifts makes you happier by strengthening bonds and evoking gratitude, which studies show makes for a longer, healthier life.

  5. Chocolate
  6. There’s no replacement for fruits and vegetables, but chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is packed with some of the same antioxidants found in plants that protect against heart disease and cancer. Sure, even the darkest chocolate has some sugar and fat, so savor it slowly and you’ll feel satisfied.

  7. Family Time
  8. Getting together is so much more fun if you can forget about expectations and enjoy your loved ones, quirky as they may be, for who they are. If you feel a conflict coming on, take a few deep breaths and just let go. You’ll find a kind of liberation in compromise and acceptance. You don’t always have to be the peacemaker, either.

  9. Nuts
  10. When in doubt, reach for the nut bowl—all types of nuts are rich in the monounsaturated or “good” fats that are crucial for heart health. Walnuts in particular are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce your risks for a whole host of health problems, from high cholesterol to arthritis. Nuts are crunchy and loaded with fiber so you’ll feel full on a small handful and maybe even not as tempted by the other goodies.

Happy, healthy holidays to all from your LHJ health editors!

Photo via Fashion&Style

Dishing It: White Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

December 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm , by

When I saw this recipe in our December/January issue, I could not wait to make (and scarf down) these cookies. In LHJ food editor Tara‘s beautiful picture (below), they reminded me of the cookies I loved best as a kid (and, let’s be honest, I still mow down innocent bystanders if I happen to spot them): peanut butter cookies with a chocolate kiss in the center. Mmmmmm. I followed Tara’s suggestion and bought high-quality Lindt white chocolate bars, and I had all the rest of the ingredients already at home, which is a great thing about this recipe – all you need is flour, sugar, butter, salt, egg, vanilla and choco.

The one thing I forgot and didn’t have in my many cabinets was parchment paper, a mistake that would come back to haunt my cookies. I also didn’t heat the oven as my first step, as instructed, since the dough has to chill in the fridge for 90 minutes before you can roll it and I didn’t see the sense in leaving my oven on the whole time.

I followed the next steps exactly, stirring and blending and mixing, and my dough came out looking a little . . . crumbly. (See the third picture, below.) Like the topping on a coffee cake. I’m not sure if it was a blending issue or the fact that my ancient hand-mixer really only has one speed (insanely fast), but it wasn’t as smooth as I thought it should be. It looked a bit dry. It came together fine when I wrapped it in plastic, but even after cooling it in the fridge for an hour and a half, it still crumbled a bit when I rolled it into 1-inch balls. I also initially made the balls way too big and was about two dozen shy of what the recipe said I should make from the batter, so I went back and resized some of the behemoths into less gluttonous sizes. Read more

Food of the Week: Pretzel M&M’s

June 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm , by

First it was Q.Bels. Now it’s Pretzel M&M’s. Have you tried these yet? If not, you must! M&M’s newest flavor is winning rave reviews around our offices lately, and we’re not the only ones who think so. The salty, sweet, chocolaty center housed inside the classic M&M’s candy shell is what makes this new snack our FOOD OF THE WEEK!!!


A Little Something Sweet

March 10, 2010 at 11:00 am , by

chocolateMeet our newest guest blogger, LHJ intern Sara Kay! Sara enjoyed an indulgent chocolate tasting last week (not a bad perk, right?) and reported on it for us.

When you bite into a piece of decadent, heart-warming chocolate, the last thing that probably comes to your mind is “Gee, I wonder what this chocolate tasted like when it was just a bean?”  For those of you who fall into the minority, however, the National Confectioners Association has the answer for you. I attended their tasting event last Wednesday with world-renowned chocolate connoisseur Jacques Torres, who lead the discussion on the making of  chocolate and had tasty treats to share along the way.


I had the honor of sitting in on this chocolate journey. There was a fun presentation about the progression of chocolate from bean to bar, from the original seed to the cocoa bean, to cocoa butter, all the way to the nicely packaged bar of chocolate that can be bought at your local grocery store. We sampled tasty bites of the bar throughout each stage of production (though some were not so tasty; the beginning of the life of chocolate tastes NOTHING like the good chocolate we’re used to buying and enjoying).

There was a lot to learn, including the proper way to taste a piece of chocolate by looking, listening, smelling, and then finally, tasting. Thoughtfully, of course. The process was best described by Torres himself: “Bravo!”

Photos courtesy of Charlotte Fouch at Fleishman-Hillard.

Meet a Dove Chocolate Discoveries Chocolatier

February 22, 2010 at 6:08 pm , by

CoconutChocolateGranita-Low ResDo recipes with names like Milk Chocolate Chai Mousse, Molten Cupcakes and Coconut Chocolate Granita (pictured) grab your attention? Have you drooled on your computer yet? If so, you’re my kind of people.

As someone who considers chocolate a major food group, I was intrigued by the concept of the Dove Chocolate Discoveries direct selling program, which enables women to become professional chocolatiers. They prepare, share and sell Dove chocolate treats, candy-making ingredients and kits, adult and family-friendly beverages, and more, all while gathering and entertaining with others who go cuckoo for all things cocoa. We at LHJ were even treated to a sample party last month, and I must come clean that I have just today kicked my Sea-Salted Caramel Collection habit that started that night. (Although I do have Dr. Drew on speed dial, just in case.)

What intrigued a lot of us here, though, was the lifestyle of a chocolatier. I mean, next to “rock star,” it’s possibly one of the coolest-sounding job titles around. So we followed up with one of our hostesses, Lisa Pagano, to get the inside scoop.

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