June 28, 2011

America's Test Kitchen Cookbook

A friend just told me that America's Test Kitchen has published a cookbook and I've got to buy myself a copy. Here's the review:
Since its debut in 1999, America's Test Kitchen has been public television's most-watched cooking show. This new comprehensive cookbook captures ten seasons of the show in a lively collection featuring more than 500 foolproof recipes and dozens of tips and techniques. You'll learn the secret to rich-tasting Weeknight Bolognese and Cheesey Garlic Bread in Bringing Home Italian Favorites. Prepare a platter of the best-tasting nachos you've ever had in Tex-Mex tonight. And discover a new way to cook the Thanksgiving turkey in Talking Turkey and All the Trimmings--choose among nine different recipes for the holiday bird--from Classic Roast Stuffed Turkey and Crisp-Skinned Butterflied Turkey to Herbed Roast Turkey, Grill-Roasted Turkey, and more.

Want to learn how to be a better cook? Throughout the book you'll find a special behind-the-scenes feature highlighting the most important test kitchen techniques from the past decade. In addition, we take you behind the scenes of the show for a fascinating look at how recipes are developed, why our equipment and ingredient ratings are different, what's involved in putting together an episode, and more. And assembled just for this collection, The America's Test Kitchen Guide to Recommended Ingredients and Equipment unites all our important tastings and testings into an easy-to-navigate buyer's guide so you can be a savvy consumer whether you're investing in a new gas grill or picking up a can of tomatoes. This new volume gives you a decade of great cooking and expertise from America's most trusted test kitchen.

June 24, 2011

Vegetarian Biscuits and Gravy

almost passes for biscuits and sausage gravy. almost.

Biscuits & Gravy
Vegetarian Times 2008 Reader Recipe 3rd Place Winner

8 Servings

1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup diced red bell pepper
¼ cup diced carrot (1 carrot)
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
¼ cup plus 1 Tbs. unbleached flour
1½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. ground yellow mustard seed
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. rubbed (crumbled) sage
2½ cups low-fat milk
½ cup Annie’s Naturals Cowgirl Ranch Dressing
8 whole-grain biscuits or 4 English muffins
  1. Bring lentils and 3 cups water to a boil in 2-qt. saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 30 minutes, or until just tender. Drain, and set aside.
  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in large skillet. Add onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bell pepper, carrot, and garlic, and cook 5 to 8 more minutes, or until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Stir in flour, black pepper, paprika, mustard, red pepper flakes, and sage; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring after each addition. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until gravy comes to a gentle boil. Remove from heat, and stir in ranch dressing and drained lentils.
  3. Split biscuits or English muffins. Lightly toast English muffins, if using. Place biscuits on plates, and top with gravy.

PER SERVING: Calories 461, Protein 16g, Total fat 21g, Carbs 55g, Cholesterol 11mg, Sodium 379mg, Fiber 11g, Sugars 9g

Food & Wine Favorite Italian Recipes e-book

Got an unexpected email from Vacationist with a link to a complimentary FOOD & WINE Favorite Italian Recipes digital book collection:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vacationist <>
Date: Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 9:56 AM
Subject: Complimentary gift for Vacationist members

amex Favorite Italian RecipesFavorite Italian Recipes
Let FOOD & WINE be your guide with the complimentary FOOD & WINE Favorite Italian Recipes digital book collection. With this collection by your side, you'll be well on your way to creating recipes that are hand selected and tested by the editors of FOOD & WINE, including:• Classic Meatballs• Pappardelle with Veal Ragu

• Carrot-Potato Gnocchi with Cheese

• Vanilla Zabaglione With Raspberries and MORE!

What are you waiting for? This authentic and flavorful collection of recipes is FREE!

Plus, you'll get the FOOD & WINE Daily, a free e-newsletter with an inspired recipe idea from FOOD & WINE served up fresh every day!

Favorite Italian Recipes

American Express Publishing Customer Service Department
P.O. Box 62700 | Tampa, FL 33662-7008
© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
I can't wait to make a whole meal from this book: start Hearty Minestrone Soup, then to (vegetarian) Carrot-Potato Gnocchi with Cheese, then to Pappardelle with Veal Ragù, then end with Vanilla Zabaglione with Raspberries. So hungry!

June 10, 2011

Fresh Pea Soup with Tarragon


Fresh Pea Soup with Tarragon
Vegetarian Times Issue: April 1, 2008

Serves 4

1 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
3 cups fresh or thawed frozen peas
1 Tbs. tarragon leaves
3 radishes, thinly sliced
  1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, and sauté 7 to 9 minutes, or until soft. Stir in garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add vegetable broth and 1 cup water, and bring to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes, stir in peas, and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat, and cool 30 minutes.
  2. Purée soup in blender with tarragon leaves until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled, with sliced radishes on top.

Nutritional Information
Per SERVING: Calories 139, Protein 6g, Total fat 3.5g, Carbs 22g, Cholesterol 8mg, Sodium 366mg, Fiber 6g, Sugars 8g

June 08, 2011

AHAlife - Hot Pot BBQ

love the look of this terra cotta bbq pot / fake plant.

June 07, 2011

6 Steps to Avoiding BPA in Your Daily Life

Great list of tips on avoiding toxic BPA by Ariel Schwartz (@arielhs) in Fast Company:
  • Drink tap water or rely on BPA-free stainless steel water bottles (from companies like Nalgene or Sigg) instead of slugging down bottled water. Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Instead of eating microwavable meals that come out of plastic containers, eat only freshly-prepared, organic foods. Difficulty Rating: Moderate (or hard, depending on where you live, the size of your bank account, and how lazy you are).
  • Instead of using plastic utensils, rely on the longer-lasting variety. Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • To be safe, avoid all canned foods and replace with non-canned variations (replace canned soup with soup in a carton, for example) unless cans denote that they have a BPA-free lining. If that's not possible, avoid these specific canned foods, which are known to be high in BPA: coconut milk, soup, meat, vegetables, meals, juice, fish, beans, meal-replacement drinks, and fruit (yes, we realize that encompasses most canned foods). Take special care to avoid foods that are acidic, salty, or fatty. Difficulty Rating: Hard
  • Steer clear of plastic storage containers for leftover food. Instead, use glass containers along with BPA-free plastic lids. The food should not touch the lids.  Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Instead of using a plastic coffee-maker or going out for coffee, use a French press or ceramic drip. Difficulty Rating: Moderate (if you like to drink your coffee during the workday)
Sadly, BPA is even found in milk and eggs due to pre-market processing but at least this list is a start!