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Feb 10, 2016
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One Ingredient

A Spoonful Of …

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

A spoonful of sugar might help the medicine go down, but the sweet stuff has nothing on these good-for-you sips.

Local Honey: Though there’s no hard evidence that local honey relieves allergy symptoms, honey does boost energy and reduce swelling. It doesn’t hurt that it tastes great, too. Find local honey at area markets and restaurants including Straub’s, Maude’s Market and Golden Grocer.

Apple Cider Vinegar: This acid has been shown to improve blood sugar levels and is suspected to aid in carbohydrate digestion and weight loss. Hold your nose and take a gulp.

Cherry Juice: This super food has even more antioxidants than pomegranates. Drinking just a spoonful has been proven to decrease muscle soreness. Shots after the gym, anyone?

Coconut Oil: This heart-healthy oil helps the body build resistance to viruses and bacteria. It has also been linked to lowering cholesterol. Bonus: You get to smell like sunscreen year-round.

Lemon Juice: A tablespoon taken an hour before a meal has been shown to help asthma; it also helps to relieve constipation, heartburn and indigestion. Pucker up – and squeeze it fresh.

Olive Oil: Research has linked a tablespoon a day to weight loss because of its appetite-suppressing potential. Sound too slimy? Just add it to your salad.

— photo by Carmen Troesser

Chocolate Rendezvous

Friday, February 15th, 2013

When the Day of Love is over, you’re usually stuck with a lighter wallet and a box of half-eaten chocolates. This year, don’t bring the sweet stuff to work or bake it into measly ol’ cookies; put that cocoa gold to work on the savory side of the kitchen. Chopped, melted or luxuriously spread, here are three ways to make all that leftover chocolate the star of your next meal.

For the recipe for Chocolate Crostinis, click here.

For the recipe for Root Vegetable Chocolate Chili, click here.

For the recipe for a Bittersweet Chocolate, Pistachio And Fig Salad, click here.

— photo by Carmen Troesser

Get Your Nog In: Eggnog 3 ways

Friday, January 4th, 2013

As they say: What are the holidays without eggnog? So you buy a quart of the seasonal stuff and there it sits in the fridge, barely sipped, well into the New Year. Instead of throwing out a near-full carton come January, fry it into French toast, bake it into rich cheesecake, even toss it with pasta. Here are three new takes on the requisite winter beverage that will make you finally understand what all the fuss is about – no ladle required.

1. FRENCH TOAST Pour 1 cup of eggnog into a large, shallow bowl. Add 3 eggs, 2 pinches cinnamon, 2 pinches nutmeg and 1 pinch ground ginger. Whisk to combine. Heat ½ tablespoon of butter on a griddle over medium-high heat. Cut 6 thick slices of brioche. Once the butter foams, emerge 1 brioche slice into the eggnog mixture and place on the hot griddle. Repeat with as many slices as will fit. When the bread browns on one side, about 2 to 4 minutes, flip and brown the other side. When it’s browned on both sides, transfer to a small plate. Repeat with the remaining slices. To serve, sift powdered sugar over the toast and top with a spoonful of warm cranberry-and-orange compote.

2. CHEESECAKE Place 1 cup of graham crackers crushed to the consistency of cornmeal in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Place in the refrigerator. Using a stand mixer or food processor, beat 3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, ½ cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour until smooth. Add 2 beaten egg yolks and mix until well-combined. Gradually beat in 1 cup of eggnog, 1 teaspoon of light rum and a generous dash each of nutmeg and cinnamon. Pour the filling over the cheesecake crust. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 45 minutes. Turn the oven off but keep the door closed. Leave the cake in the oven for 1 hour. Partially open the oven door and let the cake cool for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool to room temperature. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.

3. RAVIOLI Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook 1 8-ounce package of butternut squash ravioli for about 1 minute less than the time listed on the package instructions. Set aside, reserving the pasta water. In a saute pan over medium heat, add ¼ cup each of heavy cream and eggnog, 3 torn sage leaves, freshly ground black pepper to taste, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Allow the mixture to reduce for about 3 minutes. Toss in the ravioli and let it cook in the sauce for about 1 minute. Dilute with ¼ cup of pasta water (or more to reach your desired consistency). Serve immediately.

— photo by Jonathan Gayman

No More Liquid Hangover Reminders: Champagne 3 ways

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

That pulsing headache isn’t the only reminder of the endless clinking and drinking of New Year’s Eve. There’s also that half-full bottle of bubbly on the counter. And since there’s no way that cork’s fitting back in (We promise, stop trying.), it’s time to make that liquid hangover reminder your kitchen’s new workhorse. Whether your bottle o’ bubbly cost you a Lincoln or a Franklin, here are three recipes that will make it so you never waste another drop.

1. Scallops In a small saucepan, bring ¾ cup of Champagne to a boil. Turn the burner down to low, add a squeeze of lemon juice and place 8 large bay scallops in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the scallops are mostly opaque with slightly translucent centers. Serve immediately.

2. French onion soup Thinly slice 2 large yellow onions. In a large saucepan, saute the onions in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat until caramelized, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add to the saucepan: 2 cups of dry Champagne, 2 cups of beef broth and 1 bay leaf. Bring to a gentle boil. Cover the pan and let simmer for 20 minutes. Taste, adding salt and pepper if necessary. Remove the bay leaf. Place 1 thick slice of French bread in the bottoms of each of 4 ovenproof soup bowls. Ladle equal portions of the onion soup into each bowl. Top each portion with 1½ ounces of thinly sliced Camembert or Gruyere cheese. Broil until the cheese melts and begins to blister and bubble, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

3. Champagne vinegar Pour ¼ cup of Champagne into a wide-mouthed jar. Let the jar sit at room temperature for 2 weeks, at which point it will become Champagne vinegar. Use the vinegar for a vinaigrette to pour over salads, in a Mignonette to top oysters, or add a splash to tomato sauce or mayonnaise.

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