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America Finally Gets a Full-Time Cat Cafe

by , October 28th, 2014

The rest of the world has been sipping on their lattes and petting on their felines for a couple of years now. Meanwhile, the closest America has gotten is a pop-up or two. That seems highly unfair, given the country’s unabashed love affair with cats. Well, it looks like that long national nightmare is over. California just opened their very own cat cafe.

Cat Town Cafe in Oakland, California will get you filled up with caffeine and with noted parasite toxoplasma gondii. All of the cats roaming around are adoptable if you are looking to work some kind of ‘rent to own’ deal. In addition to feisty kitties, they serve a variety of coffee drinks and snacks. You know, the usual coffee shop fare.

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Beat the Wheat: Gluten-Free Pear Tart

by , October 24th, 2014

Gluten-Free Pear TartAKA Nothing Com-pears to You

Pears are the unsung heroes of fall. Everyone at the farmers market last weekend was all, “Oooohhh, apples this and apples that.” Fine. Let ‘em try and outdo each other with “Honeycrisp is better than Jonagold, but for baking it’s all about Mutsu.” That keeps them away from the best fruit of the season: pears. You know I’m right. And I want them all for myself.

As a kid, I loved opening my lunchbox at school and finding a pear instead of an apple. Those were very good days. As an adult, I love eating them raw, poaching them in wine, making chutneys and butters with them, and baking with them. One time I tried to make a pear pie. It was, shall we say, gross — really, really gross. A pear tart with a creamy custard, though? Bonkers-good.

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25 Ways to Use Sauerkraut

by , October 24th, 2014

Oktoberfest in Germany may have ended, but you can keep the celebrations going all month long.

Sauerkraut, a traditional German fermented cabbage, isn’t just a delicious hot dog topping or stuffing for Reuben sandwiches. It contains probiotics (those same ones found in yogurt), which help maintain healthy stomach functions, so eat up!

Break out a beer stein and your lederhosen to prepare these delicious sauerkraut-stuffed dishes.

1. All you need to make Alton Brown’s Sauerkraut recipe is cabbage, some spices and a fair amount of time; it takes about two weeks for the cabbage to ferment. Pickling salt is a fine-grain pure salt that doesn’t contain additives like anti-caking agents or iodine that other cooking salts may have.
2. Rachael Ray’s Reuben-Style Casserole with Pastrami Meatballs, Sauerkraut and Barley is an easy make-ahead meal, perfect to warm you up on chilly fall evenings.
3. If you’re an adventurous baker, make Beer and Sauerkraut Fudge Cupcakes with Beer Frosting.
4. Serve Michael Symon’s Bratwurst Stewed with Sauerkraut (pictured above) on a baguette at your next tailgate.
5. A simple Sauerkraut Soup with Sausage is hearty enough to be a full meal.
6. Cook Good Luck Pork and Sauerkraut low and slow on the stovetop or in the slow cooker for meat so tender it falls right off the bones.

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Hump Day Snack: Creeptastic Zombie Cupcakes

by , October 22nd, 2014

Zombie CupcakesHave you eaten your quota of fun-sized candy bars yet? While there’s still plenty of time before October 31st, there’s no harm in getting in the spook-tacular mood early with these Creeptastic Zombie Cupcakes. They’re also ideal for a Walking Dead zombie party. The skulls, eyeballs and gooey brains that sit on top of the cupcakes start with a simple red velvet cake, broken down into crumbs and mixed with enough frosting to bind them together into cake eyeballs, brains and skulls. Dip them in white chocolate and go wild creating the brains and guts. Your friends won’t believe their eye(ball)s!

For more creepy creations to jumpstart your Halloween celebrations, check out these bone-chilling recipes from Cooking Channel:

Trick-or-Treating Ideas Beyond Candy

by , October 22nd, 2014

jack o lanterns

Before you buy industrial-size bags of candy bars and make yours the most popular house in the neighborhood come Halloween, pause for a minute. Yeah, yeah, yeah, of course there’s the issue that we as Americans eat too much sugar and face an obesity epidemic. We’ve heard plenty about that. But also more important than ever is the issue of deadly food allergies. That’s why FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is promoting the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween: Offer something that’s not candy (or food) and paint your pumpkin teal so savvy (and food-sensitive) trick-or-treaters can know which houses are safe.

Lest you fear getting TP’ed for your treats, the alternatives to candy don’t have to just be raisins and toothbrushes. Here are a few cooler ways to sidestep candy.

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Dinner Rush! Creamy Rigatoni with Squash, Sage and Pine Nuts

by , October 21st, 2014

Move over, pumpkin spice latte — you’re not the only squash-themed edible that deserves the seasonal spotlight. Let’s clear a path for good ol’ reliable butternut. Is it the sexiest squash at the market? Hardly. But what it lacks in front-porch decor appeal it more than makes up for with a cute name and remarkable versatility.

This time of year, butternut squash really is everywhere. You can pick one up whole or already cubed up in the produce section. They’re also hiding out in a lesser-known location: the freezer case. Frozen squash will save a ton of prep time, whether you buy it cubed or pureed. While the recipe below makes fantastic use of the whole squash, buy yourself a little extra and toss it in with soups, stews or your breakfast hash. You’ll be doing your dinner plate a vitamin-boosting favor and helping out an underdog.

Now, step out into that spotlight, butternut squash. You deserve it.

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10 Worst Restaurant Fails

by , October 21st, 2014

There’s a certain excitement in the air when a new restaurant opens up in the neighborhood. Finally, a reason to leave the house. However, not all eateries are worthy of you escaping from your bubble of Netflix and Facebook “Likes.” Some of them are downright failures in every conceivable way possible. Here are the worst of the worst of these sad experiments in eating displeasure, the biggest successes in failure-dom, if you will.

Photos: 10 Worst Restaurants in the World

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Sifted: Spicy Cornbread Biscuits, Pumpkin Gingersnap Ice Cream Cake + More

by , October 21st, 2014

Spicy Cheddar Cornbread Biscuits
Hot Links We’re Loving:

  • When you’re faced with a bowl of steamy chili, it would be an injustice to choose between cornbread and biscuits. Dinner Was Delicious makes it easy with Spicy Cheddar Cornbread Biscuits, which are somehow both crumbly and flaky, not to mention loaded with sharp cheddar and jalapeno.
  • Want to put a new spin on pumpkin pie? Layer pumpkin and vanilla ice creams (with a jolt of pumpkin butter) into Shutterbean‘s easy Ice Cream Cake. Pound gingersnap cookies into crumbs for a speedy buffer layer.
  • We hate to say it, but the days of juicy, fresh tomato salsas are now over (unless you live in the tropics). Face the tomto-free music with these Fish Tacos by Turntable Kitchen. The recipe ingeniously creates a pomegranate salsa, ysubg the seeds out of in-season pomegranate for a juicy sweet-and-sour salsa condiment.
  • Roast real sweet potatoes and whip up a tangy cream cheese glaze for Sweet Potato Pecan Cinnamon Rolls by Brooklyn Homemaker. Yeasty, plush and gooey, you won’t be able to resist pulling these rolls apart from the pan.
  • Think of Alsatian Flammkuchen as a bacon-, apple- and taleggio-topped take on pizza, though the dough is made with milk rather than water and results in a lighter, crunchier crust. Take a slice of Eat in My Kitchen‘s recipe with good, dry wine.

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This Cake Combines Every Dessert Into One Decadent Treat

by , October 21st, 2014

One of the great struggles of existence is trying to decide what dessert to shove down your gaping maw. Apple pie sure is good, but so is chocolate cake and, oh, what about pumpkin pie? Life is hard! However, does it have to be? One bakery decided to just put every dessert in one big cake.

Three Brothers Bakery in Texas have just unveiled their take on the Turducken, the Pumpecapple Piecake. This beastly baked good contains layers of apple pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate cake and pecan pie. Additionally, there is caramel sauce and icing between every layer. Somehow the whole thing manages to stay aloft, which is a marvel unto itself.

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Traditional Fried Chicken Flies the Coop in Favor of the Sweet and Spicy

by , October 20th, 2014

There are few foods revered for their simplicity and nostalgia-inducing power like crispy, juicy fried chicken. But on Thursday night, 17 prominent New York City-based chefs and restaurants proved that sometimes it pays to shake up an old classic when they served their unique takes on chicken to guests at Central Park’s Loeb Boathouse.

Held on the opening night of this year’s New York City Wine & Food Festival, the fourth annual Chicken Coupe (presented by Cooking Channel) was hosted and judged by fried chicken enthusiast Whoopi Goldberg. Goldberg had approached festival founder Lee Brian Schrager several years ago about dedicating an entire event to the universally loved dish, and this year, she wrote the foreword to Schrager’s book, Fried & True — so you might say they know a thing or two about anointing a winning bird.

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