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Behind the Wine: It’s Harvest Season in Oregon

by , October 7th, 2014

vineyardOctober is an exciting month in the agriculture world, as peaches and corn give way to apples and pumpkins, prime for the picking. And in certain vine-filled valleys, it’s a lush time, indeed: the grape harvest. On a recent visit to Willamette Valley — Oregon’s up-and-coming wine region known for its bold Pinot Noirs and crisp Chardonnays — we learned that an unusually warm summer had sped up the growing and ripening process, resulting in an earlier harvest. Lucky for us, that meant we were able to get up close and personal with those big, juicy grapes.

To learn all about the harvest process — and see how varying microclimates within a 10-mile radius can yield entirely different grapes — we visited a few different wineries. We checked in with Winemaker Melissa Burr from Stoller Family Estate as she sampled some of the new juices coming off of the vines, and toured Sokol Blosser and Penner-Ash wineries to see how their harvests were progressing.

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This 8,000-Calorie Breakfast Requires a Signed Release Form

by , October 6th, 2014

HibernatorBreakfast. The most important meal of the day. The one time of day you are encouraged to eat bacon and eggs with absolutely no guilt. That’s because a couple of eggs and a few strips of bacon clock in at, what, 400 calories? What if your favorite breakfast goodies tipped the scale at a massive 8,000 calories? There might be some guilt involved, in that case.

Bear Grills in Cheshire, England just started serving up something called the Hibernator. It’s a whopping 8,000 calories of breakfast item goodness. What’s in this beast? Eight pieces of bacon and eight sausages, four hash browns, four pieces of toast, four potato waffles, four slices of fried bread a four-egg cheese omelette, beans, fries and, for health purposes, tomatoes and mushrooms. Just in case you aren’t satisfied by the spread laid out in front of you, it also comes with a giant milkshake. Cool!

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Finally, There is a Netflix For Booze Delivery

by , October 4th, 2014

Saucey

One of the great tragedies of modern life is the need to actually leave the house in order to purchase copious amounts of booze. All of that walking. All of that chatting with liquor store employees. All of that staring at receipts. It’s just so tiring! Thank goodness, then, that a team of industrious entrepreneurs has invented an app that lets you order whatever spirits you want with a push of a touchscreen.

The app, conveniently named Saucey, works similarly to other on-demand services like Netflix and Grubhub. You decide what kind of alcohol you desperately want to imbibe and then it undergoes a two-part delivery process to end up at your door. First it heads to your local liquor store and from there it lovingly appears on your doorstep, ready for all the drunk texting you can muster.

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25 Ways to Use Sriracha

by , October 3rd, 2014

Fried Chicken with SrirachaSriracha is an addictively spicy hot sauce that has found its way into the kitchens and hearts of cooks around the globe. Although it originated in the Thai city of Sri Racha, Sriracha is now used to kick up all types of cuisines. You can use it on everything from your morning eggs to an evening cocktail. Sriracha definitely carries heat (a dot of the stuff will do the trick), but the hot sauce has a complex flavor; it’s vinegary and slightly sweet behind that red hot heat. Next time you’re craving something hot, reach for a bottle of your favorite Sriracha and get your fix with these 25 ways:

1. Start off by making your own Sriracha-Style Hot Sauce. It’s an overnight process, but if you properly can and seal it, this homemade Sriracha lasts up to a year.
2. Kelsey Nixon’s Asian Chicken Burger with Spicy Lemongrass Mayo and Pickled Asian Slaw is a lighter variation on the standard burger. The quick-pickled slaw adds lots of texture and flavor without a ton of calories.
3. Pimento cheese is a traditional Southern food, made with cream cheese, pimentos and shredded Cheddar. Normally served between two sliced of white bread, try the spicy version, Matt’s Sriracha Pimento Cheese Dip with vegetables and cracker for dipping, in a sandwich or even on top of baked potatoes.
4. Michael Symon fries chicken twice before serving. Once at a lower temperature to cook the chicken through and the second time at a higher temperature to get it super crispy. Twice-Fried Chicken with Sriracha Honey (pictured above) is fried in lard, which can be found at the butcher or meat department of the grocery store, or other oil with a high smoke point such as peanut oil.
5. For an all-out Southern feast, serve Michael Symon’s chicken (above) with Sherla’s Southern Greens.
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Beat the Wheat: Gluten-Free Pizza Recipe

by , October 3rd, 2014

Gluten-Free Pizza
AKA Pizza to Make Your Doorbell Ring

I’m a big Gilmore Girls fan, but nothing bums me out more on that show than when Lorelai and Rory order pizza. Diagnosed with celiac just as the show went into syndication (and the weekend marathon watching commenced), I still get super-sad when the gals of Stars Hollow try to save a bad day by ordering pizza — something I’ll never be able to do again.

Pizza’s a tricky thing for people who can’t eat gluten. Lots of places make gluten-free pizza, but they don’t use separate prep and cooking areas, and cross-contamination is a risk not worth taking.

Still, there’s no such thing as “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to the awesomeness that is pizza, whether it’s with icy soda or cold beer.

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Five Secret Cooking Oils of Sub-Saharan Africa

by , October 3rd, 2014

 

Nara Seeds

Thoughts of travel in Africa may conjure images of lions and elephants, or safaris seeking photographic trophies or even hidden treasures. True, this is all on offer, but for the culinary adventurer there are different kinds of quests to be had — especially when looking for ingredients to cook with. On a recent safari in Namibia, I “discovered” a rare oil derived from the endemic !nara plant (pronounced with a click sound followed by “na-ra”), which adds a unique, fruity and nutty flavor to meats and vegetables. It’s one of several “secret” oils found all around the continent if you look hard enough.

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Thai Government Builds Robot to Judge Quality of Food

by , October 3rd, 2014

Thai food robot

Everyone knows that a zombie apocalypse will never happen. Some kind of virus that turns us into unstoppable, and hungry, killing machines? Yeah right. A robot apocalypse, however, is absolutely within the realm of possibility. Introducing a robot that knows if food tastes good or not, brought to you by the Thai government.

The Thai Delicious Committee recently unveiled the robot as insurance against crappy Thai food. Essentially, they send the robot around the world to make sure nobody is screwing up any of their national dishes. This nameless, unfeeling robot is outfitted with a bevy of sensors that analyze the chemical signatures of a variety of Thai staples. It then awards the dish a score of 1 to 100. If it falls below 80, the robot sends the offending chef on a ‘vacation.’ OK, that last part is made up. They just get a bad score.

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Hump Day Snack: Caramel Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

by , October 1st, 2014

Caramel Apple Cake

Although Mother Nature may still be confused, we’re certain that it’s officially the season of crisp red apples, warm spices and changing leaves. Take advantage of early apples to make this gorgeous baked take on classic caramel apples.  Besides embodying all of the colors of fall, this Caramel Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream hits on the flavor, too, combining applesauce, cinnamon, brown sugar and caramel. For a sweet, surprising finish, top the cake with homemade caramel apples!

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Surprising Ways to Eat Your Oats

by , October 1st, 2014

Oat Meatloaf
There’s no doubt oats are a healthy food. After all, they’re packed with soluble fiber (the kind that helps lower your cholesterol and helps keep your blood sugar from spiking) and they’re relatively low in calories (1/3 cup of dry oats clocks in at 100 calories). They also give you a smattering of B vitamins and minerals (including a whopping amount of manganese, which you need for healthy bones). But if you’re finding yourself bored by the regular old morning oatmeal with brown sugar, it’s time to embrace new ways to eat oats.

Steel-cut oats are the perfect backdrop for savory toppings. A fast option is topping it with a dollop of peanut butter, a squirt of sriracha and some diced pineapple. Or bring steel-cut oats to the brunch table by topping with sauteed onions and peppers, cilantro, black beans and queso fresco. You can go the route of cooking steel-cut oats in a slow-cooker overnight, or try quick-cooking steel cut oats to work them easily into a quick meal.

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Sifted: Coffee Ice Cream with Animal Cookies, Chinese Sausage Carbonara + More

by , September 30th, 2014

Coffe Icecream with Circus Animal Cookie Crumbs

Hot Links We’re Loving:

  • So much better than dunking a biscotti in some coffee: Hummingbird High whips up a fun batch of No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream with Circus Animal Cookie Crumbs, mixing morsels of the iced-and-sprinkled childhood classics into each caffeinated scoop.
  • As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But when i am a food blog reinvents classic creamy-without-cream carbonara pasta to incorporate Chinese sausage, you won’t find us complaining. The spiced links stand in for pancetta, imbuing a distinct smoky flavor and a whole different take on fusion.
  • Peanut butter has a lot of best friends, including chocolate and jelly. Combine all three into Chocolate PB&J Cups by Love & Lemons. They’re vegan and gluten-free, and a sprinkle of sea salt will leave you tingling.
  • It only takes four ingredients to make Happyolks Concord Grape Mint Sorbet. A shot of lime and some fresh mint tease out that early fall grape goodness.
  •  If you’re already counting down to weekend brunch, here’s a dish idea. Top with Cinnamon kicks on the griddle for Carrot Cake Pancakes with Vanilla Mascarponebest served to PJs-clad diners with a huge dollop of vanilla-mascarpone whipped cream.

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