It’s Spring!

21 03 2011

It will still be a while until new produce is available but we can start planning ahead

Welcome to spring!  We finally made it through winter (and it was a pretty tough one for many areas, weather-wise).  As exciting as the start of a new season is, the reality is that where I live we won’t have consistently nice weather and new produce for a while yet. However, we can start to transition into the new season by thinking about what lies ahead.  Here are some of my favourite spring recipes to get you in the mood for what’s to come:

Tempura Chive Blossoms

Pickled Radishes

Rhubarb Refresher (cocktail)

Crustless Asparagus Quiche

Sesame Noodles with Asparagus and Mushrooms

Roasted Asparagus Lasagna

Baby Red Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Spaghetti with Creamy Wild Leek Pesto

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

Quick Strawberry Jam and Easy Drop Biscuits

Cherry Clafouti with Almonds

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

Get updates from The Seasonal Gourmet on Facebook and Twitter.  Join the conversation today!





The Friday Five – March 18th, 2011

18 03 2011

The week is almost over so celebrate the weekend by rocking out to the latest viral hit (and one of the worst songs ever written): Friday!

1.  Do you remember the Seinfeld episode about muffin tops?  Apparently someone got the bright idea that people might want to make them at home and invented the Muffin Top Baking Pan.  Check out more of the Daily Meal’s 10 Food and Drink Inventions We Didn’t Need.  Tater Mitts, anyone? (Wikipedia, The Daily Meal)

2.  Bartender Sheldon Wiley recently won the Guinness world record title as the Fastest Bartender in the World by making 1,043 drinks in an hour.  I’ll be thinking of him the next time I’m stuck waiting forever for the bartender to make me a single cocktail. (Eater.com)

3.  Apparently an extended NFL lockout has more than football fans upset: the chicken wing industry is very concerned that it will be devastating to them because a large percentage of their sales occurs during games.  Although I bet chickens are happy about it… (Yahoo UK).

4.  If you’ve never had (or heard of) cherimoya, you might soon: the delicious fruit has been touted as “the next banana”.  However, researchers first have to figure out how to grow seedless versions in a commercial capacity. (LA Times)

5.  Do you have a waffle iron you rarely use?  An ice cream maker that’s collecting dust?  Get some ideas for new ways to use them from Real Simple: Repurpose Rarely Used Appliances. (Real Simple)

On a serious note: Like everyone, I have been following news of the horrible devastation in Japan following last week’s earthquake and tsunami.  If you’d like to help, you can visit your nation’s Red Cross website to make a donation: Canadian Red Cross / American Red Cross / British Red Cross.  For people living in the Toronto area, a benefit dinner to aid the victims will be held on Sunday, March 27th at Boehmer restaurant.  The dinner features some of Toronto’s top chefs so book early. For more information, visit nowtoronto.com: Support for Japan.

Have great weekend!

Get updates from The Seasonal Gourmet on Facebook and Twitter.  Join the conversation today!





The Friday Five – March 11, 2011

11 03 2011

A weekly round up food and drink-related news stories:

1.  Apparently the customer isn’t always right: The New York Times reports on restauranteurs who refuse to cater to customers’ requests for things like take-out espresso, ketchup on french fries and toasted bagels. (NYT)

2.  Have you ever had a dream about food?  The Dream Mood dictionary gives interpretations for a variety of food-related dreams, from abalone to whiskey. Or it could just mean you ate too much before bed… (The Daily Meal)

3.  I think onions are a crucial ingredient for adding flavour to a lot of dishes. However, some criminals from Queens have found a new use for them: torturing their victims by sticking their head in a bag of cut up onions until they give up their money or drugs. (NY Daily News)

4.  The recently released cookbook ‘Modernist Cuisine’ has been called a “game-changer” for chefs. It comprises six volumes totaling over 2,400 pages, weighs 49 pounds and costs $625 (USD).  Judging by the (rather ridiculous) burger recipe, this isn’t exactly a starter book for nervous new cooks. (examiner.com, Eater National)

5.  Lent has just started and many people give up something for the 40 days leading up to Easter. Apparently a man in Iowa has decided to give up all food and drink – except for beer.  He is planning to consume only water and four pints of beer a day until Easter to re-create the way Franciscan monks marked Lent centuries ago – or at least that’s what he told he wife and pastor. (msnbc.com)

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to ‘Spring Ahead’ this weekend by moving your clocks forward by one hour Saturday night!

Get updates from The Seasonal Gourmet on Facebook and Twitter.  Join the conversation today!





The Friday Five – March 4th, 2011

4 03 2011

A weekly round up food and drink-related news stories:

1.  I used to love my Easy Bake Oven when I was a kid.  With the end of incandescent lighting nearing, Hasbro is re-vamping the ovens, depriving future generations of the joy of eating half-baked brownies they proudly cooked by the heat of a lightbulb. (Salon)

2.  Do you remember the McDLT? It was innovative because it kept ‘the hot side hot and the cool side cool’, which apparently was an issue with hamburgers.  Re-visit other ill-advised ideas with these fifteen Fast Food Failures. (CNBC.com)

3.  Speaking of McDonald’s, there were rumors this week that they would be rolling out the McLobster across the U.S.  Alas, the stories were false but the elusive McLobster is sometimes available in parts of New England and Eastern Canada. (Huffington Post)

4.  If you turned on the tv or radio this week, you probably heard about actor Charlie Sheen’s mad rants. Now you can whip up a timely tabloid-themed drink for your next party: The Charlie Sheen. I’m guessing it will leave a bad taste in your mouth… (The Daily Meal)

5.  In honour of the second anniversary of his talk show, Jimmy Fallon was given his own ice cream flavour by Ben and Jerry’s. He joins other celebrities with their own flavours including Elton John, Stephen Colbert and of course, Jerry Garcia. SlashFood reviewed the concoction, which is made with a vanilla base, a salty caramel swirl and clusters of fudge-covered potato chip clusters. (Eater.com. slashfood.com)

Have a great weekend!

Get updates from The Seasonal Gourmet on Facebook and Twitter.  Join the conversation today!





The Friday Five – January 28th, 2011

28 01 2011

A weekly round up food and drink-related news stories:

1.  If you’ve ever been stuck somewhere with a bottle of wine and no corkscrew (I have), take note of these Five Creative Ways to Open Wine Without a Corkscrew. Consider it crucial survival training! (The Daily Meal)

2.  When it comes to diets, I thought I had heard it all (cabbage soup diet, Atkins, grapefruit diet, South Beach…). However, Le Whif and Le Whaf are new to me. Apparently you inhale vapours such as chocolate or caffeine to satisfy cravings. (Gawker)

3.  A lawsuit has been filed against Taco Bell concerning the contents of their beef. An Alabama law firm claims that Taco Bell’s fillings are only 36% beef but the popular chain disputes this number (they claim their tacos contain 88% beef). I’ll let the courts decide but the lengthy list of ingredients in their taco filling is certainly interesting… (The Globe and Mail)

4.  These are the types of things I shouldn’t read: the FDA’s handbook of Food Defect Action Levels outlines how many parts of foreign objects (ie. bugs, rodent hairs, etc) can wind up in your food. Anyone fancy a nice bowl of broccoli and aphids? (Salon)

5. This sounds like one of the most terrifying jobs I’ve ever heard of: In Canada’s Arctic, the Inuit harvest mussels from under the sea ice, risking their lives as it shifts with the tides. (BBC News)

Have a great weekend!

Get updates from The Seasonal Gourmet on Facebook and Twitter.  Join the conversation today!





The Friday Five – January 21st, 2011

21 01 2011

A weekly round up food and drink-related news stories:

1.  Good news for people who don’t like foods that are bitter: there is now a pill that blocks bitter flavours.  Campari, here I come! (Salon)

2.  We’ve always been told to eat our fruits and vegetables for good health but you may want to take heed of these 21 Deadly Dishes. Of course, not many people consume 11 lbs. of rhubarb leaves or an entire nutmeg in one sitting… (The Daily Meal)

3.  Savannah’s favourite celebrity chef, Paula Deen, recently celebrated her 64th birthday. To honour Paula, you can enjoy some of her creations such as Deep-Fried Butter Balls, Bacon Wrapped Fried Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Bacon Donut Egg Brunch Burgers (yes, they are real recipes).  I think I feel a little sick, y’all. (Serious Eats, Food Network)

4.  Scotch drinkers can now get their favourite tipple to go with Scotch Whisky in a Can. I can only imagine how rowdy some Scottish football fans could get – there are 8 shots of liquor per can. (Eater)

5.  A bar in Massachusetts is experimenting with allowing customers to text servers to speed up service.  Do we really need to be encouraged to do more texting at the table than we’re already doing? (NPR.org)

Have a great weekend!

Get updates from The Seasonal Gourmet on Facebook and Twitter.  Join the conversation today!





The Friday Five – January 7th, 2011

7 01 2011

A weekly round up food and drink-related news stories:

1.  The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has come out with their list of unhealthiest cookbooks of 2010.  Deep-fried bacon doughnuts, anyone? (Eater.com)

2.  Many cities are famous for a particular dish, such as Philly cheesesteaks, Buffalo wings and Boston Cream Pie.  Serious Eats highlights eight cities and their best dishes that aren’t famous yet.  (Serious Eats)

3.  Check out some of the latest innovations in the world of drinks, including a bottle that acts as a decanter and wine packaged in test tubes for single-serve tastings. (The Daily Meal)

4.  Speaking of futuristic innovations, can you imagine getting a tweet from your scale telling you you’ve put on weight?  Surfing the net on your fridge? The future is now… (CNN.com)

5.  If you’re looking for extra incentive to lose weight this year, you might want to pick up a copy of Neil Setchfield’s ‘Yuck! The Things People Eat’.  Photos of such delicacies as stir-fried tarantulas and Korean penis fish are likely to dampen your appetite. (Montreal Gazette)

Have a great weekend!

Get updates from The Seasonal Gourmet on Facebook and Twitter.  Join the conversation today!