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Archive for August, 2010

TIP OF THE DAY: Pouring Champagne

The wrong way to pour Champagne or
sparkling wine. Photo by Diana Myrndorff
| SXC.

 

There’s science in everything, including pouring a glass of Champagne.

According to a new study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Champagne is a drink best poured tilted—the opposite of how most people pour it, straight into a vertical glass.

Pour Champagne as you would beer: gently down the side of a tilted glass. It preserves the concentration of bubbles, the reason we choose Champagne in the first place.

According to the study, when Champagne (or by association, any sparkling wine) is poured into a vertically-held glass, it loses twice the amount of bubbles. (For those who think that pouring beer down the side of the glass is only to reduce the size of the head: It preserves the effervescence, too.)

The head scientist on the project, Gérard Liger-Belair, is the author of the consumer book Uncorked, The Science Of Champagne.

Professor Liger-Belair is on the faculty of the University of Reims, located in the Champagne region of France. Reims (pronounced RANCE) is the largest city in the Champagne region of France, an area where pouring a glass of Champagne is a common activity among residents. Now, they (and we) can do it scientifically.

  • Learn everything you need to know about Champagne and sparkling wine.
  • Find the best parings of Champagne with dessert.
  • Learn about Champagne vinegar, made from Champagne.
  • Comments

    GOURMET GIVEAWAY: Food Should Taste Good Chips

    Food should taste good, and it definitely does if you’re munching on Food Should Taste Good chips.

    Five winners will be enjoying this tasty snack if they win this week’s Gourmet Giveaway—an entire case of the yummy corn chips that come in 11 flavors: Blue Corn, Cheddar, Chocolate, Jalapeño, Lime, Multigrain, Olive, Sweet Potato, The Works!, White Cheddar and Yellow Corn.

    Each of the flavors are evenly baked in, not powder sprinkled on top. They’re all winners and will enchant your family and guests, not only with the taste but with the different shapes and colors, too—brown, orange, yellow, coral, circle, diamond, fan, hexagon, oval, rectangle, triangle.

    The wholesome, all-natural, gluten-free chips have no cholesterol or trans fats, no GMOs, are lower in sodium than many chips, a good source of dietary fiber and certified kosher by OU.

    Enjoy the great complexity of flavors that makes these, truly, chips of a different color.

    Retail value: Approximately $40.00.

     

    Try ’em all! Photo by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

  • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Gourmet Snacks Section and click to enter your email address for the prize drawing. This contest closes on Monday, September 6th at noon, Eastern Time. Good luck!
  • Visit FoodShouldTasteGood.com to join their fan club and receive a $1.00-off coupon.
  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato Salad

    This BLT salad is a guaranteed winner.
    Photo courtesy Morton’s The Steakhouse.

     

    Turn the popular BLT sandwich into a side or main salad, and you’ll have everyone asking for more salad.

    RECIPE
    1. Cut a small iceberg lettuce or large heart of romaine in half. (This is for a large salad. For a smaller salad, cut the iceberg in quarters or portions appropriate for your meal.)

    2. Cover with finely-diced tomatoes and freshly-made bacon cut into 1/8″ horizontal strips.

    3. For a main dish salad, add diced chicken or turkey.

    4. Serve with ranch dressing or our favorite, blue cheese dressing with crumbled blue cheese. (You can substitute low-fat, low-calorie versions of the dressings.)

    5. Optional: Garnish with homemade croutons—the “toast” from the BLT.

    Can you serve the BLT salad along with a BLT sandwich? Sure: It makes one heck of a baconfest.

    Find more salad recipes in our Gourmet Vegetables Section.

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Mug Hug Mug Lid

    The new Mug Hug promises to be a hit. It’s one of several variations of a reusable silicone sip-top lid for cups and mugs that we saw at the recent International Gift Show.

    Most lids were combined with a ceramic mug, but Mug Hug can be purchased as a solo unit. It:

  • Keeps the beverage warmer.
  • Prevents spilling for mugs in transit.
  • Reduces the use of disposable plastic lids that are filling up landfills around the globe. Bring your “green” lid to the coffee shop and tell them to hold the disposable one.
  • Mug Hug is flexible and fits mugs and larger-size paper cups. It fits snugly on both our jumbo 12-ounce mugs and our 8-ounce cups that have a 3-1/4-inch-wide mouth, as well as on large paper coffee cups.

    At $6.99, the Mug Hug may become one of the year’s most popular stocking stuffers. Find it at Mug-Hug.com.

    See more of our favorite kitchen gadgets.

     

    Keep coffee or tea hot with a Mug Hug. Photo courtesy Mug Hug.

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Hot Dog Bar

    Photo courtesy RedMarbleSteaks.com.

     

    Make your Labor Day barbecue something special with a gourmet hot dog bar.

    1. In addition to standard franks, offer gourmet sausage or bratwurst. Our supermarket has bison, salmon, lamb, chicken with wild rice, chicken with feta and sundried tomato, chicken with apples, Thai and Indian chicken sausages, smoked andouille sausage and lots more.

    2. Provide a variety of mustards and ketchups. Enable guests to customize their franks with a choice of ball park, Dijon, honey mustard and horseradish mustard.

    3. Relish more toppings. In addition to the traditional sweet green pickle relish, serve corn relish, jalapeño relish and chow chow (also called piccalilli, a mustard base with chopped tomatoes, cabbage, onions, hot and sweet peppers and vinegar). Offer salsa, chili, chopped onions and grated cheese in addition to the sauerkraut.

    4. Use a better bun. Make those bread carbs count. Try whole grain or whole wheat buns (we’ve even seen buttery brioche buns). Provide lettuce leaf “wraps” for the carb counters.

  • See our favorite organic franks.
  • Read the history of the frankfurter—a style sausage created in the 17th century by a German butcher from Bavaria who brought it to Frankfurt. Yet, it was still a sausage eaten with a knife and fork, no bun. A clever American added that.
  • Check out all the different types of mustard in our Mustard Glossary.
  • Comments

    DISCOUNT: Annual Sale At Godiva

    Almost everything at Godiva is now on sale, at up to 40%, through September 6th. You can visit a Godiva Boutique or shop online at Godiva.com.

    Almost 30 items are on sale, including:

  • Godiva Mixed Chocolate Assortments
  • Ice Cream Parlor Truffles and Bars (we enjoyed these truffles and chocolate bars inspired by traditional ice cream parlor flavors such as Mint Chocolate Chip, Pecan Sundae, Neapolitan, Hazelnut and Oranges and Creme)
  • Godiva’s Signature Biscuits (another favorite—cookies topped with chocolate bars, a gourmet version of the Le Petit L’Ecolier cookie)
  • Chocolate-covered fruit, nuts and snacks
  • For a “protein snack,“ there are chocolate-covered cashews. If you’re on a diet or cutting back on sugar, there’s Godiva coffee.

     

    Save 25% on chocolate dessert cups. Fill
    with your favorite pudding, mousse, ice
    cream or fruit. Photo courtesy Godiva.

    If you’re going to a Labor Day party or other event or want to have a “Happy School Year” celebration for family and friends, stock up and save.

    Find more of our favorite chocolate—and learn all about chocolate—in our Gourmet Chocolate Section.

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Red Caviar Bagel

    Try salmon caviar instead of lox on a bagel.
    It’s available at specialty food stores or
    online at Amazon.com.

     

    It’s a no-brainer to put smoked salmon on a bagel. But how about salmon caviar?

    For a special-occasion bagel, serve the bagel with affordable salmon caviar:

  • Add a layer of crème fraîche instead of cream cheese to a sliced bagel (we like it toasted).
  • Top with salmon caviar, or a combination of smoked salmon and salmon caviar.
  • Garnish with some snipped chives.
  • Serve with Russian-style tea: black tea brewed strong with lemon (no milk—that’s British-style). A glass of Champagne or other sparkling wine would do equally well.

    Find more caviar ideas in our Caviar Section.

    Comments

    BOOK: The Divvies Bakery Cookbook

    More than 12 million Americans have food allergies, and more than 30 million are lactose intolerant.

    The bakery Divvies—the name evokes divvying up the goodies—was founded when Lori Sandler learned that her young son had several allergies. She wanted to make baked goods and candy that the entire family and friends would enjoy.

    Divvies bakery was born, turning out sweets made without peanuts, tree nuts, eggs or milk (they are not wheat-free). Despite the absence of these key baking ingredients, the treats are delicious. They were a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.

    The fame of Divvies has grown, and now there’s The Divvies Bakery Cookbook: No Nuts. No Eggs. No Dairy. Just Delicious! (A quote from THE NIBBLE’s review is on the book jacket.)

    The book is divided into occasions for serving baked goods: At home, at school, on the road and parties.

     

    The Divvies Cookbook has more than 130
    pages of allergy-free recipes.

    There are plenty of tips and information, including an extensive list of ingredients that can be used for allergy-free cooking in general.

    So, jump into Divvies’ blondies, brownies, carrot cake with “cream cheese” frosting, chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, cinnamon buns, layer cake, muffins and fun specialties such as wafflewiches. Everyone will beat a path to your kitchen door.

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Cooking With Tea

    Flavor foods with Earl Grey and other
    teas. Photo courtesy Mighty Leaf Tea.

     

    Pasta and rice can be elegantly flavored with tea, just by adding a tea bag or a tea ball of loose tea to the water.

    Tea is an herb, after all.

  • Lapsang souchong adds a wonderful smoky taste.
  • Earl Grey gives a subtle taste of bergamot.
  • Fruit tea bags add fruity taste (try pomegranate).

    There are at least a dozen cookbooks that focus on cooking with tea. Take a look at Tea Cuisine: A New Approach to Flavoring Contemporary and Traditional Dishes.

    Experiment to see what you like. We’re huge fans of smoky lapsang souchong, which is also one of our favorite drinking teas and the tea used in Chinese tea-smoked duck.

  • Learn all about tea in our Gourmet Tea Section.
  • Comments

    PRODUCT: Novelty Food Soap

    How cute are these “Soapsicles?”

    Love Lee Soaps are a food-lover’s soap paradise. Soaps imitate bacon and eggs, candy corn, chocolates, cinnamon rolls, gummi bears, ice cream cones, jelly beans, macaroons, muffins, pickles, popcorn, red licorice and more.

    Made with moisturizing glycerin and shea butter, they will keep your skin soft—if you can force yourself to use them as soap instead of art.

    Love Lee is Leanna “Lee” Kalka, who lives in Daytona Beach, Florida. She is one talented soap artisan! Buy her soaps at Etsy.com.

     

    Don’t take a bite—it’s soap! Photo
    courtesy Leanna Kalka.

    Comments

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