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Archive for October 13, 2011

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Spooktacular Halloween Gifts

Halloween cake pops: a spooktacular treat. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

 

For weeks we tasted treat after treat to come up with our Halloween favorites.

It’s tough work!

Hand-decorated to look spooky, these Halloween chocolates, cake pops, brownies and other sweets taste simply spooktacular.

Take a look at this festive Halloween assortment, which includes—among other delights—cake pop eyeballs and ghosts, caramel-filled chocolate eyeballs and great-tasting white chocolate ghosts.

Whether you’re looking for a gift or a well-deserved treat for yourself, we highly recommend each “boo-tiful” bite.

Read our review.

Go directly to the goodies.

 

  

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TIP OF THE DAY: The Different Types Of Paring Knives

Every cook needs a paring knife. With its short blade and sharp point, a paring knife affords angles and control that larger knives can’t provide.

This all-purpose kitchen knife, similar in shape to a small chef’s knife, is most often used with fruits and vegetables. It can carve, chop, core, de-stem, peel and slice easily. It also makes delicate cuts for garnishes.

It’s the go-to tool when you need control for delicate work like removing the ribs and seeds from chiles. Yet it can also be used to devein shrimp and even bone pieces of chicken.

The blades of paring knives typically range from two to four inches. They can be smooth or serrated.

And the tips of the knives, straight or curved, are each designed for a different situation:

  • Spear Point Paring Knife. The most common and versatile design (and the one most frequently found in stores), the spear point can be used to perform any kind of paring work. Every kitchen needs one.
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    Peeling an apple is easier with a bird’s beak paring knife. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

  • Bird’s Beak Paring Knife. The bird’s beak shape makes it easier to peel round fruits, such as oranges and tomatoes. It has the best angle to remove the peel, and is easy to maneuver.
  • Sheep’s Foot, French Point or Flat Paring Knife. This style is ideal to slice and chop small items: garlic, ginger, herbs and onions, for example.
  • Serrated Edge Paring Knife. This paring knife has a smooth, straight blade and a curved point. It is used to slice larger fruits and vegetables. The blade is often longer: five inches.
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    If you’d like to work with the different shapes, chef Michelle Bernstein has licensed her name to a line from Fagor that includes a four-piece paring set: one of each style of paring knife. The knives have plastic handles and knife sheaths and are available in three colors: blue, lemon lime and red.

    You can find them on Amazon.com.

      

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    EVENT: Project Runway Designers & The Pillsbury Bake-Off

    Finalists in the Pillsbury Bake-Off apron
    competition. Photo by Diane Bondareff | AP
    Images.

     

    The 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off has announced the 100 finalists who will compete for the $1 million grand prize in March 2012. You can check out the finalist recipes at Bakeoff.com.

    The winning bakers will be wearing winning aprons as well. Three designs have been created by former Project Runway Designers: Althea Harper (finalist, Season 6), Kara Janx (Season 2) and Carol Hannah Whitfield (finalist, Season 6) (designs shown left to right in the photo).

    You can vote for your favorite apron design until October 17th at Facebook.com/Pillsbury.

    Hopefully, Pillsbury will make the winning apron available to the rest of us. It may be our one shot at owning a garment by a Project Runway designer. (We want Carol Hannah’s apron!)

     

    Update: October 18, 2011. The winning apron is Althea Harper’s!

    Feel like baking? See our Cookies, Cakes & Pastry Section and pick a recipe.

      

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