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Archive for March 9, 2012

ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Green Cake Pops

St. Patrick’s Day is a week from tomorrow, so here’s a fun weekend project:

Give the cake pop trend some St. Patrick’s Day spirit and bake a batch of these tempting treats.

They look pretty on the outside, but the surprise is on the inside: green cake!

This recipe, from McCormick, is all you need for a St. Patrick’s afternoon tea—along with tea, of course, and perhaps an Irish Coffee Martini, traditional Irish Coffee or an Irish whiskey cocktail.

You can also bake Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes, Irish Coffee Cheesecake and the Emerald Isle Cheesecake Bars we’ll be posting tomorrow.

This recipe makes 4 dozen cake pops, or 24 two-pop servings. Prep time 45 minutes, cook time 35 minutes.

 

St. Patrick would have loved these cake pops. Photo courtesy McCormick.com.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
  • 2 teaspoons green food color
  • 3/4 cup marshmallow creme (or 1/2 cup canned vanilla frosting)
  • 1 bag (14 ounces) white confectionery coating wafers*
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Optional decoration: green sprinkles, green sanding sugar and/or confetti shamrocks
    (here’s a mix-and-match sprinkle kit)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. Bake the cake. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding food color. Bake as directed on package for 13×9-inch baking pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

    2. Make cake balls. Crumble cake into large bowl. Add marshmallow creme; mix until well blended. Shape into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate 2 hours.

    3. Coat in chocolate. Melt coating wafers as directed on package. For each Cake Pop, dip 1/2 inch of lollipop stick into melted coating. Insert dipped end of lollipop stick halfway into cake ball. Let stand until coating is set. Dip each cake pop into melted coating. Shake gently to remove excess coating.

    4. Decorate. Sprinkle or roll cake pops in green sprinkles, if desired. Place cake pops in styrofoam blocks. Let stand until coating is set.

    5. Serve. Serve in short glassware or a short vase, in the styrofoam or other holder. If you don’t have a styrofoam block, use upside-down foam egg cartons or a cardboard box to hold the cake pops. You can also poke holes with an ice pick in a melon, squash or rustic (crusty) bread loaf.

    *COOKING NOTE: Confectionary coating is used for candy making and coating. It is packaged in wafer form and is available in a variety of colors and flavors, including milk and dark chocolate. It can be found in the cake decorating aisle of craft and party stores.

    Find more of our favorite cake recipes.

      

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    Cooking Video: How To Poach The Perfect Egg With Alton Brown

     

    Yesterday we provided step-by-step instructions on how to poach the perfect egg.

    In this video, Alton Brown demonstrates it. Join him and poach a few.

    Know the different types of eggs? There are many more options than “white” and “brown.”
    Check ’em out
    .

    Discover more about eggs, plus recipes, in our Eggs Section.

       

       

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    FILM: Jiro Dreams Of Sushi, A Lesson On Sushi & Life

    “Jiro Dreams Of Sushi” is a documentary by American filmmaker David Gelb, about 85 year-old sushi chef Jiro Ono—considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. The film opens today in New York City at the Lincoln Plaza and IFC Center, and on Friday, March 16th in Los Angeles at the Nuart Theatre. A national rollout will follow.

    Considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef, Jiro Ono is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a small, nondescript, sushi-only restaurant located down a flight of stairs on the concourse of a Tokyo subway station.

    The restaurant serves only sushi and a few beverages—no appetizers, no miso soup, no desserts. The decor is classic sushi bar plainness: white walls, wood booths, tables and sushi bar. Customers must use a shared public bathroom outside the restaurant.

     

    The great sushi chef Jiro Ono and his son Yoshikazu at their sushi bar. Photo courtesy Magnolia Films.

     

    Yet despite the humble surroundings—a total lack of ambiance—Sukiyabashi Jiro is the first sushi bar to be awarded the top honor, three stars, by the demanding reviewers of the Guide Michelin. The reviewers famously give two stars for memorably great food and the third star for great ambiance.

    The Real Message

    We love sushi; it’s our favorite food. Yet for us, the inspiration of the film is not how to make beautiful sushi. It’s about the work ethic of a master craftsman who never stops seeking perfection.

    At an age where most people are long retired, Jiro—who was hospitalized after a heart attack at at age 70 but never slowed down—gets up early in the morning and works a long day. He samples every piece of fish, trains his small staff of five (including his son) and stands behind the sushi bar to carefully mold and present his sushi. He’s there when the restaurant closes, after dinner service.

    Jiro’s eldest son Yoshikazu, the traditional heir to his father’s business, is a bit like Prince Charles: past 50, diligently doing his job, respecting his venerated parent and no doubt wondering when he will get to run the show. His younger brother Takashi already has a larger, glamorous sushi bar in a fashionable neighborhood.

    Follow the film to a theater near you on the official website.

    Love sushi? Learn all about it in our beautiful Sushi Glossary.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Eat The Rainbow For National Nutrition Month

    A rainbow of fruits and veggies.
    Photo courtesy Stephanie Suchat.

     

    In elementary school we learned how to remember the order of the colors of the rainbow: ROYGBIV—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

    Now, nutritionists advise us to “eat the rainbow.” The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics made this year’s theme “Eat Right with Color,” to focus on improving eating habits, simply by eating a rainbow of colors.

    Since March is National Nutrition Month, we share their recommendations.

    So see how many of these colors you can work into daily meals. Make a game of it and get other family members to recommend their favorite foods—as long as they’re ROYGBIV. The following suggestions recommend just one food per color, but through the power of the Internet, you can find many more.

     

  • RED: Until summer tomatoes hit the store, the bright, vibrant pomegranate has been proven to prevent a variety of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s and some cancers. If you don’t want to cut up the entire fruit (it’s easy—see how), you can get many of the same benefits from drinking pomegranate juice or eating pomegranate seeds (arils) sold in bags.
  • ORANGE: Bright and nutrient-loaded sweet potatoes are a delicious and filling food. Packed with beta-carotene, copper, iron, potassium and fiber, this superfood looks great on any plate. For snacking, stock up on sweet potato chips (or make your own).
  • YELLOW: Bananas, a quick and easy go-to healthy snack, are a great source of potassium and electrolytes. Both of these nutrients help our bodies maintain normal nerve and muscle function, (especially good after a workout). Plus, bananas are high in fiber, so they’re satisfying and filling.
  • GREEN: With a heap of cancer-fighting antioxidants, leafy kale is high in vitamins and minerals that promote heart health. Fiber-rich foods fill you up faster, which helps to keep weight in check. More on kale, kale chips and how to make your own kale chips.
  • BLUE: Just a handful of blueberries or blackberries packs enough potassium and vitamin C to make it a top choice of doctors and nutritionists. These berries can lower the risk of heart disease and cancer, and help reduce inflammation which can lead to chronic diseases. EDITOR’S NOTE: Also look for concord and zinfandel grapes, flavorful blue-black cultivars that can be added to salads, eaten as a snack fruit or drunk as juice.
  • INDIGO: More grapes! Red-purple varieties such as cardinal, emperor, flame seedless and red globe are packed with healthful goodness. Grapes are rich in the phytochemical compound resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant which has been found to protect against cancers of colon and prostate, coronary heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s and more. They also contain anthocyanins and catechins, other strong antioxidants.
  • VIOLET: Go for eggplant. The Chinese pingtung long eggplant and some varieties of Japanese eggplant have a lovely violet color. Japanese eggplant (and eggplant in general) is high in fiber and minerals and low in calories. The skin contains the antioxidant nasunin, a potent phytonutrient (type of antioxidant) that protects brain cell membranes and may help fight aging and cancer.
     
    RAINBOW TRIVIA: It was Sir Isaac Newton who named and defined the seven colors of the rainbow.

      

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