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Archive for May, 2012

TIP OF THE DAY: Try A New Mustard

Three of scores of different styles of
mustard. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE


We get very comfortable with the brands we buy. Sometimes, we never venture farther than what our mothers bought.

But there are new discoveries waiting on every grocer’s shelf.

Take something as basic as mustard. There are scores of different type beyond the familiar American mustard (a.k.a. ballpark and yellow mustard, like French’s).

In the B’s alone, there are Bahamian, Bavarian, Beaujolais, blackcurrant, black mustard seed, Bordeaux, brown and Burgundy mustards. Varying widely in flavor, they—and many other mustard types—add panache to food.

So pick up something new, just in time for Memorial Day. You may discover a more exciting condiment for burgers, franks, potato salad and sandwiches.

You’ve never added a tablespoon of mustard to potato salad? Consider that second Tip Of The Day (and for starters, try Dijon mustard).


  • Check out the history of mustard.
  • See all the different mustards in our Mustard Glossary.

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    RECIPE: Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes, The Low-Calorie “Mashed Potatoes” Alternative

    A ringer for mashed potatoes; but mashed cauliflower is much better for you. Photo courtesy FAGE.


    Intrepid dieters and nutrition-conscious moms have long known the secret to low-calorie mashed potatoes: Substitute cauliflower! Many a vegetable-resistant child has assumed that the mash is potatoes.

    Here’s a recipe that substitutes Greek yogurt for milk, for a richer flavor. It was developed by chef Rocco Dispirito for FAGE Total Yogurt.



  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2-1/2 cups roughly chopped cauliflower
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup FAGE Total 2%
  • Optional: 2-3 tablespoons minced chive or basil


    1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with cooking spray.

    2. Spread the cauliflower out on the prepared baking sheet. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. Top the cauliflower with another sheet with foil, and roll up the edges to form a sealed package.

    3. Roast the cauliflower for 20 minutes. Remove the top foil, being careful of the steam, and continue roasting the cauliflower until it is tender, another 15 to 20 minutes.

    4. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cauliflower with the yogurt. Purée until mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.


    Add fresh herbs: minced chives or basil are a slam dunk. Add them to the food processor when you purée the cauliflower.

    If you think that some family members will not enjoy the fresh herbs, hold them aside and use them to garnish the mash for others.

    Find more recipes from Rocco Dispirito, made healthier with yogurt, at


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    TIP OF THE DAY: Grilled Pound Cake ~ Put Dessert On The Barbie

    If you’re firing up the grill for Memorial Day Weekend, grill your dessert as well. It’s an easy crowd pleaser.

    If you’re invited elsewhere and want to bring something, offer to bring the ingredients for this dessert: the cake, ice cream and the pre-sliced pineapple.

    The cake can be baked up to two days in advance. The recipe, from Tastefully Simple, makes 9 servings.



  • Pound cake: bought, baked from scratch or baked from mix, such as Tastefully Simple’s Absolutely Almond Pound Cake Mix
  • 1 cup water (for Tastefully Simple cake mix)

    Grilled pineapple and pound cake à la mode. Image courtesy Tastefully Simple, Inc. Used with permission.


  • 3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks), melted (for Tastefully Simple cake mix)
  • 1 fresh pineapple, cut into rings
  • Caramel ice cream (if you can’t find caramel, substitute vanilla)
  • Optional garnish: a drizzle of caramel sauce, a berry, a mint leaf

    1. If baking the cake, prepare recipe as directed. Cool and wrap tightly in plastic until ready to slice and grill.

    2. Grill pineapple rings on each side until heated through; grill pound cake slices until lightly browned on each side.

    3. Assemble by topping cake slices first with pineapple, then with ice cream. Garnish as desired and serve immediately.

    Tomorrow: A recipe for s’mores on the grill.
    Find more of our favorite cakes and cake recipes.


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    TIP OF THE DAY: Raincoast Crisps Gourmet Crackers

    Great with cheese! Photo by Elvira Kalviste |


    Whenever we entertain, we look for new and exciting crackers to serve with cheeses and dips. Recently, we tasted the Raincoast Crisps line, and asked chef Johnny Gnall to pair the different flavors. (If you have questions or suggestions for tips, contact

    As a chef, I am typically pretty picky about my store-bought snack foods. Ritz crackers and Wheat Thins, though enjoyable in their own right, usually don’t make the cut when it comes to stocking my shelves. If I’m going to spend my money on something crispy to plunge into a container of whipped cream cheese (my go-to couch snack), it has to live up to a high standard.

    The bar on this standard was recently raised when I discovered Raincoast Crisps.

    Moreover (and this is not to be underestimated), Raincoast Crisps are hearty enough to withstand snapping in thicker dips. We’ve all experienced that frustrating moment when the bottom half of a potato chip breaks and is left to drown in the sour cream dip. Fret no more!


    Raincoast Crisps will scoop even the chunkiest of condiments and stay strong to the last bite. They come in a number of different flavors, each of which has its own ideal pairings and toppings.

    Best of all, they are quite delicious: Even though they make a superb base for any number of fruits, cheeses and condiments, you’ll have no problem devouring them plain.

    Here are the flavor varieties, along with some suggested toppings/dippings. These are but a few suggestions; the real fun comes when you open your own refrigerator and get creative!


    Cranberry Hazelnut Crisps: While dried cranberries are enjoyed year-round, these crisps and their festive flavors just scream “Holidays!” You can’t beat a wheel of baked Brie, hot out of the oven. Just put it on a plate, surround it with crisps and watch magic happen as it disappears. Sweeter toppings also work really well with these crisps: Try a little mascarpone cheese, some Nutella or ricotta, plain or lightly sweetened. Of all the Raincoast Crisps varieties, these ones seem to pair best with sweeter flavors.

    Fig & Olive Crisps: Salty Kalamatas and sweet Adriatic figs populate these crackers, my favorite flavor. I love them with classic Mediterranean toppings such as goat cheese or crumbled feta. The saltiness of the feta, in particular, makes the flavors of olives and figs really pop. You’ll be surprised how well the sweetness of the figs works in savory applications.

    Original Crisps: These guys are toasty and nutty, just as you want a hearty cracker to be, with hints of spice and a mildly sweet finish. The home-run pairing with smoked salmon & cream cheese is perfect for brunch, party canapés or even a light lunch. They are also an excellent dipper for paté or any flavor of hummus.


    Consider boxes of Raincoast Crisps as gifts for fine-food-loving friends. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.


    Rosemary Raisin Crisps: This balance of sweet and savory also contains pecans for a nutty surprise. Try topping these with crumbled blue cheese, or for a hot appetizer, some caramelized onions and a few drops of honey. The rosemary notes provide a great backdrop for savory toppings like sautéed mushrooms. Thinly sliced turkey breast, honey-baked ham and chicken salad are at home atop these fragrant crisps. And if you’re into indulging, serve them up aside a hot pot of fondue.

    Salty Date & Almond Crisps: These crisps are for folks who want a saltier crisp. Dusted with sea salt, they pair well with white bean dip, fresh herbs and nutty, melty cheeses like Gruyère. I also think they are the best flavor for spicy toppings (try them with jalapeño jam!), as the salt helps to keep flavors and heat in balance.


    Beyond standard cracker usage, Raincoast Crisps are delicious enough that you may be interested more creative applications.

  • Pulse them in the food processor, or crushing them with a rolling pin, to make breadcrumbs.
  • Crumble them by hand for a quick, healthy addition to soups and salads in place of croutons; or do the same for your late-night ice cream/yogurt/sorbet fix.
  • Serve them with salads, soups and other foods instead of a side of bread.
  • And of course, serve them with a cheese plate. They may out-glamour the cheese.
    However you choose to consume Raincoast Crisps, don’t be surprised if your old go-to crackers start acting jealous… they have good reason to do so.

    Find more about Raincoast Crisps on the company website.

    You’ll encounter some sticker shock: a six-ounce box runs around $7.99 – $8.99, depending on the retailer. But if you like discovering the new and delicious, treat yourself to a box. Buy them on


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    COOKING VIDEO: Boneless Pork Loin Roast Recipe With A Fresh Herb Crust


    Anne Burrell is an American chef, TV personality and instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City.

    Here, she demonstrates how to make a delicious herb-crusted roast pork loin. While it’s often thought of as a fall food, this delicious roast can be enjoyed year-round.

    Use unfermented apple cider in the recipe, and serve it with bottles of refreshing hard cider.

    Find more of our favorite pork recipes.

    Check out the different types of pork.

    Find more cooking videos.



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