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Archive for June 10, 2013

FATHER’S DAY GIFT: Chocolate Golf Balls

Fore! Well actually, each package contains
three. Photo courtesy Edward Marc


Looking for a special party favor for all the dads at your Father’s Day celebration?

Check out these solid chocolate golf balls from artisan chocolatier Edward Marc.

Clear packaging displays three golf balls atop faux grass, in your choice of dark, milk or white chocolate.

Order at

Some people we know have given the white chocolate golf balls as wedding favors!

Not into golf?

Give Dad a box of seven chocolate neckties: different designs in Dark Honey Coconut, Milk Peanut Butter Mousse Truffle, Milk Salted Caramel and White Mocha Truffle.



Edward Marc has been an artisan chocolate shop since 1914. That year, a young Greek couple arrived in New York City to pursue the American dream. They settled in Pittsburgh, and set up shop making the same delicious handcrafted chocolates they made in Greece.

This young couple—Charlie and Orania—became the great grandparents of today’s owners, as the business was handed down from generation to generation.

The great grandchildren proudly continue the family tradition. We look forward to sampling the specialties of the company’s 100th anniversary next year.


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TIP OF THE DAY: Become A Master Soda Maker

Here’s a fun Father’s Day gift that will open your eyes to how great it is to make soda at home—and how much more popular you’ll be once you start doing it!

Anton Nocito, proprietor of P&H Soda Co. in Brooklyn, New York, has assembled his techniques and ideas into a new book, Make your Own Soda: Syrup Recipes for All-Natural Pop, Floats, Cocktails, and More.

All you need is a bottle of seltzer or a Sodastream and you’re on your way to becoming a great soda maker—and to enjoying real soda, without ubiquitous artificial colors, flavors and questionable sweeteners. You’ll:

  • Whip up your own syrups with fresh fruits and spices
  • Serve up egg creams and egg shakes
  • Make truly superior ice cream sodas
  • Deliver gourmet hot drinks

    Cherry Lime Rickey. Photo courtesy Make Your Own Soda | Clarkson Potter.


    Grapefruit soda with homemade grapefruit
    syrup. Photo courtesy Make Your Own Soda |
    Clarkson Potter.


    Then, relax with your creations. Natural sodas are vibrantly flavored: the zing of just-squeezed citrus juice, the intensity of ripe berries, the subtle perfume of fresh herbs.

    And the ability to customize a drink that’s as sweet (or not) as you like, with conventional or low glycemic sweeteners (we successfully substituted agave nectar for the sugar).

    Handmade syrups make all the difference in recipes for all-natural soda pop, floats, cocktails, punches and more: The book has a total of 70 recipes, simple and fun. Beautiful photographs make you want to make every one. This is cookbook that any soda lover will love.

    Anthony Nocito is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and was an executive sous chef in the Union Square Hospitality Group. Artisanal soft drinks are obviously one of his passions. They may become one of yours, too.



    To show you how easy it is, here’s a sample recipe from the book. If you remember Brigham’s and Bailey’s casual restaurants in the Boston area, you remember the Raspberry Lime Rickey, as seductive a soft drink as ever graced a soda fountain—brightly colored, sweet and tart, a favorite of kids adults alike. Nocito’s version is a cherry lime rickey—very satisfactory. But you can always make a batch of raspberry syrup and relive the memories.

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 2 tablespoons lime syrup (recipe belowk)
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Dash of citric acid solution
  • Seltzer
  • 2 tablespoons sour cherry syrup (recipe below)
  • Wedge of lime, for garnish

    1. FILL a tall glass with ice. Add the lime syrup, lime juice, and citric acid solution.

    2. ADD the seltzer, float the cherry syrup on top and garnish with the lime wedge.


  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 4 limes
    1. BOIL water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the zest and remove the pan from the heat. Steep for at least 1 hour. Let cool.

    2. STORE in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 14 days.


  • 2 quarts fresh sour cherries, pitted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Juice of ½ lemon
    1. COMBINE cherries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

    2. STRAIN the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer; discard the fruit solids.

    3. STORE in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.


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    RECIPE: Chocolate Peanut Butter Fried Ice Cream

    Here’s something fun for father’s day: Chocolate Peanut Butter Fried Ice Cream. The recipe is from QVC’s chef, David Venable.

    It uses store-bought ice cream. If you’re comfortable with deep frying, this is an easy recipe.

    While this recipe uses chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream, you can use whatever flavor you like; and substitute chopped almonds, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, or walnuts for the peanuts.

    To make things even easier, you can prepare this recipe a few days in advance, through Step 4.



  • 1 quart chocolate peanut-butter cup ice cream (or other flavor)
  • 4 cups chocolate-flavored whole-grain corn and oat
  • cereal,* finely crushed

  • 2 cups unsalted peanuts or other nuts, finely crushed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Chocolate sauce for garnish

    Something special for dessert: fried ice cream. Photo courtesy QVC.


    *Cheerios Frosted Whole Grain Oat & Corn Cereal, for example. You can substitute Corn Flakes or Frosted Flakes.


    1. SPOON out 8 large balls of ice cream onto a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Freeze for at least 1-1/2 hours.

    2. COMBINE the crushed cereal with the crushed peanuts in a large bowl. Dip the chilled ice-cream balls in the crumb mixture; refreeze for 45 minutes. Do not discard the crumbs.


    Fried ice cream ready for its close-up. Photo courtesy QVC


    3. BEAT the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. Dip the coated ice-cream balls into the eggs and then into the crumb mixture, coating completely. Put the ice cream back onto the sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate the egg and sugar mixture.

    4. REPEAT the coating process once again and refreeze for 6 hours, or overnight.

    5. PREHEAT a deep fryer to 375°F. Line a plate with paper towels.

    6. PLACE one ball into the oil and fry for about 25-35 seconds. Remove from the oil and place on the paper towel-lined plate. Repeat.

    7. PLACE each ball on a dessert plate and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Serve immediately.




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    PRODUCT: McCafé Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie

    When you’re passing by McDonald’s on a hot day, cool down with a McCafé Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie.

    Very fruity, lightly sweet but not sugary, and icy cold, we were tempted to have another as soon as we finished the first.*

    The company says that the drink is “made with an alluring combination of blueberries and raspberries and a splash of pomegranate juice blended with ice and creamy low-fat yogurt.”

    So why is it called Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie instead of Blueberry Raspberry? Our guess is that “pomegranate” tested better with consumers.

    And “splashes” of other juices are blended in as well, to get just the right flavor. The nutrition label lists, in order of the quantity (weight) of the ingredients:


    The new McCafe Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie. Photo courtesy McDonald’s.

    Blueberry purée, pineapple juice concentrate, raspberry purée, apple juice concentrate, pomegranate juice concentrate, peach juice concentrate, pear juice concentrate and lemon juice concentrate.

    What lingers is the lovely summer flavor of blueberry. The special McCafe machine creates the drink with a texture motr like a Slurpee rather than a conventional smoothie, but we’re not complaining: A Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie is a great vacation from heat and humidity.

    *What stopped us from having another were the carbs. The 12-ounce size (small) has 220 calories and 50g carbs, of which 44g are sugars. There is, however, 2g of protein from the yogurt.


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