November is National Peanut Butter Month—our chance to share our favorite PBs with you. First, learn about the origin of peanut butter. It was invented by a doctor and debuted in 1904 as—of all things—a high-protein food substitute for people who could not chew meat. But it didn’t take long for others to discover its charms, and for it to leap into recipes and the peanut butter cup—a relatively recent invention dating to the Roaring ‘20s. Read all about it, and our favorite peanut butter cups from Bacci. Then, check out our two favorite gourmet peanut butters, from Peanut Better and P.B. Loco. Both companies make sweet and savory peanut butters, and as you’ll read in the reviews, certain flavors are not to be missed! Plan ahead: They make great stocking stuffers, too.
This Little Cookie has a definite point of view: the best ingredients, a wholesome, homemade style, and it’s not too sweet or rich. We’ve never tasted a line quite like it before. Although it’s made by a woman who also turns out detailed buttercream cakes decorated with fragile petals, we have to say that these cookies have a masculine flavor profile—because men tend not to like sugary, buttery baked goods to the extent that women and children do. Still, both men and women who like sweets made with less sugar—we count ourselves among them—will appreciate these [not so little] cookies. The buttery Shortbread made with Fleur de Sel sea salt is not to be missed! You can contact the bakery about special orders of gluten-free cookies, too. Read the full review. Also check out the Cookies & Brownies section of THE NIBBLE online magazine for more of our favorite cookies.
All certified U.S.-based chefs (working chefs or chefs with formal culinary education) are invited to enter the first annual “Urbani Truffles Academy Grant” program, created to inspire creativity in the use of truffles by U.S.-based chefs. To enter, simply submit an original recipe using truffles and answer a brief questionnaire. The grand prize winning chef will win a one-week stay at Urbani’s Accademia del Tartufo in Umbria, Italy where he/she will learn the elusive art of truffle sourcing, distribution and preparation. Three first prize winners will receive Urbani preserved products (valued at $1,500) and an Urbani truffle recipe book (valued at $30). Ten second prize winners will receive Urbani preserved products (valued at $500).
If you’re not a professional chef but know chefs, encourage them enter. If they win a prize….well, you’ll be owed a great truffle dinner. All submissions must be received by December 15, 2007. Further details and submission forms can be found UrbaniGrant.com. Urbani Tartufi (Italian for truffles), founded more than 150 years ago in Umbria, Italy, controls more than half of the global truffle business in both fresh truffles and preserved truffle products. Learn all about truffles in our Truffle Overview & Glossary.
First there were the friendly skies, now there are the tasty skies. Fly Virgin America and enjoy an expanded “on demand” menu on daily transcontinental flights from New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington Dulles—it’s the only U.S. airline to offer on-demand dining. There are new “casual gourmet,” fresh menu options, complimentary in First Class and for purchase in the Main Cabin. Passengers simply use the “food button” on their seatback video touch screens to order food whenever they wish during a flight. Payment is made by swipe of a credit card through the in-seat ordering system. Menu choices include yogurt, berries and granola for breakfast, with the delicious La Brea Bakery granola; “anytime” choices of fruit and cheese with fresh grapes, dried fruits and nuts with Carr’s biscuits and a beef tenderloin sandwich with bufala mozzarella and basil pesto on ciabatta bread.
Dessert “tapas” are available on short flights.
Vegetarian fare includes a Caprese sandwich on a crusty French baguette with bufala mozzarella, roasted yellow tomato and sliced red tomato, frisée lettuce and fresh basil pesto, served with a salad of marinated artichoke hearts, vine-ripened tomatoes and cannellini beans. For lunch and dinner there’s a chicken Caesar salad. Tapas-like options are available on shorter flights. It all sounds good to us—and it’s no surprise that an airline based in San Francisco cares about better food options. If we have an opportunity to fly first class, we’ll eat our way through the menu and report back.
Struggle no longer: Make the perfect hard-
boiled egg. Photo by Pontus Edenberg | IST.
With holiday season approaching, those favorite deviled egg recipes will be coming out of the drawer. Have you ever wondered why some people make perfect hard-boiled eggs, and for others it’s such a chore? There’s actually a technique to making perfect boiled eggs, to avoiding that green ring around the yolk, to getting the yolk exactly centered and to cooking eggs that are a cinch to peel. Here is the egg-cellent solution, as well as egg nutrition and egg facts. Here’s one mystery solved: The difference between brown eggs and white eggs is simply the color of the hen! The reason brown eggs tend to cost more is because brown hen varieties are larger, and consume more feed. It’s that simple! If you want to learn the secrets of organic eggs, read our separate article.