January 31, 2006

Recipe News: Recipes help kick off Super Bowl

"People love a Super Bowl party.

Even if you don't know the difference between offense and defense.

Even if you don't know the difference between a touchdown and a turnover.

Even if you have to look up on the Internet to see who's playing and where.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Seattle Seahawks in Detroit on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m.

For non-football lovers, that's basically all you need to know to throw a good party.

The Super Bowl is reason for a great, casual party with good food and it's the one time all year the men don't switch the channel during the commercials.

Plan accordingly."

Includes recipes for:


  • SEVEN-LAYER DIP

  • HAM-WRAPPED BREADSTICKS

  • FOOTBALL CHEESEBALL

  • BAKED CHICKEN WINGS

  • HAM AND CHEDDAR LOAF

  • BEER BRATS

  • SWEET CHOCOLATE FOOTBALLS

  • FOOTBALL CAKE

  • S'MORES SQUARES


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 31, 2006

Recipe News: A Vermont meal in January

"All the ingredients except for salt, pepper, mustard, and cinnamon in the meal below were grown in Vermont and were bought last week in Burlington, Middlebury, or Montpelier. In addition to co-op markets, natural foods stores and independent grocers, Vermont Russet potatoes and dried beans from North Hero can be found at Sam Mazza’s Farmstand in Colchester and fresh-caught lake fish at Ray’s Seafood Market in Essex Junction. New discoveries at old haunts included fresh cultivated exotic mushrooms from Colchester, stone-ground flint corn from Westfield, and frozen Vermont strawberries. (Flint corn-crusted pan-fried trout with mushrooms anyone?)"

Includes recipes for:


  • Scalloped Potatoes with Ham and Cheddar

  • Carrot, Celery Root, and Apple Slaw with Creamy Cider Dressing

  • Maple-Apple Crisp with Crunchy Flint Corn Topping


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 30, 2006

Recipe News: Cindy's New England Clam Chowder

Includes recipe for:


  • Cindy's New England Clam Chowder


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 30, 2006

Coffee News: Our coffee obsession

"Espresso ... latte ... cappuccino ... café au lait ... COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE. We brew it freshly every morning, visit coffee bars daily, carry containers of it wherever we go, and speak with great earnestness about which beans are best and the qualitative differences between various brewing methods. We're obsessed.

If you are among the many who share this passion, you'll like the pound cake featured in this column. It is a coffee-lover's delight. The flavor of java is rich and pronounced and complimented by the bitterness of the walnuts. The cake is only mildly sweet, so little interferes with the dominant coffee taste."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 30, 2006

Wine News: Chicken with Chocolate Port Wine Sauce

"Remember the mouthwatering scene in the movie "Chocolat," where everyone gathers around a feast of dishes imbued with chocolate flavor? This luscious sauce could well have been in that scene. It's rich and enticing, with just a hint of bittersweet chocolate — just enough to make the sauce creamy and velvety (velouté). This recipe is time-consuming but well worth it if you want to indulge in a chocolate day!"

Includes recipe for:


  • Chicken with Chocolate Port Wine Sauce


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 28, 2006

Recipe News: Recipe of the Week: Cornflake Chicken

"College students lead very busy lives, between classes and schoolwork, extra curricular activities, and hanging out with friends, there’s barely any time in the day to spare. And when your budget is tight, and space and time limited, it doesn’t take long before fast food or measly meals in a plastic bowl slip into your stomach. Every week, we will publish the ingredients alongside step-by-step instructions to some of our favorite quick and easy mealtime menus. For students who are seasoned cooks, to all of you never stepped into a kitchen, picked up a pot, or even flipped your television switch to the food network, these recipes are fast and easy, and guaranteed to satisfy your craving for a delicious good home-cooked meal."

Includes recipe for:


  • Cornflake Chicken.


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 27, 2006

Food News: 'Queer Eye's' favorite foodie shares recipes for success

"Ted Allen is all about great taste. His title as food and wine connoisseur on the Emmy-winning show "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" proves that.
But instead of turning the Average Joe into Mr. Don Juan, he may turn the average cook into Emeril. "I want to inspire people kind of the same way we do on 'Queer Eye,'" Allen said via telephone while on location in New York for the show.

"We take a guy who only eats at McDonald's but has some interest in food and determine what he's into - take him up a notch - and try to teach him something new."

With his new book, "The Food You Want To Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes" released last October, Allen will visit Peppertree Bookstore in Palm Springs on Saturday to give new and avid cooks exactly what they crave.

"The idea is to cook something you want to eat," he says."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 26, 2006

Coffee News: Cooking with coffee

"Everyone knows that coffee is a great drink. More surprising is the fact that coffee is also good for eating — and not just in the form of chocolate-covered beans. In fact, coffee is a fully functional ingredient that is useful in all kinds of culinary combinations.

"I don't think people often think of coffee in terms of an ingredient in a pot roast or something," says Michael Kierans, owner of Prague's Káva Káva Káva, noting the number of coffee recipes available on the Web. "There are tons of recipes with sweet ingredients, but the savory recipes struck me as a very interesting idea, a new way of having coffee."

Pot roast with coffee is just one variation of java-enhanced cuisine. The Web site www.recipesource.com lists hundreds of recipes with coffee as an ingredient. Many are sweet cakes and cookies, of course. But the site also includes recipes like onion soup with espresso, pork with port and coffee sauce, coffee-flavored meatballs and coffee-flavored chicken wings. Other recipes include a "cowboy brisket" with coffee, coffee risotto with orange and lamb cutlets in coffee sauce.

It might sound new, but the use of coffee as a foodstuff probably goes back to its earliest history — it is a fruit, after all, resembling a bitter cherry. Among the tribes of Ethiopia where it originates, coffee is often eaten rather than drunk. According to Antony Wild's Coffee: A Dark History, it is used:"

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Recipe News: Farro With Goat Cheese and Pesto Risotto

Includes recipe for:


  • Farro With Goat Cheese and Pesto Risotto


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 25, 2006

Coffee News: JetBlue to serve Dunkin' Donuts coffee

"When JetBlue learned that passengers felt airline coffee was worse than their terrestrial brand of choice, the carrier decided to bet on a familiar strategy to draw passengers: Link up with a well-known name.

JetBlue Airways Corp., parent of the low-cost airline, said Tuesday it will begin serving 10-ounce cups of Dunkin' Donuts coffee on all its flights by the end of the month.

The deal is the airline's latest attempt to bring brand names on board its planes. JetBlue currently offers satellite television and radio with DirecTV and XM Radio and, for a $5 fee, FOX movies."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Coffee News: Coffee connoisseurs are roasting their own

"Coffee is on its way to becoming the "new wine."

In the quest for the perfect cup of java, Americans have ground, French-pressed and steam-extracted warm liquid from beans from Sumatra to Hawaii.

But now to get a truly good cup of coffee, connoisseurs say there's nothing like roasting raw green coffee beans and grinding them up fresh.

Most chains don't roast beans in their stores because it's a laborious process, so small coffee shops hope roasting will give them an edge.

Two roasters have opened in Englewood in the last few months, and in Sarasota, Latitude 23.5 Coffee and Tea has a 10,000- square-foot roasting facility for its two retail stores and 100 area retailers."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Recipe News: RECIPES FOR YOUR SUPER BOWL PARTY

Includes recipes for:


  • Cheesy Bread Dip


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 24, 2006

Recipe News: Recipes for baby food

Includes recipes for:


  • Barley Vegetable Soup

  • Apple Sauce

  • Pita Pizza Wedges

  • Beef Sour Cream Noodle Bake


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 23, 2006

Recipe News: FRISÉE SALAD WITH WALNUTS, PEARS AND GOAT CHEESE DRESSING

Includes recipe for:


  • FRISÉE SALAD WITH WALNUTS, PEARS AND GOAT CHEESE DRESSING


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Wine News: Wine drinkers healthier than beer drinkers

"Studies have shown that drinking wine is associated with lower mortality than drinking beer or spirits. Some studies have also suggested that wine drinkers have healthier diets than beer or spirits drinkers, and this may explain wine's beneficial effect on health.

To study this theory, researchers in Denmark investigated the link between the purchase of beer and wine and various food items from supermarkets.

They analysed 3.5 million transactions chosen at random from 98 outlets of two large Danish supermarket chains over a six month period (September 2002 to February 2003).

Customers were categorised as "wine only," "beer only," "mixed," or "non-alcohol" buyers. Details of items bought, the number and price of the items, and the total charge for each customer's transaction were recorded."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 22, 2006

Recipe News: Recipe: Chicken Simmered in Roasted Pepita Sauce

Includes recipe for:


  • Chicken Simmered in Roasted Pepita Sauce


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 20, 2006

Recipe News: Quick & Healthy Low-Fat, Carb Conscious Cooking

"Did you know Jan. 15-21 is Healthy Weight Week and January also is National Lose Weight, Feel Great Month? With many people making resolutions to lose weight and get fit, it's time for healthy cooking.

I recently received a copy of "Quick & Healthy Low-Fat, Carb Conscious Cooking" by Brenda J. Ponichtera, registered dietitian. Of the many cookbooks I read and purchase over a year's time, this one is a winner. The copy I received is a second edition, which has been revised completely and updated."

Includes recipes for:


  • Romaine Salad with Berries and Maple Nuts

  • French-Glazed Chicken

  • Sweet Potato Fries

  • Oven-Fried Pork Loin

  • Salmon Cakes


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Recipe News: Stewing away the winter blues: classic recipes with punch

"With the close of the holiday season and the cold of winter setting in, most of us will find ourselves home more, regrouping from some of the chaos. On nights when the weather keeps us in, it's nice to sit down to a cozy, warming stew.

Of course the beauty of stew, beside its delicious taste, falls in the fact you can make it ahead of time. Not only does this lighten your load, but also the taste becomes richer with age. Most stews can be stored, covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. A great idea might be to make it in the morning, double the recipe, cover it until the evening, then serve it for dinner and freeze the leftovers for another day. That was a mouthful. All kidding aside, stews are so easy to double or triple. One thing to keep in mind is that stews thickened with flour do not maintain their consistency after freezing, so you may want to separate the amount you wish to freeze before adding the flour mixture, then complete that step when reheating the frozen stew."

Includes recipes for:


  • Beef Burgundy Stew

  • Beth's Chicken Stew


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Recipe News: Tamale Recipes

""

Includes recipes for:


  • RED CHILE PORK TAMALES

  • PORK LARD

  • KIOWA MESA RANCH POZOLE


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 19, 2006

Wine News: eMbience and Drinknation raise the bar on mobile drinking content

"Be the hit of the party with Drinknation, a new mobile application which brings the breadth and depth of a Bartender’s Bible to the palm of your hand. Whether you’re in a bar or planning a house party, mixology 101 is only a flip (phone) away.

Drinknation is available through U.S. mobile carriers like Verizon, U.S. Cellular, Alltel, Cricket, MetroPCS, MidWest Wireless, Cellular South, and NTelos, and will be available next month on Sprint. It’s also available through international carriers like Tata, Telefonica Moviles, Telstra, and Hutch. The mobile service offers suggestions and special tips, and features drinks that turn ingredients into innovation.

Thinking before drinking
Revelers can now create their own speed dial of drinking by customizing a recipe file of favorite concoctions that will always be with them. The service also offers party games, like guessing a drink based on its ingredients, and a search function allows easy retrieval of popular recipes by name, ingredient, theme or category, as well as browsing for ideas and finding out what drinks are popular."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Recipe News: PESTO, OLIVE AND ROASTED-PEPPER GOAT CHEESE TORTA

Includes recipes for:


  • PESTO, OLIVE AND ROASTED-PEPPER GOAT CHEESE TORTA

  • POACHED SALMON WITH GREEN PEPPERCORN, GINGER AND ORANGE SAUCE

  • RACK OF LAMB WITH CHUTNEY-MINT GLAZE

  • WARM CINNAMON-APPLE TART WITH CURRANTS


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Wine News: Winter whites satisfy summer cravings

"We know some folks who only drink white wines. We know others who drink whites during the heat of the summer.

There are white wines, however, that we drink during the cold evenings of January and February. We prefer them to be full-bodied and tasty as opposed to the delicate whites of summer.

We asked the wine-tasting group to compare five winter whites - wines that we would drink during gray or snowy days. What we found was an extraordinary flight of five wines. It was hard to choose a winner."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Food News: Dining at your desk

"Do you find yourself eating at your desk rather than taking a scheduled lunch break? A survey of American adults found that 1/3 eats at the office, with half of those eating at their desks and half in a cafeteria. When planning lunches for work, most of us only worry about what food to pack in our lunch bag, but there are other concerns such as food safety.
Here are some things to consider next time you're taking lunch to the office:
Packing Lunches
Use an insulated lunch bag with a frozen juice box or small reusable ice pack to keep cold foods cold. Be sure to wash lunch bags and all serving utensils including water bottles, regularly in hot soapy water, rinsing well and sanitizing.
Storing Lunches"

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Wine News: Cheese and wine are in worst possible taste

"EATING cheese ruins the flavours of wine and makes fine vintages indistinguishable from cheap plonk, research has revealed.

While the two are often served together in the belief they make a sophisticated combination, scientists have discovered even expert tasters could not distinguish between wines after eating cheese.

Scientists in California asked trained wine tasters to try eight different cheeses before presenting them with four different varieties of cheap and expensive wines.

The tasters evaluated the strength of various flavours and aromas in each wine both alone and when preceded by the cheeses. Cheese was found to curb just about everything including berry and oak flavours, sourness and astringency, making it virtually impossible to distinguish them.

Strong cheeses overpowered the flavours more than milder varieties, but flavours of all the wines were smothered, meaning there was no magical wine and cheese pairing."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 17, 2006

Recipe News: Coconut Shrimp and Avocado Salad Recipe

""

Includes recipe for:


  • Coconut Shrimp and Avocado Salad


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 16, 2006

Food News: What's your lunch IQ?

"Without written facts, the average person buying lunch ou has to guess what's healthy and what's not

Most of us realize that a grilled chicken sandwich is better than a fried chicken sandwich, and a side salad is better than french fries. But is a salad with fried chicken on it better than a grilled chicken sandwich and fries?"

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 15, 2006

Food News: Wiser food shopping a way to fatten wallet

"Which is more expensive: a new car or food for a year?

Many people would say purchasing a car costs far more, but that's not necessarily true. Even a $25,000 car, with a five-year loan, costs less than $6,000 a year.

Yet an average family of four in the United States spends more than $8,000 on food each year, according to the most recent government consumer expenditure figures.

So during that five-year period, you would spend about $30,000 on the car purchase and more than $40,000 on food, not even figuring price inflation for food.

The point is that many consumers put in hours of exhaustive research when buying a car, making sure they get a good deal. Yet those same consumers might not give a minute of thought to examining their food spending.

Simply put, food is by far the best place to cut wasteful spending. And it's the best example of how little things add up."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Coffee News: Cooking with coffee

"Perking up your palate might take as little as a splash or two of coffee.
Coffee desserts -- tiramisu, coffee ice cream, mocha tortes -- come to mind immediately when Americans think about adding coffee to food, but the country's beloved hot beverage can add complex flavors and depth to savory dishes.

If done correctly, says Joan Nielsen, who wrote "The Great Coffee Book" with her husband, Timothy J. Castle, "you shouldn't be aware of a coffee taste. Your reaction should be, 'Ooh, this is a deep, dark, nice sauce. What's in here?'

"What coffee should add is an inscrutable richness and subtlety to certain foods."

Includes recipes for:


  • Red-Eye Gravy

  • Indonesian-Java Marinade

  • Beef Stew with Coffee

  • Crispy Chicken Wings with a Quick Mole Sauce

  • Pork Tenderloin with Coffee Rub


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 13, 2006

Best of the Blogpire

Slingplayermacintosh2-350Another week and another Best of the Blogpire. It looks like the Mac OS X is finally getting some GPS support: Garmin Announces MAC OS X Support and other devices like the new Sling device are making SlingPlayer.

Single Serve Coffee.com continues the onslaught of coffee reviews with Review: Aerobie AeroPress Coffee & Espresso Maker and if you're a coffee pod user Review: Eight 0' Clock Colombian Coffee Pods.

Just The Chips finds two new books - one on Poker humor: A collection of poker wit and a return to a classic poker book Hold'Em Poker for Advanced Players.

Want to get a new cool fridge? Kitchen Contraptions finds 50's Inspired Refrigerators from Smeg and GE Custom Cabinet Refrigerators & Freezers.

Shaving Stuff.com continues their Review of KENMEN products, part 2.

TV Snob.com also has an amazing run down of all the cool new gadgets from CES: TVSnob CES 2006 Roundup.

Shirt Snob.com has found new Hoodies at Threadless!!!.

Want to know how to find better wine? Wine News: 10 ways to become a smarter, thriftier wine buyer.

And of course we save the best for last - check out The Liquor Snobby Awards: Best of 2005. Magic.

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 12, 2006

Wine News: 10 ways to become a smarter, thriftier wine buyer

"What does it take to be a bargain wine shopper? A little cunning helps, certainly, but also the patience to patrol the aisles and a willingness to do a little homework — and sipping — before buying. Here are 10 tips to help you be a smarter wine consumer.

1 Comparison shop, but don't let price be your only guide. Sometimes, it pays to spend a little bit more if you get a store's expert advice or an in-depth inventory that results in a perfect bottle for the occasion.

2

Consider second labels. Great wines can cost a fortune; less-great wines from the same house can offer plenty of taste for a lot less. Just pay attention to the overall vintage. Quality can vary markedly, so you want second-labels from top vintage years; ask your wine seller for suggestions."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 11, 2006

Wine News: A beginner's guide to wine tasting

"Wine tasting what was once considered a pastime for the rich with excessive amounts of leisure time has become a hobby everyone can enjoy.
Jennifer Noël, owner of NoëlsWine Shoppe on the Skyway in Fir Street Gallery, considers herself a beginner in the wine tasting realm.

But she does know the overruling factor for all wine tasters, from beginners to experienced mouth swishers.

A lot of it is a person's own taste, Noël said.

Brenda McLaughlin, co-owner of Creekside Cellars in Chico, couldn't agree more.

McLaughlin teaches several classes on wine tasting through Butte College Community Education.

In one of the first classes, she teaches her students to identify the different elements of wine by doing taste tests on & tea?"

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Recipe News: Recipes: Healthy dishes that shave calories, fat

Includes recipes for:


  • Chicken breast withpan-roasted garlic

  • Soy and ginger salmonthe Chinese way

  • Curried sweet potato soupwith jalapeno oil


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Recipe News: Vegetarian recipes

"Vegetarian recipes from recently released cookbooks:

"Think Like a Chef," by Tom Colicchio (Potter, $37.50)

This dish can be made with cauliflower, endive, fennel or white asparagus instead of artichokes, but stick to white vegetables, because green will turn the dish an unpalatable shade of brown.


It is served as an appetizer, but the braised vegetables can be tossed into a salad or added to a pasta and beans recipe."

Includes recipe for:


  • Artichokes braised in olive oil and white wine


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Recipe News: RECIPES ON THE RUN | BEEF: Beef and Broccoli with Noodles

""

Includes recipe for:


  • RECIPES ON THE RUN | BEEF: Beef and Broccoli with Noodles


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Wine News: Dramatic expansion of US wine drinkers

"Wine is reclaiming its place on the family dinner table and more US adults than ever are drinking it, a new survey has revealed.

The survey by the Wine Market Council found that between 2000 and 2005 the wine drinking population in the US increased by 31% among adults in households with a household income greater than US$35,000, while the number of adults drinking beer and/or spirits but not wine decreased by 25%.

Wine is increasingly being chosen as an accompaniment to meals in 'casual chain' restaurants, and at home when all the family dine together, the survey found.

Wine Market Council chair Michaela Rodeno said, 'The tremendous surge in popularity for wine is coming from several sources. Young adults of the millennial generation are embracing wine in a manner not seen since the baby boomers took to wine in the 1970s.'

Beer and spirits drinkers, she added, are also increasingly finding they like wine as well."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Recipe News: Fiesta time! Steal this crab empanadas recipe

"Empanadas are popular Latin fried stuffed pastries served as a main dish or as an appetizer. Although they are thought to have originated in Spain, several other Latin countries have their own versions stuffed with cheese, meat, or seafood. Rosa Mexicano in New York City has a great recipe for Empanadas de Jaiba (Crab Empanadas). These are also great as part of a “tapas” meal. Served as snacks/appetizers, empanadas can be shared by everyone."

Includes recipe for:


  • Crab Empanada


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 9, 2006

Wine News: Wine of the year

"The 2003 Banfi Chianti Classico, costing under $15, is our wine of the year.

We looked for value and affordability in the wines we tasted during 2005, and the Banfi delivered quality, whether paired with food or consumed by itself.

The Banfi had an elegant aroma, with scents of dusty red cherries, smoky ham and sandalwood. On the palate, it had a great mouth feel, with silky tannins. It was well-balanced, with a nice finish. This wine was affordable, a good value, versatile and easy drinking.

We picked four runners-up plus "Gold Medal" winners (wines under $15 that delivered exceptional value) and "Silver Medal" winners (those wines costing more than $15 that delivered good bang for the buck).

First the four runners-up:

• 2004 Peace Family Vineyard Southeastern Australia ($8.99). This wine was a blend of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, mouvedre and Grenache. Its aroma offered tarragon, fennel, clove, strawberries and balsamic vinegar. The palate was low in acids, high in alcohol, and very fruity with a hint of lavender. This wine would be great with pizza and strong flavors of Italian food and meats."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 8, 2006

Coffee News: Going without coffee can rock your world

"I remember the first time I tried coffee. It was strong, bitter and, to my 15-year-old taste buds, disgusting. But it seemed like a grown-up alternative to my hot chocolate, and so I gave it another chance.

The lure of caffeine: Breaking an addiction to coffee can produce irritability and headaches. - INtake file photo
Vice is not usually harmful
Let's get this straight: Caffeine isn't bad for you, as long as it's consumed in moderation. While headaches, fatigue and all-around crankiness can result when a habitual user misses a cup or two, dietitian Lalita Kaul and psychologist Barry Smith say the drug is relatively harmless.

"If it is taken within reason -- a couple of cups a day -- it is fine," Kaul says. "It can temporarily raise your blood pressure and can sometimes stimulate your heart, but it's not harmful."

Smith says coffee drinkers experience a "change in brain chemistry" when they have their regular cups of joe, but adds "most people adjust pretty quickly when they stop drinking it."

Smith points out that the verdict is still out on the long-term effects of caffeine, so it's best to play it safe and drink a few cups of coffee or less each day. "Some studies show if you drink it in excessive amounts over time, it may contribute to heart problems, and other studies show it has no effect," he says. "Research has been going on for 40 years or so, and there's still no final answer."

For those looking to cut back on their multiple daily cups of coffee, Kaul recommends a gradual weaning process, similar to that of smokers trying to quit. "You can put more skim milk in your coffee for nourishment as you wean yourself off it," she suggests. "It's habit-forming, and each person has to make the decision to cut it down."

-- The Washington Post

Nine years later, I can't imagine a day without my regular cup or two, or, well, maybe three. Now, I believe I have a normal relationship with joe. I would gladly, for example, languish in a steaming hot tub of java. The aftermath might be a little gross, but mmm -- imagine the aroma.
But my love for the rich, soothing liquid can be a real pain -- in the head, that is -- if I don't get dosed at the usual times. Sometimes I buy a cup even when I don't want one, or can't really afford one, just to avoid the throbbing behind my eye sockets.
Occasionally a little question pops through the pain: Do I really need all that coffee? My caffeine-enslaved brain screams yes! But the rational part of me says not-so-much."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 6, 2006

Recipes: Macaroni and Lots of Cheese

Macaroni and cheese, for a lot of people, is a "comfort food." I tend to agree. But if your idea of Mac 'n' cheese is something created with a box from craft, or even if it isn't, the New York Times has a really interesting Dining article on it.

Like me, Ms. Spieler believes that macaroni and cheese, which is often served alongside fried chicken or barbecue, deserves pride of place as a main dish. "I love it so much that I want to focus on it," she said. A crisp green salad and a glass of wine turn mac and cheese into a meal, she added.

Read more: Macaroni and Lots of Cheese

Michael Dupuis Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Recipe News: This snow ice cream recipe may be a repeat but it's fresh

"The holiday season is over and all Christmas decorations are packed away for another year. We even changed the furniture around. You just have to do this once in awhile to keep the traffic pattern even. As per usual, my children thought I should have a new gadget for a gift. This year the most unusual one was a football crockpot. I was told that it would be just great to have in our motor home for the Hawkeye football games that we attend. I think it will hold a quart of food. One time this year I counted 18 people in our motor home, so I don't know what to make for that many people in the football crockpot. I guess I could melt some cheese and have a plate of crackers.

We had a lot of snow in December and I imagine we will get more in the next couple of months. For those of you who are new to reading this column, I am going to repeat a recipe for snow ice cream that was printed a year ago. It is fun to make with new snow and mighty tasty as well."

Includes recipes for:


  • Snow Ice Cream

  • Garlic Pot Roast


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Recipe News: Easy cookie recipes can help build confidence in the kitchen

"Cookie recipes typically require basic kitchen skills such as measuring and mixing and provide an opportunity to build skills in the kitchen and learn about food and food safety," said Karen Blakeslee, Kansas State University Research and Extension food scientist. She shared a recipe for a kid-favorite chocolate no-bake cookie from Kids A Cookin' and two recipes from the new 4-H Centennial Cookbook, "Essence of Kansas: Taste Three."

Includes recipes for:


  • Chocolate No-Bake Cookies

  • Honey-Roasted Peanut Cookies

  • Raspberry Chewy Brownie Cookies


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Best of the Blogpire

Blopire 120Welcome to 2006 and Happy New Year from Blogpire Productions. Everyone here is geared up for the new year filled with cool products, news, and of course our witty banter and we're dedicated to bringing you all three (we're working on a fourth) everday. So sit back and relax and check out the Best of the Blogpire!

Single Serve Coffee.com: Review: My K-Cup Keurig Reusable Filter - Best of Single Serve Coffee.com 2005

Just The Chips.com: PSP World Series of Poker Revisited - Illustrated Royalty Poker Chips

Kitchen Contraptions.com: Making Eggs Singapore Style - simplehuman Butterfly Step Can

Shaving Stuff.com: New York Facial Hair Patterns and Shaving Trends - High-End Shaving Gear from Penhaligons

TV Snob.com: Futurama Coming Back to TV ? - Finding the Right HDTV for the Xbox 360

Shirt Snob.com: New Tees at Threadless - Big Sale at Girlshop

GPS Lodge.com: Turn your Magellan Roadmate 800 into a DivX Movie Player - Pharos Traveler 525 GPS -

The Cooking News.com: Food News: Fast Food More Than Twice Weekly Adds Pounds - Wine News: 2006 looks to be a good year for wine

Liquor Snob.com: Belly Up To TheBar.com - Bottle Blaster Review

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 5, 2006

Food News: Fast Food More Than Twice Weekly Adds Pounds

"People who eat too much fast food gain more weight and are more likely to develop early signs of diabetes.
That`s the conclusion of a study of more than 3,000 white and black American adults. Participants reported their fast-food dining habits for 15 years, starting when they were 18-30 years old.

"Appropriate action would be to reduce portions to normal sizes, and to sell burgers of lean meat, whole-grain bread or buns, fat-reduced mayonnaise, more vegetables, lower-fat fried potatoes, and reduced-sugar soft drinks," writes Arne Astrup, in an accompanying editorial in The Lancet.

In the study, those who ate fast food more than twice a week gained 10 more pounds during the study than participants who ate fast food less than once a week. They also doubled their insulin resistance, a sign of early diabetes."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Wine News: Poached Pears With Red Wine Caramel Sauce

Includes recipe for:


  • Poached Pears With Red Wine Caramel Sauce


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Wine News: 2006 looks to be a good year for wine

"Purse dogs never should have happened. Or mullets or gas-guzzling SUVs, for that matter. Some trends shouldn’t see the light of day. Others still come full circle, such as boxed wine and screw caps, which the second time around are now deemed acceptable.

Where has Sutter Home’s "wine cube" been all these years? Low-grade bulk wine has been here, but not good, drinkable, everyday wines.

This is but one trend to watch for in 2006, a year that should be marked by good wines, inn ovation and improvements throughout the wine world. Haute grape varieties and emerging winegrowing regions will also make headlines. Here are a few topics that will spur wine conversation in 2006."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 4, 2006

Recipe News: Simply the best - The easiest of recipes can explode with flavor

"Boring, bland and tasteless will never be adjectives used to describe her pots of chili coated in a fine layer of chili powder. Nor will it ever be mentioned in terms of her salsa with two kinds of peppers and plenty of cilantro.

Shackelford's flavorful cooking does not involve measuring. She knows by taste and knows by glance when things are just right, making it really special when she shares a recipe. It takes time for her to put into writing something that comes so naturally for her."

Includes recipes for:


  • Chili

  • Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Pork Tenderloin

  • Sweet Potato Casserole


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Recipe News: It's time for lighter recipes

"anuary menus for many of us mean recipes which are lower in calories and fat than all the holiday food we've been consuming.

The following recipe from the National Chicken Council and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is perfect for a light lunch or appetizer before a meal. Using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken adds to the ease of preparation."

Includes recipe for:


  • Chicken Quesadillas


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Recipe News: Vegetarian recipes

"This vegetarian casserole makes a nourishing wintertime supper - providing you can find decent tomatoes.

The recipe calls for peeling the tomatoes. If you've never peeled a tomato, here's how: Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Set the pot of water in the sink. Plunge the tomatoes into the hot water for a minute and remove. Water that spills over will go down the drain instead of all over the stove. When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, core and peel."

Includes recipe for:


  • Potato, tomato|and onion casserole


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Food News: Nuts add crunch and flavor to family recipes

"We love nuts. We add them to recipes and eat them as snacks, but how much do you know about nuts? Some nuts are healthier to eat than others. Here are a few facts about the favorite nuts:"

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 3, 2006

Food News: Top 10 Weight Loss Lies to Eliminate for Steady Weight Loss

"To lose your weight and keep it off, you need accurate information,” says Laurie Bell, an internationally recognized weight loss and health expert, and the author of the new book, "Lose the Lies, Lose the Weight: The Ultimate Guide to Permanent Weight Loss.""

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Recipe News: Let your oven do the grilling

"Summer grillers feel no hesitation throwing garden vegetables over the fire. Corn, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers all take beautifully to grilling's dry heat - they shrink as their moisture evaporates, concentrating flavors and browning their natural sugars.

You can duplicate the process indoors in your oven with produce more typical of winter. Sure, you won't get the smoky flavor of the grill (unless you are one of those hardy cooks who fleece-up to stand over a grill in single-digit temperatures).

But the same high temperatures and dry heat can intensify the flavor of turnips and rutabagas, potatoes and onions, apples and pears and other vegetables associated with this season."

Includes recipe for:


  • PORK CHOPS WITH ROAST PEARS


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Recipe News: Trendy Recipes

Includes recipes for:


  • Pork Fat — Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese and Pear

  • Spanish and Latin Flavors – Cilantro Soup

  • White Whole Wheat – King Arthur Flour’s Double Fudge Brownies


Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 1, 2006

Recipe News: LouAnn's Split Pea Soup

Includes recipe for:
  • LouAnn's Split Pea Soup
Full article here.
Jennifer Permalink | social bookmarking

Wine News: Conversation Pieces

"Holiday parties -- especially those with crappy food and drink -- can really suck. But, like a bird that strategically aims its business for a clean car, a carefully plopped comment can make anyone raise an eyebrow or chuckle. I've compiled a list of completely geeky, useless wine facts to drop on unsuspecting bores, if only to entertain yourself."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Wine News: Wine drinkers are now thinking inside the box

"Forget corks and bottles.
The biggest buzz in the wine industry these days is plastic and cardboard.

The popularity of boxed wine — and the bags inside holding the wine — is surging, with sales overall rising 12 percent over last year and sales of 3-liter boxes increasing 77 percent, according to marketing and information firm ACNielsen.

It's not just the lower-priced blush in a box selling well. More companies are selling higher-end wines — such as syrah and pinot grigio — in boxes. Some wine lovers who once looked down their noses at wine with a spigot are giving up their bottles in favor of the boxed version for its price, convenience and longer shelf life.

At least two Madera wineries are taking advantage of the trend."

Full article here.

Jennifer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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