October 10, 2014 |
IT'S OFFICIALLY fall. And for many, the seasonal change has nothing to do with the weather or a date on the calendar. Fall arrives when Starbucks is once again offering Pumpkin Spice Latte. Never mind that the iconic latte doesn't contain any pumpkin. The signature flavoring is all in the spice blend. And it works. Starbucks has sold more than 200 million of the drinks since its introduction in 2003. The exact blend varies. Cinnamon. Nutmeg. Ginger. Allspice. Perhaps a little clove.
August 29, 2014 |
If it smells kind of scorched around here, it's probably not the errant crumbs in your toaster oven. More likely it's the wafting scent of all the fire-scarred foods coming out of local restaurants: Charred salad greens, charred squids and octopi, charred slices of bread with charred vegetable spreads. And there's no escaping the avalanche of charred brussels sprouts. "The trend we're seeing is open-flame cooking. Whether it's wood-burning ovens, charcoal grills, wood-burning grills, or simple gas ranges, cooks are really experimenting with fire," says Greg Vernick of Vernick Food & Drink.
August 22, 2014 |
One of summer's greatest culinary pleasures is food cooked on a grill, with backyard flames enhancing flavors like nothing else. But fire and hot coals can transform so much more than just burgers and dogs. Almost all the produce bursting from local farms and gardens can be cooked outside - creating flavorful fare from appetizers through desserts. Grilled whole, sliced, layered or wrapped, almost every vegetable and many fruits can be converted into tasty fare on a barbecue grill.
May 9, 2014
BUZZ: Hey, Marnie, can grapes grow indoors? My neighbor does hydroponic tomatoes in his sunroom, so why not wine grapes? Marnie: Grapevines are more like little trees than tomato plants, Buzz. They need to put down deep roots and would require tending for decades. Besides, hydroponic grapes would make for pretty bland wine. Buzz: Why's that? Marnie: Well, hydroponic gardening uses no soil - plant roots are bathed in a nutrient solution instead. This produces decent flavor in herbs and greens, since leaves have a simple flavor structure, but grapes are more multidimensional.
May 5, 2014
PHILLY is increasingly known as a vegan-forward town, with places in most neighborhoods where you can enjoy an animal-free dinner or lunch. But what about breakfast? Recently, a friend staying in town overnight asked for a good weekday vegan breakfast spot, and I was stumped. Partly that's because I tend to be at my house at breakfast time, and partly it's because breakfast flies under the radar: You don't think about it that much until you really need it. I posed the question on the Web and got some great info from fellow vegans and "vegan-friendlies.
April 14, 2014 |
What? You missed the Cool Alert from Rita's Italian Ice about the newest flavor, Starburst Orange? Anyone with a sense of right, wrong, and sugary frozen treats has downloaded the Rita's app and constantly monitors the device to keep track of news of what flavors are available. Don't you realize that, with Monday's announcement of Rita's third marketing deal with candy-maker Starburst, Starburst Orange ice went on sale April 7, will be available only until April 27, and then will disappear forever?
April 13, 2014 |
Ford is getting a lot of mileage out of its Fiesta. For the last year, the Detroit automaker has been rolling out the 2014 update of its popular subcompact in dribs and drabs: starting with its 38 m.p.g. S last summer, followed by its street-legal rally-crosser - the 35 m.p.g. ST, last fall - and, most recently, a 45 m.p.g. 1-liter SFE that's been on sale since December but was made available to the media only in March. To put the 1-liter in context, it is so compact that a Ford engineer packed the engine block in a carry-on suitcase and took it through TSA security without a hitch.
April 11, 2014 |
If the mark of a well-run kitchen is consistency, then my mother must be doing something right. Her matzo ball soup, just like her mother's and her grandmother's, has been made the same way for decades: with a poached whole chicken breast, halved carrots, and golden bubbles of chicken fat rising to the surface amid bobbing matzo balls, made with the recipe on the back of the Manischewitz box. "I do almost the same thing every time," she told me....
March 7, 2014
What to eat : As far as we can tell, Sweet Box makes some of the best cupcakes in Philly: orange Creamsicle, chocolate peanut butter, thin mint, strawberries and champagne, chocolate Guinness Stout with whiskey filling and Baileys Irish Cream frosting, espresso hazelnut praline, bacon maple, beer infused, cayenne cinnamon. All served up by the lovely - yet extremely hardworking - Gretchen Fantini. If she doesn't make a flavor you like, your taste buds are on the fritz. Trust us. Don't miss: Based on the amount of strawberries Fantini purees, she believes her strawberries-and-champagne cupcakes are a best-seller.
February 28, 2014
B UZZ: Hey, Marnie, I saw this TV ad with Amber Rose drinking whipped-cream vodka. How do you make vodka out of whipped cream? Marnie: That's easy, Buzz - you don't. What you're thinking of is flavored vodka, where a neutral base spirit gets dolled up with fancy flavors. Advertising can blur the lines of what's an ingredient and what's an added "flavor. " Buzz: And have you seen that "wedding cake" vodka? Is wedding cake even a flavor? Heck, my wedding cake was made out of beef jerky.