This year, Thanksgiving and Hannukah will happen simultaniously, which is kind of a really big deal. The last time the two holidays overlapped was1888, and it was only the second time that had happened since Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a federal holiday. That might seem like a long time ago, but it's nothing compared to how long before it happens again. Thanksgivukkah 2013 is the last Thanksgivukkah for 79,043 years, so make sure to sieze the opportunity to celebrate while you can. Remember, you don't have to be a member of the tribe to go ham on Thanksgivukkah (ha ha, get it?). There's enough Thanksgivukkah for everybody, and we've got the low down on who's celebrating this kickass holiday with inspired culinary creations.
Today (November 14th) is National Guacamole Day, which means you can end your work week with a kick.
Guacamole has stood the test of time: it originated with the Aztecs in the 16th century (the word guacamole comes from the Nahuatl āhuacamolli, meaning “avocado sauce”), and is still popular to this day. But what makes spicy guacamole so good? The answer lies in the science of taste. Virtually all spicy foods contain capsaicin (pronounced cap-say-a-sin), a natural irritant produced by the seeds of plants in the genus Capsicum. All the fire and heat that spicy food aficionados love comes from capsaicin. In nature, the compound acts as a defense mechanism against being eaten, but, as if often the case, nature didn’t count on the strange proclivities of humans. When we eat spicy foods, the capsaicin binds to the thousands of tiny pain receptors on our tongue (called VR1 receptors), which triggers the brain to signal a burning reaction. So, interestingly, the burn we get from spicy food is actually all in our head: while we may feel like our tongue is on fire, no physical damage has actually been done.
Okay, let’s be real: when you think of punch, you probably think of sugary (spiked) prom drinks, or a myriad of mixers served out of a plastic trash bin at a frat party. However, in time for National Punch Day this Friday, September 20, you should know that re-vamped punches are making a name for themselves as modern cocktails. In fact, it became clear at the most recent Tales of the Cocktail Convention in New Orleans that “punch is back.”
With Easter shortly behind us and the weather getting warmer, our minds are brimming with excitement at all the new seasonal food possibilities. Fresh fruits, vegetables and, oh, ice cream.
Whilst ice cream can be a bit daunting to make at home, self-taught cook Ryan McBride Mellinger, a line chef and general all-rounder at Mulberry Street hotspot Balaboosta, is here to shatter the myth and share with us her fool-hardy recipe for an ice cream and brittle duo that is sweet, warming, and refreshing all at the same time.
As the years seem to slip through our fingers, with the world feeling a little crazier at every moment, it seems we have yet to lose our interest in looking back toward the crafty days of yore. Maybe it’s our desire to appear perfect—with our jobs, relationships, homes, culinary abilities, the list goes on and on—just like our mothers and fathers before us. It’s an “I can do it all, all by myself!” attitude that can get us in trouble. Until we find the tricks.
Kathleen King, creator and owner of Tate’s Bake Shop in Southampton, got an early start in the baking business. By age eleven she began selling her baked goods out of her family’s Long Island farmstand. In 1980, Kathleen opened her first bakeshop and just kept baking. Since then, Kathleen’s chocolate chip cookies have been selected as the best of the best, her baked goods are sold in gourmet markets nationwide, and her flagship bakeshop has been voted the Best in The Hamptons year after year. Kathleen is also the author of three cookbooks. Her newest, Baking for Friends, is an excellent choice for beginning bakers and also those more skilled in the art of baking.
These last few days of summer are precious so take advantage and do all things summer: enjoy the outdoors, bqq, and cool off with something cool 'n' sweet. Check out all of these New York City restaurants offering up just what you need!
Go On a Picnic:
Folks who want to relax in Washington Square Park should order pizza picnic boxes from Pizza Roma on Bleecker Street in the West Village. These clever carryout containers, named after parks in Rome, are filled with the restaurant’s signature Roman-style pizza al taglio (square pizza by the cut), Paninis, fresh summer salads, and more.
Today we pay homage to the melon of all melons...watermelon! Restaurants and bars around the city are whipping up dishes and libations made specially from your favorite fruit.
Two very special dishes will be added to Anthony Ricco's menu at Spice Market in celebration of this special day. Try out their Thai-inspired Watermelon Gazpacho ($8.50) with watermelon, Thai chilies, tomatoes, cucumber, and red wine vinegar. They are also serving delectable Chocolate Covered Watermelon Slices ($8) dusted with crushed, spiced almonds.
Generally, short ribs and pastas are not the recipe for a great beach body. Prepared the right way though, you can incorporate your guilty pleasures into meals that are filling, healthy and beach body friendly. Lynn O’Shaughnessy brings us these righteous recipes on her new Joonbug sub-blog Bacon & Bikinis.
This “typical twenty-something California girl transplant in NYC” loves bacon, cooking and shopping...particularly for bikinis! Lynn's motto is "you can cook delicious meals that are so much cheaper and healthier than ordering in like every other New Yorker."
Pinterest: It’s a lot like Tumblr except with a working search tool. The site made its debut a few months back after a trial period in super secret invite-only beta mode, to the glee of everyone who loves a kitschy new social networking site. The shiny new site is almost literally like a candy store. It’s chock full of hi-res, well-framed pictures of just about anything you could want and then some. That is to say: it’s mostly food, cats, butts, and really really attractive people to go with the butts. Among the food and butts, however, is an amazing resource for creating your own delicious food and shaping your own butt. Pinterest is crammed with recipes, craft projects, and general life tips.