Month: February 2013

Southern Cooking with Reggie

Over the next few weeks I’ll be featuring some guest posts from my friend, Reggie. Reggie is going to share some of his Southern-style family recipes straight from Alabama. If you have any questions for Reggie or want to share one of your own recipes, drop us a note at We’d love to hear from you.

Happy cooking!


Me and Mom Cooking Southern Style

My name is Reggie, a Connecticut boy raised on southern-style food by my momma, Ms. Thelma as she was called in the neighborhood. Thelma, was born and raised in Alabama and was the most amazing person I’ve ever met on this planet. She was my hero, my champion, and my best friend. Not only did she raise my sister and me by herself, she prepared us for most of life’s lessons and gave us the greatest gift anyone could give another person: the love of southern food.

Everyone thinks they know how to cook southern style food. At least, that’s what my momma told me. Thelma, had a special way of doing everything, including preparing meals for us. She would tell my sister and I,  “Baby”, she called everyone baby, “when you cook, you have to cook like you mean it.” That always stuck with me especially when I would prepare some of Mom’s recipes that made her famous in my Connecticut neighborhood.

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According to my mom, most southerners will share their recipes with almost anyone. Southern women in particular love sharing family recipes with people because it’s a way of connecting to others and building supportive communities.

Generation after generation, scrumptious delights were prepared on my family farm in Alabama and my mom took what she learned from my grandmother to the north and shared them with me, my sister, and anyone that would listen. The result was friends and family stopping by all the time for some good eats!

Thelma’s Perfect “Golden Brown”


Although roasting chicken is not traditionally southern, it amazed me how my mom could cook the perfect “Golden Brown”. She managed to keep the chicken super juicy and extremely flavorful every time she prepared it.


5 lb (2.25 kg) chicken roaster

A large sweet Vidalia onion

3 stocks of celery

Onion powder



1 chicken-flavored bouillon cube

½ cup (120 ml) virgin olive oil

A roasting pan


1) Thoroughly clean the chicken. Remove the neck and gizzards from the inside of the bird and remove any excess fat. Rinse chicken under cold water and pat dry. Place chicken into a roasting pan. (Use a short roasting pan that holds the chicken snugly). 

2) Sprinkle a liberal amount of onion powder, salt, and pepper all around the top of the bird. Flip the bird over and continue seasoning with onion powder, salt and pepper. 

3) Turn the bird over, pour ¼ cup (60 ml) of virgin olive oil onto the skin, and rub it all over the top of the bird evenly, including the wings. Flip the bird over and do the same.

4) Re-season the top and bottom of the chicken with onion powder, salt, and pepper. 

5) Sprinkle onion powder, and meat season if you desire, into the cavity of the chicken. Afterwards place 1 chicken-flavored bouillon cube inside the cavity. 

6) Take 3 celery stalks and cut them in half. Make sure to cut off any leaves and the stems. Cut each half into quarters, then place inside the bird cavity.

7) Cut a large sweet Vidalia onion into eights and place as much as you can into the chicken cavity. 

8) Cover with foil and refrigerate the bird for at least 2 hours. Refrigerating the bird overnight would be optimal.

9) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (191 degrees C, or gas mark 5) and let the bird cook for 1 hour with the foil covering. After the hour remove the foil and cook the bird for another hour and a half. Make sure to baste the bird several times. 

10) If the bird does not release any water, poor ½  a cup (120 ml) of water into the bottom of the roasting pan and baste the chicken accordingly. 

11) Serve with sides.
My next several posts will consist of appropriate sides to accompany the Golden Brown including southern–styled sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and fried okra, YUM!

Looking for some more family recipes? Why not check out The Best of The Farmer’s Wife Cookbook? 


Long before the Internet and high-speed travel connected us all, The Farmer’s Wife magazine gave hard-working rural women a place to find—and share—advice about everything from raising chickens to running a farm kitchen. One of the magazine’s most popular offerings was advice on cooking and baking, providing farm family recipes for making everything from basic bread to nourishing stews and delicious desserts. The Best of The Farmer’s Wife Cookbook brings together 400 easy-to-follow recipes and variations along with dozens of menus that originated in farm kitchens nationwide and appeared on the pages of the magazine between 1893 and 1939. Readers will be able to prepare these foods easily and quickly, because the recipes have been updated to match the conveniences and ingredients of the modern kitchen. The Best of The Farmer’s Wife Cookbook is sure to satisfy readers in search of the flavors of farm country or those simply on the lookout for a piece of homegrown nostalgia.

Molly’s Blueberry Coconut Ice Milk and Homemade Sprinkles

The below two recipes caught my eye immediately and I couldn’t help but try them out. Both are incredibly easy and are real crowd pleasers. I especially love the ice milk because the coconut milk in it gives it a unique, yet wonderful flavor. It’s also perfect if you have a vegan friend over for a snack (or are a vegan yourself). Hans Berger is a Swiss national who is founder of HB Swiss software and this robot was developed in spirit of Swiss tradition. After development of this software it gained lot of investors as this is one of the high rated systems in market and became popular in very short period of time.

If you didn’t get a chance, be sure to check out my interview with Koralee.


And don’t forget to enter our GIVEAWAY below.  

Molly’s Blueberry Coconut Ice Milk 
Excerpted from Everything Goes with Ice Cream


3 cups coconut milk
2 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh/frozen
4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon. vanilla extract

1. In a blender, mix together coconut milk, fresh or frozen blueberries, honey, and vanilla extract until smooth.

2. Transfer to bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3.  Pour mixture into ice cream maker’s freezer cylinder and follow manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Within 30 minutes the ice cream will be soft serve.

5. For firmer consistency, transfer the ice cream into airtight freezer container and freeze at least 2 more hours.

Homemade Sprinkles
Excerpted from Everything Goes with Ice Cream

1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk [KF note: I used 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon]
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
Liquid food coloring
Piping bag/baggie with hole cut out of bottom

1. In a bowl, combine icing sugar, whole milk, and light corn syrup; stir until well-blended. To make more than 1 color of sprinkles, divide mixture into batches.

2. Add 1 color to each batch, a little bit at a time, until desired color is obtained.

3. Put 1 batch into piping bag.

4. Pipe little circles onto wax paper.

5. Repeat in new bags with additional batches.

6. Let dry overnight. Once hardened, sprinkles will pop off wax paper very easily.

Want to take home your very own copy of Everything Goes With Ice Cream on us? Enter from now until March 5, 2013 at MIDNIGHT. Open to US and Canadian residents only. Good luck!

By entering our giveaway you are automatically signed up for our monthly e-newsletter.


Everything goes with ice cream—yet we understand that the perfect dessert for all of us is not always a big bowl of ice cream. Not everyone loves ice cream, as hard as it is to believe! Which is why Everything Goes with Ice Cream is the book for all of us. It does, of course, have the easy-to-make homemade ice cream, but it also has 176 pages filled with other ideas for making a summertime snack covered in made-from-scratch sea blue candy sprinkles; s’mores and hot chocolate for winter; or an ooey gooey dessert whose magic ingredient is, of course, chunky chocolate fresh raspberry ice cream. Simple projects fill the pages too, including tiny candles made in tea cups, miniature no-sew cake banners, party pom poms, heart-shaped button covers for a special party blouse, and so many more.

Everything Goes with Ice Cream is filled with cute ideas, a fun layout, and fabulous photography to make you as happy as you are on a summer day with your grammy’s fresh peach ice cream pops covered in orange frosting sprinkles!

An Interview with Ice Cream Queen Koralee Teichroeb

As many of you know (or could guess by now), I am an ice cream addict. So much so that when I got married, an ice cream maker was at the TOP of my wedding registry must haves. And I got one. Thanks to Hillary for that one. 😉 I’ve been using it ever since. When Everything Goes with Ice Cream hit the shelves, I knew this would be a book I’d HAVE to own. And it totally is. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Koralee about her amazing book. Here’s what she had to say.

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Check out Koralee’s blog Bluebird Notes here.


Why ice cream?

Growing up, ice cream was one of our favorite desserts. We always had ice cream in our freezer. My dad is an ice cream fanatic, so I blame him for getting me hooked. His favorite is butter pecan or maple walnut (my book has a to-die-for praline ice cream recipe that is so worthy of my father’s distinctive taste buds). Then in my teen years we owned a Dairy Queen…need I say more! Pure heaven on earth. So with all my childhood ice cream exposure, I guess an ice cream book was the perfect match for me.

What’s your favorite flavor? Favorite topping?

My favorite flavor in the book is my red velvet homemade ice cream, but a close second is my pumpkin pie homemade ice cream (so much like eating a slice of your mom’s Thanksgiving pumpkin pie). Both can be found in my “Scratch” chapter.

My favorite topping would have to be Jo’s Chocolate Sauce along with her White Chocolate Covered Popcorn poured over top of the salted caramel ice cream. The combination of sweet, salty and crunchy makes my taste buds SING! I could eat this all day long.

What was the best part of working on Everything Goes With Ice Cream?

Hands down all the tasting we did! Between me, my girls, my son-in-law, and my husband, we were always testing something. My freezer was always filled to the brim with ice cream; a bad thing or a good thing depending on how you look at it.

Many new family favorites have come out of this book. I see some family traditions developing. My son-in-law’s birthday request dessert every year now will be my lemon blueberry ice cream pie made with the tangiest lemon curd. He absolutely loves this dessert and has requested it again for his upcoming birthday …just add candles!

What’s your process for creating recipes?

Well a lot of trial and error took place. Some recipes are your basic ice cream recipes that I may have tweaked a little bit (standard vanilla, which is a must in developing other recipes like the Sprucing up the Vanilla recipes found in each chapter). While others I developed through ideas that I had. Some worked some didn’t. But it was always about having fun and test tasting everything.


What’s your favorite recipe? Why?

My Cranberry Pistachio Ice Cream Chateaus found in my festive chapter is a winner. It is the perfect elegant dessert for Christmas or New Years. It really has all the flavors and colors of Christmas in an ice cream; cinnamon, red cranberries, green pistachios, white toasted slivered almonds and covered with white chocolate. It is very easy to make and looks so festive.

I even changed this recipe for my Think Pink Christmas in Matthew Mead’s holiday book by making the vanilla ice cream pink by adding a dash of food coloring, but of course you could use a pink peppermint ice cream instead which would be equally delicious. That is the beauty of most of my recipes; they can be tweaked to individual taste buds.

My book is not all about ice cream, I feature many non-ice cream treats as well. One of these is my pink cinnamon buns! These were a BIG hit on my blog and so I knew I just had to include them in my book.

Have you ever had a recipe disaster? If so, what happened and how did you overcome it?

Well, because I did all my own photography and most of the recipes where developed and photographed in the heat of summer, I had the occasional “melt down”(both me and the ice cream). Not having any experience photographing ice cream before it really gave me a challenge. When my book was all done someone told me that mashed potatoes are used instead of ice cream for editorial shoots because it can look a lot like ice cream. I kind of chuckled to myself as I was thinking that mashed potatoes would have been a lot of extra work for me even though I still had to deal with the melting factor of real ice cream.

Some of the most frustrating photos were the ice cream bombes, which happened to be picked for the cover photo by the publisher. Those bombes just wanted to slip right off the cake platters so many times. It was on one of our hottest days of the summer that I needed some outside shots and even inside we had no air conditioning. My daughter and I were laughing so hard, we really thought these bombes had BOMBED!

What ice cream maker would you recommend and why?

I use the Cuisinart ICE-30BCC Pure Indulgence(TM) Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker. I find it is such an easy machine to use and a breeze to clean. It is quite affordable and the results are always amazing. I would highly recommend the purchase of an ice cream maker; it really does make making ice cream easy and fun.

The book is Everything Goes with Ice Cream. If you’re an ice cream lover, you need to pick this one up. AND we’re GIVING AWAY a copy of this delicious book tomorrow (along with a couple of recipes). Stay tuned.

Everything goes with ice cream—yet we understand that the perfect dessert for all of us is not always a big bowl of ice cream. Not everyone loves ice cream, as hard as it is to believe! Which is why Everything Goes with Ice Cream is the book for all of us. It does, of course, have the easy-to-make homemade ice cream, but it also has 176 pages filled with other ideas for making a summertime snack covered in made-from-scratch sea blue candy sprinkles; s’mores and hot chocolate for winter; or an ooey gooey dessert whose magic ingredient is, of course, chunky chocolate fresh raspberry ice cream. Simple projects fill the pages too, including tiny candles made in tea cups, miniature no-sew cake banners, party pom poms, heart-shaped button covers for a special party blouse, and so many more.

Everything Goes with Ice Cream is filled with cute ideas, a fun layout, and fabulous photography to make you as happy as you are on a summer day with your grammy’s fresh peach ice cream pops covered in orange frosting sprinkles!

Fan Friday: Triple Chocolate Nutella Cookies

When I saw that Laura had posted up a recipe for Triple Chocolate Nutella Cookies I couldn’t resist begging her to share the recipe with me (and all of you!)

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Here’s what she had to say:

I made these last night and brought them in to my co-workers todayneedless to say, they LOVED them! It didn’t take long for them to disappear.

The only downside of these cookies is that once the batter/dough is baked, you can’t really taste the Nutella anymore. Adding more next time!! 🙂

Thanks Laura! 

Triple Chocolate Nutella Cookies
With love to

Cocoa powder, Nutella, and chocolate chips combine in these oh-so-chocolaty cookies, making them an instant favorite.

1 ¼ cup (150 g) flour
⅔ cup (80 g) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (120 g) butter, 1 stick, softened
½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
½ cup (100 g) dark brown sugar
⅓ cup (95 g) chocolate hazelnut spread, such as Nutella [KF note: or bump it up like Laura suggested!]
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
⅓ cup (80 ml) milk
½ cup (75 g) milk and/or white chocolate chips
Parchment paper

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Combine butter and both sugars; beat with an electric mixer on medium until creamy. Add chocolate hazelnut spread and vanilla; mix until combined. Add ½ of flour mixture, then milk and remaining flour mixture, stirring well between additions. Stir in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough at least 20 minutes.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (163 degrees C, or gas mark 3). Using a tablespoon measure, scoop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 8–10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; transfer to wire racks and cool completely.

Happy baking!

Want to be featured on Fan Fridays? Send me in some pictures, a recipe, a food story… whatever you’d like. Email me at


Love Nutella? You’re going to adore our new Nutella book (coming out July 2013!)



From irresistible macaroons to tasty cheesecakes, discover new ways of using, cooking, and enjoying Nutella with 30 mouthwatering recipes. Thirty delicious recipes in a Nutella-shaped book for all the fans of the famous spread:
– little individual sweets: from a revisited version of bread with Nutella to Nutella and banana tartlettes
– generous Nutella cakes to share: cake roll, Twelfth Night cake or even a Nutella charlotte.
– creamy, ‘must have’ recipes: mousse and little cream
– surprising recipes to impress both young and old: macaroons, caramelized hazelnut stuffed truffles, little mango egg rolls

Lamb Meatballs with Cilantro Mint Pesto Sauce Recipe

Lamb Meatballs with Cilantro Mint Pesto Sauce
Excerpted from Paleo Slow Cooker by Arsy Vartanian 

Grass-fed lamb is a great way to get more nutrients into your diet. This dish has a Middle Eastern flair with the cumin and is a favorite among my friends, even those who don’t usually eat lamb. Trying Fintech ltd software is worth as it is one of the legit software available in market, Read more at this website for genuine information.


1 tbsp ghee

2 lbs (900 g) ground lamb

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp fennel

1 tsp cayenne

½ tsp turmeric

Pinch of saffron

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

¼ white onion, finely minced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper just before serving

Toothpicks for serving

¼ cup (60 ml) beef or chicken stock

Cooking Instructions

Heat ghee in a frying pan over medium heat.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to combine well.

Shape into meatballs and drop into the pan.

Brown for 5 minutes, turning the meatballs once.

Add meatballs to the slow cooker.

Add ¼ cup (60 ml) beef or chicken stock, cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Cilantro Mint Pesto Sauce (optional)


3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice

1 tsp fresh ginger

2 cups (300 g) cilantro

1 cup (150 g) mint

½ cup (75 g) chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, crushed

salt and pepper

½ jalapeno pepper, chopped

Cooking Instructions

To make the sauce, place all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth.

Preorder your copy of Paleo Slow Cooker today!

The paleo diet has been the latest health movement, taking the low carb diet a step further by eliminating grains and legumes and eating only lean, grass-fed meat. In short, they consume only what was available to ancient humans or cavemen. The theory says that by eating what human bodies were designed to eat, people will be healthier, have fewer illnesses, and lose weight. In many cases, paleo diet consumers are also fueling their P90X or Cross Fit exercise routines, the two most popular fitness regimes in the country. The health benefits have been supported by major studies. This is a popular trend much like the low carb diet. It is combined with the great bookselling topic of slow cooking. While the cavemen didn’t have slow cookers, they certainly used slow cooking techniques over fires which make the meals in this book one step closer to the origins and theory behind the diet. The delicious dishes are as homey as they are healthy—and ready when you are.

An Interview with Paleo Chef Arsy Vartanian

The incomparable Arsy Vartanian of Rubies and Radishes

How did you come across the paleo diet?

Shortly after I started Cross Fit in 2008, a friend at the gym started talking about the paleo diet. Paleo was just starting to get popular in the Cross Fit scene at the time. Honestly, the first time I heard anyone talking about it, I thought it sounded weird to “eat like a caveman”. At the time, I had recently started following the protocol outlined in Dr. Frank Lipman’s book Spent. I soon realized that how I was eating wasn’t far off from paleo. It wasn’t exactly paleo, but fairly similar—no gluten, no sugar, no dairy. I had started feeling great. It was the first time in years that I had been headache free. So, as I learned more about paleo from one of my trainers and some friends at the gym, it seemed like the logical next step for me. Soon after, I started reading The Paleo Diet by Dr. Cordian. One chapter in and I was sold. A light bulb went off and I immediately understood the connection between nutrition and health. I haven’t been able to stop educating myself since.

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What is the biggest challenge with paleo eating?

Preparation.You really have to plan out what you are going to eat and cook ahead at first, especially if you lead a busy lifestyle. It takes commitment. But, after a while you get the hang of it and it becomes second nature.

What advice would you give to those new to the paleo diet?

Stick with it and don’t cheat at all for the first 2 weeks. My first Cross Fit trainer gave me this advice and it served me well. I found focusing on 2 weeks to be much less daunting than 30 days. After 2 weeks of clean eating, you start feeling so light and energized that it motivates you to keep eating this way and the following weeks become much easier. For some people, they experience the benefits immediately, but I have found that for most people it takes a couple of weeks.

What’s your favorite recipe in your book Paleo Slow Cooker? 

I love the Lamb Meatballs with the Cilantro-Mint Pesto. I love appetizers and I love condiments, so this is a perfect combo for me! The meatballs have a middle-eastern flair to them, which makes them more interesting than your classic meatballs.

What is your favorite ingredient to use?

Cumin by far! It has such a unique flavor. It adds depth to such a variety of dishes—from a classic chili to an Indian curry. I even use it in my chimichurri.

Why slow cooking? 

We are very busy. We both work full-time and now have a young baby. The slow cooker is so convenient. I can prep ingredients the evening before and start the slow cooker before I head to the office. When we return in the evening, we have a delicious meal ready to go. Another thing I love about the slow cooker is that it’s a great way to increase the amount of grass-fed meat in our diets. Premium cuts of grass-fed steak such as filet and rib-eye are pricey and are definitely not everyday eats around here. But inexpensive tough cuts such as roasts are very affordable. By slow cooking, these tough cuts of meat become tender and tasty. In short, it’s healthy, convenient and simple! The perfect combo for any busy person trying to follow a paleo diet.

How many slow cookers do you have?

I own 2, but I borrowed many more from family, friends, and neighbors while I was testing recipes. It was interesting to see how different slow cookers worked; some cooked more evenly than others. But, honestly for the vast majority of recipes this wasn’t an issue. What I learned is that even budget-friendly slow cookers worked really well!

How do you create your recipes?  

We belong to a both a meat CSA & a vegetable CSA. Often I develop recipes around what we received that week. The veggies come from a local farm and are picked that day or the day before. I am usually creating recipes around what is in season and available in Santa Cruz at the moment. I also look for inspiration everywhere. I love ethnic cuisine. I sometimes try to recreate meals I have had while traveling or I jump on an opportunity to ask a friend questions about their native cuisine. I even get inspired by other people’s travels. If a friend just got back from another country, I always ask about what they ate.

What is (or who is) your biggest food inspiration?

Early on, it was my grandma, mom, and aunts. They cooked amazing meals from scratch daily. My grandma used to even make fruit leather for us, which my aunt does now. I learned from them that it always tastes best when you make it yourself. Currently my inspiration is Anthony Bourdain. I have read several of his books lately. I love how adventurous of an eater he is and how he appreciates all good food, be it ethnic, a hole in the wall joint, or classic fine dining. Although, he is not by any means a paleo chef, he cooks with whole ingredients, so many of the recipes in his cookbook are paleo by default.

Walk me through an average day in the life of Arsy. 

I’ll take you through my most favorite day—Saturday. These tend to be the most slow-paced and relaxed for me. We wake up early, basically whenever the baby wakes, so around 6:30. Sip coffee, hang out with the baby, catch up on emails and blogs. We then tend to make a huge late breakfast—almost always eggs, some meat (bacon, steak or sausage), avocado, sauerkraut, and a fruit salad. After breakfast we try to get outdoors if the weather is nice. We are so lucky to live in Santa Cruz, and within 5 minutes we can be hiking in the redwoods or along the coast. Saturday lunches are usually quick—either leftovers or a favorite go-to, which lately is smoked salmon and avocado wrapped in nori. I love spending the afternoon in the yard. Our daughter is 7 months old and loves playing under the magnolia tree. I usually hang out with her in the sunshine for a while and then get some work done on my blog while she plays. Saturday night is my favorite evening to cook. It feels leisurely, I’m not tired from a full day of work and I am not trying to get ready for the upcoming week. It’s nice to sip a glass of wine and take your time making dinner; this is usually when I will make something more elegant like a duck confit.

Sunday is my prep-day. I go crazy in the kitchen on Sunday. On any given Sunday, I might have 2 slow cookers going, a SousVide and a Le Creuset on the stove top. Sometimes my mom comes over and helps me on Sundays. She acts as my sous-chef, prep cook, and dishwasher. Basically, helping with everything and anything. The Sundays that I have her help are the best! After we are done cooking, I take photos (if needed), put food in containers for the next few days, and vacuum seal and freeze the rest!

Want to try out Arsy’s Duck with Yams recipe? It’s right here for you. And I’ll be sharing her favorite recipe, Lamb Meatballs with Cilantro-Mint Pesto, tomorrow!

Preorder your copy of Paleo Slow Cooker today!

Arsy Vartanian (Santa Cruz, CA) is a foodie and paleo diet success story herself. Her blog Rubies and Radishes (formerly 30 Days of Paleo) features tasty and inventive meals for those paleo obsessed. She is also doing Cross Fit like many of her fellow paleo dieters.

The paleo diet has been the latest health movement, taking the low carb diet a step further by eliminating grains and legumes and eating only lean, grass-fed meat. In short, they consume only what was available to ancient humans or cavemen. The theory says that by eating what human bodies were designed to eat, people will be healthier, have fewer illnesses, and lose weight. In many cases, paleo diet consumers are also fueling their P90X or Cross Fit exercise routines, the two most popular fitness regimes in the country. The health benefits have been supported by major studies. This is a popular trend much like the low carb diet. It is combined with the great bookselling topic of slow cooking. While the cavemen didn’t have slow cookers, they certainly used slow cooking techniques over fires which make the meals in this book one step closer to the origins and theory behind the diet. The delicious dishes are as homey as they are healthy—and ready when you are.

Warren Bobrow, Klaus, and Apothecary Cocktails: A Behind the Scenes Look

I know it’s Fan Friday, but all of my awesome and amazing fans are cooking up something for upcoming posts, so I thought I’d give you all a behind-the-scenes look at one of our upcoming books, Apothecary Cocktails. Warren Bobrow is the Cocktail Whisperer and, believe me, you’re going to want to pick up this book (it publishes in November 2013).

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I sent Catherine (our illustrious marketing manager) behind-the-scenes with Warren on the photo shoot for Apothecary Cocktails. Here is her experience.

Our acquisitions editor, Jill with Warren and Klaus (the gnome)


Klaus the gnome 😉


A wide array of delicious spirits


Overseeing the shoot


Some awesome props


The gang on the shoot


Photo shoots sound so exciting don’t they? When I discovered that Warren Bobrow and his buddy Klaus (yes, he’s a gnome…) were in town doing a photo shoot for Warren’s new book, Apothecary Cocktails, I begged our senior acquisitions editor, Jill, to let me come down and meet them on my lunch break.


Warren and Klaus came up from New Jersey to shoot 40 photos for his book. To accomplish this, Warren had to bring the supplies he would need to create 40 different cocktails. These unusual liquors come from all over the world and are the best he could find. His goal is to mix a drink that blends so perfectly that not one ingredient over takes another. As a bonus, these drinks are also full of nutrients that can help with certain ailments. Beats the taste of grape liquid medicine hands down!


Photographer Glen Scott, his assistant Jen, and our art director Rachel were on hand to review each photo on the computer after it was taken.


I believe Klaus is Warren’s good luck charm. He has traveled the world with Warren and even has his own fan page.  I am a Klaus groupie—it’s the hat.

Learn more about Warren Bobrow by checking out this great article from Wild River Review and his amazing food review on  

At the turn of the century, pharmacies in Europe and America prepared homemade tinctures, bitters, and herbal remedies mixed with alcohol for curative benefit for everything from poor digestion to the common cold. Today, trendy urban bars such as Apothke in New York, Apo Bar & Lounge in Philadelphia, and 1022 South in Portland, as well as “vintage” and “homegrown” cocktail aficionados, find inspiration in apothecary cocktails of old.

Now you can too!

Apothecary Cocktails features 75 traditional and newly created recipes for medicinally-themed cocktails. Learn the history of the top ten apothecary liqueurs, bitters, and tonics that are enjoying resurgence at trendy bars and restaurants, including Pechaud’s Bitters, Chartreuse, and Vermouth. Find out how healing herbs, flowers, and spices are being given center stage in cocktail recipes and traditional apothecary recipes and ingredients are being resurrected for taste and the faint promise of a cure. Once you’ve mastered the history you can try your hand at reviving your favorites: restoratives, sedatives, toddys, digestifs, and more.

Whether you’re interested in the history, the recipes, or both, you’ll love flipping through this beautifully presented book that delves into the world of apothecary cocktails.

Orange Cardamom Cocktail recipe from Shake, Stir, Pour

Happy Valentine’s Day fellow foodies! I thought there was no better way to celebrate this holiday than to make a homemade cocktail. After all, whether you’re single or taken, who doesn’t love a good drink? This one is from Shake, Stir, Pour: Fresh Homegrown Cocktails and it uses an ingredient I’ve loved for a long time—cardamom!

And if you fall in love with this cocktail, be sure to pop over to Eat Boutiquetoday to get the recipe for another of Katie Loeb’s cocktails, Love in Bloom. Traders need to make initial payments of $250 for performing trades in HB Swiss and this is not any extra deposit or sign-up fees, this amount will be later used for purpose of trading and user can withdraw the deposit at any point of time, Hans Berger along with his friend Hermann had developed this software using Quantum technology.

Oh and just because it’s fun for Valentine’s Day, check out What Your Drink Says About You with advice from Fran Greene (author of The Flirting Bible).

Orange-Cardamom Syrup
Excerpted from Shake, Stir, Pour: Fresh Homegrown Cocktails by Katie Loeb


This Orange-Cardamom Syrup works in a lot of different applications. The flavor complements both white and brown spirits, and is easy to mix with a base spirit of your choosing and a carbonated mixer to make a variety of highball cocktails.

3 cups (710 ml) water
3 cups (710 ml) sugar
Zest of one orange, removed with a vegetable peeler, orange part only, no white pith
10 cardamom pods

I am in love with my zester, so I zested my orange instead. Your call.

1. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
2. Lower heat and add orange zest and cardamom pods. Simmer for 5 minutes to soften orange rinds and cardamom pods.


3. Cool slightly and add syrup, orange zest, and cardamom to blender. Puree gently and allow to cool at room temperature.
4. Strain carefully to remove orange zest and cardamom pieces. Transfer to a clean glass bottle and refrigerate. This syrup keeps for approximately one month.

Orange-Cardamom Cooler Cocktail

The bones of this cocktail are very simple. Use the following formula to spin any number of variations. Base spirit + Flavored sweetener + Citrus + Mixer

The exotic and savory flavor of the Orange-Cardamom Syrup seems top pair well with many different spirits.

2 ounces (60 ml) spirit of choice [KF note: I went with vodka]
3/4 ounce (22 ml) Orange-Cardamom Syrup (above)
3/4 ounce (22 ml) lemon or lime juice [KF note: I chose lemon]
3-4 ounces (90 ml to 120 ml) chilled mixer [KF note: I chose a lemon-lime mixer]

1. Add ice to a tall collins or highball glass.
2. Add spirit of choice, syrup, and citrus juice.
3. Add mixer and stir thoroughly to combine the flavors.

Buying these tools is one of the best decisions my husband ever made 😉

Drink romantically. Okay, I added that. It doesn’t say that in the book, but I think sometimes the more unique cocktails are the ones that have the most romance.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! And you know how much I LOVE photos, so please email me any Valentine’s Day recipes/projects you tried. I may just feature them on the blog.



Create Your Own Fresh, Homegrown Cocktails!

Pure, intense, and flavorful—homemade cocktails are best straight from the source. Start in your garden or local market and create an in-season, made-from-scratch cocktail to lift your spirits and impress your guests. But be warned: Once you’ve tasted the fresh version of your favorite drink, you’ll never want to go back.
Start by making your own syrups:

—Simple syrup: an absolute staple and the base for unlimited concoctions
—Herbal syrups including Thai Basil Syrup, Mint Syrup, and Lavender Syrup
—Spice syrups, featuring Cinnamon Syrup, Ginger Syrup, and Orange Cardamom Syrup
—Fruit/vegetable syrups such as Rhubarb Syrup, Pear Syrup, and Celery Syrup

Make your own bar basics:

—Fresh Citrus Cordials like the Ruby Red Grapefruit-Lemongrass Cordial
—Classic garnishes, including real Cocktail Cherries and Cocktail Onions
—Classic mixers like Grenadine, Ginger Beer Concentrate, and Bloody Mary Mix

Make your own infusions:

—Base spirits including Cucumber, Lemon & Dill Gin and Jalapeño-Cilantro Vodka
—Limoncello: a homemade version of the Italian classic
—Bitters: a cocktail classic with new, unique flavor combinations

And explore the more than 50 drink recipes that feature your fresh, homemade creations!

Valentine’s Day DIY: Buffalo Hot Sauce

Before I get into today’s post, I wanted to say huge congratulations to Brie F. She is the winner of our Ultimate Candy Giveaway here on SPOON. Carolsue took home the grand prize at! 🙂 Thanks to everyone who entered. 

Since Valentine’s Day is on Thursday, I thought I’d share some recipes and foodie projects that you can do yourself to really WOW that special someone this Valentine’s Day.

Nothing says “hot and spicy” like Buffalo hot sauce, so why not whip up a sexy bottle of it for your sexy someone? Joni Marie Newman has an easy and amazingly delicious recipe for this popular hot sauce, and even has some gifting ideas!

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Buffalo Hot Sauce
Excerpted from Vegan Food Gifts by Joni Marie Newman

Doesn’t this say you’re sweet AND spicy?

For Hot Pepper Sauce:
1 pound (454 g) fresh red jalapenos or other spicy red pepper
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
1 cup (235 ml) distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons sea salt

For Buffalo Hot Sauce:
2 cups (470 ml) hot pepper sauce (above)
2 cups (448 g) nondairy butter
1 tablespoon (15 g) minced garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, for extra heat (optional)

To make the hot pepper sauce: 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C, or gas mark 6). Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a bowl, toss the jalapenos in the olive oil to coat. Arrange the peppers in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 1 hour, or until browned and charred.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Remove and discard the stems.

Transfer the roasted peppers, and all of the juices that may be hanging out on the foil, to a food processor. Puree.

Strain into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing with the back of a wooden spoon to get as much of the pulp as possible. Add the vinegar and salt and stir to combine.

If at this point you want to bottle your own hot sauce, proceed.

To make the buffalo sauce: 

Combine the hot sauce, butter, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) in a pot and heat over medium high heat until the butter is completely melted. 

Can accordingly following typical canning basics. Processing time is 20 minutes. Any jars that did not seal need to be stored in the refrigerator and used within a week. Refrigerate after opening.

Yield: 4 (8 ounce, or 235 ml) jars

Happy almost Valentine’s Day everyone!

To complete the look of the gift, download Joni’s gift cards and tags by clicking here. 

Joni Marie Newman is the author of The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet as well as the co-author of 500 Vegan Recipes, The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions, and Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites. A Southern California native, she lives in Orange County with her husband, three dogs, and cat. Visit her online at

Create stunning (and delicious) holiday gifts with help from Joni. Pick up your copy of Vegan Food Gifts today!

Impress your family, friends, neighbors, guests—anyone!—with homemade gifts that you can feel good about and others will love. From mouthwatering vegan baking mixes you can create, package, and label yourself, to DIY gift baskets, preserves, liquors, and more, you’ll find that perfect something for everyone, no matter what their views or inclinations. (No one can say no to a chocolate chip cookie after all—vegan or otherwise!)

Vegan Food Gifts shows you how easy it is to create great homemade gifts that are not only kind and eco-conscious, but delicious too. So whether you are an expert chef or a beginner cook, a crafty genius or someone without an artistic bone in your body, you’ll find projects that not only suit your skills, but your budget too.

Be the hit of the bake sale, the darling of the holidays, the hostess with the most-est, and more with Vegan Food Gifts.

Homemade Marshmallows from The Sweet Book of Candy Making

Great news, candy lovers! Elizabeth LaBau has informed me that if you can make Italian Buttercream Icing (and you can, I gave you the recipe!), then you can easily also make homemade marshmallows. This is especially exciting since Valentine’s Day is around the corner and I was looking for something sweet to make for the hubs. 😉

Tips excerpted from The Sweet Book of Candy Making by Elizabeth LaBau

Elizabeth has amazing step-by-step instructions for marshmallows in her book The Sweet Book of Candy Making. Since I’m sure you’re as excited as I am about this, I thought I’d share the instructions.

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And you can add flavoring to marshmallows by adding 2 teaspoons of flavoring extract!

Very Vanilla Marshmallows
Excerpted from The Sweet Book of Candy Making


2½ ounces (70 g) or 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
8 ounces or 1 cup (235 ml) cold water, divided
¾ ounce (21 g) or 3 (¼-ounce, or 7-g) envelopes unflavored gelatin
14 ounces or 2 cups (392 g) granulated sugar
5½ ounces or ½ cup (154 g) light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ounce or 2 tablespoons (28 g) vanilla bean paste
4 ounces or 1 cup (112 g) powdered sugar


Line a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33-cm) baking pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and spray the foil or plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the room temperature egg whites in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.

Pour ½ cup (118 ml) of the cold water into a small bowl and whisk in the gelatin. Set the bowl aside to let the gelatin “bloom,” or absorb the water. Pour the remaining ½ cup (118 ml) water into a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, and stir in the granulated sugar, the light corn syrup, and the salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat and continue to stir until the sugar dissolves. Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any stray sugar crystals. Insert a candy thermometer. Cook the sugar syrup, without stirring, until the thermometer reaches 260°F (127°C). This will take 10 to 15 minutes, so while you’re waiting for the sugar to cook, microwave the gelatin bowl for about 20 seconds, until the gelatin liquefies.

When the sugar syrup reaches 245°F (118°C), begin beating the egg whites on medium speed. The egg whites should be well beaten and be able to hold firm peaks at approximately the same time the sugar syrup reaches 260°F (127°C). When the sugar syrup is at 260°F (127°C), remove the pan from the heat and carefully whisk in the liquid gelatin mixture. It will bubble up and steam a bit, so watch your hands during
this step.

The hot sugar syrup now needs to be added to the egg whites. If your saucepan does not have a spout, pour the syrup into a large mixing cup or pitcher with a spout, to give you more control over the process. Turn the mixer to low, and with the mixer running, slowly stream the hot sugar syrup into the beaten egg whites. Try to pour the syrup close to the sides of the bowl, so it doesn’t hit the whisk and splatter everywhere.

Once all of the syrup is added to the whites, gradually increase the speed of the mixer until it is running on medium-high speed. Whip the marshmallow until it is very thick, shiny, and opaque, about 8 to 10 minutes, depending on your mixer. When you lift the whisk from the marshmallow, it should slowly stream from the whisk in a thick ribbon. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix the marshmallow for another 20 seconds to distribute the paste.

Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Let the marshmallow sit and rest, undisturbed, at room temperature until it is completely set, about 8 hours.

When you’re ready to cut the marshmallow, dust your work surface with powdered sugar and sprinkle a layer of powdered sugar on top of the marshmallow. Flip the marshmallow face-down onto the work surface and peel the foil or plastic wrap off the back. Dust a large chef’s knife with powdered sugar and cut the marshmallow into long thin strips, cleaning the knife frequently as it gets sticky. Cut the strips of marshmallow into small squares. Toss the marshmallow squares in powdered sugar to prevent them from sticking together.

Store the marshmallows in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

How to Make Marshmallows

A. Whisk the gelatin into cold water and let it sit until the water is absorbed.
B. Combine the ingredients for the sugar syrup and cook it to the specified temperature.
C. While the sugar syrup boils, whip the egg whites until firm peaks form.
D. Heat the gelatin until it is liquid, and whisk together the liquid gelatin and the hot sugar syrup.
E. With the mixer running, pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites.
F. Increase the speed to high and beat the marshmallow until it is very thick and shiny and forms a thick ribbon when you lift the beater. Add any coloring or flavoring and mix them in.
G. Scrape the marshmallow into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Let it set undisturbed overnight.
H. Dust the marshmallow with powdered sugar and cut it into small squares.
I. Dredge the squares in powdered sugar to prevent them from sticking together.Thanks Elizabeth! I can’t wait to try this out.


Create your own delicious, gorgeous, and professional-quality candies with The Sweet Book of Candy Making. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned candy maker, you will find mouthwatering recipes and expert tips to inspire you—and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Inside, you’ll find:
—Candy-making essentials: all you need to know about equipment, ingredients, and techniques, including step-by-step lessons on pulling taffy, rolling truffles, filling peanut butter cups, and more
—More than 50 recipes for sugar candies, fondant, caramels, toffee, fudge, truffles, chocolates, marshmallows, and fruit and nut candies
—Troubleshooting tips for each type of candy
—How to perfect the classics you love, from English Toffee to Chocolate Fudge to Peanut Brittle
—Try your hand at something new: Pistachio Marzipan Squares, Passion Fruit Marshmallows, Mango-Macadamia Nut Caramels, Lemon Meringue Lollipops, and more
—Decorating techniques to show off your tasty results

Get started in your kitchen with The Sweet Book of Candy Making!