Poultry & Pork · Uncategorized

It’s An Italian Feast

Are you caught up on Top Chef: All Stars? Not only is the show madly addictive, but also this season is the best season of Top Chef yet! We both love some good reality television–sometimes the trashy kind too– as much as the next person. Incorporate food into it somehow, and you got a hit in our book.  A few episodes ago, the contestants were challenged to create a traditional Italian dish for New York’s exclusive eatery, Rao’s. The judges and celebrity guests wined and dined family-style at the infamous restaurant, enjoying creation after creation from the skilled chefs. Watching all of this clearly had mouths salivating with a ravenous appetite. I swear I could smell Fabio’s Chicken Cacciatore through the television. Plus, the fun everyone dining appeared to be having was highly penetrating. You could feel the joy and passion emanating from each person as these large platters overflowing with Italian delight were passed around the table.

As soon as the episode ended, plans were already formulating to have an Italian feast. Unfortunately, Chrystal was teaching all day, so she could only be there in spirit. The Super Bowl was just a few days away. What better excuse is there to have some your favorite people over and experience that same Italian food love, but this time it would be from a different set of hands and cutting boards.
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Cakes, Pies and Tarts · Nuts · Sweet Treats

Ride It Upside Down

Surprisingly, many of our friends have never tasted Pineapple Upside Down Cake. For those of you who have experienced this delightful dessert, you are fully aware of the inherent travesty in the previous sentence. Since we love to make mini versions of our favorite treats, especially desserts, we thought individual servings would be a fun way to share this cake with our friends, plus we wanted to initiate the new set of ramekins from World Market. If you remember our January Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 dinner, they were part of the gift sets we gave to our friends for the evening. If you’re going to gift folks with kitchenware, you should at least give it a test run yourself!

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Cookies & Bars

Never Enough Thyme

Lemon Thyme Cookies-Duo Dishes

There are so many recipes that we want to try.  It’s hard to find the time to do them all.  Maybe you’ve had the same problem?  If you’ve read through a lot of our recipes, you’ll notice we love to use a lot of the same things in our recipes:  citrus and fresh herbs.  Either on their own or combined, the power of citrus and herb is equivalent to Superman–they work hard for the sake of all that is good.  We cannot get enough!  We’ve combined the two in many salads, dressings and marinades, baked and fried meats, etc., but we’ve rarely done so for baked goods.  We wanted to mix the subtle, aromatic flavor of thyme with the brightness of lemon for this trial.  That coupling is nothing new, as it’s been used with roast chicken and potatoes, sorbet, grilled fish, pork belly, crème brulée and even vodka cocktails.  We decided on the simple route though.  A cookie.

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Cookies & Bars

Not Just for Entertainment

Amaretto Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches--Duo Dishes

It’s true: we love watching The Food Network just as much as the next foodie.  You’re flipping through the channels, and next think you know Tyler Florence is making crab cakes.  Omg, they look so good!  What kind of spices does he use?  Does he bake  or fry?  We gotta know!  Mainly, so when we make them ourselves (which will probably happen that same night), and so we can add our own Duo specialness to them (no offense Tyler–sure yours are bangin’ though).  Who doesn’t like watching Paula add a stick of butter to everything?  Or see Ina bust out her Kitchen Aid?  That’s all well and good, but there’s really only one reason to watch these personalities for us–the food!  If you’re not going to cook it, what’s the point?  And watching Food Network just gets us so excited to cook whatever it is they’re cookin’ on the TV.  It’s only a matter of time before seeing all the fresh, savory, beautiful foods sizzle, pop, and shine before the television is clicked off and the cooking apron is tied on.  That’s right.  We use aprons, and they’re monogrammed too.
Other Sweet Treats

What A Lovely Mess

Almond Meringues-Duo Dishes

Forgive us for finally getting to this dessert as we actually made it a while ago.  Sometimes we just get backed up in the kitchen.  A couple of months ago, there was yet another dinner party hosted by a friend, and we pulled the dessert card out of the hat.  The theme was British and, above all, healthy.  Admittedly, this required a few minutes of research.  There were a lot of puddings and cobblers that popped up, along with a trillion trifles.  With strawberries topping the sweet fruit chart right now, the idea was enticing.  And then we remembered Nigella–Nigella Lawson, that is.  Once upon a time, we saw her whip up a little something called Eton Mess.  We’d found our answer.

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Breads & Muffins

Flip It and Smack It

Cinnamon Raisin Pecan BreadBoth members of the Duo recently received KitchenAids during the holiday season. Take a look at your calendar. You will notice that is currently February, and we’re just brushing off the dust and plugging them in. Funny how you can spend years and years pining for something, and then when it arrives, you’re so used to antiquated methods (like stirring cookie batter with a wooden spoon) that you forget you’ve been gifted with technological advances. But we digress.  Whipping up homemade bread has been on the to-make list for the longest time, and now that our respective kitchens have been bestowed with what can only be seen as one of the foodie’s number one appliances, it is now time to get to bakin’. We do not profess to be mavens in all things culinary, so it can be a little nervewracking to tangle with leavening agents like yeast and the thought of having to beat down a sack of dough. But everyone else has done it, and so like a lemming, we followed the crowd.  Lucky for us, the KitchenAid did all of the arm work.

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