Shower mom with delicious gifts this year.
One of the very best things I ever ate was an appetizer made by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. She cracked open a wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano and drizzled it with a syrup-thick balsamic vinegar. That's it. Creamy and sharp, sweet and salty, the shards of cheese and vinegar startled my senses awake. It was exactly what I wanted at that moment. It was perfect.
"We emphasize taking pleasure in the doing," Lynne Rossetto Kasper says. "This is not about 'it's got to be right and it's got to be perfect.' "
The spanking-new cookbook that she and Sally Swift have written, The Splendid Table's How to Eat Weekends: New Recipes, Stories & Opinions (Clarkson Potter, $35), is like that deceptively simple dish.More »
If you enjoy high-quality chocolate that's made locally, here's your opportunity to stock up on the best of the best. To celebrate winning the Good Food Award, Rogue Chocolatier is offering free shipping on all web orders over $20 for the remainder of January.
Rogue Chocolatier 70% cacao, 100% delicious
The Good Food Awards recognize outstanding American food producers and farmers who support sustainability and social good. Rogue's Sambirano, made with cacao from a single family-owned estate in Madagascar, took the award earlier this month at a ceremony in San Francisco. The bar was up against 180 entries for the chocolate category in a blind taste test by an impressive group of judges.More »
|Sample 100 different varieties of Mrs. Kelly's custom blended tea this weekend.|
Black Friday has come and gone and it's time to start gearing up for gift season. While gift cards are always great (and some of the deals are pretty amazing this year), home cooks will appreciate receiving the same top-quality ingredients that some of their favorite local restaurants use. And we here at The Hot Dish encourage you to go whole hog this season!
Waseca-based pork purveyor Tim Fischer and his family are offering two gift boxes--the regular holiday assortment and, new this year, a Breakfast-palooza version--each for $55. Here are the details, and how you get your hands on 'em:More »
Everybody seems to have one of those "fun" uncles who buys the kids--other people's kids, mind you--toys that shoot, sing, or explode, which they use to annoy whole housefuls of holiday guests. Well, here's the grown-up version of that gift, one that can provide hours of entertainment and ease social tensions if you've got an extra $400 to spend this season: The Blendtec Total Blender.
For the past few years, Blendtec's kitschy, infomercial-like Will It Blend? viral videos have been circulating around cyberspace, as host Tom Dickson tested the machine's capabilities by blending the hell out of golf balls, Coke cans, marbles, iPhones, and the like. In this latest one, Dickson pulverizes an Air Soft Pistol and some bbs into, literally, gunsmoke. Despite the "Done Try This at Home" warnings, I fear that the Blendtec may soon be responsible for as many holiday accidents as deep fried turkeys...
Check this out: Simple, Good, and Tasty is launching a new Local Food Lovers Program as a way to encourage local, organic, sustainable, and fair-trade food purchases at Twin Cities restaurants and food retailers. Unlike other unwieldy coupon books and the like, the LFLP consists of a simple letterpress card good for all sorts of discounts, including:
1. BT McElrath Chocolate Bars
Famed local chocolatier BT McElrath recently introduced a line of chocolate bars that might be considered a budget-sensitive alternative to his award-winning truffles. The bars come in cute little boxes (made with paper certified from the sustainable forestry initiative) with bold graphics and sassy copy written by witty local scribe Dennis Cass.
The plain dark and milk chocolate bars are fine, but the funkier ones showcase McElrath's strength of enhancing a chocolate's inherent flavors by layering on more of them. The Chile Limon bar, for example, has nice hits of smoke and pucker--it starts with a brightness and finishes with a hit of heat--though I felt they overpowered the chocolate a bit.
My two favorites flavors are the Salty Dog (dark chocolate with toffee and sea salt, so it's sort of like salty caramel combined with chocolate) and the Passion Fruit/Tangerine, which has these gorgeous, arty swirls of white and dark chocolate. A lot of dark chocolates have cherry/berry flavor notes but the tropical tartness of the passion fruit and tangerine makes it one of the most interesting flavored chocolates I've had in ages. Find the bars for about $3-$4 at places BT McElrath is sold, including Surdyk's, Linden Hills Co-Op, and Kowalski's.
Giving a gift card to Punch Pizza? Good idea. Getting a free pizza of your own when you give a Punch Pizza gift card? Even better.
Through the end of the year, Punch is offering a promotion in which those who buy a $25 gift card will get a free margherita pizza or 5.95 off your next visit. Who knew giving could be so delicious!