Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cheers to IFBC in NOLA!


I had the pleasure of attending the International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC) over the weekend in New Orleans (NOLA). I’m Creole and have never been to Louisiana, so I’m not sure if it was the most interesting and beautiful city I’ve ever seen, or if I was just enthralled because I was seeing everything through the lens of my heritage. I was blown away by my experience in NOLA.

The food and culture are a huge part of the city; it was the perfect setting for the IFBC. The food lineup was packed with local chefs and restaurants who shared delicious treats alongside well-known brands like Campbell’s and Wisconsin Cheese, who surprised me with their creative combinations. Being vegetarian, I worried the seafood- and meat-based dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and etouffee wouldn’t have much to offer me, but the Creole flavors are so rich and delicious I couldn’t get enough of every vegetarian dish I tried. I even got to try some vegetarian gumbo at the Gumbo Shop and if you’re looking for some of the best gumbo in town I would definitely recommend it. Of course, before we left, we had beignets at CafĂ© Du Monde. I was expecting something really fancy from the name but they are like puffy, square, elephant ears (like you get at the fair) piled with powdered sugar…delicious of course! My favorite restaurant of the trip was a place near the market called Maximo’s Grill that serves traditional Italian with a New Orleans twist. The food and service were fantastic and their signature chamomile grappa (wine distilled from the skin, seeds, and stems of grapes) was the perfect nightcap (much better than chamomile tea, if you ask me).

Overall, I was not expecting the “party” that the city is, there was so much energy all around! Musicians and magicians on every corner, dancers and live music in every bar, and what seemed like hundreds of them within a few city blocks! There were people young and old cruising the streets drink-in-hand at every hour, with sophisticated restaurants next to dance clubs to satisfy any preference. I had the pleasure of hanging out with the hilarious Chef John of Food Wishes for the weekend and he took us to see an amazing brass band at Blue Nile on Frenchmen St. (the street to visit for live music). Sunday afternoon after the conference, I took the street car up to the Garden District to view the beautiful and eerie centuries-old mansions and above-ground cemeteries. The streets are lined with massive trees that form a canopy, and each is strung with hundreds of Mardi Gras beads. It was an enchanting ride.

Everyone I met from NOLA was so friendly and open. What touched me more than their love of all things fun and decadent was the effect Katrina had on the city as each person I spoke with had a story of how the storm affected them. I was there on the six-year anniversary of the storm and the East coast was abuzz with hurricane Irene so the memories of Katrina were re-flooding the streets of NOLA. You could tell the hurricane not only changed the city, but every person in it to their very core. The amount of respect for the culture and all the city of New Orleans has to offer can be heard and seen in every person who lives there. One of my favorite speakers at the conference was Poppy Tooker (awesome name right!) who spoke on sustainability. Her take on the term is one that could only come from someone who, together with a whole city, lost everything yet gained even more. Sustainability to her means more than eco-friendly practices, but the hope one harbors, that good things will not be lost forever (the very backbone of sustainability). She spoke about how the food, culture, history and attractions the city had to offer before Katrina have helped to sustain and re-build the city afterward. To anyone who said “why rebuild it?” step one foot in the city, and you will know why. NOLA sustains the essence of life within a few city blocks and hosts the history of our “melting pot” nation.

So, hats off to Foodista and Zephyr Adventures for throwing a fantastic conference and hats off to NOLA for being an enchanting city and fantastic host!
Also, a special thanks to Wendy Read of Sunchowder’s Emporia who gave me a jar of THE MOST delicious jam I’ve ever had! Raspberry Habanero has adorned my toast every morning since I left and I can’t wait to order some of the other flavors like balsamic fig and zucchini ginger!

Stephanie Robinett
Director of Communications, Allrecipes.com


Photos from Stephanie at IFBC in NOLA



Logo and bottom slideshow courtesy of IFBC.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Buzz: Meet Your Fellow Community Members


It’s always exciting to be in the office as we launch a new feature on the site. One of our latest features is the new community page, “The Buzz”. Created by our product, development, and creative teams, this new page gives you ability to see the best of what of our Allrecipes’ community is doing on the site—reviews, photos, new recipes, new community members, even blogs. Before we added this great new part of the site, there wasn’t a central location to find out what everyone was contributing or how to meet the newest cooks. Now, all this information is available with one click of your mouse.

After the launch of any feature, our Customer Support team is on hand and always ready to answer any questions and receive any feedback. Elizabeth, our Customer Support Manager, knows The Buzz like the back of her hand and has been able to help both community members and employees explore the new page.

Elizabeth has been with Allrecipes for almost 3 years and manages the Customer Support team, which is part of the Retention Marketing team. Elizabeth and her team are responsible for answering all of your emails and phone calls each day. Her favorite part of working at Allrecipes is our huge, talented, and passionate community… oh, and all of the delicious treats that are always around!

Be sure to check out The Buzz. I’m sure it’ll inspire some new recipe ideas as well as friendships!
– Jen

What was the inspiration for the new community page called “The Buzz”? Our community inspires us so much every day, we wanted to give you a place where you could learn all about, well, yourselves!

What new information can the Allrecipes Community find on this page? What you, our community, are cooking, blogging, saving, photographing, and buzzing about on the Recipe Buzz. Fun facts, too, like how many members Allrecipes has, and how many recipes you can find on the site!

What have you seen our community enjoys the most about the page? Our community seems to really enjoy knowing what recipe received the best reviews, and what the most helpful review is.

What is your favorite feature on this new page? It’s tough to choose! I would say that I like to see what the “Most Active Post” is in the Recipe Buzz section, to see what our community members are chatting about—and I also like to see how many members we have, which is updated every day. Today, we have 6,061,171 members (and counting!).


If our community has any questions, where can they find answers about the new page? Our The Buzz FAQ section should have all the answers to your questions, but if you see something you aren’t sure about, we’re here to help! Email us at CustomerSupport@Allrecipes.com, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Don’t Put Away Your Slow Cooker


As August draws to an end, September brings us all kinds of activities—kids going back to school, college and pro football games filling up the calendar, thoughts of cooler weather and family-favorite fall recipes.

Here at the office we move from grilled lunches to great leftovers, including stews, soups, and incredible slow cooker recipes. Get your Recipe Box ready for some of the favorites from the Allrecipeeps at the office:
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork (Jenniffer L suggests using ginger ale or Dr. Pepper if you don’t have root beer on hand. It’ll still taste great!)
Charley’s Slow Cooker Mexican Style Meat
Slow Cooked BBQ Ribs
South Carolina Pulled Pork
Easy Slow Cooker French Dip
Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Italian Beef in a Bucket
BBQ Pork for Sandwiches
Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Spicy African Yam Soup (Not specified for slow cooker, but I make it in mine. –Julie F)
Slow Cooker Posole
Slow Cooker Borscht
Kalua Pig in a Slow Cooker
Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey (While you lose out on having a pretty turkey for display, the taste is awesome. I served this at Christmas dinner last year and everyone asked me for the recipe. –Joseph)


If you thought your slow cooker was only for use in the winter time, think again. One of the perks to using your slow cooker all year is that it won’t be heat up your home the way an oven or stove would. You can create more than dinner dishes: check out these breakfast and dessert slow cooker recipes.

Haven’t used your slow cooker in a while? Check out these helpful tips from Hamilton Beach® for a refresher.


Hamilton Beach®: Learn The Basics First
Whether you consider yourself a slow cooker novice or have some experience, there are a few things you should know about this method of cooking:
1. If you are not familiar with using a slow cooker, experiment with different cooking times and settings. Getting the results you desire from your slow cooker takes a little practice and the more you use it, the better results you’ll get.
2. A slow cooker is great for foods that are not naturally tender, such as meat with a lot of connective tissue. These are the least-expensive cuts but also the most flavorful.
3. When it comes to overcooking, the size of your slow cooker matters. Most recipes call for cooking on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. If the crock is not filled, it will overcook. To prevent overcooking, the crock (sometimes called stoneware) should be filled half-full to no more than one inch from the rim. However, this does not mean to fill the crock with liquid.
4. The slow cooker version of a recipe will call for less liquid than the oven or stovetop original, where evaporation will occur. So unless you are cooking soup, stew, or chili, do not add too much liquid. You need just enough liquid to cover the bottom of the crock for even heat distribution.
5. If you lift the lid during cooking, your cooking time will increase due to heat loss. Unless your recipe specifically calls for stirring, resist lifting the lid.
6. Always completely thaw frozen meat before placing in slow cooker.

Test Kitchen Tip: Evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and processed cheese are better choices than fresh dairy products for use in slow cooker recipes.

Be sure to enter the Southern Menu Sweepstakes for your chance to win a Simplicity Slow Cooker from Hamilton Beach®! Stay tuned for more slow-cooking recipes and tips in the next week.

What are your tips when creating your favorite slow cooker recipe?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pick a Menu and You Could Win!


Allrecipes brings you the Southern Menu Sweepstakes, inspired by DreamWorks Studios’ must-see movie The Help, in theaters August 10th.

This sweepstakes incorporates a great book, delicious food, and awesome prizes. If you have yet to enter, be sure to check out the sweeps on our Fan Page. Enter your info and favorite menu and you’ve just entered yourself to win one of these prizes:

Grand Prize package includes:
Six movie passes to The Help and an Allrecipes Supporting Membership
Autographed copies of The Help novel and The Southern Plate cookbook
Cooking class for six with Southern Chef, Christy Jordan

Other prizes include:
Autographed copies of The Help novel
Autographed copies The Southern Plate cookbook
Hamilton Beach appliances

Good luck, Allrecipeeps!
-Jen

The Help movie details
Based on one of the most talked-about books in years and a #1 New York Times best-selling phenomenon, “The Help” stars Emma Stone (“Easy A”) as Skeeter, Academy Award®–nominated Viola Davis (“Doubt”) as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny—three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed —even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times.

Deeply moving, filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, “The Help” is a timeless and universal story about the ability to create change








Christy Jordan, The Southern Plate author details
My name is Christy Jordan and I like to feed people.

I come from a long line of Southern cooks who taught me home cooking is best, life is good, and there is always something to be grateful for. I created Southern Plate so that I could share the recipes and stories that have been passed down through my family for more than nine generations.

You won't find fancy food or new-fangled recipes in this cookbook—just easy, no-fuss Southern favorites such as Chicken and Dumplings, Homemade Banana Pudding, Aunt Looney's Macaroni Salad, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Daddy's Rise-and-Shine Biscuits. (I want to make one thing as clear as possible: How your mama made it is the right way! I'm going to bring it to you how my mama made it, which is the only right way for me.)

These stories and recipes come from my heart. They are a gift from my ancestors, but the ability to have them heard is a gift from you. Take a seat at the Southern Plate table; you're with family now.


Hamilton Beach® Simplicity Slow Cooker details
Hamilton Beach® Slow Cookers are essential for cooking hot, delicious meals without dinnertime stress. These easy-to-use slow cookers save you time and energy by making flavorful foods while you go about your routine, without the nonstop attention and extensive preparation that's often needed for traditional cooking.

These popular slow cookers have everything you need to cook savory meals for your family. Choose the setting that's right for your recipe, add your ingredients, and go. When cooking is complete, the keep-warm feature will maintain the ideal temperature until you're ready to eat. After dinner, the removable stoneware and tempered-glass lid go in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.
To get the most of this great appliance, be sure to visit the Slow Cooker collection on Allrecipes.com as well as Hamilton Beach® Slow Cooker Tips. Stay tuned for our new 4-part series on slow cooking starting next week!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Little Soul for your Food


I'm not going to lie: if given the choice between a fine filet mignon and a plate of my grandmother's pintos, fried potatoes, and corn bread... I would take the latter in a heartbeat.

Being born and raised in the South, there is just something magical to me about cooking that shows us where we came from. My grandmother's famous pinto beans recipe didn't come to be because she is a legume enthusiast. Growing up poor in rural Arkansas, she had to make do with what her family could afford. So her mother adapted her recipes by adding what they had on hand or whatever was in the garden. This is the type of resourcefulness that creates the rich, complex flavors that Southern cooking is adored for.

But obviously Grandmother's story is nothing special. Most, if not all, classic Southern dishes have gotten their start from people's resourcefulness in hard times. Here are just a few fun facts:

Please Pass the Corn
Because the climate in the south is not conducive to wheat, corn was used in bread instead. Cornbread, hush puppies and johnny cakes are just a few examples of delicious corn-based recipes from the South. To make your cornbread a Southern delight, look for recipes with less sugar and more salt.
*Did you know? According to legend, hush puppies were created to keep the dogs quiet while transferring catfish from the pot to the table.

Why so fried?
Ever notice that a lot of popular Southern dishes are fried? Believe it or not, there was a method to the madness. Fried foods keep well without refrigeration and provided a lot of needed calories to farmers working in the fields every day. Frying also uses lard, which is an inexpensive way to add flavor and can be reused multiple times. Check out these recipes for a treat: Chicken Fried Chicken, Fried Okra, or Chicken Fried Steak.
*Did you know? The fried pie got its start from field workers who needed a sweet pick-me-up that could fit in their pocket.


Leftovers
Some of the greatest Southern dishes started off as table scraps. Leftover fish eventually became croquettes, stale bread became bread pudding and many of the liquids left over from preparing vegetables became "pot likker," which is a type of gravy or drink. This also led to pig's feet, ham hocks, chitterlings, pig ears, and hog jowl. Leafy vegetables like collard greens, poke, kale, cress, and mustard were also seen as "throwaway" foods that found their way into Southern cuisine.

Personally, I can't find my culinary wits without allrecipes.com and an internet connection, but somehow years ago, people managed to create these delicious dishes using only what they had on hand.

What are some of the recipes or food stories that had you running to table on Sunday afternoons for dinner?

-Amber


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It’s All About the Pizzeria


Pizza is a staple. It’s a great dish to grab on a busy weeknight or have delivered when watching the game. One of the Allrecipeeps here in the office recently opened a pizzeria in Seattle and many of us have had the pleasure of watching her excitement about its opening, as well as taste the delicious menu.

Gina is part of our amazing creative team by day and helps to run the very popular Bar del Corso by night. When not working at Allrecipes or at the restaurant, Gina paints and has an art studio in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle. Two of her paintings are hanging in the restaurant and more are on their way.

Read about the inspiration to open the restaurant and more importantly, the creation of the menu items. Be sure to also check out some of the recent clippings on Bar del Corso: Longtime chef Jerry Corso opens Bar del Corso on Beacon Hill, Daily Candy-The Weekend Guide, and Sneak Peek: Bar del Corso Oven Arrives, Breaks Sidewalk.
-Jen


What was the inspiration for opening your restaurant? “My husband is a huge Italophile, so we knew that Italian food would be the focus. Jerry has been to Italy at least 10 times and has lived and worked there, so he’s been collecting recipes for a long time. We were also inspired by 2Amys Pizzeria in Washington, D.C. when we were living there. We’ve known for several years that we’d open a restaurant, but it was a matter of finding the right spot in our neighborhood.”

What has been the hardest part of this new adventure? “The hardest part was all the initial plans we had to do before the build out: coming up with the business plan, negotiating with the landlord, doing the inspections, submitting plans, and having to wait for approval—things like that.”

What has been the best part of opening Bar del Corso? “Essentially, it’s having worked hard to create something and watching it come alive. Having an amazing staff that picked up the ball and ran with it. Meeting our neighbors who seem to be really happy that we are here. The positive feedback and support from our friends and family. Personally, seeing my husband making a dream come true—although we may be too tired to really realize it right now!”

For your menu, what was the best part of putting the dishes together? Our menu is really something that continually evolves. Some days I arrive at the restaurant to find something on the menu I didn’t know we were going to have—we have a chalkboard for specials. The other night we suddenly had fried smelt on the menu. The best part is introducing people to food they may not have had before, such as suppli di telefono which are fried risotto balls (a.k.a. the World’s Best Hotpockets). Or fava bean pesto pizza. Or the zucca pizza with zucchini flowers.

Where can we find more information on Bar del Corso? You can go to our website: http://www.bardelcorso.com/ For timely updates, fan us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, @bardelcorso.

  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back to School Lunch Trends


August 2011--We hit a hot topic in this issue of Allrecipes’ Measuring Cup Consumer Trends Report! With all the media attention on kids’ diets and back-to-school activity revving up, how is this affecting consumer activities when preparing brown bag lunches for their kids? Key findings from Allrecipes’ 2011 Back to School Consumer Survey follow.

1 – Parents care about what their kids eat—a lot. Both this year and last, more than half of home cooks were “extremely” or “very much” concerned about their children’s diet. But parents may also be making changes; the number of parents “not at all” concerned about their children’s diets rose 233% this year over last—perhaps because they’ve already cut out the chips and soda?


How concerned are you with your child or children's diet?

2 – When an adult struggles with weight issues, they are more apt to be “very much” or “extremely” concerned about their children’s diet: 57% compared with 39% of adults who do not have weight issues.


3 – Who brings the junk food kids eat into the house? Parents. And they know it. 91% said they were the ‘bad guys’ responsible for their children’s unhealthy diet. 91% also say ‘couch potato kids’ who don’t get regular exercise adds to childhood obesity. Bottom line, everyone’s a culprit: 62% of consumers blame food manufacturers’ advertising, and 57% also blame the media for promoting ‘bad foods.’


4 – If an adult in the household is struggling with weight issues, the picture changes for who is contributing to issues related to childhood obesity. When adult weight is an issue, 59% say “the media, for promoting bad food choices” is responsible. In households where adults don’t have weight issues, this percentage drops to 48%.


5 – Who can make a positive change in the fight against childhood obesity? The answer also differs if adults are struggling with weight issues. Close to 100% recognize their role as parents. After this, two-thirds to half, consider schools, the media, the government, and food marketers as the biggest influencers. Households where adults do not have weight issues identify the same influencers for childhood obesity, but at rates 10% to 15% lower than where adults do have weight issues.


6 – Taking a sack lunch to school is not just about saving money. 28% of consumers say it’s about health—and 21% want to know exactly how many carrot sticks their child has munched. Perhaps surprisingly, “saving money” ties for third place.



7 – Kids know what they like. 47% of parents say they pack lunches based on their child’s feedback and requests, and for 40%, making lunch is a shared task.


8 – No, to soda, yes to apples and oranges. Half of respondents say finding a variety of healthy foods their child will actually eat is the main challenge to preparing a healthy lunch, and nearly all (84%) say they’re packing more fresh fruits and vegetables.




9 - Adult weight struggles also appear to affect preparing healthy lunches for kids. 55% of adults who have personal weight issues say the cost of healthy foods is their biggest challenge, while only 42% of adults without weight issues see cost as a challenge. A larger percentage of adults with weight issues also say healthy food costs more.



10 – Teach ‘em! 43% of parents say teaching kids about nutrition will help them eat healthier meals. Another 26% recommend buying fewer snacks. Only 16% look to the school cafeteria for a solution.


WHAT DO KIDS LOVE TO EAT MOST?

What kid doesn’t adore chicken noodle soup, kabobs, and chili? A look at the Top 10 healthy, kid-friendly recipes determined by year-to-date page views includes dishes with diverse flavors as well as comfort food favorites.

1 Fluffy French Toast
2 Simple Turkey Chili
3 The Best Vegetarian Chili in the World
4 Grandma's Chicken Noodle Soup
5 Baked Honey Mustard Chicken
6 Easy Red Beans and Rice
7 Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs
8 Extra Easy Hummus
9 Laura's Quick Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
10 Asian Chicken Salad

Special thanks to PBS Kids for their assistance with this research.

About Allrecipes.com
Allrecipes, the world's largest digital food brand, receives 535 million annual visits from home cooks who discover and share food experiences through recipes, reviews, photos, profiles, and blog posts. For 14 years, the Seattle-based site has served as a dynamic, indispensable resource for cooks of all skill levels seeking everyday and holiday meal solutions, plus practical cooking information. Allrecipes’ global, multiplatform brand provides insights into the kitchens and cooking passions of home cooks everywhere with 17 websites, 9 mobile apps, and 13 eBooks serving cooks in 23 countries and 11 languages. Allrecipes is part of Lifestyle Communities @ RDA, a division of The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. For additional information regarding Allrecipes, please visit www.allrecipes.com.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Berries, Cherries, Cukes and More Kick Off National Can-It-Forward Day


Grab your jar lifters and stir those blueberries or cherries into jam! Love the crunch of dill pickles? Get out the vinegar and pickling spices, and discover how easy it is to make these puppies. Nothing beats homemade! If you ever wanted to learn how to preserve and can summer’s sweet bounty of fruits and veggies to enjoy during the dark days of winter, Allrecipes has a zillion canning recipes to inspire you! It’s a hot topic for home cooks. We know searches for canning recipes have almost doubled over last year and our research shows 52% of all home cooks are now getting their canning or preserving information from the Internet. Surprisingly, almost half of all canners are under age 40.

We’re super excited about canning right now because Allrecipes is participating in National Can-It-Forward Day! on Saturday, August 13th — two days of demonstrations about home-made jam and pickle making happening at Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market. The event will launch Canning Across America’s third season of home preserving. It’s all to inspire cooks to get out their canning kettles, wash those jars, and get started! Raspberries will boil and bubble before being ladled into sparkling hot glass jars, and baby cukes will start their journey to becoming crisp sandwich pickles.
Join the Can-It-Forward Day action in your own kitchen! Allrecipes’ home cooks have shared 651 luscious jam recipes, and 655 pickle recipes for everything from cucumbers to green beans. There’s even a terrific Canning and Preserving article outlining everything you need to know. You can also find the demo recipes from Can-It-Forward Day! here (scroll to the bottom of the page). To watch the canning demos filmed live on Can-It-Forward Day!, click to FreshPreserving.com. For the latest news about the canning revival, check out Canning Across America’s Facebook page.

-Judith

Monday, August 8, 2011

Meet MyPlate: The USDA’s new nutrition icon


If you haven’t seen it, MyPlate is the new food and nutrition icon that has replaced the 20-year-old food pyramid.

Essentially, it’s the food pyramid simplified. They’ve taken the same five food groups from the pyramid and arranged them so they’re easier to comprehend at a glance. After all, we don’t stack our food into a pyramid—the potatoes piled on the pork chop with the vegetables on top; we arrange our helpings side by side on plates. And that might be the primary objective here: to give people a relational, proper sense of portion size.

With the food pyramid, it was never particularly clear what was meant by an “individual serving.” The new visual of the plate provides a sense of servings without getting too bogged down about serving sizes. It seems that what’s important with the plate is that you see the size relationships between the five food groups. At a glance, you can see that vegetables and fruits should take up half the plate. You don’t have to know how many ounces are in a serving of broccoli to know that it should be a decent amount compared to the pork chop.

Of course, the MyPlate icon alone doesn’t tell the full story here. To dig deeper, you will need to look beyond the plate to the companion website, ChooseMyPlate.gov, which includes advice designed to help families build better, healthier diets. The website goes into detail about daily recommendations for each food group and includes lists of those foods to increase in your diet and those to reduce, plus there are tip sheets and other resources.

Here are some of the stand-out messages from the ChooseMyPlate website:

•Enjoy your food, but eat less.
•Avoid oversized portions.
•Make at least half your grains whole grains.
•Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals and choose foods with lower numbers.
•Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Meanwhile, at Allrecipes, we’ve taken the MyPlate icon and broken it out into the five groups, offering recipe suggestions to help busy cooks create meals that work best for their families. We’ve also included some links to related articles for further reading.
-Carl H

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How Much Do You Love Garlic?


Mornings are always interesting here at the Allrecipes office. This week, a “fun email” was centered on garlic. Stephanie J.’s email looked something like this:

What do you do with…
40 lbs of fresh garlic?
Thinking about preserving it but don’t know how I feel about pickling. Any ideas on spreads or what to do with this much garlic?
Any recommendations welcome.
-Stephanie


Everyone jumped on this email with recommendations and suggestions (we LOVE our garlic here!). I was able to get some great suggestions from the twittersphere as well.

Some suggestions from the twittersphere:
@jeremymeyers: @Allrecipes roast it! make a spread with the softened pieces, store in a mason jar in the fridge

@cpblackburn73: @Allrecipes I wrapped a head of garlic in aluminum foil with olive oil and salt and grilled it. That was amazing!

@fugu13: @Allrecipes garlic soup, from mastering the art of french cooking. Uses plenty, has a remarkable, delicate flavor (surprisingly)

@nanianeleia: pickle it. fry it. bake it. turn it into garlic chips! :-) RT @Allrecipes co-worker received a TON of garlic. Suggestions?

@EatAquaStar: @Allrecipes Perhaps a smoked (or even roasted) garlic soup--with some grilled shrimp? http://bit.ly/qcDr7N

@PotsandPans: @Allrecipes RE: a TON of garlic. Suggestions on what to do w/it? Separate cloves, peel and freeze in little tubs or ziplocks.

@BoredHousewife: @Allrecipes How about garlic clove bread? Not sure where to find a recipe for it, but our grocery store's bakery makes it and it is GREAT!

@MylesCatchpole: @Allrecipes To consume a lot of garlic quickly, it's hard to beat the simplicity and deliciousness of roast garlic cloves.

Some suggestions from ’Peeps in the office:
Vanessa: Roast it and freeze the paste.

Judith: You set up a stand at your neighborhood farmers’ market and start selling it?
Infuse it in olive oil?
Peel and freeze?
Give a pound to all your best friends?
Make Harissa and give it to everyone you know as a Christmas present!

Amy: Mojo de ajo is always good. We use it to marinate meat and add to various potato preparations. We sometime use just the oil for cooking and strain out the garlic to use as a spread. The oil is also pretty tasty on popcorn.

Kate: Shannon makes a really good Caesar salad with lots of garlic, she also has a recipe for a Mexican Cilantro dressing with lots of garlic… I think dressings keep pretty long and are always delicious in salads!

Sarah: Roast a couple of bulbs and use it on a plain baguette, pizza or focaccia
Roasted garlic hummus
Cook lots of Italian food!

Todd: Made into spaghetti sauce and frozen or canned.
Stuffed into olives.
I think you’re going to have to do a variety of things that can be preserved.
Alternately if it still has the stems then braid it and hang in a cool dry place, it will store for quite awhile.

Randall: Make a garlic sauce or mince in a food pro and freeze.

Hugh: You should watch the Ball Canning videos on allrecipes.tv and just make a bunch of fresh minced garlic and can it. You could infuse olive oil with it and give it as gifts to your co-workers or make garlic butter and freeze it.

So now I ask you, what would you do with about 40 pounds of fresh garlic?
-Jen E

Monday, August 1, 2011

It’s a Big Jump from Walking in the Neighborhood


Remember the post about Yanni’s “Climb for Clean Air” when she was getting ready to trek to the top of Mt. Rainier? You’ll want to know what happened on July 22, the day of her ascent as part of a team for annual fundraising event of the American Lung Association®.

Start by imagining climbing up a steep snow trail when it’s 32 degrees with 30-mile-an-hour winds boiling around you and visibility barely 10 feet. Oh, right—figure in the wind chill factor, which made the temperature below freezing. “I’m five-foot-three,” she says, “and I felt like I was going to be blown off the trail by the gusts!” But none of this deterred Yanni from beginning the climb at 10AM with her team to reach Camp Muir.

You know about Yanni’s passion for the outdoors and her determination to make it to the summit of Mt. Rainier—a second time. You’ll also remember her challenges of lung disease and cancer. As fierce as her determination was to make it to the top, she couldn’t overcome the day’s damp cold that affected her lungs, adding pressure and making it harder and harder to breath. Wisely, she decided to stop her climb at 10,000 feet when the group arrived at Camp Muir so as not to endanger her teammates. “I was disappointed. I can’t lie,” she says. “But I encouraged my husband to go on.”

Waiting for her team to return to Camp Muir turned into a magical experience. Three other climbers had to return with one of the guides before summiting. When they were settled, the guide asked if she wanted to “take a walk.” Her instant answer was “yes,” and they hiked over to Cathedral Rock, high above the clouds on the east side of Mt. Rainier. Midway, she learned her husband was coming back down and would meet her on the top of Cathedral Gap, somewhere around 10,900ft. Together again, they watched the sun climbing over a sea of clouds changing color from pink to orange to gold as the first sparkling rays etched the morning with light. “At that moment, I could have cared less about summiting,” she says. “It was a magical experience and one I’d never have had if I was on a climbing schedule. Then, you can’t stop or look around too long.” (Read more about her climb here.)

After 30 hours without sleep and more than 53,000 steps, two-thirds of the 80,000 steps needed to reach the peak of Mt. Rainier, Yanni says, “It proves that if you put your heart and mind into something, nothing will stop you. And if I can inspire others to accept their limitations and work around them, I’ve also accomplished my goal.” She plans another try next year for Mt. Rainier with the American Lung Association, and she’s training to run a half-marathon this fall for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® in Portland, Oregon. (For more about this event, click here.)

-Judith