Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Demystifying Pressure Cookers

Sleek, shiny, quiet, and oh, so fast for cooking! Completely safe, too! There’s a new breed of pressure cookers finding their way into American kitchens—and they’re not your grandma’s pressure cookers either. You won’t be surprised to find out these race cars of the stove top are made in Germany. A bunch of us learned this at Allrecipes.com, in mid-October when our kitchen turned into a classroom and demo stage. Fissler Blue Point Pressure Cookers sizzled as stars of the show, a public event hosted by Fissler and City Kitchens, Seattle’s best priced and stocked cookware store.

Leading the Fissler pressure cooker demo was Rachel Fredricks, a Portland-area chef/instructor who attended the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). If you thought pressure cookers were useful only for cooking dried beans, Rachel was ready to amaze you. Her selection of demo recipes ranged from a brightly-flavored Carrot-Orange Soup with Ginger and Toasted Pine Nuts to a creamy Butternut Squash Risotto and an Apple Bread Pudding. Imagine making a tasty soup or risotto in 10 minutes? With a pressure cooker, you can! (Think of the savings this timing means for your gas or electricity bill!)

Now about making bread pudding in a pressure cooker... After slicing and then sautéing two Granny Smith apples with a little butter and lemon juice, Rachel tossed the slices with dried cranberries and day-old bread cubes soaked in a silky egg and half-and-half mixture. Using a wide aluminum foil band as a strap for lifting and lowering the dish (very clever!), she slipped a filled soufflé dish into a pressure cooker holding two cups of water, locked the lid, and turned on the heat. About 18 minutes later, the indicator rod on the lid had popped up showing two white rings, meaning pressure inside the pot was set. The automatic release valve let the pressure escape in a flow of quiet, cool steam. After removing the soufflé dish from the cooker, followed by 10 minutes cooling time, the oohs and ahhs started. We were all swooning over the warm, creamy deliciousness. Even the leftovers were quickly claimed.

Fissler is a big name in Europe, where cooking with pressure cookers is totally mainstream. Practically every home cook uses one, from Italy northward to the UK and Scandinavia. They’re now finding fans in the U.S. and debunking the myth of exploding pressure cookers. It simply can’t happen with Fissler pressure cookers due to their design. You can purchase Fissler Blue Point Pressure Cookers from City Kitchens in downtown Seattle (tip: they ship), or online from the Fissler Store or Cutlery and More.

You’ll find recaps of the Fissler class by Leslie Kelly, a star Seattle food blogger, in her post for Al Dente, an Amazon blog, and by Alli Shircliff, author of AnOpenCookbook blog. After attending the class, Alli was inspired to compare risotto making with and without a pressure cooker. Conclusion: She has a pressure cooker on her wish list!

To find Allrecipes’ collection of pressure cookers recipes, click here. Are you using a pressure cooker? What recipes do you rely on? Add your favorites! There are lots of cooks eager to learn more ways to use these cool cookers!

-Judith Dern, Senior Communications Manager

    

  
 
  

    

  
 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Holiday Planning Insights


2011 HOLIDAY PLANNING INSIGHTS 

INSIGHT 1: Thanksgiving dinner is the most celebrated holiday meal with 71% of Americans planning to prepare the traditional meal this year. 

More than half of home cooks will bake holiday cookies and cook dinner for Christmas and Hanukkah. Nearly half of consumers also make food gifts, while cooks in Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles and Houston are most likely to host Thanksgiving dinner.


Percentage of Residents Who Will Host Thanksgiving Dinner in Key U.S. Cities 
INSIGHT 2: When compared with a year ago, three-quarters of households expect their holiday spending to be the same. 

However, one in five households (20%), anticipate reducing spending on holiday cookies, food gifts and parties. To save money, 68% will purchase items that are on sale, and 66% will prepare dishes from scratch. One-quarter plans to substitute high cost ingredients with lower-priced versions. Only 11% say they will cut back on wine and alcohol.

INSIGHT 3: While still relatively small, mobile and social media sites are experiencing strong growth as sources for holiday recipes: Social media websites rose 58% over 2010, and Smartphone or tablet apps are up 92%. 

To choose holiday recipes, what matters most to 73% of home cooks are positive ratings and reviews. More than half prepare they’ve made before that turned out well.


INSIGHT 4: 88% of Thanksgiving cooks oven-roast their turkey, but only 36% cook stuffing inside the bird. 

Most home cooks (66%) prepare stuffing separately from the turkey. For side dishes, 93% of households ‘must have’ mashed potatoes, particularly in Boston. Other methods of cooking the Thanksgiving turkey include deep-frying (for 5%) and grilling (4%). Just 3% don’t serve turkey. Stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce are ‘must haves’ at more than 80% of Thanksgiving dinner tables.

Most Popular Side Dishes by Location
 


AMERICA’S CHOICE THANKSGIVING MENU: In 2010, Allrecipes home cooks selected these recipes as their favorite Thanksgiving choices. 

Appetizer
Feta Cheese Foldovers






Green Beans Feta
Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole






Turkey
A Simply Perfect Roast Turkey






Stuffing
Awesome Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing






Cranberry Sauce
Oranged Cranberry Sauce






Side
Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole






Potatoes
The Best Mashed Potatoes






Gravy
Savory Turkey Gravy






Pie
Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Pie






Allrecipes, the world’s largest food site, receives 700 million annual visits from home cooks who discover and share food experiences through recipes, reviews, photos, profiles, and blog on the web and mobile devices. For 14 years, the Seattle-based site has served as a dynamic, indispensable resource for cooks of all skill levels seeking trusted recipes, entertaining ideas, everyday and holiday meal solutions and practical cooking tips. 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 allrecipes.com

Please Contact:  
Stephanie Robinett  
Director, Communications  
206-708-9271  

The 2011 Holiday Insights Survey was hosted on Allrecipes.com from September 25 – 31, 2011, with participation from 1,350 U.S.-based home cooks. No incentives were used to reward or incent participation. 

The Allrecipes Measuring Cup report is derived by analyzing the site behaviors and search data from more than 700 million annual visits to Allrecipes.com, along with survey data from Allrecipes’ online surveys.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Special

 

Extra! Extra! HALLOWEEN SPECIAL!

News flash: Halloween now ranks fifth as America’s largest food holiday for home cooks!

Right behind Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and the Super Bowl! In 2010, Halloween-related traffic to Allrecipes rose 17% in year-over-year growth. Anything and everything pumpkin was key to Halloween recipe searches.


TOP 10 HALLOWEEN RECIPES: With hundreds of Halloween recipes to choose from, which spooky favorites made the treat list? Watch the slide show and check out the recipes!




1 – Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
2 - Spooky Witches Fingers
3 - Best Ever Popcorn Balls
4 - Caramel Apples
5 - Iced Pumpkin Cookies
6 - Granny Kat's Pumpkin Roll
7 - Great Pumpkin Dessert
8 - Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies III
9 - Black Halloween Punch
10 - Spooky Halloween Eyeballs
 
TOP 10 PUMPKIN-RELATED SEARCHES: What to do with all those pumpkin seeds? Searches for recipes containing “pumpkin” rose 6% from 2009 to 2010.

1 – Roasted pumpkin seeds
2 – Pumpkin breads
3 – Pumpkin cookies
4 – Pumpkin pies
5 – Pumpkin muffins
6 – Pumpkin soup
7 – Pumpkin rolls
8 – Pumpkin fudge
9 – Pumpkin bars
10 – Pumpkin cheesecake

(Source: Hitwise, October 2011)


TOP 10 HALLOWEEN-RELATED SEARCH TERMS: Halloween party planners looked for ingredients to create the perfect ghoulish gathering!

1 – Halloween recipes
2 – Halloween cookies
3 – Halloween punch
4 – Halloween cakes
5 – Halloween punch recipes
6 – Halloween treats
7 – Halloween cookie recipes
8 – Halloween drinks
9 – Halloween drink recipes
10 – Halloween party recipes


From morbid munchies to ghastly goodies and strange brews, even homemade face paint made with pantry staples, hundreds of easy party tricks and treats to feed hungry ghosts and goblins are created and shared by Allrecipes’ community of fun-loving home cooks. Plus printable Halloween cookbooks and pumpkin carving templates to inspire even more scary Halloween fun. Even a ‘how to’ video about decorating Halloween cupcakes! Find all your favorites in Allrecipes’ Halloween Collection!


About Allrecipes.com 
Allrecipes, the world’s largest food site, receives 650 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 trusted recipes, entertaining ideas, everyday and holiday meal solutions and practical cooking tips. 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 allrecipes.com

Please Contact:  
Stephanie Robinett  
Director, Communications  
206-708-9271  

Food Wishes—YouTube’s #1 Cooking Video Series—is Now Part of the Allrecipes Family.


Frequent visitors to Allrecipes.com have likely noticed all sorts of new video features recently. Now when you visit our homepage, you’ll find one of Allrecipes’ seven original video series episodes premiering daily. Visit a recipe page and you’ll find related how-to cooking videos conveniently located on the right side of the page.

In addition to new video features, we’re thrilled to announce the web’s #1 cooking video series is now part of the Allrecipes family. The amazingly talented, hilarious, and fun Chef John of Food Wishes has joined our community. Those of you who spend time on YouTube are likely already fans of John, he has built a huge, fanatical fan base with his collection of amusing, yet informative cooking videos. Chef John is a no-nonsense kind of guy, teaching home cooks—in less time than any TV cook ever could—how to make basic but solid versions of popular dishes. If you want to learn more about Food Wishes, visit the FoodWishes.com blog where he is always cooking up something great.
 
John’s cooking videos are some of the best the web has to offer and there are hundreds of recipes to enjoy covering all types of dishes, seasons, and holidays. A few of our favorites include:

Garlic Ginger Chicken Wings
Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Caramel Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Coins
Simple Beef Pot Roast Recipe

In the coming weeks more of John’s Food Wishes videos will be unveiled on the site—each providing easy-to-follow tips and techniques in John’s signature style for making it easy and entertaining for cooks to create delicious dishes at home. For those who can’t wait to see what he going to cook up next, be sure to visit Allrecipes’ homepage on Tuesdays where a new Food Wishes video premiers each week.

Esmee Williams, Allrecipes.com Brand Marketing