Gourmet Live Blog

Monthly Archives: December 2011

Weekly Roundup: Champagne-Inspired Cuisine

Panettone with Champagne Cream
Bring on the bubbly in more ways than one this New Year’s Eve with our picks for the ultimate sweet and savory tastes starring Champagne.
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Gimlets to the Rescue


Photo: Gourmet.com

I tiptoed off the tarmac after my flight to a Floridian family vacation with some minor trepidation. I was leaving NYC during the booziest season and while I was headed to warmer climates, I’d grown accustomed to the warmth of my nightly cocktail constitutional. I was concerned that my fiancé’s family would catch the warning signs of withdrawal. Luckily, all of my fears vanished when my mother-in-law–to-be routed us from the airport to the local supermarket to buy Rose’s lime juice and cheese. She’s a gimlet gal, I learned. I was home.

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Five Easy New Year’s Eve Appetizers

Easy Party Snacks

Photo: Kemp Minifie

With New Year’s Eve just two days away, along with spontaneous visits by childhood chums, it’s handy to be ready with some quick-to-assemble nibbles that will impress everyone and allow you to say with confidence, “Come on over!” Here are five that I swear by:

  •  Enlivened Olives: Olives become sensational when warmed in their brine or oil, then drained and tossed with grated lemon zest, smoked paprika, or toasted and ground cumin or fennel seeds.
  • Feta Fun: Blot a block of feta cheese dry, then heat some honey with some cracked black peppercorns and/or chopped fresh thyme or rosemary, and pour it over the cheese. Serve it with crackers. It’s a life-changing combination!
  • Party Pepitas: When toasted in a large skillet, raw green (hulled) pumpkin seeds puff and turn golden within a couple of minutes—stir frequently. Toss with a little olive oil and sea salt, and watch them disappear. Continue reading
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It’s National Chocolate Day!


Photo: Gourmet

Chocolate is one of the most delicious, rich, and indulgent foods people hunger for. From white to semi-sweet, dark to baker’s, and milk to bittersweet, this cocoa confection has is a wide range of chocolately sensations to suit your mood.

What do you eat to satisfy a serious chocolate craving?

Posted in Reader Polls | Tagged | 1 Comment

Image of the Day: Grapefruit-Infused Rum

Grapefruit Rum

Make the most of the winter’s star citrus with Kitchen Konfidence’s Grapefruit-Infused Rum. The simple DIY infusion project is just in time for a season’s worth of fresh and tangy beverages, as it takes just two weeks or less to add a citrus twist to your cocktail glass.

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Christmas Leftovers for a Brilliant Boxing Day

Quick Cranberry Trifles from Gourmet

Photo: Gourmet

Boxing Day is celebrated the day after Christmas in Britain and Ireland, so I asked my English, Irish, and Scottish friends what they’re planning to eat today. The answer was slightly less exotic than I expected: leftovers. “We’d eat leftover turkey and then Christmas pudding and my mum’s Christmas cake,” said one expat friend. At least she said “pudding” and “mum.”

Why not give your leftovers a Boxing Day angle with this traditional Shepherd’s Pie? It would be great with leftover lamb, turkey, or beef from Christmas dinner.  Follow it with the Quick Cranberry Trifles (made with leftover cranberry sauce) pictured above.

Do you have favorite Boxing Day foods you’d like to share?

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Turkey Leftovers: Gluten-Free Turkey Tetrazzini

Turkey Tetrazzini

Photo: Kemp Minifie

When it comes to holiday dinners, tradition falls into two major camps: Beef versus turkey.  Although I always hoped for beef, my mother was solidly on the side of the turkey, but it  redeemed itself for me later with turkey tetrazzini. Casseroles were my mother’s way of stretching the food dollars.

Turkey tetrazzini has become a tradition within my own family. The mandate this year was to make it gluten-free, not because anyone suffers from celiac disease, but because my daughters have found they feel better steering clear of gluten. It turned out to be easy thanks to Ancient Harvest Quinoa Spaghetti, created from a blend of organic corn and quinoa flours. Continue reading

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What We’re Drinking: Christmas Cocktails

Cranberry Liqueur

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Every winter my family and I travel from all corners of the country to the sloping hills of Beaver Creek, Colorado. This year, 23 of us have gathered to celebrate Christmas together, and today we’ll be cooking up a feast of all of our holiday favorites.

We pair our family recipes with our go-to cold weather cocktail, Prosecco with a splash of cranberry juice. The sound of the first cork popping signals the start to a day devoted to eating, drinking, playing football in the snow, and dancing the night away as we wrap up the evening with a dish-washing party fueled by the year’s Top 40 blasting through the kitchen.

Today we’re expanding our cocktail lineup and serving a few of Gourmet’s Christmas-inspired beverages. I love kickstarting brunch with bright and citrusy Blood Orange Mimosas, but for anyone looking to add a savory touch to their cup, opt for Garnet Punch, which pairs tangy cranberry juice with chopped fresh rosemary. And for a sweet finale to the day, toast with a colorful glass of Cranberry Liqueur (pictured above).

What is your favorite way to celebrate the holiday season?

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Now In the Store: A New Year of Entertaining

A New Year of Entertaining

Ring in 2012 with maximum flavor and minimum fuss with recipes from our New Year of

Entertaining collection, now available in the Gourmet Live Store.

Kickstart your holiday celebration with Sparkling Ginger Cocktails served with our finger-friendly Feta Walnut Date Cigars that wrap cheese and nut filling inside flaky phyllo rolls. And for the ultimate sweet finale to 2011, serve up a slice of Chocolate Pavlova topped with whipped cream and fresh berries.

Download the free Gourmet Live app then head to the Library to access the Store for our New Year of Entertaining collection.

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Five Celebratory Cocktails

Celebratory Cocktails

Nothing quite says “convivial” more than the sound of a champagne cork being popped, especially in a bustling room, and even better if it’s in your honor. In that night of a thousand bubbles, everything feels special (and blurry). Whether you’re swirling Spanish Cava, pouring Prosecco, savoring sparkling Shiraz, German Sekt, or the French stuff, any bit of fizz marks a celebration, or at least gives you an excuse to have one. Here’s a round-up of my top five favorite champagne cocktails, all with a stiff kick.

What do you drink when a toast is in order?

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Weekly Roundup: Homemade Gifts

Flavored Syrup
Make the most of your pantry items with a few of our favorite last-minute DIY edible holiday gifts. From specialty dry rubs to candied orange peels, we promise you’ll find something for every person on your list.
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Make The Most of Leftover Cheese

Fromage Fort

Photo: Kemp Minifie

Quick! Friends you haven’t seen in years just called. They’re in the neighborhood and want to drop by and you’ve got nothing to serve them, or so you think. You check the fridge and find bits and bobs of different cheeses leftover from a holiday gathering last week, but they’d look pretty sorry if you set them out on a plate.

Take a tip from the French, who know a thing or two about cheese, and make what they call fromage fort. That translates as strong cheese, but it’s as pungent or mild as your assortment of leftovers. Continue reading

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Hungry for the Holidays

Crown Roast

Photo: Condé Nast Archive

The holiday season is a time for family, friends, celebrating, and eating! Everyone has their favorite traditional holiday dish. With seasonal selections like honey baked ham, green bean casserole, braised brisket, sugar cookies, potato latkes, gingerbread, prime rib roast, and jelly doughnuts, there is no shortage of indulgent options. But we want to know:

What is your favorite holiday food?

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12.21.11: Holiday Double Issue

Holiday Double Issue

This week we’re dishing out a double serving of articles, tips, recipes, and more in our Holiday Double Issue. Download the free Gourmet Live app for access to all of the issues and recipes, and visit Gourmet.com to read this week’s issue in full, including:

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The History of Hanukkah and Latkes


Conde Nast Digital Studio

Whether or not you celebrate the Festival of Lights, there’s no denying that a perfectly fried potato latke is a little piece of bliss. Interestingly enough, latkes came to the Hanukkah party fairly late. Here’s a brief history of the duo.

Hanukkah itself dates back to 168 B.C., when Syrian-Greek King Antiochus captured Jerusalem. The city’s loyal defenders, the Maccabees, finally succeeded in driving out Antiochus and his troops three years later. Afterwards, they assembled in the Temple in Jerusalem and lit a golden menorah to celebrate and give thanks. Though they only had enough oil for one day, the menorah stayed lit for eight days.

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Image of the Day: Cranberry-Stuffed Mushrooms

Cranberry Stuffed Mushrooms

‘Tis the season for holiday parties, and Louisa of Living Lou has the perfect recipe for your appetizer platter. She adds a fresh twist to traditional stuffed mushrooms by mixing goat cheese and tangy cranberries into her festive Cranberry-Stuffed Mushrooms, which are the perfect pair with your choice cocktail.

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Food Blog of the Week: Bev Cooks

Bev Cooks

Name: Bev Weidner
Blog: Bev Cooks

Location: Kansas City

What is your all-time favorite recipe from your blog?
My most recent favorite has to be this baked polenta pie. My mouth still can’t process what happened as I was inhaling it. It was that good. I also love pizza so much it hurts, so this roasted butternut squash and kale pizza, has to be mentioned too.

If you had to blog about one ingredient every day for a year, what food it be?
Would you consider tacos an ingredient? I’m about to.

What is your favorite restaurant and what do you order there?
My favorite restaurant in KC is this little Italian cozy joint called Bella Napoli. And I order….the pizza. BIG SURPRISE. But man, it’s got roasted tomatoes, Italian sausage and it brings me to my knees.

What’s your go-to quick and easy dinner?
My go-to dish is pasta. A very simple, rustic linguine with olive oil, sauteed garlic, fresh basil and Parmesan. I’m starving now.

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Are You a Super-Locavore?

Meyer Lemon and Kumquats

Photo: CN Digital Studio

On a recent trip to visit family in Louisiana, I ate fantastic pies, lemon bars, marmalade, and other treats, all made from the Meyer lemons, kumquats, and satsumas growing in my mother’s yard. Now, my mom and the rest of my family and friends down there don’t call themselves locavores or talk about Slow Food or homesteading  — growing your own food and cooking with it seems to come as naturally to Louisianans as tolerance for 150 percent humidity.

Are you a super-locavore? What do you make from the fruits of your yard?

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The Simplest Food Gift: Classic Chocolate Truffles

Classic Chocolate Truffles

Photo: Kemp Minifie

Despite what you see in stores, the true chocolate truffle is not a fancy-schmancy bonbon. The classic French confections are nothing more than irregular mounds of ganache—a mixture of chocolate and cream—that when coated with unsweetened cocoa, look remarkably like their exorbitantly expensive namesake fungi, freshly dug up from the earth.

When I need a quick homemade food gift, I go straight to the chocolate truffles Robert Linxe, founder of Maison du Chocolat,  showed me how to make. Finely chop 8 ounces of Valrhona 56% cacao semisweet chocolate and put it in a metal bowl. Bring 2/3 cup heavy cream to a simmer, and pour it over the chocolate. Let it stand 1 minute, then stir slowly until the ganache is smooth. Cool it at cool room temperature, stirring occasionally, until thickened, but still squirtable. Continue reading

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What We’re Cooking: Spicy, Sinus-Clearing Soups

Chinese Hot-and-Sour Soup

Photo: Gourmet

Last year my little household was hit hard during cold and flu season. Frankly, mid-December through February is one big blur of balled-up Kleenex, sore philtrums (the space between your nostrils and lips—and my favorite new word!), and missed holiday gatherings. But what I do remember clearly are the frequent trips to nearby Sunset Park for wonderfully spicy Asian noodle soups, my preferred corrective to our family’s all-too-common colds.

Sure, a simple chicken soup can be just what the doctor ordered—hydrating and restorative—but when I’m so stuffed up I can barely breathe, I need more than that. I want a broth that’s not only flavorsome but also loaded with kick-butt, sinus-clearing heat. Continue reading

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