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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Best Energy Saving Tips

Wow! I am blown away by all the great energy saving tips that were shared in the comments section of the last post. I've compiled some of my favorites for your convenience. I'm sure there is at least one tip that you hadn't considered. Save energy, save time, save money and you'll be helping to protect our environment. Earth Day may be officially over, but really, every day is Earth Day, right? Congratulations to Suzy who won the Scanpan and Randi who won a copy of Big Green Cookbook . Your prizes are on their way. COOKING I find that i love caramelized onions but the time and energy in cooking them each time I want to use them is prohibitive and limits my use of them. So now, every couple of weeks or so, I buy 3 or so pounds of onions and carmelize them all down at once. Then, I freeze them in about 1/4 cup pouches which i find are perfect for throwing in dishes. I then just move them to the fridge periodically to always have them on hand. 
David My energy saving kitc...
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day! Pan & Cookbook Giveaway

Today is Earth Day! What are you doing to be more environmentally friendly? I've gotten rid of all my Teflon pans. It's not just the flaking but also the chemicals used in making the pans that pollute. But I haven't totally given up on non-stick. The latest non-stick pan to come into my kitchen is from the professional line of Scanpan , made from ceramic titanium and recycled aluminum. It is 100% PFOA-free. The line of pans is made in a facility that utilizes a production technology that eliminates the need for PFOA completely.  Another thing that sets this non-stick pan apart from others is that the non-stick coating cannot be damaged by using metal utensils. It's tough! And unlike so many cheap non-stick pans, the handle is really solid and hefty.   Because I've only been using the Scanpan for a short time, I can't tell you how it performs after years of use, but so far I'm very happy with it. It heats evenly and is easy to clean. It also gets great review...
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring Omelette: Recipe

The addition of fresh herbs breathes life into dishes. Herbs are vibrant, bright and introduce flavor that is so startlingly different from dried herbs that I can never understand recipes that imply they are interchangeable. In Italy I learned to make spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, chile flakes and parsley. It wasn't just the color contrast but the lively springiness of the parsley that made this simple dish so wonderful. Likewise sage leaves crisped up in butter or olive oil lend intensity and crunch, a handful of cilantro in a tossed green salad gives it a lemony zing and a sprinkle of chives on smoked salmon adds a delicate, almost sweet oniony flavor. I have a little herb garden and I do mean little. A harvest of herbs from my window box is roughly equal to a generous garnish, so I have to keep raiding my mother's herb garden and buying herbs if I want to cook with them. Last week I got a chance to try Daregal fresh frozen herbs and found them to be surprisingly co...
Friday, April 17, 2009

Somebody's Mother's Chocolate Sauce: Favorite Things

Considering that I'm the kind of person that likes nothing better than left-over pizza or pasta for breakfast, this past week was a tough one. The dietary restrictions associated with Passover prevented me from eating either bread or pasta so I turned to my pantry for comfort and treated myself to a classic no-bake dessert, ice cream with chocolate sauce. I really have no idea why warm chocolate sauce on cold ice cream is such a happy combination but it always lifts my mood. Perhaps it's just nostalgia, reminding me of a time when the only thing better than an ice cream cone was a chocolate dipped ice cream cone. Vanilla and chocolate are warm luscious flavors -- classically familiar yet hinting of something both exotic and tropical. It always makes me happy to discover delicious products made with wonderfully pure ingredients. Somebody's Mother's Chocolate Sauce is exactly that. It contains no corn syrup, no artificial flavors or colors, nothing but pure choco...
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Passover Sweet Potato Gnocchi Recipe

During Passover, I miss pasta. I make passover-friendly crepes , potato pancakes, and daydream a bit about spaghetti. Of course, if you are eating rice you can eat rice noodles I suppose but I wanted to come up with something else that would satisfy me and be kosher for everyone observing Passover. The reason I have not posted any new Passover recipes is that, well, I haven't had much luck until now. I can't tell you how many little mini batches of gnocchi I made. Some were too soft, some were too chewy and one batch was frighteningly gummy. But this last batch worked like a charm. Practice makes perfect, I guess. These sweet potato gnocchi have ricotta in them and are just seasoned with a bit of salt. They are great with butter and sage leaves. Normally I wouldn't specify the sauce, but I'm not sure I'd recommend serving them with a cheese sauce because they are pretty rich and filling without it. By sauteing them in a pan with butter, they take on the flavor ...
Thursday, April 02, 2009

Pim, Pebble Beach & Preeminence

You know Pim , or you know of Pim. If you read food blogs, no doubt you have at least once seen her blog, Chez Pim . Pim lives a gourmet life many vicariously enjoy through reading her blog or following her on Twitter or catching sight of her in newspapers and glossy magazines. She is known for her annual fundraising efforts on behalf of UN World Food Programme , and as an arbiter of taste. Pim is the author of the much anticipated book, the Foodie Handbook: The (almost) Definitive Guide to Gastronomy , to be released later this year. Her handmade butter is enjoyed at rare tables around the Bay Area and her Thai curries are legendary. She even made pop tarts something to savor. I know her because I was an early food blogger, but I'm just a hanger-on. This is how I imagine her circles of friends, with apologies to Malcolm Gladwell. Last week I scored an invitation to dine with Pim and some other food and wine bloggers, old friends really. It was a very intimate gathering at M...
Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Help me and win!

It's time for a blog redesign! Cooking with Amy is going to be redesigned by the talented designer who created the current look several years ago. I've got lots of ideas but would like to hear yours too. What do you like best about the site? Least? What would you like to see me add? Subtract? I really appreciate your input. As a thank you I am offering prizes for 3 commenters: two issues of Eat Smart and one grand prize with edible treats. Last year I chose The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger as one of my favorite books of the year. This year she has joined forces with Fine Cooking magazine as a contributing editor. You may have seen the special Eat Smart issue that contains 75 of her recipes. This wonderful keepsake edition has pantry and storage tips and a ton of scrumptious recipes like Miso-Glazed Cod, Blueberry Coffee Cake and Fettuccine with Walnuts and Parsley. It costs $9.99 and is on newstands until June 30th this year. I will be sending a copy to two lucky winn...