Wednesday, February 20, 2008

China Bound

I'm on the road to China -- or more precisely Shanghai, Xi An and Beijing.
I'll update from the road if I can, but promise lots of goodies when I return.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Red Hot Ice for Valentine's Day

Everyone associates Valentine's Day treats and desserts with chocolate. I know I do. But if you would like to find a way to celebrate with your sweetheart that's also heart healthy, try this non-fat, bright red, low-calorie sorbet. (You can make this even if you don't have an ice cream maker. See directions below.)

Red Hot Ice
Makes about 8 1/2 cup servings

4 cups brewed herbal tea -- use any flavor that brews up bright red, I used a hibiscus tea similar to Celestial Seasoning's Red Zinger.
2 tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice (if using a fruit flavored tea)
Honey or agave nectar
Mint, choppped (optional)

While the tea is hot, stir in lemon or lime juice (if using) and sweetener to taste. Add a bit more sweetener than you normally would since the finished sorbet's coldness will dull its sweeteness. Chill well.

Pour cold mixture into ice cream machine and process until done, about 20 minutes. There is a chance that your sorbet will still be a bit soupy. If so, put the sorbert into a wide plastic or metal container or pan, cover and freeze. Remove from the freezer every half hour or so and rake the frozen ice with a fork to break the ice up, stir and replace until frozen to desired consistency. If you don't have an ice cream maker, do this from the start to make the sorbet. When ready to serve, allow to soften a bit at room temperature before scooping. If the ice is too hard or you are in a hurry, place the ice in food processor and whirl for a few seconds until desired consistency is reached. Sprinkle with chopped mint before serving.

Really need some chocolate on your Valentine's Day dessert? Try drizzling a little gourmet chocolate sauce or melted dark chocolate on top.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Every Valentine Needs Charles (Chocolates) In Charge

Click on over to Sugar Savvy to read my Valentine to Charles Chocolates' Valentine's Day assortment. To put it simply this is some of the best chocolate candy I've ever eaten as well as some of the prettiest. It's almost like it's candy AND bling in one!

Check it out.

Lots of Links on the Side(bar)

A relatively new feature on my side bar (towards the bottom, I'll wait while you scroll down to check it out) is the Foodie Blog Roll.

It is a way for dedicated food bloggers to link to one another and spread the joy. I hope you will take a few minutes and explore some of the food blogs that participate in the blog roll.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

This Just In

I'm back from Las Vegas. My husband and I are reps for several manufacturers and it was great to see the numbers of buyers that attended our industry's semi-annual market in Lost Wages. At one point in one (very large) showroom I looked up and I literally could not see the floor for the buyers. Let's hope it bodes well for the economy.

While in Vegas, Mr. Blog Appetit and I played blackjack for about a half hour on $20 total, which I thought was pretty amazing. We ate in one of the worst restaurants I've ever eaten at anywhere (a Southern comfort spot in Harrah's where even the chicken soup was inedible), saw a show (comedian Rita Rudner) at Harrah's which is why we were eating there to begin with. (By the way, she was very entertaining, but on the way home I watched a video of her in the airport where she was doing choice bits from her act. My new tip for freebies in Vegas -- watch all the comedians on the airport videos.) , had way too much steak and lots of seafood. Vegas will get it's own write up soon.

What have I been cooking? Well, this past week I've been under the weather and a scrambled egg and microwaved water has been about it. The week before that I was in Vegas. Before that, however, do I have dishes to dish -- from goulash to doro wat. And a new piece of kitchen equipment to rhapsodize about (A Rhapsody in Blue). Watch this space.

On the Road to China. I'm off in less than two weeks to China, including a cooking class in Shanghai, a meal in a local home near Beijing and more. I usually don't post while I'm on the road, but I will be taking pictures and notes, so more on China when I return in March.

How Sweet it Was -- Local See's Candies Store Closes Unexpectedly. It was one of the last "neighborhood" style stores I knew of around here, the rest are in malls. One of the oldest stores in the See's chain, it had a quaint art deco charm. The signage and candy maybe gone and the for lease sign up, but I bet the place still smells of chocolate. The community staged on uprising when the store's closing was proposed four years ago and the location was kept open. This time there was no warning, just a sign in the window one morning. Also, I noticed the See's in my mall of choice has moved to a more out-of-the way, smaller location. I guess even See's Candies needs to tighten its belt in this business climate despite being owned by Berkshire-Hathaway. Memo to Warren Buffett -- Save My See's! (For more on See's Candies including links to my reviews and calorie counts, click here.)