Browsing Date

September 2014

The Herb Series Pt. 2 – Coriander Calling

The Herb Series By September 26, 2014 Tags: , , , , No Comments

So for the second installment of my ongoing series on herbs, I’m bringing out a green with worldwide acclaim. Whether you call it cilantro, coriander, or prefer not to think of it at all (more on that later), this citrusy, zesty little herb has a lot going for it.

Coriander is native to most every region that surrounds the Mediterranean and some parts of southwest Asia. And while it is nearly impossible to determine when it began to show up (either wild or cultivated), there is significant archaeological evidence that shows it was being grown by the ancient Egyptians, as well as the Greeks, who used it not only in their cuisine, but also in perfumes. It was not until around the 1670s that it was brought to North America by British settlers, and became one of the most commonly grown herbs in the colonies. The leafy bright green plants can reach up to 1 – 2 feet in height, and generally require well-drained soil and a consistent warm summer climate to thrive. It has a bright, citrusy flavor that some people liken to oranges, although I have always leaned more toward the lemony-essence school of thought. And fresh cilantro is usually best stored in the refrigerator, either in a sealed plastic bag or wrapped in a damp paper towel, and for best results should be used as soon as possible.

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Farm Fresh Flavors – Pepperidge Farm, That Is…

Uncategorized By September 19, 2014 Tags: , , , , No Comments

I don’t mind telling you I have been a long-time fan of Pepperidge Farm products. Not just their delectable cookies (Milano and Santa Cruz and Gingermen, oh my!), but I can definitely get down with some Goldfish, too. Easy, convenient, flavorful snacking? Yes please. So when I recently noticed that they were putting out a few new lines of soft-baked cookies, I had to jump right in and try them out. There are several available, but for this post I’ll just keep it down to two, one flavor each from their two new(ish) lines, Dessert Shop and Coffee Shop.  Now in the interest of full disclosure, I will say this is not my first foray into their soft cookie goodness. I have had their Cinnamon Roll soft baked cookies in the past month or so, and devoured them with joy in my heart. Yes, they are every bit as lovely as they sound. But on to the current flavors.

From PF’s Coffee Shop lineup I chose Banana Nut. Not being the biggest banana fan in the world, I proceeded with caution, although knowing Pepperidge’s track record of stellar products, I had high hopes. The texture of the cookies was very nice; not too dense or dry, and not so moist that they fell apart before you could eat them. While I do hold an affection for both soft and crunchy cookies, my heart will always be on the side of the soft ones, and I am unashamedly persnickety about the quality of the ones I consume. These definitely lived up to my standards. The banana flavor was sweet and not overwhelming, and the pecans were nice and fresh. I was also pleased by the fact that they didn’t make me feel weighed down afterward as some other brands of soft cookies can, a quality that was consistent in both flavors I tried.
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Coconut Water – Healthy (and Tasty?) Hydration

Beverages By September 12, 2014 Tags: , , , No Comments

In my ongoing endeavor to be healthy, while simultaneously maintaining my image as the last person to pick up on a trend, I decided this week to get my first taste of coconut water. It seems like coconut-based everything has been popping up in the last couple of years. Being touted for its health and beauty benefits, coconut has joined the ranks of other “super foods”, luring many of us to give it a try in the hope of having healthier gums (via oil pulling), fixing frizzy hair (DIY coconut oil hair masks?), and from the folks at Vita Coco, even having healthy, tasty hydration.  Because, you know, regular water is just so two years ago.

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Pop Goes the Cake

Reviews By September 6, 2014 Tags: , No Comments

In recent years, home bakers have been given the opportunity to create professional-style desserts and confections in their own kitchen. I know the idea of being able to stay home (and potentially save a little money) and still make something delicious holds a lot of appeal for me.

One of the many options available on the market is the cake pop maker. Cake pops began to really take hold three or four years ago as the smaller-portion option to standard cake or cupcakes. Depending on the flavor, decoration, and skill of the baker, either of the aforementioned can be problematic to eat, sometimes even downright messy. Cake pops were the answered prayer to moms everywhere who wanted to control the amount of dessert their kids ate (and maybe themselves as well), and to anyone who had their hands full or was a little too well-dressed to be dealing with gooey icing. They’re little, delicious and on a stick. Not only are they handy, but the decorating options are as limitless as their larger cousins. And the ease of transporting them only added to the mania.

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